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Traits and Training for Title IX Investigators

Two Title IX coordinators from Rosemont College in Pennsylvania — Jane Federowicz, assistant vice president for human resources and Title IX coordinator, and Matthew Baker, training officer and deputy Title IX coordinator — shared in a CUPA-HR annual conference session their outline for training Title IX investigators and conducting investigations on campus.

The pair shared some essential traits for Title IX investigators. When selecting investigators to join your team, consider looking for people who are:

  • Respected in the college community;
  • Able to keep confidential information confidential;
  • Detail oriented;
  • Objective;
  • Empathetic and compassionate;
  • Mature in their ability to handle sensitive and sexually-oriented content and language;
  • Neutral in their approach to conflict; and
  • Able to seek additional information when they don’t understand something in an investigation.

It’s also important for the people on your team to be able to understand Title IX as well as your college’s sexual misconduct policy.

Once you have a new investigator on your team, it’s important to focus on training to ensure a consistent approach to Title IX investigations. The team from Rosemont College also includes other campus employees, such as those in the public safety department, on its Title IX investigator training to ensure others are aware of the procedures and practices.

Rosemont’s investigator training includes:

  • A presentation regarding the ins and outs of Title IX and obligations as well as review of the Clery Act, VAWA, the college’s sexual misconduct policy and other applicable legislation and regulations.
  • A review of key terms such as complainant and respondent, coercion, dating and domestic violence, rape and other terms that frequently come up in investigations.
  • A deep dive into issues surrounding incapacitation, such as determining whether a complainant was incapacitated and how that incapacitation occurred.
  • Discussion on equity and how to ensure fairness to all parties involved in an investigation.
  • Review of how an investigator’s actions can impact the current and future mental health of involved parties.
  • Information on effective notetaking.
  • Presentations from outside services such as counseling, emergency room standard processes and procedures, law enforcement procedures and others.

For more information on Title IX, check out the CUPA-HR Knowledge Center toolkit and the on-demand webinar “Do You Have What It Takes to be a Title IX Coordinator?” You can also read the article “Best Practices in Training and Compliance Around Title IX, VAWA and the Clery Act” from CUPA-HR’s The Higher Education Workplace magazine. 

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