Higher Education Institutions Aware of Title IX Risks, But Many Need to Reform and Communicate Risk Assessment Activities

Chicago, IL (July 18, 2014) – Almost half of those polled indicated either ‘no’ or ‘I don’t know’ in response to whether their school had performed an initial Title IX risk assessment – a concerning trend addressed in a recent Title IX risk assessment webinar presented by accounting and advisory firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause (Baker Tilly), Hogan Lovells, the Association of Governing Boards and the Association of College and University Auditors.

More than 600 people who are involved in Title IX administration, oversight and monitoring participated in the webinar, which addressed approaches for assessing an institution’s policies and responsibilities with Title IX requirements, steps for internal auditors and senior leaders to provide assurance of compliance and tips for governing boards’ involvement and oversight.

“It’s important for institutions to engage leaders and resources from across the university, including general counsel, board members and other senior leaders when assessing Title IX compliance. Requirements continue to evolve and require campus coordination,” commented Monica Dalwadi, a partner in Baker Tilly’s higher education practice.

Colleges and universities around the nation have recently come under scrutiny for their approach to handling sexual assault cases reported to campus officials, and the Obama Administration and the White House Task Force continue to make Title IX a signature area of focus. The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights recently made public the schools that are currently under investigation for possible violations of federal law over the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints. The list of more than 60 institutions, which continues to grow, is designed to bring more transparency to enforcement work and to foster public awareness of institutional compliance obligations under Title IX.

 “Just because an institution is on the list of colleges and universities under review in no way indicates that it has violated or is violating the law,” said Michelle Tellock, an associate in the education practice group at Hogan Lovells. “All institutions – whether or not they are currently the subject of an investigation -- should review the Department of Education’s most recent guidance and recommendations from the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault.”

A recording of Baker Tilly’s webinar, “The Title IX risk landscape, what you need to know,” can be accessed at: http://bakertilly.com/insights/the-title-ix-risk-landscape-what-you-need-to-know/

Baker Tilly serves organizations across a variety of industries, including higher education and research institutions. For more information, visit http://bakertilly.com/industries/higher-education/.

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Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP (Baker Tilly) is a nationally recognized, full-service accounting and advisory firm whose specialized professionals connect with clients and their businesses through refreshing candor and clear industry insight. With approximately 2,700 employees across the United States, Baker Tilly is ranked as one of the 15 largest accounting and advisory firms in the country. Headquartered in Chicago, Baker Tilly is an independent member of Baker Tilly International, a worldwide network of independent accounting and business advisory firms in 147 countries, with 30,000 professionals. The combined worldwide revenue of independent member firms is $3.2 billion.