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The Law & Education

Mar 19, 2020

The country (and the world) is facing an unprecedented crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic, and Title IX coordinators face a particular set of challenges during this time. Betsy Smith, a Senior Investigator, and Consultant at Institutional Compliance Solutions joins us today to talk about ways to remain Title IX compliant as campuses move to distance learning. In this short, informational episode, we cover three aspects of Title IX compliance: support measures, ensuring accountability, and how to handle open investigations and hearings.

Betsy highlights that it is especially important to support students who were being helped pre-COVID-19. They may be going through some trauma and stress, which is why it is necessary to be intentional about reaching out. We then talk about what Title IX coordinators can do to let students know that despite distance learning, they are still a part of the university. Students need to understand that their actions during this time have an impact on them and the community. Finally, Betsy sheds light on how ongoing investigations can still happen virtually. While this may all seem overwhelming, it is also an opportunity for universities to strengthen their online access, and for Title IX coordinators to have a seat at the table. Be sure to tune in today!


Key Points from this Episode:

  • Find out a few ways that ICS is helping their clients in light of the crisis.
  • Why students that were being supported require extra care during this time.
  • How Title IX coordinators can help counselors and assist them in moving digital.
  • Learn why it is a good idea for Title IX offices to have an online platform.
  • Other aspects of accountability that Title IX coordinators need to keep in mind.
  • What Title IX coordinators need to do with an ongoing investigation: Don’t stop!
  • The importance of transparency and constant communication during the crisis.
  • Making lemons from lemonade: Betsy sheds light on some of the positives.



“I don’t think that there’s any reason for these investigations to stop for a long period of time.” — Betsy Smith [0:12:58]

“You can absolutely continue with hearings. You don’t want this backlog.” — Betsy Smith [0:15:23] 

“This will be a really good trial by fire for lack of a better word in coming up with new and novel ways to approach investigations virtually. But just a reminder from us: Perfection is not the requirement, and as long as you’re trying and putting forth a good faith effort in trying to meet student needs and faculty and staff needs, that’s all you can do. ” — @ICSLawyer [0:19:13]


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Betsy Smith on LinkedIn

Institutional Compliance Solutions

Courtney Bullard on Twitter

Courtney Bullard’s email