Title IX programs increase costs
Many of these regulations stem from the Campus Security Initiative, a systemwide report released by the UNC General Assembly in July 2014. To comply with the report’s recommendations that went into effect beginning fall 2014, many UNC campuses have turned to hiring full-time Title IX coordinators with established qualifications — though a full-time coordinator is not technically recommended.
Title IX, which was signed into law in 1972, prevents gender discrimination in federally funded schools nationwide.
Recommendations have meant a financial impact on UNC-system schools as they aim to hire additional staff members, said Dawn Floyd, a UNC-Charlotte Title IX coordinator who began her role in 2014.
“All of these regulations and recommendations don’t necessarily come with additional monies,” Floyd said. “Schools are having to figure out how to fund the people that they’re hiring and the initiatives that they’re doing.”
UNC-Chapel Hill expanded its Title IX office, hiring its first full-time coordinator in January 2014, according to Hilary Delbridge, a spokesperson for the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office. She said three additional positions are yet to be filled.
But Patricia Bradley, the first full-time coordinator for Fayetteville State University, was just hired two months ago. She said when she was hired, most deadlines for available grants had already passed, but they plan on applying for future ones.
The school is not receiving outside funding for the office, she said.
“Right now it’s completely on its own,” she said.
Part of a systemwide $30 annual security fee covers these recommendations regarding Title IX. UNC-CH secures $97,500 from these fees yearly, according to the Committee on Budget and Finance — a few thousand dollars short of UNC-CH’s interim coordinator’s salary.
In comparison, schools like FSU with fewer than 6,000 students will only receive $26,000 in revenue from the fee. But the UNC-system general administration also sets aside $4 from each student’s fee to be pooled for small schools like FSU.
But Bradley said FSU has not struggled to find funding.
“The administration, they understand the complexity of the program and the need, so they are providing the support that I need so far,” she said.
Floyd said having a full-time coordinator has allowed UNC-Charlotte to create new initiatives, including a Title IX response team and a program similar to UNC-CH’s Haven training.
“(It) has really been what has allowed us to be really productive in terms of the things that we’re doing here,” she said.
The federal Campus SaVE Act went into effect this summer, which amends the 1990 Clery Act to include domestic and dating violence, as well as stalking, in the crime statistics that must be annually reported.
Floyd said the act has caused UNC-Charlotte to more clearly communicate reporting options to victims.
“It’s really required us to get a hard look at our investigative and conduct processes and make sure that we have established a fair, equitable, impartial process for everyone who is involved,” she said.
The initiative further recommended each school hire a Clery Compliance officer — an estimated cost of $1.52 million for the UNC system — but smaller schools like FSU have yet to do so.
It also suggests students no longer serve on disciplinary hearings concerning sexual assault cases. But some non-UNC-system schools like Duke University maintain students on their hearing panels, said Howard Kallem, the director of Title IX compliance at Duke and UNC-CH’s former Title IX coordinator.
Floyd said sexual assault policies are not one-size-fits-all.
“No one campus looks exactly like another campus because everybody’s different with their culture and their resources,” she said. “It’s a challenge to stay on top of everything that’s going on in this area.”
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