Millersville University’s Council of Trustees received an update on the newly mandated Title IX regulations made this May by the U.S. Department of Education at their meeting this month.
The Title IX updates state, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” Schools had until August to adopt compliant policies and procedures to cover the new regulations. Faculty were sent an email in August with updated language to include in their syllabi.
A major change was made to the following definition in Title IX, which now states: “Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity.” The “and” in this phrase was changed to “or.”
Millersville’s Title IX Coordinator, Elizabeth Swantek, walked the COT through the changes. “Title IX coordinators from throughout the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education have been working on a template since May,” she explained. “Our goal was to make updates that are student centered, so we are well positioned to be able to meet the new regulations.”
There is now additional training required for those who participate in hearings, and the structure of hearings has changed. Now, each party must have an advisor and if they do not have one, the University must provide one.
“Some behaviors are not covered under the new Title IX regulations but will be included under a general sexual misconduct policy at Millersville,” explained Swantek.
In other action, the COT approved a resolution giving Dr. William B. McIlwaine trustee emeritus status. McIlwaine has been affiliated with Millersville for more than 60 years, ranging from a faculty member to a long-time member of the Council of Trustees.