October 11, 2017: Title IX Release
The announcement from the Department of Education (DOE) related to Title IX and college campuses prompted many questions. The DOE letter said that the Department:
- had withdrawn its guidance, issued in 2011 and 2014, related to Title IX and campus sexual violence;
- would develop a new policy to address sexual misconduct on college campuses that aligns with Title IX and “provides fair access to education benefits”; and
- would use a rulemaking process that allows for public comments in developing this new policy.
Upholding Title IX and addressing sexual misconduct on our campus are priorities at the University of Mississippi regardless of the outcome of DOE’s policy rulemaking process. We are committed to taking care of our students and doing everything we can to provide a safe and welcoming community for all.
We want you to know that the University of Mississippi has not made any policy or procedural changes related to Title IX cases. The University plans to participate in the DOE rulemaking process and will work with organizations such as APLU and ASCA to advocate for university authority and fair student rights.
Simply put, Title IX is not going away; its enforcement is critical to the safety and well-being of Ole Miss students. Future guidance from the federal government is unknown—the interpretation of Title IX may become more or less prescriptive; we pledge to advocate for the best outcome for our community and respond to any change with a focus on what is best for our students.
Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
University Counseling Center and Office of Violence Prevention
Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct
University Police Department
What is Title IX? Why do we have a Title IX coordinator?
“No person in the United States, shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and its implementing regulation at 34 C.F.R. Part 106 (Title IX).”
The University of Mississippi does not discriminate on the basis of sex in education programs and activities, and, as a recipient of federal financial assistance for education activities, is required by Title IX to ensure that all of its education programs and activities do not discriminate in such a manner. Sexual harassment, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited by Title IX.
The university’s Title IX coordinator is responsible for overseeing the development of sexual misconduct policies, ensuring compliance with Title IX and relevant federal and state regulations, and investigating Title IX complaints alleging student sexual misconduct. Questions regarding Title IX, as well as concerns about and complaints of noncompliance (including complaints of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence or other sexual misconduct), should be directed to the Title IX coordinator.
The Title IX coordinator at the University of Mississippi is Honey Ussery and can be reached at TitleIX@olemiss.edu, 662-915-7045 or in Martindale 270D.
To learn more about Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the University of Mississippi’s obligations, visit the Office for Civil Rights.