I recently attended a workshop on Title IX, the federal regulation that outlines, among many other things, how college campuses must deal with cases of reported sexual harassment and sexual violence.  It is a complicated regulation, and workshops can often get laden with legalese.

The speaker, Dr. Tanya Lowery, Title IX Officer for Oklahoma State University, boiled the essence of the regulation down to four key steps:

1.  Investigate
2.  Stop it
3.  Prevent it
4.  Remedy it 

I think she provided a workable model for handling almost all complaints that come forward, no matter what the setting.  I referenced this when a staff member told me about a missed deadline on a project.  Without thinking about the Title IX session explicitly, I told her to try and figure out why it happened, to learn what could be done to stop it from happening again, take those steps long term, but short term figure out how to readjust the timeline to accommodate the delay. 

Think about the above framework the next time you have an issue to address. Hopefully you’ll never have to deal with a complaint in the Title IX context, rather can use it to work through the ordinary problems that find their way to your desk.

— beth triplett

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