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Title IX: Sexual Harassment/Violence: Southern Methodist University (TX) (06-11-2126, 06-13-2081, and 06-13-2088)

On November 16, 2014, OCR obtained a resolution agreement addressing three Title IX complaints filed against Southern Methodist University (University). OCR initiated an investigation in response to three complaints received between June 2011 and March 2013, alleging that the University failed to promptly and equitably respond to complaints of gender harassment, sexual harassment, including sexual violence of which it had notice, including students’ reports of gender harassment and sexual assault; and, as a result, students, were subjected to a hostile environment. Based on a broad investigation, OCR determined that the University’s notice of nondiscrimination failed to adequately notify students and employees of the University’s Title IX Coordinator(s); the University’s prior and current grievance procedures failed to comply with the requirements of Title IX; and the University failed to adequately respond to students’ complaints of gender harassment and sexual assault, allowing for the continuation of a hostile environment that limited and denied at least one student’s access to educational opportunities at the University. The University signed an Agreement where the University will: revise, implement, and publicize its revised Title IX grievance procedures; notify students and employees of the contact information for the University’s Title IX coordinator(s); develop and implement a comprehensive system for tracking reports, investigations, interim measures, and resolutions that may constitute sexual or gender-based harassment; develop and implement a procedure for sharing information between the University Police Department and the Title IX Coordinator(s); implement the Task Force Recommendations as specified and report to OCR on their ongoing implementation; train staff and students on the University’s revised grievance procedures and its obligations under Title IX; develop additional resources for students to inform them of their rights pursuant to Title IX; conduct annual climate assessments of the effectiveness of the steps it has taken pursuant to the Agreement; and review all sexual harassment/violence complaints filed at the University since the 2012-2013 school year, and the University’s responses to those complaints, for legal sufficiency under Title IX; and provide reimbursement for one student for university-related expenses and counseling.

Read the Press Release | Read the Resolution Letter download files PDF (448K) | Read the Resolution Agreement download files PDF (243K)


Last Modified: 01/15/2020