Howard University Implements New Title IX Regulations, Revises Its Policy and Procedures
Howard University’s Title IX Office has primary responsibility for compliance and education related to sex discrimination, sexual misconduct and Title IX policies and procedures. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits all forms of sex discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual violence. All students, faculty and staff have rights under Title IX.
Pursuant to requirements mandated by the Department of Education, on Friday, August 14, 2020, the University issued a new policy: Policy Prohibiting Sex and Gender-Based Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation. This new policy complies with new Title IX regulations that were issued by the U.S. Department of Education in May 2020. The new policy is considered an interim policy, so that over the next several months, we can seek feedback from the various stakeholder groups across the campus, and update and strengthen the policy, as appropriate.
While the new Title IX regulations required changes to our policy and procedures, we have worked dilligently to ensure that the new policy continues to align with our commitment to creating and maintaining a community that is free from sex discrimination of any type. The Title IX Office remains committed to addressing and remedying all gender discrimination and sexual misconduct, and providing the highest standard of care and support to our community members. With this in mind, the new policy both complies with the new Title IX regulations, and also includes broader protections against sex discrimination and sexual misconduct.
We are aware that there have already been legal challenges to the new federal Title IX regulations and there may be additional legal challenges on the horizon. Further, the U.S. Department of Education is issuing guidance regarding the implementation of the new regulations almost every day. The outcome of legal challenges to the regulations as well as guidance from the Department of Education may require us to make modifications to the new interim policy. If this must occur, the Title IX Office will work to update the policy and promptly inform the community about any changes.
Throughout the COVID-19 period, the Title IX Office has remained (and will continue to remain) open and fully operational, with staff working remotely. Please visit the Title IX Office website for additional information and resources. If you have questions about the Title IX process or wish to talk to someone about your options to report or seek support, you can contact us easily via email at TitleIX@howard.edu. Thank you.
Excellence In Truth and Service,
Anthony K. Wutoh, Ph.D., R.Ph.
Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Leslie T. Annexstein, Esq.
Title IX Director
A Message About Title IX and Online/Remote Instruction
Dear Howard University Community -
Now that classes and other academic programs are being provided online by the University, the Title IX Office wanted to take this opportunity to remind members of our community that maintaining an academic program free from sex/gender discrimination remains a high priority for the university. Members of the community should be aware of the following three important points:
- The Title IX Office remains open and is functioning remotely at this time. Anyone impacted by sex/gender discrimination, including sexual harassment or violence, is encouraged to contact the Title IX office to make a report. You may contact us by emailing TitleIX@howard.edu or emailing one of the Title IX Officers directly. Our contact information can be found here on the Title IX website (on the "Officers" page). Investigations are ongoing and will be conducted remotely, and remedies provided, to ensure that any conduct prohibited by the University’s Title IX Policy is addressed promptly. The Title IX Office will continue to provide interim measures, as appropriate, and connect individuals with resources.
- The University's Title IX Policy applies to conduct that occurs online, virtually and/or in the context of remote learning and work. Any conduct that is prohibited by the Title IX Policy is also likely prohibited in cyber-forms, such as cyber-harassment and cyber-stalking that is sex-based. Members of the community are expected to maintain a tone of civility and respect in online classes just as they would if they were in class physically.
- Faculty and staff members are reminded that they are Responsible Employees under the Title IX Policy. Reports of alleged violations of the Title IX Policy are expected when faculty and staff become aware of incidents involving members of the campus community, whether they learn of the potential misconduct in person, in writing, or online. Only those employees designated as Confidential are not required to make a report to the Title IX Office.
We hope that everyone is taking good care of themselves during this time. The Title IX Officers remain ready to assist you, as needed.
Leslie T. Annexstein, Esq.
Title IX Director
Mental Health and Emotional Support Resources
We realize that the past several weeks have been stressful to our students, faculty and staff. If you would like to access mental health services, the following resources are available to you:
University Counseling Service (no walk-ins at this time) - Daytime/Weekdays: 202-806-6870; Crisis Line (After Hours & Weekends): 202-345-6709, Monday-Friday, 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. and 24/7 on weekends.
"Healthiest You" - the student telehealth mental health provider. Contact them at telehealth4students.com, or via phone at 855-870-5858
Optum - Optum has opened its Emotional-Support Help Line, providing access to specially trained mental health specialists to support people who may be experiencing anxiety or stress following the recent developments around COVID-19. Optum’s toll-free help line number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge and open to anyone.
- BetterHelp - 24/7 counseling
- National Alliance on Mental Illness – NAMI Updates on the Coronavirus
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America - Coronavirus Anxiety - Helpful Expert Tips and Resources
About the Title IX Office
Howard University is committed to providing students with educational opportunities free from sexual harassment and discrimination based upon gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, or marital status. The University strives to maintain an environment in which all members of the University Community are: (a) judged and rewarded solely on the basis of ability, experience, effort, and performance; and (b) provided conditions for educational and employment pursuits that are free from sexual and gender-based harassment and violence, other forms of interpersonal violence, stalking, and retaliation.
The Title IX Office exists to ensure the University adheres to that commitment.
This includes educating the University Community on the rights and protections that are provided by the law, and ensuring that those rights and protections are provided to all members of the University community who participate in the Title IX process. This also includes directing individuals who are impacted to the support and resources available.
Contact the Title IX Office:
Location: Johnson Administration Building, Suite G06
Street Address: 2400 6th Street NW, Washington, DC 20059