The Evolution of Title IX: How Colleges and Universities Are Adapting to Changing Regulations

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 prohibited sex discrimination in education, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. While it has been updated several times over the years, the April 2024 revision has significant implications for compliance with Title IX and higher education.

Let’s take a look at some of the key changes and how academic institutions are adapting to the new regulations.

Title IX and Higher Education: Key Changes

The revised Title IX rules include a wide range of changes. There are many areas where schools must update policies, procedures, and documentation to comply. Here is a summary of the key points.

Changes to Definitions

One of the biggest—and most significant—changes that Title IX colleges and universities must be aware of significant changes to two specific definitions.


Complaints now include requests to investigate sex discrimination based on sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Hostile Environment Harassment

The definition of hostile environments no longer requires conduct to be severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive. Now, it must be severe or pervasive and subjectively or objectively offensive, limiting the person’s ability to participate in the education program or activity.

Changes to the Grievance Process

There are several key changes to how grievances are handled. These include investigating allegations, even if they occurred off campus, whether it is part of an education program or activity or not, or whether it occurred inside or outside the United States. Other changes include:

  • Institutions can use a single-investigator model where one person serves as both the investigator and decision-maker.
  • Complaints can be dismissed in certain circumstances, and dismissals can be appealed.
  • Students may be removed from campus on an emergency basis if university officials believe there is an imminent and serious threat, whether the threat is to physical safety or for other reasons.
  • Title IX Coordinators must consider specific factors when deciding whether to initiate a complaint if the complainant does not file or withdraw the complaint.
  • Parties can now appeal decisions regarding supportive measures.
  • Live hearings are now optional for postsecondary institutions, but they must provide an opportunity to assess credibility.


The new rules require colleges and universities to establish and enforce prompt timeframes for investigating cases and provide greater support to alleged victims during the formal or informal grievance process.

Changes to Reporting Requirements

In higher education, employees who have authority, leadership, or teaching and advising roles must report allegations to the Title IX Coordinators. Others can choose to report or provide contact information for the Title IX Coordinator.

Changes to Training Requirements

Training requirements for Title IX and higher education have also evolved. All employees must now be trained on Title IX obligations, the scope of sex discrimination, new definitions, and notification requirements and procedures.


  • Investigators, decision-makers, and those implementing grievance procedures must receive additional training on avoiding bias, relevance of evidence, and impermissible evidence.
  • Facilitators of informal resolution processes must be trained on related rules, practices, and impartiality.
  • Title IX Coordinators must be trained on their specific responsibilities, recordkeeping systems, and requirements.

Deadline for Compliance is August 1, 2024

As you can see, the changes are broad and have far-reaching implications for compliance with Title IX in higher education. Schools must review and update existing policies, procedures, and documentation before the August 1, 2024 deadline to remain compliant. You should discuss changes with your legal counsel and consider using an outside law firm or Title IX consultant to ensure compliance and receive the proper training and ongoing support.

Depending on your location, you may also need to review state regulations. For example, California Senate Bill 493 included changes to the state’s Education Code for higher education institutions that receive state funding. These changes have requirements that must be met.

E&I Cooperative Services offers contracts with several Title IX service providers, which enable you to opt in quickly to make the changes you need to your program.

Contact E&I today to view available contracts to ensure your academic institution meets and maintains Title IX compliance, including updated training.


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