Title IX Coordinators: Good People Doing Good Work Under Impossible Expectations

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Virginia Tech


The Title IX Coordinator is the chief administrator tasked with ensuring institutional compliance with Title IX, but scant literature exists about how Title IX Coordinators come to their role, how they gain the skills, competencies, and knowledge required to ensure institutional Title IX compliance, and how they juggle ethical considerations of fidelity, justice, autonomy, beneficence, and nonmalfeasance. The purpose of this study is to understand how TIX Coordinators make meaning of their role on campus and their role in institutional compliance with Title IX mandates. This qualitative research project uses a semi-structured interview protocol to enable participants to reflect on the skills, competencies, and knowledge they use to develop and implement policy change in their role, and in response to federal unfunded mandates, as well as the ethical considerations that they must balance in executing these duties. This research focuses on seven participants who are Title IX Coordinators at four-year institutions located in the United States. Findings indicate that Title IX Coordinators believe that they gain their skills and knowledge about being Title IX Coordinators from prior experiences, including their own childhood experiences. Participants believe that empathy, communication skills, and an ability to persevere are major competencies that Title IX Coordinators need to possess. Findings also indicate that participants exhibit strong fidelity to institutional compliance with TIX regulations and procedures, even when they may not fully agree with them. Findings also indicate that participants do not believe that the current Title IX regulatory scheme promotes justice, leading to a conclusion that, as currently constituted, the role of the Title IX Coordinator is impossible. This study also identifies some practice and policy areas future discussion and research.



Title IX Coordinator, ethics, unfunded mandates, competencies