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.
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.
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.
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.