Responsibilities of Key Administrators - The Pregnant Scholar
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Responsibilities of Key Administrators

Many administrators and staff members play a role in fulfilling the requirements of Title IX.  The following list provides a summary of some key players, their typical responsibilities, and where  to learn more.

Title IX Coordinator

Each institution of higher education is required by law to designate at least one employee to serve as a Title IX coordinator. 

This designee is responsible for coordinating all of the school’s Title IX efforts, including investigations of Title IX complaints.  The coordinator is a source of information for the university community on the requirements of Title IX, and the university’s policies relating to sex discrimination.  A proactive Title IX coordinator will not only establish a robust reporting mechanism, but will educate the university community of the process, evaluate any trends or patterns in Title IX violations, and seek to prevent Title IX violations.  Title IX coordinators should provide training and technical assistance to educate the university community of their rights and responsibilities under Title IX.

For more information about the responsibilities of Title IX coordinators, see the Department of Education’s Dear Colleague Letter on Title IX Coordinators and Title IX Resource Guide.

Disability (ADA/Section 504) Coordinator

Each institution of higher education (with at least 50 employees) is required by law to designate an ADA Coordinator to coordinate compliance with the ADA and to investigate complaints. 

Similar to the Title IX Coordinator, this employee is responsible for providing technical assistance and training to members of the university community.  Because the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act recently expanded the definition of disability to cover pregnancy-related disabilities, coordinators should provide resources to members of the university community to ensure compliance with this relatively recent mandate to provide accommodations to women with pregnancy-related impairments.

For more information on disability and pregnancy see our student section guide to pregnancy accommodations

For information on the ADA’s inclusion pregnancy-related conditions, see our memo here.

Advisers and Financial Aid Officers

Financial Aid and academic advisers should be prepared to advise pregnant and parenting students on relevant resources and policies. 

A proactive adviser would familiarize themselves with Title IX and their university’s policies on withdrawal and leave.  Students should be informed of the consequences of any registration action on their academic or financial status, but be encouraged to make any decision on their own.  Remember, no university can require a student to take leave or otherwise curtail her studies due to pregnancy, but Title IX does mandate that schools provide medically necessary leave, if needed, without penalty.

Our student section provides more information on leave and financial aid.

Deans, Department Heads, and Other Administrators

Each institution is responsible not only for designating Title IX and ADA coordinators but also for publicizing their contact information. 

Administrators with responsibility for overseeing or training faculty should ensure that faculty members are apprised of the Title IX requirements and where to go for additional assistance.  Moreover, where administrators are responsible for creating or enforcing policies, they should take care to ensure that those policies comply with Title IX.  Remember, the institution is responsible for ensuring that each of its educational components comply with the law.