What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities in federally funded schools. Title IX protects all students, employees, and other persons from all forms of sex discrimination.

Who is the Title IX Coordinator at UNL?

Meagan Counley | mcounley2@unl.edu
(402) 472-3417 | 128 Canfield Administration Building, Lincoln, NE 68588-0437

Who else works in Institutional Equity and Compliance at UNL?

For a listing of all Institutional Equity and Compliance staff members, visit our staff directory.

What Does the Title IX Coordinator Do?

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for the following duties and activities:

  • Ensuring UNL complies with Title IX and other related laws.
  • Creation and application of university policies and procedures related to Title IX
  • Coordination of implementation and administration of complaint procedures and investigations.
  • Working to create a safe learning and working campus environment.

What Behavior Constitutes Sexual Misconduct?

Sexual Harassment.

“Sexual harassment” means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

  1. An employee of the University conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
  2. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education program or activity;
  3. Sexual assault (see definition herein);
  4. Dating violence (see definition herein);
  5. Domestic violence (see definition herein); or
  6. Stalking (see definition herein).

To be considered sexual harassment for the purposes of Title IX, the conduct must meet the additional requirements of occurring in the University’s education program or activity and against a person in the United States.

For employees, sexual harassment also means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment, sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the individual’s employment and create an abusive working environment.

Sexual Assault

“Sexual assault” means an offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest or statutory rape as used in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting system. A sex offense is any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.

  1. Rape: The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
  2. Fondling: The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of the victim’s age or because of the victim’s temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
  3. Incest: Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
  4. Statutory Rape: Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

Dating Violence and Domestic Violence

“Dating violence” means violence committed by a person-

  1. who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
  2. where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
    1. The length of the relationship.
    2. The type of relationship.
    3. The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

“Domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse or the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

Domestic violence includes domestic assault. Under Nebraska law, a person commits domestic assault if the person (i) intentionally and knowingly causes bodily injury to their intimate partner; (ii) threatens an intimate partner with imminent bodily injury; or (iii) threatens an intimate partner in a menacing manner.

Under Nebraska law an “intimate partner” means a spouse; a former spouse; persons who have a child in common whether or not they have been married or lived together at any time; and persons who are or were involved in a dating relationship.


“Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to-

  1. fear for their safely or the safety of others; or
  2. suffer substantial emotional distress.

Sexual Exploitation

“Sexual exploitation” includes, but is not limited to: prostituting another person; nonconsensual visual or audio recording of sexual activity; non-consensual display or distribution of photos, images or information of an individual’s sexual activity or intimate body parts; non-consensual voyeurism; coercing someone against their will to engage in sexual activity, or; knowingly transmitting sexually transmitted disease (STD) without disclosing STD status.

The Sexual Misconduct Policy contains more information about the definintions.

What is Consent?

“Consent” is a freely and affirmatively communicated willingness to participate in particular sexual activity or behavior, expressed either by words or clear, unambiguous actions.

  1. Consent can be withdrawn at any time, as long as the withdrawal of consent is clearly communicated by words or actions.
  2. Consent cannot be coerced or compelled by force, threat, deception, or intimidation.
  3. Consent cannot be given by someone who is incapacitated or does not have the legal capacity to consent, as defined below in the definition of “incapacitated”.
  4. Consent cannot be assumed based on silence, the absence of “no” or “stop,” the existence of a prior or current relationship, or prior sexual activity.
  5. There are some persons who Nebraska law presumes are incapable of consenting to sexual contact or penetration as defined by Nebraska law by an actor by reason of their age. Under Nebraska law an actor nineteen years of age or older may not subject a person under the age of sixteen years of age to sexual penetration, or a person under fifteen years of age to sexual contact.

What Can Happen if Someone Violates the Misconduct Policy?

If a student is found to have violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy, one or more of the following sanctions may be imposed:

  • A formal written warning in the student’s conduct file;
  • Probation for a designated period of time;
  • Loss of university privileges for a specified period of time;
  • Monetary or other compensation for loss, damage or injury;
  • Discretionary sanctions (such as community service, work assignments, educational requirements) which are appropriate under the circumstances;
  • Resident hall relocation;
  • Residence hall suspension;
  • Residence hall expulsion;
  • University suspension;
  • University expulsion; or
  • University ban and bar.

If an employee is found to have violated university sexual misconduct policy, the employee may be subject to one or more of the following sanctions:

  • Verbal warning;
  • Written warning;
  • Transfer;
  • Completion of mandatory conditions;
  • Suspension without pay;
  • Nonrenewal or non-reappointment;
  • Loss of rank or position;
  • Denial of salary increase;
  • Activity termination;
  • Demotion in rank or pay;
  • Termination of employment;
  • Ban on university re-employment;
  • University ban and bar.

What training is available? Is it required?

Sexual misconduct prevention and response training (commonly referred to as Title IX training) is required annually for students, faculty, and staff.