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Equal Opportunity and Inclusion


VOL. 2 , ISSUE 1
JULY 2021

Top Stories in this Issue

  • Title IX Applies to the Entire University
  • What Title IX Requires in Admissions and Recruitment
  • Lessons Learned: University of Florida

Title IX Applies to the Entire University

While athletics and sexual assault receive the most publicity, remember that this federal legislation applies to the entire university. Therefore, it is not enough to attend sexual misconduct training programs, you must understand how admissions, financial aid and scholarships work in your specific area. Periodically check the demographic make up of the majors in your department to ensure there is no appearance of discrimination or guiding students to certain majors based on their sex. Remember, if there is a violation of Title IX in any area, the violation will be against the University as a whole. The penalty for noncompliance is the loss of federal funds, including student loans and university research grants.

What Title IX Requires in Admissions and Recruitment

Admissions at state schools are regulated by Title IX, which bans sex discrimination at undergraduate programs receiving federal funding. According to the U.S. Department of Education's (DOE) Office of Civil Rights (OCR), “public coeducational undergraduate institutions … must not discriminate on the basis of sex in admissions.”

One way to measure admissions is to look at acceptance rates by gender. If there is a predominate sex in any specific academic program, the program then needs to create a gender-specific recruitment plan to increase admissions and enrollment of the underrepresented gender. This is true even if one gender dominates in the profession.

Lessons Learned from the University of Florida

The OCR elected to review the graduate programs in electrical and computer engineering for academic years 2011-2012 through 2015-2016. To determine whether graduate applicants and students, regardless of their sex, had equal access to the opportunities and benefits offered by the Engineering Department. The OCR evaluated nine areas. Two of those areas will be discussed.

Recruitment and Outreach

DOE Title IX implementing regulations prohibit recipients of federal financial assistance from discriminating on the basis of sex in the recruitment of students. 10 C.F.R. § 1042.310. To determine if these engineering programs were in compliance, the OCR reviewed the recruitment and outreach activities.

UF reported that it engaged in a wide array of outreach and recruiting efforts:

  1. Recruitment and information sessions for undergraduates currently attending the university;
  2. Attendance at national conferences (e.g., the Society of Women Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and the National Society of Black Engineers);
  3. Recruiting visits to other colleges and universities;
  4. Emails through university name exchanges and GRE lists; and
  5. Campus visits for top Ph.D. candidates.

OCR Finding

The DOE found no direct evidence of discrimination based on sex in the recruitment and outreach efforts, therefore DOE found that the university's efforts in that area complied with the nondiscrimination requirements of the Title IX statute and the DOE Title IX implementing regulations. However, OCR suggested that UF evaluate its process for inviting Ph.D. candidates to spring visits to ensure that both sexes are provided an equal opportunity to participate.


DOE Title IX implementing regulations prohibit recipients of financial assistance from discriminating on the basis of sex in the admission of applicants. 10 C.F.R. § 1042.300. ln determining whether a person satisfies a criterion for admission, or in making any offer of admission, recipients are prohibited from the following: giving preference to one person over another on the basis of sex; applying numerical limitations upon the number or proportion of persons of either sex who may be admitted; otherwise treating one individual differently from another on the basis of sex.

OCR Finding

DOE found no direct evidence of discrimination based on sex in the university or the engineering department's graduate program admissions process or its admissions decisions in any of the areas reviewed and therefore found that UF was in compliance with the nondiscrimination provisions of the Title IX Statute and the DOE implementing regulations with respect to admissions.

Lessons Learned for UNF

While this audit was focused on engineering, it can be used to guide the entire university.

To prepare for potential future audits, each College at UNF should:

  • Have a specific recruitment and outreach plan to focus on the increasing the demographics in its student body and faculty/staff positions that are underrepresented. Recruitment plans should not just focus on ethnic minorities, but should look at gender as well. Each College should also determine how to create outreach opportunities that will help it reach its recruitment goals.
  • Keep a detailed record of its recruitment and outreach efforts each year and be able to provide this information in the event of an audit.
  • Work with its Academic Advisors to ensure that students are not being led to any majors based on their sex.
  • Avoid establishing any limits on the number of persons who may be admitted to any program of study based on any demographic category. This does not mean the departments may not have specific numeric goals, but these goals should not include any maximums or cut off numbers by demographic category.

If you need assistance with developing diverse recruitment, outreach or admissions plans, please reach out to EOI as there is an EOI employee assigned to each College. Find your EOI contact.




Current EOI Investigations  

Total 25
Open 20
Closed this month 5
Referred to OSAR 1

Note: Case must be closed by EOI before it can be referred to OSAR 


Total EOI Investigations  

2019-2020 125
2020-2021 (7/1/20 - 6/30/21) 136
20-21 Title IX/ Sexual Misconduct 54
20-21 Title VII - Race/ Color 35
20-21 Title VII - National Origin/ Ethnicity 8
20-21 Title VII - Religion 2
20-21 Title VII - Disability 14
20-21 Retaliation 10
20-21 Other Discrimination/ Harassment 13

Note: Several Complainant’s reported more than one protected basis

EOI Office Staff Directory

Director and Title IX Coordinator

Marlynn Jones, Esquire

Title IX & Civil Rights Investigator

Christina Chatman

EOI Coordinator

Katie Haft

EOI Coordinator

Fantei Norman

Office of Equal Opportunity & Inclusion
1 UNF Drive, Building 1, Suite 1200, Jacksonville, FL 32224
Edited by: Marlynn R. Jones, Esquire