Carol Flowers and Maurice Middleton

Getting Title IX right

By their very nature, Title IX concerns are delicate. They might involve a student who comes to a faculty member with questions of sexual discrimination or a student who wonders what to do about a sexual harassment incident he or she witnessed.

Federal law mandates that institutions that receive federal financial aid offer Title IX training to their employees. Beyond the mandate, "Emory has an earnest desire to keep our students safe," says Carol Flowers, director of Equal Opportunity Programs. "We are a diverse community, and our first allegiance to students is to assure them they can learn in a safe environment."

Under the leadership of Lynell Cadray, associate vice provost of equity and inclusion, Flowers is collaborating with Maurice Middleton, associate director of educational programs, to roll out new online Title IX training at Emory, beginning January 26. Emory's Faculty Council voted in the fall semester to make the training mandatory for all current faculty. New faculty will receive the instruction as part of their on-boarding process.

The online training module is tailored to Georgia law and Emory's policies and resources. "In essence, it provides a detailed description of what constitutes sexual violence and sexual harassment, which is important for all employees to know and be able to identify," Middleton says.

Specifically, it presents real-life scenarios of Title IX discrimination, offers steps to guide faculty on supporting students with Title IX concerns, and gives links for more information. It takes approximately 45 minutes to complete and can be done in one sitting or broken into smaller increments.

"Our faculty want to do the right thing," Flowers says, "and we are offering this training to help them. We only have one chance to handle a sexual discrimination situation correctly. As a community, it is so important to get it right."