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NIU and Title IX - Printable Version

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NIU and Title IX - pvk75 - 05-01-2021 12:00 AM

(from athletic board minutes for Feb. 10, 2021 ...) ... It appears NIU is looking at ways to comply with Title IX because female enrollment has increased ... (note, I cleaned up the typing but nothing else) ... Important points are indicated by >>>>
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a.Title IX Overview & Prior Year Report on Title IX Compliance

D. Boughton included a PowerPoint presentation in the Teams folder and provided a quick overview on Title IX compliance from the Athletics’ perspective. Title IX in athletics requires members of both genders to have equal opportunities to participate in sports and receive the benefits of competitive athletics. She pointed out on the PowerPoint regarding sport program offerings, noting that the NCAA requires certain types of sport offerings based on the division. For the FBS division (NIU’s division), the requirement is a minimum of 16; NIU currently has 17. The NCAA also has rules and requirements for financial aid, which we are well within the requirements for at NIU. The chart shows a breakdown of the men and women’s sports and the maximum amount of grant-in-aid that can be offered per sport program. It is important to note that there are federal guidelines on how these should be distributed in addition to the limits that the NCAA has set.

The three ways to test for Title IX compliance include accommodation of interests and abilities, athletic financial aid, and other athletic benefits and opportunities. There are three tests to measure accommodation of interests and abilities:
Test 1 –Proportionality
Test 2 –Continued program expansion for under-represented sex
Test 3 –Fully and effectively accommodate the under-represented sex

>>>>For last 8 years, NIU has frequently met Test 1 as the male undergraduate population has typically been larger than female undergraduate population; however, in the past 2 years the female population has increased (fall 2019 51.2% / fall 2020 52.8%). This increase impacts the way we approach our compliance with Title IX.

>>>>To further expand on measures for Test 1, D. Boughton discussed who counts. She briefly commented on roster goals and the use of these to maintain compliance in the past, but indicated that with the current sport offerings this would be hard to continue to maintain under Test 1. Based on data from 2019-20 (the last census year), there were 231 males and 210 female participants in the NIU Athletics department sport programs, which is approximately 11 participants outside of compliance for test 1.

>>>>As they are not close enough to meet Test 1, the department is looking to try to meet Test 3. D. Boughton pointed out to address Test 3 three of fully and effectively accommodating the under-represented sex. At NIU, from a participation standpoint, women are the under-represented gender, so in order to meet this test, NIU would have to offer sport programs that accommodate the women who go to NIU or have been admitted to NIU.

>>>>D. Boughton noted that they are currently working with the OGC and Ethics and Compliance office to develop a survey to measure the interests and abilities of students enrolled and admitted to NIU. Pending potential findings from this survey, there may have to be changes/additions made to the current sport offerings, barring facility limitations (i.e. no acceptable accommodations/facilities for sports such as diving).

D. Boughton added that any changes would have to go to through the Board of Trustees for approval, and would also be under the purview of the Athletic Board.

D. Boughton continued with a quick overview on financial aid, which must be within 1% of unduplicated participation rates. In FY20, NIU Athletics awarded $6.6 million total ($3.9 to men and $2.7 to women). The unduplicated participation rate is 60/40, so NIU is doing well in this area. Finally, D. Boughton wrapped up discussion with the provision of equitable opportunities to both men and women participants in our sports programs.


RE: NIU and Title IX - pvk75 - 05-01-2021 12:01 AM

This is happening at many schools around the country, so it's not unusual that NIU is keeping an eye on its own situation. Also, no mention of cutting a men's sport. At this point, IMO it's an update for the athletic board.


RE: NIU and Title IX - Big Red - 05-01-2021 12:57 AM

(05-01-2021 12:01 AM)pvk75 Wrote:  This is happening at many schools around the country, so it's not unusual that NIU is keeping an eye on its own situation. Also, no mention of cutting a men's sport. At this point, IMO it's an update for the athletic board.

I thought that it was illegal to come into compliance of Title IX by cutting a men's sport.

And, if it's not, it should be.

But, thinking back to my classes on Title IX back in the 90s, I really want to say this is one of the few things I remember.


RE: NIU and Title IX - pvk75 - 05-01-2021 03:01 AM

If illegal, perhaps that's why there was no mention of cutting a men's sport, as noted. However, over the past two years, there have been numerous reports/actions r.e. program cuts. See the threads on the main CSNBBS board (College Sports and Realignment).

This 2018 article about the since-changed EMU cuts describes some of the difficulties complying with Title IX ...
https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbaker/2018/12/04/emus-loss-in-title-ix-case-highlights-difficulties-in-cutting-womens-sports/?sh=429eb5a057a5

Although it addresses difficulties cutting women's sports, it also looks at the three means of compliance. Note the one NIU is pursuing is not recommended because of survey difficulties. Also, although not a legal opinion, it notes Title IX does not protect men's sports.


RE: NIU and Title IX - Big Red - 05-01-2021 08:55 AM

(05-01-2021 03:01 AM)pvk75 Wrote:  If illegal, perhaps that's why there was no mention of cutting a men's sport, as noted. However, over the past two years, there have been numerous reports/actions r.e. program cuts. See the threads on the main CSNBBS board (College Sports and Realignment).

This 2018 article about the since-changed EMU cuts describes some of the difficulties complying with Title IX ...
https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbaker/2018/12/04/emus-loss-in-title-ix-case-highlights-difficulties-in-cutting-womens-sports/?sh=429eb5a057a5

Although it addresses difficulties cutting women's sports, it also looks at the three means of compliance. Note the one NIU is pursuing is not recommended because of survey difficulties. Also, although not a legal opinion, it notes Title IX does not protect men's sports.

I'm sure there are loopholes and ways an organization can justify cutting a program like baseball but my understanding is the intent of Title IX is to bring UP the level of opportunities for women and if that is achieved by limiting the number of opportunities for men (which is, by a result, not changing anything about the opportunities for women) then it is not within the intent of the law.

Again, I'm sure there are ways around it but an organization would have to jump through a bunch of hoops to protect themselves in finding compliance through this means.


RE: NIU and Title IX - pvk75 - 05-01-2021 05:40 PM

It's a case of raise the bridge or lower the water. The original post was an FYI. NIU is trying to stay in compliance, and deserves credit for that. At this point, as noted, it appears to be an update for the athletic board and trying to stay ahead of the curve. The link to the EMU story was just to provide one version of a discussion of the issues. Make a mountain out of a molehill if you want, but I see no reason to hit the panic button. (How's that for a string of cliches.)