Butler University plans to implement a Title IX policy to cover students, faculty and staff.
This policy will follow the guidelines of the “one policy, one process” model many colleges and universities now practice.
This model was created by the Association of Title IX Administrators, an association made of K-12 and higher education administratiors, human resources personnel, general counselors and some advocacy groups.
The one policy model states that all gender discrimination-based complaints should be handled by “an institution-wide policy and one stand-alone resolution process, applied to all complaints involving students, faculty and staff,” according to the ATIXA website. Members of Butler’s administration attended ATIXA “one policy, one process” and Title IX compliance trainings over the summer to prepare for policy revision.
The revised policy will include components covering discrimination, harassment, gender equity, sexual misconduct and sexual violence. Policies do exist in the student handbook and on Butler’s website encompassing these elements, but the plan will combine these elements into one overarching policy.
Human resources director La Veda Howell said university administration is in the process of looking at the current Title IX policy and making sure the policy is fair, equitable and transparent for the community.
“This policy will encompass anything that has do deal with situations of inequitable processes between the genders,” Howell said.
Vice president of student life Levester Johnson said that policy, as it exists now, is close to a one-policy system.
“We are close to having one umbrella policy for the entire campus,” Johnson said. “The student policy shouldn’t see any changes.”
Howell and Johnson both said transparency should increase when all of campus is under one Title IX policy.
The same process for notification, the rights of the victim, advocacy roles and education about Title IX policies will be available for faculty, staff and students, according to Johnson.
Chief of staff Ben Hunter said changes have not yet been made to the policy and changes will not be made until those on the one policy committee receive adequate feedback from different campus groups.
“We are now just about legally ready to begin evaluating what changes we should make, so now we just need input,” Hunter said.
Hunter said changes made to the policy will be adapted to fit Butler’s culture. He said, as an example, if an investigation is supposed to take less than 60 days under national Title IX regulations, Butler’s policy may adapt a 30-day waiting period due to a smaller campus and active police force.
Howell said while changes have not yet been made, once changes are implemented, Title IX and sexual misconduct education will be provided for student, faculty and staff.
Hunter said, while specific components of this policy are hard to pinpoint exactly, it will definitely encompass elements of sexual harassment and gender discrimination.
“This policy is essentially social justice based,” Hunter said. “And what will be nice about it is that, in the end, all of campus will operate under this one set of rules and guidelines and that should, in itself, lessen confusion and create more transparency.”
Hunter said student, faculty and staff input will be solicited relatively soon. Anyone with additional input can contact him directly.