Case: Department of Education OCR Title IX Investigation of Minot State University

05-14-2061 | No Court

Filed Date: Dec. 18, 2014

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 18, 2014, a student at Minot State University filed a complaint with the US Department of Education, Chicago Office for Civil Rights (OCR). She alleged that school officials failed to respond promptly and equitably to her report of sexual assault by a faculty member in violation of Title IX. On February 26, 2014, OCR announced that it would open an investigation.On July 7, 2016, OCR concluded the investigation and identified a number of substantial compliance issues. First, the Univ…

On December 18, 2014, a student at Minot State University filed a complaint with the US Department of Education, Chicago Office for Civil Rights (OCR). She alleged that school officials failed to respond promptly and equitably to her report of sexual assault by a faculty member in violation of Title IX. On February 26, 2014, OCR announced that it would open an investigation.

On July 7, 2016, OCR concluded the investigation and identified a number of substantial compliance issues. First, the University had no designated Title IX Coordinator whatsoever. Second, the school’s policies and procedures and its notice of nondiscrimination violated Title IX. For instance, the University had a number of contradictory procedures to address sexual misconduct, some of which failed to mention Title IX. Third, the University failed to respond adequately to the complainant’s report of sexual assault. For instance, the University did not respond to the complainant’s emailed allegations until she followed up several weeks later and then never offered her interim measures.

In order to resolve these alleged violations, Minot State University and OCR entered into a resolution agreement where the university agreed to make a number of changes to its policies and practices. However, University officials noted that entering the agreement did not amount to an admission of any Title IX violation.The University agreed to the following changes:

  • Retain an Equity Consultant, subject to OCR’s approval, with expertise in Title IX;
  • Issue a statement prohibiting sexual harassment and articulating the University’s role in responding to allegations of any harassment;
  • Revise all codes of conduct to comply with Title IX;
  • Develop a procedure, with approval from OCR, for documenting each incident of sex discrimination;
  • Enter into a memorandum of understanding with the local police;
  • Provide annual training to faculty and staff charged with implementing Title IX;
  • Provide mandatory to training to all faculty and staff on sexual misconduct prevention and response;
  • Conduct an assessment to determine whether the University has sufficient staff to address Title IX complaints in a timely manner;
  • Provide training to all freshmen and transfer students on the University’s role in preventing and responding to sexual violence;
  • Create a committee comprised of students, faculty, and staff to develop strategies for ensuring that all students are aware of their rights under Title IX;
  • Conduct an annual campus climate check to assess the effectiveness of steps taken pursuant to this agreement;
  • Develop a monitoring program to assess the effectiveness of the University’s overall Title IX efforts;
  • Review all complaints of sex discrimination from 2011 to 2015 and determine whether the University’s response was appropriate;
  • Maintain data related to sexual harassment;
  • Acknowledge to the complainant that the University failed to complete its investigation into her allegations and promise to complete the investigation pursuant to its new Title IX policies;
  • and

  • Provide counseling and other appropriate remedies to the complainant.

OCR agreed to oversee compliance with the agreement through at least June 30, 2019.

Summary Authors

Hope Brinn (1/11/2019)

People


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Rapport, Adele (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Rapport, Adele (Michigan)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

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Subject: FW: OCR Electronic Complaint Submission

Dec. 19, 2013

Dec. 19, 2013

Correspondence

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[Notification letter for Minot State University]

Feb. 26, 2014

Feb. 26, 2014

Notice Letter

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[Notification letter and data request for Minot State University]

Feb. 26, 2014

Feb. 26, 2014

Notice Letter

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Resolution Agreement

July 7, 2016

July 7, 2016

Settlement Agreement

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[Minot State University Letter of Findings]

July 7, 2016

July 7, 2016

Findings Letter/Report

Resources

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: North Dakota

Case Type(s):

Education

Special Collection(s):

Title IX, Sexual Violence Investigations/Resolutions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 18, 2014

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The complainant was a student attending Minot State University who alleged that she was sexually assaulted by her professor.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Minot State University (Minot, Ward), State

Defendant Type(s):

College/University

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.

Special Case Type(s):

Out-of-court

Availably Documents:

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Order Duration: 2016 - 2019

Content of Injunction:

Develop anti-discrimination policy

Discrimination Prohibition

Hire

Implement complaint/dispute resolution process

Monitoring

Recordkeeping

Required disclosure

Training

Issues

Discrimination-basis:

Sex discrimination

Affected Gender:

Female

Type of Facility:

Government-run