University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Department of Education OCR Title IX Investigation of Virginia Military School ED-VA-0005
Docket / Court 11-08-2079 ( No Court )
State/Territory Virginia
Case Type(s) Education
Case Summary
In 2008, a complaint was filed in the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) alleging that the college had violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The complaint made five specific allegations: 1) the college's complaint procedures did not provide for equitable ... read more >
In 2008, a complaint was filed in the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) alleging that the college had violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The complaint made five specific allegations: 1) the college's complaint procedures did not provide for equitable resolution of cadet and employee complaints; 2) the college permitted an environment that was hostile to female cadets in both the barracks and the classroom; 3) the college's marriage and parenthood policy discriminated against female cadets; 4) the college's tenure, promotion, and sabbatical processes discriminated against female faculty; and 5) the college's fitness test discriminated against female cadets by using a scale based only on male performance. OCR opened an investigation to resolve these allegations.

On November 19, 2008, OCR closed investigation into the allegation that the college employed a discriminatory fitness test because the college no longer used a scale based only on male performance, and instead initiated the use of two scales based on male and female performance.

Based on its investigation of the remaining four allegations, OCR determined that the college's grievance procedures failed to comply with Title IX, and that the college failed to provide a prompt and equitable response to complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence. Prior to the conclusion of OCR's investigation, the college agreed to revise its marriage and parenthood and tenure and promotion policies to bring them into compliance with Title IX.

On April 30, 2014, the college entered into a Voluntary Resolution Agreement. As part of the Agreement, the college agreed to update its policy on sexual harassment, sexual assault, discrimination, and retaliation, and to revise its Title IX Grievance Procedures. OCR agreed to review the updated policies to ensure that they included, among other requirements, accurate definitions of various types of sex discrimination, an explanation of how to file a complaint under the procedures, and a provision for the investigation of complaints. The college also agreed to provide annual Title IX training to relevant staff and cadets, as well as additional training about non-discrimination, Title IX, and sexual assault and harassment allegations to all cadets, faculty, and staff. The college also agreed to conduct annual climate assessments, and to assess the effectiveness of its anti-harassment efforts at least annually. The college agreed to allow ongoing monitoring by OCR until it had fully complied with the Agreement and with the regulation implementing Title IX.

Elizabeth Heise - 11/29/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitoring
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Training
Defendant-type
College/University
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Out-of-court
Causes of Action Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. ยงยง 1681 et seq.
Defendant(s) Virginia Military Institute
Plaintiff Description students and faculty at VMI alleging sex discrimination
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 2014 - n/a
Filing Year 2008
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
No documents currently in the collection

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