Report: University community making strides in Title IX efforts

DiStefano shares 'extremely positive' update at regents meeting
By Staff

Hogshead-Makar (Photo courtesy of Florida Coastal School of Law)

Findings from the first year of a five-year review of the University of Colorado at Boulder's efforts to curb sexual assault and harassment throughout the campus indicate vigilance and progress.

Chancellor Phil DiStefano presented a summary of Title IX adviser Nancy Hogshead-Makar's reportat the Sept. 16 meeting of the CU Board of Regents.

"This is extremely positive for the campus," DiStefano said. "The findings show that we compare favorably to other campuses across the country."

The report calls CU's responses to sexual assault and harassment incidents "appropriate and consistent." As an example, it notes the quick response of university leaders to a series of off-campus assaults earlier this year, reminding the community of safety precautions and resources and reaching out to parents of students.

"These responses demonstrate that CU appreciates the significance of sexual assault upon a community," the report states, "and that it is not limiting its responses to sexual assaults occurring on the campus or between CU students."

The report notes the important role of the SASH (Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment) Task Force in prevention, but suggests that its membership needs greater involvement by faculty.
"SASH members have considerable expertise and produce good educational materials, but need to have a faculty presence to assist in the integration of those materials throughout the institution, including the curriculum," the report says. "Chancellor DiStefano is receptive to exploring opportunities to increase faculty involvement."

The university established the independent adviser position as part of the settlement in a Title IX lawsuit. Title IX, enacted in 1972, aims to eliminate discrimination in education programs, particularly athletics, based on gender.

"It's important that the university community know of our progress in this area," said Regent Michael Carrigan.

Hogshead-Makar, a tenured professor at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Fla., is considered one of the country's top experts in Title IX.

"I am continually struck by the degree of investment people had in a positive outcome for students and for the community as a whole," Hogshead-Makar writes in the report. "I look forward to continuing this dialogue with CU."