When a university or college professor is accused of Title IX violations, there could be devastating implications. Academic institutions hold their students highly accountable in such cases, and they even hold professors to that same level of accountability.
Considering the nature of these charges, colleges take prompt action to establish a clear view of the matter fixated to punish the alleged perpetrator, instead of conducting an equitable and fair investigation. So, a professor accused of Title IX violations has very little chance, if a proper course of action is not sought. In several cases, the actual facts may not see the light of the day. Even if it does, it looks like an entirely different case.
A professor has the right to defend and protect himself.
Know More About Title IX Violations
Title IX cases generally focus on students and their interactions. However, it is quite common for professors to fall into this trap and become accused. Title IX is primarily federal legislation that sets standards on colleges and universities as to how the management handles sexual violence and discrimination on the campus.
Particularly, this law requires schools to receive some federal funding to maintain compliance with the regulations. When someone cites Title IX, they are actually referring to 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a), the statute, which reads:
“No persons in the United States of America will, based on sex, be omitted from participation in, be deprived of the benefits of, or be exposed to discrimination under the education program or activity getting Federal financial assistance.”
Sexual misconduct, according to federal law, is termed as gender-biased discrimination with confirmed instances of employment discrimination, bullying, and disproportionate or unfair opportunities in educational programs and intercollegiate sports activities.
Title IX Violation Cases for Professors
Title IX cases are almost the same for professors as that of students. Each has some deficiencies in the proceedings, which could be extremely difficult for the accused, such as:
- Improper evidentiary or procedural standards
- Investigators acting as judge as well as jury
- Deficiency in the process for an individual accused of violating the act
- Use of improper standard of proofing
- Assuming that accusers are 100% true and “real” victims
There may be some differences in the procedural rules and processes for accused professors compared to students, which includes:
- Tenure policies
- Sexual harassment and related policies
- Collective bargain agreement
- Employment agreement
- Employee handbook
- Faculty handbook
- Discipline guidelines
- Employee disciplinary and appeals procedures
Professors are less likely to face the harsh formal effects as schools assume that the “victim” is always speaking the truth without much investigation. When their stories hit the media or even the school ground, the school can take necessary disciplinary action.
Rights of A Professor
As a professor and an employee of a university or college, you have certain rights to protect, violating these rights can become the basis of dismissal of all charges you are facing, or even the effective appeal. Colleges, universities, and schools should follow the Title IX process and try to resolve complaints optimally. Employees, including faculty and professors, are also entitled to some rights, such as:
- Right to privacy (as per the university policy)
- Access to the Title IX policy of the university
- To receive dignity and respect
- Receive notification of all allegations made against the professor
- Entitled to prompt as well as thorough investigation of all the allegations
Though universities must protect their rights, they sometimes fail. Schools that are caught violating these rules have the right to defend themselves for violating the rights.