Dear Volunteer community,
Welcome to the beginning of a new academic year at the University of Tennessee. We are in a unique time in history—one that will challenge us and ask us to recommit to what it means for Vols to truly help Vols.
I am grateful to stand with you during this time and honored to be a member of the University of Tennessee community.
We are working toward an informed and engaged community. We have created a brief summary of key updates for you below. Please review the updated Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking, take some time to check out the updated Office of Title IX website, and ask yourself How can I be part of the solution?
Our success depends on our individual and collective action.
Our door remains open year-round to your ideas, suggestions, questions, and concerns.
I look forward to working with you.
Title IX Coordinator
Title IX Regulations and Policy Update
Over the summer, the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released new Title IX regulations. The Office of Title IX evaluated the new requirements, with feedback and input from the campus community, and has used this information to revise our campus’s Title IX policies, processes, and structures.
I am immensely grateful for the individuals who provided feedback and input during this time and those who have worked tirelessly to ensure the university is compliant with the new Title IX regulations by the August 14 deadline.
In light of these new regulations, the policies and procedures we follow have been updated. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the updated Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking. The university remains committed to providing and maintaining a safe and nondiscriminatory learning, living, and working environment.
On August 7, the Office of Title IX hosted a virtual town hall to review the regulations and updates to our policy. Download the town hall presentation.
The Office of Title IX is here to serve the entire university community. Grounded in the social ecological model, the university’s Title IX commitment emphasizes five key areas:
- Policy: Our foundation is in the policy and procedures we follow. Familiarize yourself with the updated Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking.
- Prevention and education: Our goal is to stop sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking before they happen.
- Supportive measures: Our promise is to support individuals and provide appropriate supportive measures to individuals involved in a Title IX process.
- Investigation and resolution: Our commitments to due process, campus safety, and encouraging reporting guide how we investigate and resolve reports.
- Patterns and trends: Our responsibility is to use the best available research, evidence-based practice, and our own campus and institute trends in our prevention and response efforts.
I am pleased to announce that the Office of Title IX website has been updated over the summer. I encourage you to visit the site and familiarize yourself with the information and resources available to you in case you need support for yourself, a colleague, a supervisee, or a student.
How can you be part of the solution?
We all have a role. I ask you to participate in the following ways:
- Be a bystander who ACTs: acknowledge the situation, consider your options, and take action. You have the ability to help someone in need by being an active bystander and speaking up. Set the expectation among your friends and in your student organizations, classrooms, and departments. Faculty, staff, and graduate students can request a Vols ACT training from the Office of Title IX, and we can tailor the training to meet the unique needs of your group.
- Connect with the Center for Health Education and Wellness: Follow them on social media @VolsHelpVols. Engage in their Consent Is campaign. Request a virtual program for your class or student group. Plan to attend a virtual session about consent and alcohol on August 17 or August 19.
- Get informed. Plan to attend the annual Title IX Panel at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 6. The panel will be hosted via Zoom. Panel members include representatives from the Office of Title IX, the Center for Health Education and Wellness, Clery Compliance, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, the UT Police Department, the Student Counseling Center, and the Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee.
- Reach out if you have questions or concerns. Remember you are not alone.
Mandatory Reporter Training: Employees and Graduate Student Employees
In the coming weeks you will receive an invitation to complete the 2020–21 Title IX training for mandatory reporters. The training will assist you in recognizing a reportable issue, understanding your obligations, and knowing how to connect faculty, staff, and students with the Office of Title IX. In the past year, 75 percent of reports started with a student sharing their concern with a faculty or staff member. If you would like to request training for graduate assistants in your department, contact the Office of Title IX.
The University of Tennessee utilizes grievance procedures to address complaints and formal reports of sexual harassment. Those procedures are contained within the university’s Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking, available at titleix.utk.edu. Individuals can file a complaint or formal report of discrimination based on sex including sexual harassment by contacting the university’s Title IX coordinator by phone at 865-974-9600, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to Title IX Coordinator, University of Tennessee, 1817 Melrose Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996. Such a report may be made at any time (including during non-business hours). In response, the university will offer supportive measures and discuss resolution processes. For a detailed explanation of the university’s response, see the university’s Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking.