On May 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education released the final version of its new Title IX regulations on sexual harassment, effective today, August 14, which amend the current regulations for implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The changes in the new Title IX regulations are significant. You can, and should, review the new rules in the Student Handbook, Article III or at https://web.iit.edu/hea-
Over the course of the summer, Title IX staff and key Illinois Tech administrators have collaborated with representatives from other institutions and legal counsel to create a policy that complies with the new requirements and best serves our students, faculty, and staff. Because the resolution processes required under the new rules are more prescribed compared to previous federal guidance, Illinois Tech administrators have created a new policy that will allow greater flexibility in resolving complaints of sexual harassment informally, which the new regulations expressly allow, including options integrating facilitated communication and restorative processes.
Because the new rules narrow the definition of Title IX Sexual Harassment, any allegation that does not meet this definition cannot be subject to the Title IX Sexual Harassment Process and must be dismissed. While complaints or reports received after August 14, 2020 may fall outside of the scope of this policy, other university policies, such as the Code of Conduct or general human resource policies, may be used to address such complaints. Over the course of the summer, Title IX Staff has been working closely with the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Human Resources to establish such processes for resolving complaints that fall outside of Title IX jurisdiction.
Reporting Title IX Sexual Harassment
Any person may report “Title IX Sexual Harassment” under this policy, whether the reporting party is the person alleged to be the target of the conduct. Reports of Title IX Sexual Harassment may be made in person, by mail, by telephone, by electronic mail at any time or online at iit.edu/incidentreport , and should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator, whose contact information is below. Under the new rules, a “Formal Title IX Complaint,” defined as a written statement signed by an individual who experienced sexual harassment, must be filed with the Title IX Coordinator to initiate the resolution process.
Initiating a Formal Title IX Complaint
Once a Formal Title IX Complaint alleging Title IX Sexual Harassment is filed or initiated, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will, at a minimum: provide a detailed written notice of allegations to both the Title IX Complainant and Respondent including all required notices and statements under the Title IX Sexual Harassment Process.
Supportive measures will be offered to anyone (students and employees) who reports sexual harassment, regardless of whether they file a Formal Title IX Complaint, with the aim of restoring or maintaining their access to their education and/or employment. Supportive Measures are also available to Title IX Respondents after a Formal Title IX Complaint is filed. Supportive Measures are individualized and are intended to be non-punitive and non-disciplinary and can include, but are not limited to: counseling services, extension of academic deadlines, escort services, and workplace accommodations.
Title IX Sexual Harassment Formal Process
The new Title IX regulations require that Illinois Tech follow specific procedural protocols with respect to investigating and adjudicating Formal Title IX Complaints. These new mandatory protocols do differ from the procedures that Illinois Tech used under the prior Title IX regulations. After an investigation, a determination of responsibility will be made at a a live hearing in accordance with the Title IX Sexual Harassment Process. During the live hearing, under the new regulations, both parties have the right for all evidence to be cross-examined by their advisor, and never by either party. The opportunity to appeal the final determination is available to both parties.
Title IX Informal Resolution
Once a Formal Title IX Complaint has been filed, the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy offers the option for the Title IX Complainant and Respondent to participate in a voluntary informal resolution process to resolve allegations of Title IX Sexual Harassment. The Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator facilitates a process in which the Complaint and Respondent aim to reach a mutually agreed upon solution to resolve and to restore educational access following the allegation. This process is highly customizable and includes options such as educational programming or agreed upon restrictive contact.
Again, specific information about the Title IX Sexual Harassment Process can be found in the Student Handbook under Article III or on the Title IX Office website at https://web.iit.edu/hea-