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Department of Education announces Title IX agreement with Ohio State

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has announced it will enter into an agreement with Ohio State to ensure proper Title IX obedience following the conclusion of a compliance review of the university, according to a Thursday release.

OSU was one of 55 U.S. colleges and universities being investigated by the department for its handling of sexual abuse complaints under Title IX.

The review began in 2010 and was not complaint-based, the release said.

The findings of that review— which were also released Thursday— mostly praised OSU’s efforts on Title IX compliance.

“The university has demonstrated its strong commitment to vigorously addressing sexual assault and sexual harassment on its campuses, including by taking effective steps to stop sexual harassment, prevent its recurrence, eliminate any hostile environment, and remedy its discriminatory effects on complaints and any others as inappropriate,” the release said.

The OCR did conclude, however, that the university’s procedures and policies to respond to Title IX complaints had been insufficient, and OSU has adapted to become in compliance with the law.

Title IX is a section of the Education Amendments of 1972 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in publicly-funded programs.

During the investigation, the university has improved its documentation of investigations, has formed a sexual violence consultation team, and developed “online training modules for students on bystander intervention,” according to the release.

The university will also be required to “provide and expand mandatory sexual assault and harassment training to all members of the university community.”

OSU spokesman Chris Davey praised the resolution in a Thursday email.

“We are grateful for the collaboration with the Department of Education in completing a thorough, proactive review of our Title IX programs and policies, and we are very pleased that the review has found no major concerns and that Ohio State has proper protocols and resources in place for combatting sexual harassment and sexual misconduct,” he said. “The completion of this process, and steps outlined in the Resolution Agreement, support Ohio State’s continued commitment to supporting an environment that is free from sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and discrimination.”

OSU’s Title IX compliance came under further public scrutiny after a two-month investigation by the university found a “sexualized culture” within the marching band. Band director Jonathan Waters was fired July 24 at the end of the investigation, when the university determined that Waters knew about harassment within the band, or at least should have, and did little to stop it.

A second investigation into the band, led by former Ohio attorney general Betty Montgomery, is currently underway, and the Board of Trustees continues to label the university’s Title IX compliance as a “high risk.”

In their report, the OCR agreed with the university that a “sexually hostile environment” within the band violated Title IX.

Since his termination, Waters has vehemently defended his leadership of the band, and has received an outpouring of support from some band alumni. His firing was also protested at the first Board of Trustees meeting of the year, which led chair Jeffrey Wadsworth to give a brief forum to a representative of TBDBTL Alumni Club.


  1. The sexual violence consultation team has been around for many years.

  2. It’s clearer now than ever: The Ohio State administration, facing this federal Title IX investigation, perpetrated a slanderous attack against Jon Waters and all current and former members of the band in order to draw attention away from their consistent lack of care for the students of our university. Although their claims remain unsubstantiated and their actions unjustified, this administration seems to have succeeded in placating the federal government through this charade. Never mind the fact that these actions continue to bring harm to students without solving any problems, or that the federal investigation concluded that OSU has failed to be in compliance with Title IX. Integrity must take a backseat to revenue.

  3. So it is finally crystal clear that the only reason for dragging the OSUMB into this issue was to provide a sacrificial lamb to make a showy PR splash with. In doing so, OSU destroyed the life of a man who was an agent working for good, and trashed all those students and alumni who have given their time selflessly to the University. Thank you, Ohio State. Next time you don’t have policies and procedures in place, and the Feds come calling, go look in Bricker Hall for an answer, don’t pick on someone working for change to sacrifice.

  4. “In their report, the OCR agreed with the university that a “sexually hostile environment” within the band violated Title IX.”

  5. Buckeye in the West

    Like a Penn State, a scapegoat was needed. Penn State decided to scapegoat Joe Paterno, who was dead and could not defend himself. Ohio State decided to go to the least point of resistance; enter Jon Waters. OSU needed an example, a sacrificial lamb, to prove the were really following Title IX provisions and had “zero tolerance” for its violations. Never mind, that Jon Waters was working to change the culture. Never mind, that much of the problems occurred, before Jon Waters became band director. Never mind that that OSU relied on slander, libel, half-truths and lies to put together a flimsy report. And, never mind that Jon Waters received sterling employee reviews.

    It is very clear, now, that Jon Waters was railroaded, so OSU would get a clean bill of health from the US Department of Education. But, what is missing is why OSU was being investigated in the first place? Why was OSU one of 55 colleges shown in violation of Title IX. And, and what is flying under the radar by making Jon Waters, the OSUMB and its alumni the public sacrifice?

    It is time to dig, Lantern, to find out which entity OSU is trying to protect from public view.

    It seems very convenient that everything is being wrapped up in a neat package.

    “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” (Hamlet Actt I, Scene 4)

    Something is rotten, indeed.

  6. A fish rots from the head down.

  7. Some of the folks commenting here really ought to read the agreement. It went far beyond what happened with the band.

  8. Out of the Box, indeed it did. The whole basis for the agreement with Ohio State was that the University finally put in place proper processes and procedures for dealing with sexual assault and harassment. It had nothing at all to do with the Band, whose trashing was just a showy piece of PR created by OSU to try to impress OCR that it was really taking the issue seriously. And to do that it destroyed the career of someone actually implementing change, together with defaming the dedicated students of the OSUMB, and over 4,000 alumni. Congratulations, Ohio State! A truly brilliant move.

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