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Title IX: Sexual Violence: University of Virginia (11-11-6001)

On September 21, 2015, OCR issued its letter of findings regarding its sexual violence  compliance review of the University of Virginia  (University).  OCR examined whether the University responded promptly and equitably to complaints, reports and any other notice of incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence, and whether any failure to respond appropriately allowed for the creation and continuation of a sexually hostile environment.  OCR’s investigation found UVA to be in violation of Title IX for  failing to promptly and equitably respond to some complaints of sexual violence.  OCR also found that a basis for a hostile environment existed for affected students at the University and that the University failed to eliminate a hostile environment and take steps to prevent its recurrence during academic years 2008-09 through 2011-12, and with respect to specific concerns identified in 2013 and 2014.    OCR also found that prior to the adoption of its current policy, the policies used by UVA to investigate and respond to sexual violence did not provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of student and employee complaints.  In addition, OCR found that the University did not adequately distribute its Title-IX-required notice to students and others that it does not discriminate on the basis of sex, and that the Title IX coordinator did not adequately oversee and coordinate all Title IX complaints.  On September 17, 2015,  the University entered into a resolution agreement before OCR completed its investigation. Under the agreement, the University has agreed to continue to implement its revised policies and to notify OCR of any proposed revisions, ensure that agreements with student organizations - including fraternities and sororities - clearly state that sexual harassment, sexual violence and retaliation are prohibited and that the failure of an organization’s student members to comply with the Title IX policy may result in the University severing all ties with the organization.  In addition, the University has agreed to a comprehensive education and prevention program about the school’s policies and procedures regarding sexual assault/violence;  regular training of  all members of the UVA community on issues related to sexual harassment and sexual violence, the requirements of Title IX, and the university’s policies and procedures when a student reports possible sexual harassment and sexual violence; improve outreach to and feedback from students, including conducting focus groups; conducting an annual climate assessment to determine students’ attitudes and knowledge regarding sexual harassment and sexual violence;  develop and implement a system for tracking and reviewing all reports, investigations, interim measures and resolutions of student and employee conduct that may constitute sexual harassment or sexual violence, to ensure that such reports are adequately, reliably, promptly, and impartially investigated and resolved;  and determine whether students know to whom and how to report such conduct, identify potential barriers to reporting, tracking of its responses and handling of all sexual assault/violence allegations; and reexamination of complaints filed from academic year 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14, including providing appropriate remedies that may still be available to the complainants in these cases and remedies that may be necessary to address the climate of the larger University community.

Read the Press Release | Read the Resolution Letter download files PDF (490K) | Read the Resolution Agreement download files PDF (264K)


Last Modified: 01/15/2020