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The Law & Education

Sep 17, 2020

Joining us on the podcast today to look at the question of bringing external assistance into a Title IX office is Elizabeth H. Canning. Elizabeth has a decade of experience in Title IX and works as a lawyer and human resources professional. We get to hear about the different roles she has occupied at institutions and what her professional setup looks like currently before we dive into the meat of the conversation. Elizabeth's practice helps both schools and workplaces to meet their compliance obligations and get through implementation successfully. Her ultimate goal is to help to create more compliant, productive, and equitable environments. In our chat, we look at the roles that are most suited to bringing in external personnel and Elizabeth underlines the importance of implementation, inclusion, and intersectionality, within and outside of the Title IX space.

We also discuss what it means to be transparent and how much this can aid anyone stepping into a new role. Elizabeth's main point in hiring externally for the roles of external investigator, decision-maker, and even advisor, is the need for clear communication, a sense of understanding, and the appropriate provision of information — these are the keys to successful projects. To finish off our conversation, we turn to some more light-hearted subjects and Elizabeth explains her passion for bee-keeping and how she has been keeping busy during the pandemic! Join us for it all!


Key Points From This Episode:

  • Elizabeth's professional history and work in the Title IX space.
  • The current position that Elizabeth occupies and what this role entails.
  • Creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for students and employees.
  • The role of external personnel in Title IX; staffing, skills and other considerations.
  • What it means to be a good internal advisor — information and training.
  • Elizabeth's advice for institutions looking to hire externally for one of these roles.
  • Transparency and understanding with people coming in — being clear from the start.
  • The centrality of relevant evidence to an investigation and how this relies on a real understanding of the field.
  • The difference between taking training and being qualified.
  • Hiring processes for external professionals; ideal scenarios and a front-end approach.
  • The constant process of learning and the indispensability of experience!
  • Going beyond the basics of the regulations and taking on the challenge of real implementation.
  • Mapping and recording the work that is needed; how much this can help the institution.
  • Fun facts with Elizabeth; COVID activities, bee-keeping, and more!



“My work involves overall helping institutions with all forms of discrimination. It goes from creating policies and procedures to training and investigations.” — @ecanninglaw [0:05:44]

“The best advisors are the ones that are really informed.” — @ecanninglaw [0:19:16] 

“Any external person, you need to have really good communication with and you have to be on the same page. They have to be someone who you feel you can communicate with easily.” — @ecanninglaw [0:28:18]

“You want to make sure that you work with people who understand what it looks like for you to do this work, because if you are just given a ton of stuff and they haven't narrowed it down, that is going to be very confusing.” — @ecanninglaw [0:40:58]


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

ICS Lawyer

Elizabeth H. Canning

Elizabeth H. Canning on Twitter

Courtney Bullard on Twitter

Courtney Bullard Email [can you add this “Putting Policy Into Practice Blog Series]