Education

UT receives 300+ more complaints to Title IX office than last year, new report shows

AUSTIN (KXAN) – The University of Texas at Austin’s chief executive officer released a report for the 2020-2021 academic year pertaining to reports submitted to the Title IX office Friday.

The written report, which is required per Texas Education Code, details reports from employees that witness or receive information regarding sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking incidents.

Between August 14, 2020 and August 24, 2021, the Title IX office received 1,415 reports in total, according to the CEO Report.

This is an increase from the previous academic year – in the 2019-2020 CEO Report, the Title IX office cited 1,052 reports in total.

A little more than 68% of all 2020-2021 reports were submitted to confidential employees on campus.

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The vast majority of confidential reports came from the Counseling and Mental Health Center, according to the Title IX office’s executive summary.

Under Texas Education Code, a university can designate employees whom students may speak with confidentially about these types of reports without concern the matter may be reported to the Title IX Coordinator for investigation. In these cases, only a disclosure of the type of conduct is necessary for compliance.

About a quarter of the reports submitted to the Title IX office were not investigated.

The most common reasons the office gives for not initiating a formal investigation include “respondent is not affiliated with UT,” “third party report” and “the identities of the parties involved are unknown.”

Of the formal complaints received by the Title IX office, 7% are in the preliminary fact-finding stage, and 38% are under the status of “formal grievance process dismissed.” Nineteen percent are pending formal grievance process investigation, and 13% are pending formal grievance process adjudication. Twenty-three percent are under the status of “formal grievance process completed.”

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Fourteen reports received include allegations of an employee’s failure to report or submitting a false report to the institution, according to the CEO Report.

Additional reports received by the university that did not meet the reporting criteria in the Texas Education Code were not included in the report.

These reports include unprofessional or inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature, sexual exploitation, domestic violence and duplicate reports.

Written by Megan Fee

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