Navigating Title IX and Gender Based Campus Violence: An Analysis of the Roles and Experiences of Title IX Coordinators
This dissertation examined the experiences and challenges that Title IX coordinators face at small and medium-sized private institutions. Since the Dear Colleague Letter of 2011, the position of Title IX coordinator has changed significantly and the expectations to aggressively address campus violence have increased. Through the use of an online questionnaire and semi-structured interviews with Title IX coordinators, this study explored the specific challenges they face in their positions, especially if they have another full time role at their institution. Furthermore, I explored their paths to this position and what professional experiences they utilize in these roles. Lastly, I determined how they collaborate with the campus community on their campus and other Title IX coordinators on other campuses.
I found that Title IX coordinators face great challenges in their roles and because 12 out of 13 in this study had another full time role, these challenges varied greatly. Some of the challenges that the Title IX coordinators face are lack of time, lack of financial resources, difficultly setting up a solid infrastructure, and challenges with the highly emotional topics and decisions. Even though there are a large number of challenges associated with being a Title IX coordinator, I found that collaborations with stakeholders on campus are extremely beneficial to Title IX work. Other sources of support include access to legal council and upper administration, which was largely due to the political capitol they had on their campus.
The Title IX coordinators that also held other positions on their campuses noted a lack of intersection of those positions in most cases. The largest lack of intersection between the Title IX coordinator role and their other position was in the area of student interaction. Those that rarely interacted with students on a regular basis found it difficult to relate to students and understand student development. However, there were benefits to the multiple roles for those that did have regular student interaction as well as those that read policy and conducted investigations on a regular basis.
This dissertation examined the role of Title IX coordinators and revealed several recommendations for how the position can be improved for those that hold multiple roles on their campuses. Implications for Title IX administrators and recommendations for those charged with addressing sexual misconduct with limited resources and time are also addressed.