University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Department of Education OCR Title IX Investigation of Frostburg State University ED-MD-0003
Docket / Court 03-13-2328 ( No Court )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Education
Special Collection Title IX, Sexual Violence Investigations/Resolutions
Case Summary
On July 29, 2013, a student at Frostburg State University filed a complaint with the US Department of Education, Philadelphia Office for Civil Rights (OCR). She alleged that the University discriminated against her in violation of Title IX by failing to appropriately respond to her complaints of ... read more >
On July 29, 2013, a student at Frostburg State University filed a complaint with the US Department of Education, Philadelphia Office for Civil Rights (OCR). She alleged that the University discriminated against her in violation of Title IX by failing to appropriately respond to her complaints of sexual assault. In addition, she alleged that the University retaliated against her for engaging in protected activity.

On September 18, 2013, OCR announced that it was opening an investigation regarding the University’s response to the complainant. However, the complainant did not allege sufficient facts to trigger an investigation into retaliation because she did not allege any specific, adverse actions that the institution took. After OCR commenced its investigation, an alumna of Frostburg State University contacted OCR as a second complainant and alleged that several years earlier, she had been sexually assaulted by a campus police officer after he offered her a ride to the local convenience store.

On September 9, 2016, OCR published its letter of findings where it stated that the University failed to promptly and equitably respond to the initial complainant and failed to conduct an adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation for the second complainant. In addition, OCR found that the University failed to appropriately investigate and respond to a number of other reports of sexual misconduct between 2010 and 2014. With respect to university policies, OCR determined that the University’s grievance procedure, record-keeping practices, non-discrimination policy, and delegation of duties to the Title IX Coordinator all violated Title IX.

To remedy these violations, university officials entered into a resolution agreement on September 6, 2016. Specifically, Frostburg State University agreed to:
  • Create and publish a statement explaining that sexual harassment and retaliation for reports of sexual harassment are strictly prohibited;

  • Hire a well-trained, full-time Title IX Coordinator whose job duties are consistent with what the law requires;

  • Update its nondiscrimination statement to include sex discrimination and state that the prohibition extends to employment;

  • Submit revised Title IX policies and grievance procedures to OCR for review and approval;

  • Provide employees, community members, and students training on Title IX procedures and sexual misconduct;

  • Create a committee comprised of students, faculty, and staff who make recommendations to the University on ways to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct;

  • Conduct a campus climate check to assess the steps and measures taken pursuant to the resolution agreement;

  • Provide a written offer to reimburse the complainants for any medical expenses, therapy, or academic services needed as a result of the reported incidents; and

  • Provide any necessary remedies to other students who reported sexual misconduct whose rights has been violated;

  • Create a systematic record-keeping policy; and

  • Develop a memorandum of understanding with the local police.


  • The parties agreed that OCR would oversee compliance with the Resolution Agreement through at least August 1, 2018. Because there has been no activity or news related to the Resolution Agreement, the case is presumed closed.

    Hope Brinn - 01/02/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitoring
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Required disclosure
Training
Defendant-type
College/University
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Out-of-court
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.
Defendant(s) Frostburg State University
Plaintiff Description The complainant was a student at Frostburg State University who alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by a fellow student.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se Unknown
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Unknown
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2016 - 2018
Filing Year 2013
Case Closing Year 2018
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Chronicle of Higher Education, Title IX Tracker: Frostburg State University
Chronicle of Higher Education
Date: Jan. 26, 2019
By: Chronicle of Higher Education
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  FSU Found Previously Noncompliant Under Title IX, Enters Agreement Amid Ongoing Reforms
Date: Sep. 20, 2016
By: James Kirk and Nick DeMichele
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Former FSU Officer Resigns After Sexual Assault Charges Dropped
Bottom Line
Date: Sep. 9, 2014
By: Brad Kroner
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  ‘Her Own Warrior:’ Former SGA President Says She Requested Title IX Investigation
Bottom Line
Date: May 13, 2014
By: Keith Davidson
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Alumna Who Alleged Sexual Assault By Campus Police Officer Speaks Out
Bottom Line
By: Brad Kroner
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
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