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Case Name Department of Education OCR Title IX Investigation of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ED-NC-0004
Docket / Court 11-13-2051 ( No Court )
State/Territory North Carolina
Case Type(s) Education
Case Summary
The United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) received a complaint against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on January 17, 2013, alleging that the university discriminated on the basis of sex in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ... read more >
The United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) received a complaint against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on January 17, 2013, alleging that the university discriminated on the basis of sex in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Specifically, the complaint alleged that the university failed to maintain appropriate policies and grievance procedures that provided for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints of sexual harassment, including sexual violence, and that the university failed to promptly and equitably respond to complaints of sexual harassment, including sexual violence, of which it had notice.

OCR opened an investigation to resolve five legal issues: 1) whether the university complied with Title IX requirements regarding the designation and notice of a Title IX coordinator; 2) whether the university complied with Title IX requirements regarding the publication of an appropriate notice of non-discrimination; 3) whether the university's written sexual harassment and sexual violence policies and procedures complied with Title IX; 4) whether the university provided a prompt and equitable response to complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence of which it had notice; and 5) whether the university's failure to provide a prompt and equitable response to complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence resulted in a sexually hostile environment that denied or limited the ability to participate in or benefit from the University's program.

OCR determined that the university had designated a Title IX coordinator in compliance with Title IX. The university also corrected its notice of non-discrimination to appropriately identify the Title IX coordinator during the course of the investigation. OCR found that the university's written policies and procedures generally failed to satisfy required elements, including: providing notice to students and employees of the procedures; application of the procedures to complaints alleging discrimination or harassment carried out by employees, students, and third parties; investigations that provided equal opportunity to all parties and written notice of the outcome; and an assurance that the university would take steps to prevent further harassment and to correct its discriminatory effects where appropriate. OCR further found that some staff members were not adequately trained for the university to implement its own procedures.

With regard to individual claims of sexual harassment, OCR found that the university's own records from the time period in question suggested improper action, or inaction, by the university and its staff at different levels of the complaint process. Additionally, the university's inadequate record-keeping made it difficult to determine the extent of any noncompliance during this period.

The university entered into a voluntary Resolution Agreement to resolve its Title IX violations and compliance concerns on June 21, 2018. The university agreed to continue to review and revise its Title IX policies and procedures, as necessary. It also agreed to provide reports of its updated policies and procedures to OCR. The university was also required to update its system for documenting Title IX complaints and reports. Finally, the university agreed to augment its existing Title IX training and professional development with information about the revised policies and procedures. Both parties agreed that OCR would continue to monitor the university's progress until it was in full compliance with Title IX.

Elizabeth Heise - 12/10/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitoring
Reporting
Training
Defendant-type
College/University
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Failure to train
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) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Plaintiff Description Students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who alleged that the university failed to promptly and equitably respond to complaints of sexual harassment, including sexual violence.
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 2018 - n/a
Filing Year 2013
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Chronicle of Higher Education, Title IX Tracker: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chronicle of Higher Education
Date: Jan. 8, 2019
By: Chronicle of Higher Education
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Resolution Agreement
ED-NC-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/21/2018
Letter of Findings
ED-NC-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/25/2018

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