Tulsa Law Review


Brian A. Pappas


Title IX Coordinators are tasked with effectuating Title IX compliance to ensure a safe campus while protecting the rights of survivors and alleged perpetrators. An epidemic of university sexual misconduct and widespread non-reporting provided the context for a 2011 Department of Education Office of Civil Rights Dear Colleague Letter redefining compliance. This article utilizes interviews conducted between 2011 and 2014 with 13 Title IX Coordinators from large institutions of higher education to provide a ground-level view of compliance in action. In the very best light, during this time university compliance with Title IX was highly inconsistent and largely ineffective. Title IX Coordinators depart from the archetype in order to create substantive justice for individuals in a framework they view as overly formalistic. They also depart to establish professional worth, to avoid negative publicity, and to effectuate managerial solutions that symbolize compliance. The results are Title IX processes that are less than consistent, reliable, and impartial, vali-dating calls for increased procedural protections for victims and alleged perpetrators. Overall, the picture of university Title IX compliance is one motivated more by symbolic enforcement than true dedication to ensure a hostility-free campus.

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