Title IX training underway

Coordinators have met with nearly 1,000 students to explain Title IX procedures.

Faculty Council kicked off the fall semester by discussing changes to Title IX procedures and employee benefits during its first open session on Thursday.

Title IX changes

Interim Title IX Coordinator Linda Bennett and UM System counsel Marsha Fischer presented how the university plans to improve Title IX procedures and ways in which allegations are handled.

Fischer said MU is expanding beyond just Title IX cases but is aiming to address any type of sex discrimination case.

“We are improving how we are handling all discrimination cases,” Fischer said. “We won’t just be chasing the trend; we will be stepping up.”

Bennett said Title IX coordinators have received two days of training to learn how to handle cases and will receive an additional two days of training later this semester.

Some MU faculty members will also have the option to attend a 15-day training workshop to learn more about Title IX procedures and sexual assault prevention.

All faculty members will be required to report Title IX violations and sexual misconduct to Title IX coordinators under UM System President Tim Wolfe’s executive order.

Bennett said several confidential sources are available for students, including medical personnel, the Rape and Sexual Violence Prevention Center and the Counseling Center.

Fischer said changes were made to the equal employment and educational opportunity policy. She said sexual discrimination and harassment language were added to the education policy, as well as a new equity resolution process for students or student organizations that are being accused of violations.

Bennett said the Title IX coordinators have met with nearly 1,000 students, faculty and staff since the beginning of summer and are developing a website to explain Title IX policies.

Benefit changes

Kelly Stuck, UM System associate vice president for Total Rewards, presented changes that were made to faculty and staff benefits this year.

According to Stuck, the system will implement an active enrollment policy for employee medical plans, which means each employee must actively select and submit a desired medical plan.

Stuck said employees who fail to choose a plan will be defaulted into the Healthy Savings Plan, which is has the lowest cost but the highest deductible out of the three plans available.

In addition, Stuck said, new employees and employees who previously did not have medical coverage will be required under the Affordable Care Act to enroll in a plan or default into the high-deductible plan.

Stuck said the system has also increased its health wellness incentive to encourage healthier lifestyles among faculty and staff. UM System employees will be able to earn up to $450 for healthy behaviors such as getting a flu shot and living tobacco-free.

Committee chairs briefly presented reports before the council entered a closed session.

Diversity Enhancement Committee Chairwoman Angela Speck said the committee will discuss recent faculty survey results that showed higher dissatisfied response rates from faculty of color in the coming days.

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