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An ATIXA Special Event Webinar – Maintaining Title IX Program Integrity in a Pandemic

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Complimentary for all Members of the ATIXA Community!

Join Title IX and online program experts for a webinar on maintaining your Title IX program remotely. All of ATIXA’s members are facing scale-backs or shutdowns as a result of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. We may need to find ways to address key program elements remotely, including remedies, investigations, hearings, and appeals. ATIXA has worked to pull together a set of key advisory tips to help you keep your program functioning as we weather this pandemic. This 75-minute on-demand webinar will feature presenters W. Scott Lewis, J.D., Saundra K. Schuster, J.D., Brett A. Sokolow, J.D., and Poppy Fitch. Topics include:

  • Will OCR permit delays during a pandemic?
  • What will program shut-downs mean for recipients?
  • If your program is scaled-back, how can you temporarily conduct your program remotely?
  • Triaging the case load
  • Assuring you have updated contact information from the parties
  • Shifting to providing case materials by secure tech
  • Conduct interviews by phone or video call?
  • Assessing credibility remotely
  • Explaining delays
  • Minimizing delays
  • Allow parties to accept alternate resolution formats and policy changes
  • Giving parties notice of delays
  • Tracking down witnesses remotely
  • Changing policy on the fly – what can you do, and how should you do it?
  • Enhancing communication under less than ideal circumstances
  • Managing notice that comes in during a shutdown or scale-back

Proposed Regulations: Steps to be Taking Now

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Complimentary for Super and Premium Level Members
Please go to the Member Webinar dropdown to obtain the recording free of charge

$249 for ATIXA Members
$349 for non-ATIXA Members

Are you feeling like you’re caught in Title IX limbo? If so, you’re in good company. And, that feeling is not unreasonable. The courts are in an activist mode, and it seems they are changing sexual misconduct procedural protections every week now. We’re working under a 2017 OCR Interim Guide that just about everyone seems to be ignoring. Venerable 2011 and 2014 OCR guidance is gone. Proposed new regulations saw 105,874 comments (mostly disapproving of the proposed changes), and their future hangs in the balance of a political process, a national election, and seemingly endless potential litigation. Against this crazy backdrop, what is a conscientious Title IX administrator to do?

Well, as a step in the right direction, attend this webinar. Let’s try to figure this thing out together, as a community.

At ATIXA, we don’t have all the answers, but we’re pretty good at reading the tea leaves, assessing where the field is, and helping to guide where it should go. As we see it, we’re in a bridge period, not quite still in the land of 2011 rules, and not quite ready for the 2019 new rules. We don’t think you should wait until the 2019 regs become law, as OCR won’t give you enough time to prepare. But, some of the proposed changes will never see the light of day, and if some do, they may not survive legal challenge. Despite these cross-currents, we believe that some changes in the near-term are likely necessary, prudent, and even beneficial. Most of them focus on the investigation process, and how to insulate your resolutions from collateral attack for conflict-of-interest and lack of independence. And, we think you can make minor tweaks this summer without causing significant political blow-back in your communities. You don’t want to be in the position of the California colleges right now. They are scrambling to implement the requirements of a new appeals court ruling on due process. Will your courts be next? Do you want to be left scrambling, too, or is this a reasonable time to begin taking some half-steps, to position your school well for the changes to come? Some of what OCR wants is unreasonable, and some of the ideas are ones whose time has come.

We think there are some steps you can take to prepare for the future, without upsetting the apple cart. And, taking baby steps now can help to prepare your communities for more jarring changes that may be forced on us down the road. In this webinar, Title IX experts Anna Oppenheim, J.D., Brett A. Sokolow, J.D.and Daniel C. Swinton, J.D. , Ed.D.will offer their thoughts for current best practice, highlight the first principles that undergird Title IX no matter what political winds are blowing, and try to prepare you for where the future direction of litigation and regulation is likely to take us. Plus, we’ll talk about the wave of new policies banning employee-student relationships, and what you ought to be considering as pressure mounts to revise those policies, as well.

ATIXA is following up on the initial 2019 series of webinars to cover the implementation steps of changes coming from OCR, including Q&A from our membership. Our webinar is designed to provide Title IX practitioners with a step-by-step plan to implement changes from the regulations. The webinar will be approximately 90 minutes in length. All attendees will receive the recording with purchase. A recording of the webinar will be available for purchase for those unable to attend the live event.

The Relationship Between Campus Climate, Sexual Assault Victimization, and Reporting to Campus Officials for LGBTQ College Students

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Presenter: Sarah Nightingale, Ph.D.

Sexual assault is a persistent problem on college colleges and has been found to impact the health, well-being, and academic success of survivors.  Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) college students experience sexual assault victimization at disproportionately higher rates compared to their cisgender, heterosexual peers.  Federal Title IX legislation in the United States (U.S) requires higher education institutions to have systems in place to respond to reports of sexual assault and support the students affected.  However, few students report sexual assault to college officials.  This original research seeks to contribute to the understanding of campus sexual assault by exploring relationships between perceptions of the campus climate, sexual assault victimization and reporting to campus officials, specifically for LGBTQ students.

Data was collected through a survey which was distributed via social media.  Ultimately, 1,115 participants met the study criteria.  Three major research questions were pursued.  First, logistic regression was applied to determine how different dimensions of the LGBTQ campus climate, race, gender, and sexual orientation impact the odds of students experiencing sexual assault victimization in college.  Second, further logistic regression analysis was used to investigates how various factors, including circumstances of the crime and campus climate, impact the odds of LGBTQ survivors reporting sexual assault to campus officials.  And third, hierarchical regression was applied to explore how the LGBTQ campus climate and reporting behavior contribute to the variance in LGBTQ survivors perceptions of the sexual assault reporting climate.  Findings from these analyses were used to make recommendations for policy change at national and state levels, as well as suggestions for how higher education officials and student affairs professionals can improve practice with LGBTQ survivors of sexual assault.

Recent Due Process Rulings by the California Courts: What Do California Colleges and Universities Need to Know and Do?

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Complimentary for Super and Premium Level Members
Please go to the Member Webinar dropdown to obtain the recording free of charge

$199 for all other ATIXA Members
$299 for non-ATIXA Members

The state courts of California are sending a set of very clear messages about due process. Seven recent rulings. Seven losses for colleges and universities. Who is helping put a stop to this litigation madness?

The writ of administrative mandate? Have you heard of it? The lawyers suing California public and private colleges have, and they’ve leveraged a string of seven lawsuits by John Doe (he is of the infamous Does, the most litigious family in America) to hold CA colleges liable for due process failures, in sexual misconduct proceedings. The single investigator model can’t meet the requirements of the APA in California. Moreover, even formal hearing systems are being shot down by the courts. Cross-examination is now an expectation. You need to update your process before the next lawsuit does it for you.

The 75-minute webinar hosted by Title IX expert and LA resident Brett A. Sokolow, J.D., Brett shared a review of the key cases that are currently reshaping due process for public and private colleges and universities in California. The webinar focused on the practical changes that are required, and how to evolve your resolution processes without fundamentally upending the structures you have already built. Key questions were addressed, including:

  • Why the single investigator model is no longer viable
  • How to ensure the independence of the roles of those involved in the resolution process
  • How to assure impartiality, structurally
  • What role should investigators play? Fact-gatherer? Fact-finder, or something in between?
  • How should live interviews be managed at different phases of the process?
  • What role, if any, should investigators have in helping to assess credibility?
  • How do the CA courts differ from the requirements being handed down in the 6th Circuit and those proposed by OCR?
  • How do we meet the expectations of the appeals courts in CA without turning our processes into adversarial mini-courts?
  • How do we manage cross-examination with civility?
  • What hearing formats are available to us, and how should we staff the decision-making role?

These ten pressing questions were discussed, along with a live Q&A session that was recorded with the webinar participants.

ATIXA’s OCR Regs Webinar Review Series

Are you concerned about the new proposed OCR regulations and how they will impact your work in the field of Title IX? Are you interested in learning how to interpret the often unclear and confusing language that is listed in the new regulations? How is OCR going to enforce these new changes for your institution? How should you go about implementing the hearing panel apparatuses and training requirements?

ATIXA is hosting a series of free live webinars to cover the regulations and changes coming from the OCR, including Q&A from our membership. Our first free webinar is designed to provide our members with an overview of the regulations and substantive areas for which ATIXA will continue to stand. The second webinar will discuss effective commenting and proposed policy/process revisions and changes. Each webinar will be approximately 60 minutes in length. Please sign up for each webinar separately below. If you are unable to attend, a recording of each webinar will be made available to members following the webinars.

Webinar 1: Regulations Overview
Recorded Monday, January 14, 2019 from 4pm-5pm ET

Webinar 2: Effective Commenting
Recorded Tuesday, January 15, 2019 from 12pm-1pm ET


ATIXA Town Hall

ATIXA leadership hosted a free Q&A session on the recent 6th Circuit rulings and the anticipated impact on Title IX processes and procedures. A recording is available below.

Presenters: Brett A. Sokolow, J.D., ATIXA President and Saundra K. Schuster, J.D., ATIXA Advisory Board Member