Title IX Complaints Go Up at Three Tennessee Universities, Report Shows

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People at Tennessee Technological University, Tennessee State University, and the University of Tennessee lodged more Title IX discrimination complaints in 2019 than they did the prior year.

In laymen’s terms, that means more people allege school officials discriminated against them because of their gender.

But people at other Tennessee universities launched fewer complaints in 2019 than they did the previous year.

This, according to a report Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson released late last week.

Title IX says no education program that takes federal taxpayer money can discriminate based on sex, and it includes protections against sexual harassment.

According to the report, the Cookeville-based Tennessee Technological University had 13 Title IX complaints in Fiscal Year 2018, but that number increased to 24 complaints in Fiscal Year 2019.

The Nashville-based Tennessee State University, meanwhile, had 37 Title IX complaints in Fiscal Year 2018, whereas the school received 60 Title IX complaints in Fiscal Year 2019.

The University of Tennessee had 162 Title IX complaints in Fiscal Year 2018. The school had 172 Title IX complaints in Fiscal Year 2019.

The number of Title IX complaints went down at Austin Peay State University, East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, and the University of Memphis in Fiscal Year 2019, according to Wilson’s report.

Wilson put out a similar report last year, but with different findings.

In that report, the University of Memphis had 153 Title IX complaints in Fiscal Year 2018, a slight increase from 152 in Fiscal Year 2017.

But in Fiscal Year 2019 the University of Memphis only had 39 Title IX complaints.

Last year, Kenneth P. Anderson, the University of Memphis’ Title IX coordinator for the Office of Institutional Equity, said the high number of complaints was “a positive.”

“They speak to the University’s efforts to seriously address interpersonal violence and sexual misconduct,” Anderson told The Tennessee Star at the time.

“The University of Memphis has a robust Title IX program which includes a Title IX prevention center, campaigns and programs, ongoing outreach and recurring trainings to encourage the reporting of Title IX complaints by the entire campus community.”

Most faculty and staff, Anderson went on to say, must report any sexual misconduct allegations. Students, faculty, and staff, meanwhile, receive Title IX training.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

 

 

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