From Incident to Resolution: Understanding the Title IX Reporting Process for Colleges and Universities

The 2024 revision to Title IX regulations has expanded definitions of sex discrimination, including those involving sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy.

Besides these changes, the revisions to Title IX requirements for colleges and universities impact the reporting, investigation, and resolution process. Let’s look at the most significant updates to the Title IX rules, impacting how higher education institutions handle complaints.

Title IX Reporting Requirements

While the Title IX revisions do not define timelines, they do require schools to “respond promptly and effectively.”


Schools are required to ensure everyone in the school community, including students and employees, knows how to report a Title IX incident. This involves making contact information for the Title IX Coordinator readily available on the school website and through various other channels.

This includes faculty and staff, who must report incidents or provide information on how to report incidents to Title IX coordinators.

“Any non-confidential employee at a postsecondary institution or other recipient who either has authority to take corrective action on behalf of the recipient or has responsibility for administrative leadership, teaching, or advising in the recipient’s education program or activity is obligated to notify the Title IX Coordinator.”
— § 106.44(c)(1)

There are also additional training requirements for certain employees.

Expanded Scope

Reporting can now encompass incidents based on sexual orientation and gender identity, in addition to sex-based harassment.

Schools have an obligation to investigate incidents that occur on-campus or off-campus—or online—for educational programs or activities. There may be liabilities for incidents occurring off-campus and resulting from an incident during a school activity.

Third-Party Reporting

Schools must still accept reports from third parties on behalf of someone who may hesitate to come forward.

Title IX Investigation Requirements

The rules do include additional flexibility for colleges and universities in investigating and resolving Title IX complaints. For example, schools may again employ a single-investigator model. This was prohibited in the 2020 revisions.

Other key changes include:

Supportive Measures

The rule emphasizes providing supportive services to the complainant throughout the process, regardless of whether they choose a formal or informal resolution path. This could include counseling, academic adjustments, housing changes, or no-contact orders.

“Supportive measures may include, for example, counseling, extension of deadlines, restrictions on contact applied to one or more parties, and changes in class, work, or housing.” — § 106.44(g)

Investigator Training

Investigators involved in Title IX cases must undergo specific training to ensure impartiality and understanding of relevant procedures.

Conflict of Interest

Schools must have clear policies in place to identify and address potential conflicts of interest when assigning Title IX personnel.

Presumption of Innocence

Schools must presume that the accused is not responsible for an incident until a final determination has been made.

Title IX Hearing and Resolution Requirements

The process now allows for both formal hearings and informal resolutions. Schools should encourage a discussion about both options to determine the best fit for each case in consultation with Title IX coordinators and legal counsel.

Some other changes in the hearing and resolution process include:

Live Hearings

Title IX requirements for colleges and universities require hearings to be conducted by trained decision-makers who are impartial. However, students will no longer be required to attend live hearings or submit to cross-examination, which reduces trauma for survivors.

“Permitting, but not requiring, a live hearing. When a live hearing is provided, a recipient must allow the parties, on request, to participate from separate locations using technology and create an audio or audiovisual recording or transcript of any live hearing and make it available to the parties for inspection and review.”
— § 106.46(g)

Standard of Evidence

The new rule clarifies that the standard of evidence in Title IX cases is a “preponderance of the evidence.” In the past, the standard was defined as “clear and convincing.”

Right to Appeal

Both the complainant and respondent have the right to appeal the final decision.

Finding a Title IX Attorney or Consultant

This article provides a summary of the revisions to Title IX policies and should not be interpreted as legal advice. You need to partner with an experienced Title IX attorney or consultant to ensure you comply with all Title IX reporting requirements.

E&I Cooperative Services has negotiated cooperative contracts with Title IX attorneys and consultants to help. Leveraging the large-scale purchasing power of more than 6,000 member institutions, E&I connects colleges and universities with leading suppliers and best-in-class pricing. Members can review contracts and opt-in with no obligation.

View contracts for Title IX lawyers and consultants through E&I Cooperative Services, the only non-profit, member-owned sourcing cooperative focused exclusively on the education sector.


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