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Title IX

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational program or activity that receives federal financial assistance. 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a). 

Consistent with the requirements of Title IX, Virginia Tech’s policies prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender.

Who is covered by Title IX?

Virginia Tech receives federal financial assistance in many forms, including grants from federal agencies for faculty research. Failing to comply with Title IX or other federal civil rights requirements can result in the termination of all or part of a university’s federal funding, including awards for faculty research. 

Educational institutions are required to provide women and men in all disciplines, including science, technology, engineering and mathematics, comparable resources, support, and promotional opportunities.

Title IX’s protection is not limited to women, but protects the rights of both women and men. Title IX requires that males and females receive fair and equal treatment in all areas of education, including athletics.

Other areas that fall within the scope of Title IX include:

  • Recruitment, admissions, scholarships, and financial aid
  • Course offerings and access
  • Sexual harassment, including sexual assault and sexual violence
Virginia Tech Title IX coordinators

In accordance with Title IX regulations, the university has designated the following Title IX coordinator:

Pamela White
Executive Director for Equity and Access
Title IX Coordinator
Email: pdwhite@vt.edu
Phone: 540-231-8771

The Title IX coordinator is responsible for monitoring compliance with regulations. Questions regarding Title IX, as well as concerns and complaints of non-compliance, may be directed to pdwhite@vt.edu.

The University has also designated Dr. Frank Shushok, Associate Vice President, Student  Affairs, as the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Student Sexual Misconduct. He is responsible for receiving complaints of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, sexual violence or other sexual misconduct, against university students when they are not acting within the scope of their university employment.

Facts about Title IX
False: Title IX only applies to athletic programs.

One of the most widely held misconceptions about Title IX is that it only applies to athletic programs. Athletics are not the only component of academic life governed by Title IX. Other areas that fall within the scope of Title IX include:

  • Recruitment, Admissions, Financial Aid and Scholarships
  • Course Offerings and Access
  • Counseling Services
  • Hiring, Retention, and Promotion of Employees
  • Benefits and Leave

Title IX also prohibits sexual harassment, which includes sexual assault and sexual violence. Additional information regarding what behaviors may constitute sexual harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct is available.

True: Title IX requires that a female athletic opportunity is equitable with male programs.

Title IX creates parity in athletics, as well as other educational opportunities and experiences for men and women. Title IX does not require schools to cut men’s athletic programs. Each school determines how it will comply with Title IX regulations.

False: Title IX applies only to discrimination against women.

While Title IX protects the rights of women, Title IX also serves to protect the rights of men. Title IX requires that males and females receive fair and equal treatment in all areas of education.

False: According to Title IX, all educational activities and programs must be co-ed and open to both men and women.

Title IX specifically allows for, or has been interpreted to allow for, single-sex programs in a number of categories including religious schools, traditional men’s or women’s colleges, social fraternities and sororities, and youth service organizations such as The Boy/Girl Scouts of America and beauty pageants.

True: Title IX prohibits Gender bias in science, medicine, and engineering.

The under-representation of women in science, medicine, and engineering may violate Title IX. Educational institutions are required to provide women in these disciplines resources, support, and promotional opportunities comparable to their male colleagues.

True: Advocates for victims of Title IX who file complaints of discrimination for others are protected from retaliation under Title IX.

The United States Supreme Court broadened the interpretation of Title IX to protect from retaliation whistle-blowers who accuse educational institutions of sex discrimination. The court is of the opinion that reporting incidents of discrimination is integral to Title IX enforcement and would be discouraged if retaliation against those who report it goes unpunished.

Failure to comply with Title IX

Failure to comply with Title IX can include the termination of all or part of a university’s federal funding. This includes grants, subsidies, and other program funds from the federal government. In addition to the loss of federal funds, universities may be sued by those seeking redress for violations of Title IX. It is essential that institutions receiving federal financial assistance operate in a nondiscriminatory manner. To ensure the university’s compliance with the law, adherence to Title IX regulations is everyone’s responsibility.

Who enforces Title IX?

The United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is in charge of enforcing Title IX. Information about the Office for Civil Rights is available online.

Addressing Title IX concerns at Virginia Tech

Any concerns about discrimination or harassment on the basis of gender involving a student may be brought to the Virginia Tech deputy Title IX coordinator or the Title IX coordinator:

Pamela White
Director, Compliance and Conflict Resolution
Title IX Coordinator
Email: pdwhite@vt.edu
Telephone: 540-231-8771

Concerns of Possible Sexual Assault or Harassment of Students:

As outlined in the Virginia Tech Women’s Center’s Stop Abuse Site:

Sexual Harassment is prohibited under University Policy 1025 and the Student Code of Conduct.

These policies apply to all students, including undergraduate and graduate students and students who attend classes on the Blacksburg campus, a satellite campus, or the virtual campus. Complaints of student sexual misconduct are addressed by The Office of Student Conduct and are governed by the Hokie Handbook.

Reports of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment by a Virginia Tech student may be filed with the deputy Title IX coordinator or the Student Conduct Office by any person, including both those affiliated and those not affiliated with Virginia Tech. Reports of all other abusive conduct by a Virginia Tech student can be filed with the Student Conduct Office.

Concerns about sexual harassment alleged to have been committed by a Virginia Tech employee should be promptly brought to the attention of the Office for Equity and Access by any person, including both those affiliated and those not affiliated with Virginia Tech.  

Employees:

Virginia Tech employees who believe they may have been subjected to harassment or discrimination in the workplace should contact the Office for Equity and Access to learn what options are available to them.

Retaliation

Retaliation against anyone who raises concerns of harassment or discrimination is a violation of federal law and Virginia Tech policy.

Requirements for Reporting Possible Title IX Issues

Any member of the university community who becomes aware of possible sexual harassment or sexual assault perpetrated by a Virginia Tech student, not acting within the scope of their employment, should promptly contact the deputy Title IX coordinatorto discuss the matter. All other incidents involving the sexual harassment of students must be reported to the university Title IX coordinator.

In particular, Virginia Tech faculty members, supervisors, student affairs staff, and anyone else employed by Virginia Tech who has supervisory, administrative, and instructional or advising responsibilities must notify the Title IX or deputy Title IX coordinator immediately about matters of possible sexual assault or sexual harassment.

Virginia Tech resources

A Note on Privacy and Confidentiality

All Virginia Tech resources listed on this page are committed to preserving a student’s privacy. Although, under certain circumstances, some information may need to be shared with other university departments in order to assist the student, provide for his or her safety, and/or provide for the safety of the campus community. Cook Counseling Center and Schiffert Health Center can provide a higher level of confidentiality to students seeking their services.

If you have questions about confidentiality and privacy, please contact any of these resources for further information.

  • Cook Counseling Center - Confidential counseling for undergraduate and graduate students
  • Schiffert Health Center - Confidential medical care for students
  • Virginia Tech Women’s Center - Sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and harassment are priority concerns for the Women's Center
  • Office of Student Conduct - Concerns about student behavior, including sexual harassment and sexual assault by students
  • Dean of Students Office - Information and support for students and families for any student-related issue
  • Virginia Tech Police - Victims or other individuals may file reports of sexual assault or other crimes to the Virginia Tech Police or local police agencies. Virginia Tech Police may be contacted at 911 or 540-231-6411. Calling 911 from a Virginia Tech land line in Blacksburg will reach the Virginia Tech Police Department directly. Calling 911 from a cell phone will connect with an off-campus police department. The caller may then request to be transferred to Virginia Tech Police Department.
  • Threat Assessment and Management Team - Concerns about violent behavior, threats to harm self or others, and safety issues
  • Office for Compliance and Conflict Resolution - Addresses issues of harassment or discrimination based on age, color, disability, gender, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status, including, but not limited to, concerns about sexual harassment
  • Cranwell International Center - Primary support service for members of the international community

Information and Workshops

To discuss issues or concerns about harassment or discrimination under Title IX, contact: 

Pamela White
Director, Compliance and Conflict Resolution
Title IX Coordinator
Email: pdwhite@vt.edu
Phone: 540-231-8771

Frank Shushok 
Associate Vice President, Student Affairs and Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Student Sexual Misconduct
Email: fshushok@vt.edu
Phone: 540-231-8064

We are also happy to speak with you about providing a presentation on Title IX issues and requirements to your department.

United States Department of Education Resources:

Sexual Harassment:
Contact information

Pamela White
Executive Director for Equity and Access
Title IX Coordinator
Email: pdwhite@vt.edu
Phone: 540-231-8771

Dr. Frank Shushok, Jr. 
Associate Vice President, Student Affairs and Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Student Sexual Misconduct
Email: fshushok@vt.edu
Phone: 540-231-8064


Contact Us

Pamela White
Executive Director for Equity and Access
Title IX Coordinator
Email: pdwhite@vt.edu
Phone: 540-231-8771

Additional Resources

A list of available options and resources concerning harassment and discrimination are available for all members of the Virginia Tech community.