Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Law & Education

Mar 5, 2020

This episode continues Courtney’s deep dive with Jody Shipper into the complexities that typically arise concerning Title IX, Clery, and VAWA investigations in colleges and universities. Jody is a nationally recognized subject matter expert with more than 20 years’ experience in policies aimed at addressing sexual misconduct on campuses; it has been a privilege to hear her thoughts in this extended conversation. In our discussion today, we continue on the topic of the overlap between Clery and Title IX, particularly around VAWA cases. For example, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault all fall under Clery and VAWA, but not Title IX. They have been adopted within Title IX procedures nevertheless though, which both suggest the necessity for collaboration between fields but also produce grey areas.

This segues into a discussion about the pitfalls of siloing, where we stress the idea that Clery, threat assessment, and Title IX teams should all be working together in a closer way than what meets the bare minimum defined as ‘compliance.’ Indeed, many cases that meet compliance are in fact failed cases, and Jody gives an example of how collaboration saved a woman from being murdered by her boyfriend. Our conversation turns to stalking and relationship violence, and we discuss the necessity for professionals to be highly trained and therefore equipped to discern between ‘benign’ and severe cases, and how sending out warnings inappropriately can actually escalate violence. Jody shares many more insights into cautions and best practices on today’s topic so be sure to tune in for it.


Key Points From This Episode:

  • Cross-sections between Title IX, Clery and VAWA cases and procedures.
  • Procedural requirements for VAWA cases: notifying parties simultaneously, etc.
  • What constitutes a VAWA breach: Clery crimes, sexual assault, stalking, and more.
  • The value of Title IX and Clery collaboration before releasing timely warnings.
  • Why a Title IX investigator should review the language in a timely warning.
  • How timely warnings can backlash by victim shaming, leading to reluctancy to report.
  • Tendencies for campus safety to have less of an EQ around sensitive cases and language.
  • Necessities around being able to give an educated response to emotive queries.
  • Tendencies for people in higher ed to get silo-ed and how VAWA is handled on campus.
  • Importance of campus safety, Title IX, and threat assessment teams to collaborate.
  • The line between severe and easily resolvable VAWA cases and what constitutes Title IX.
  • How sending notice can lead to more violence if done at inappropriate moments.
  • Severe complexities in dealing with escalated stalking and relationship violence cases.
  • The need to have an educated person gauge severe vs ‘benign’ relationship violence cases.
  • An example of how un-silo-ed teams saved a VAWA case from becoming a murder.
  • How silo-ed teams can be compliant but failing at the same time.



“We get so silo-ed in higher ed.” — @JodyShipper [0:12:19]

“How do we know that sending notice isn’t going to be the precipitating factor to much more severe violence?” — @JodyShipper [0:18:08]

“Consult, consult, consult.” — @JodyShipper [0:25:33]


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Jody Shipper on LinkedIn

Grand River Solutions

ICS Lawyer

Title IX University

Upcoming Webinars

The Law and Higher Ed Podcast

Courtney Bullard on Twitter

Courtney Bullard on LinkedIn