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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC in the process of undergoing Title IX compliance review

Nicki Moore, senior associate athletic director, said after Barack Obama became president the Office for Civil Rights issued a “Dear Colleague” letter that essentially set up more requirements to claiming compliance.

“It used to be, for example, the only thing you would have to do to claim compliance is to administer a survey — even if it’s not even a good survey,” Moore said.

She said an interdisciplinary committee, formed in spring 2016, is working on the comprehensive review to be completed in 2017.

Moore said the process of reviewing for Title IX compliance is not required, but UNC is completing the review as risk management.

“This is essentially kind of like an audit,” she said. “It’s a way of assessing where our areas of risk might be and so the risk comes in when whether or not someone wants to file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights and if the Office for Civil Rights then wants to investigate it, that becomes the risk.”

The “Dear Colleague” letter, issued in 2010, created a three-part test to consider if an institution is “effectively accommodating the athletic interests and abilities of students of both sexes.”

“It’s a fairly complex set of guidelines,” Moore said. “There are several different parts of Title IX. There’s a participation part, there’s a financial aid component and then there’s the laundry list component.”

As part of the participation component, UNC sent out a survey to female students pertaining to their past, current and future interest in sport participation. The responses assess whether or not current varsity programs are meeting the interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex.

Moore said in order to be in compliance with the financial aid component, the committee must assess if financial aid is substantially proportionate to student-athletes.

“In our case, we have 55 percent men student-athletes, then 55 percent of the financial aid should be going to men,” Moore said.

Moore said the committee is also looking at 12 areas that require a thorough assessment. These range from equipment and supplies to practice and competition facilities, as well as coaching and support services.

Moore said survey data has not been analyzed yet, so in terms of the participation part, she is unsure if UNC can claim compliance.

“The operating budgets for all of our sports have improved, in some cases 50 percent or more,” Moore said. “I only see improvements. There are always ways you can make even more improvement and we will.”

Joe Sagula, head coach of the UNC volleyball team, said he believes Title IX has created more opportunities for women and UNC has done a good job implementing it.

“I look outside Carmichael, and I look out on that field and on a Saturday afternoon, I might see guys playing soccer, but then I’m watching women’s rugby, then I’m watching softball, then I’m watching women’s club soccer, and I think there are a lot of opportunities for people to do a lot of different things.”

Staff writer Dominic Andrews contributed reporting.

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