Two more victories from my efforts to advance civil rights in higher education

I was informed recently by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) that two more of my (now) 192 complaints alleging Title IX violations in higher education have been successfully resolved in my favor. That brings the total number of Title IX complaints resolved to date in my favor to 22 and there more than 80 ongoing OCR investigations based on my complaints that I expect to also be resolved in my favor (given the clarity of Title IX above and the obvious and flagrant violations of that law). Here are the two latest successful resolutions:

1. The University of Nevada-Reno was found to be in violation of Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination by offering the Northern Nevada Girls Math & Technology Program, which as the program name implies is a single-sex, girl-only program that illegally excludes boys. This discriminatory program has been operating at the University since 1998 with the stated purpose “to increase girls’ knowledge, skills, and confidence in mathematics and technology in order to enhance mathematical and technological competence in girls’ personal, academic, and occupational lives.” It might be a very worthwhile program with significant educational benefits for girls in grades 7 and 8, but it’s illegal according to Title IX because it discriminates against and excludes boys in grades 7 and 8. Or at least it’s illegal unless the University offers an equivalent boy-only program that would legally and equitably accommodate middle school boys who are just as interested in math and technology as their female counterparts. But the University of Nevada-Reno, like most US universities, really isn’t interested in providing equitable educational resources for all genders as much as they are interested in providing a disproportionate share of campus resources to the preferred sex. And they really aren’t as interested in uniformly enforcing Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination as they are in a highly selective double-standard for enforcement of federal civil rights laws. And the fact that this discriminatory, illegal program has operated in Nevada for more than 20 years suggests that this is typical of the hundreds of universities that likewise violate Title IX with impunity because there’s no internal accountability and nobody either internally or externally has ever challenged these programs in the past. Until now.

To resolve its Title IX violation of operating an illegal, discriminatory program for more than two decades, the University of Nevada-Reno’s Board of Regents (and signed by the University president Marc Johnson) entered into a “Voluntary Resolution Agreement” with the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) with the following Action Steps:

The University agrees to take one of the following actions regarding the Northern Nevada Girls Math & Technology Program (program):

(a) The University will cease to offer the program; or

(b) The University will modify the program to ensure the program is open to all students regardless of sex, and will change the name of the program to eliminate any suggestion that it is for a single sex, and will ensure that all communications related to the program effectively communicate that the program is open to all students regardless of sex (these communications will include the name of the program, the design and content of the website, and the promotion of and recruitment for the program).

The OCR has also imposed the following Reporting Requirement on the University:

By October 1, 2020, the University will submit a report to OCR, for OCR’s review and approval, which will include notice of its decision regarding whether it opted to implement Action Step (a) or (b).

* If proceeding with Action Step (a), the University will report all steps taken to cease offering the program.

* If proceeding with Action Step (b), the University will report all steps taken to make the program open to all students regardless of sex, including copies or links to all materials revised or created pursuant to Action Step (b). If OCR requires any revisions to the report developed pursuant to Action Step (b), the University will resubmit the report within 30 days of receiving OCR’s notice of the required revisions. OCR and the University will repeat this process until OCR has approved the report.

The strong language of OCR’s Resolution Agreement and the fact that it was signed by the University’s president suggests to me that the OCR is serious about enforcing and correcting violations of Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination and will no longer, if it ever did in the past, allow any exceptions for certain single-sex, female-only programs. After all, Title IX clearly says that “No person on the basis of sex…. shall be subjected to discrimination,” meaning that all discrimination based on sex is illegal. And unethical. And unacceptable. As Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division said about its finding that Yale University illegally discriminates against Asian-American and white applicants “There is no such thing as a nice form of race discrimination.” Likewise, there is no such thing as a nice (or legal) form of sex discrimination in higher education.

It’s also worth noting that in addition to brazenly violating Title IX for more than 20 years, the University was in violation of its own strong statement of non-discrimination:

The Nevada System of Higher Education and the University of Nevada, Reno, are committed to providing a place of work and learning free of discrimination on the basis of a person’s age (40 or older), disability, whether actual or perceived by others (including service-connected disabilities), gender (including pregnancy related conditions), military status or military obligations, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, race, color, or religion (protected classes). The University of Nevada, Reno,  does not discriminate on the basis of protected classes in any education program or activity that it operates. 

….. An individual cannot be treated differently or less favorably because of their gender.

One could rightfully question higher education’s supposed commitment to “diversity, equity, and inclusion” and the universal strong statements of non-discrimination when so many universities in America openly discriminate based on sex (and demonstrate in practice “uniformity, inequity, and exclusion”), and continue to do so for decades with impunity. Given the large and growing staffs of diversity and Title IX officers at most universities and colleges, it’s not as if universities don’t have the resources to self-monitor their own programs and correct Title IX violations. And it’s exactly that double-standard and hypocritical endorsement of certain types of illegal systemic sex (and sometimes race) discrimination that I’m trying to expose in my efforts to advance civil rights for all, and not just some, in higher education.

2. Similarly, Rogue Community College in Oregon was found by the OCR to be in violation of Title IX for operating, with support from Verizon, an illegal single-sex, girl-only, no boys allowed “STEM Camp for Middle School Girls.” The program website has been taken down, but information about the discriminatory program can be found here, here, and here. The College entered into a Voluntary Resolution Agreement with the OCR (and signed by the president of the College ) with the following Action Steps:

The College agrees to take one of the following actions regarding the STEM Camp for Middle School Girls (camp):

(a) The College will cease to offer the camp; or

(b) The College will modify the camp to ensure the camp is open to all students regardless of sex, and will change the name of the camp to eliminate any suggestion that it is for a single sex, and will ensure that all communications related to the camp effectively communicate that the program is open to all students regardless of sex (these communications will include the name of the camp, the design and content of the website, and the promotion of and recruitment for the camp); or

(c) The College will modify the camp to ensure the camp is open to all students regardless of sex, and will maintain the name of the camp, provided that it can develop and implement strategies to effectively communicate to the College community and the public that the camp, notwithstanding the name, is open to all students regardless of sex (these communications will include the design and content of the website, and the promotion of and recruitment for the camp).

The College is obligated to follow this mandatory Reporting Requirement:

By August 3, 2020, the College will submit a report to OCR, for OCR’s review and approval, which will include notice of its decision regarding whether it opted to implement Action Step (a) or (b) or (c).

* If proceeding with Action Step (a), the College will report all steps taken to cease offering the camp.

* If proceeding with Action Step (b), the College will report all steps taken to make the camp open to all students regardless of sex, including copies or links to all materials revised or created pursuant to Action Step (b).

* If proceeding with Action Step (c), the College will report all steps taken to make the camp open to all students regardless of sex, including copies or links to all materials which demonstrate how the College will effectively communicate to the College community and the public that the camp is open to all students regardless of sex despite its name. In addition, for the 2020-2021 and the 2021-2022 academic years, the College will collect and submit to OCR, by May 31, 2021 and May 31, 2022, the following information: A list of all individuals who applied for participation in the camp by name or unique identifier and sex; and indication whether each individual was permitted to participate; and for those individuals who applied but were not permitted to participate, the reason(s) for not allowing their participation.

Since the program website for “STEM Camp for Middle School Girls” has been removed, along with an apparent scrubbing of all references to the program on the College website, it seems like the College has selected Action Option (a) to cease offering the discriminatory camp. Like Nevada-Reno, Rogue Community College has a strong anti-discrimination policy and proudly, although perhaps somewhat inaccurately given the OCR ruling, declares itself to be an “Open Institution”:

Rogue Community College does not discriminate in any programs, activities or employment practices on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, use of native language, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veteran status, disability, age, pregnancy or any other status protected under applicable federal, state or local laws.

The College’s non-discrimination website lists a total of seven HR and Title IX staff members who apparently weren’t aware, or were unconcerned that the College was in violation of federal civil rights laws. But that’s typical and problematical – as mentioned above, despite large and growing armies of “diversicrats” at most universities, that are apparently in need of remedial Title IX training so they understand that Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination applies to both sexes (and not just the preferred and privileged sex) and all genders. In fact, the OCR in a recent ruling against Tulane University for multiple Title IX violations is requiring just that — remedial Title IX training for Tulane’s “diversicrats.”

And in the case of Rogue, one has to wonder about its generous corporate sponsor – Verizon. Are the numerous corporations like Verizon that provide millions of dollars in funding for illegal single-sex, female-only, no males allowed STEM programs either unaware…… or unconcerned that they are financing illegal systemic sex discrimination at hundreds of college campuses across the country? Given the prevalence and acceptance of sex discrimination in higher education, it is probably the case that Verizon et al. aren’t even aware that they are funding, in their woke corporate efforts to virtue-signal, illegal sex discrimination. As more and more universities are now being held accountable for civil rights violations, maybe it’s time that America’s corporations also be held accountable for providing generous financial support that enables colleges and universities to violate the federally guaranteed civil rights of half of the relevant population.

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