The Office of EEO & Title IX Compliance leads, coordinates and supports civil rights compliance for Virginia State University. This office also oversees the university's response to all complaints of harassment and discrimination based on age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, protected veteran status, or any other bases under the law.
We’re committed to ensuring equal opportunity and protecting the civil rights of students, faculty and staff; and supporting efforts to sustain a work and academic environment that encourages mutual respect, teamwork, inclusion, creativity, equity, excellence and the elimination of potential barriers to full participation through the following areas:
Equal Employment Opportunity
Virginia State University is committed to excellence through ensuring nondiscrimination in its academic programs and work environment. We will take affirmative steps to ensure equal employment opportunities for all qualified applicants, students and employees regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, marital status, age, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or veteran status. EEO rights are guaranteed by federal and state fair employment laws and are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and its state counterparts.
The following are key Equal Employment Opportunity activities:
- Monitor and support University compliance with federal and state laws and University policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment.
- Work in conjunction with the Office of Human Resources in the hiring process to ensure accountability and compliance with nondiscrimination requirements.
- Conduct investigations and resolve complaints of discrimination and harassment in accordance with University procedures.
- Provide guidance and technical assistance to units, departments and University constituencies regarding matters relating to equal opportunity, access and non-discrimination.
- Provide education and training to faculty, staff and students on matters related to equal opportunity, discrimination and harassment.
- Coordinate University compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
- Oversee the University’s response to external complaints of discrimination in collaboration with University Legal Counsel.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its new implementing regulations promulgated by the United States Department of Education protects all students, faculty, staff and employees from discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment and retaliation, in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Some key areas that have Title IX obligations are: recruitment, admissions, and counseling; financial assistance; athletics; treatment of pregnant and parenting students; disability accommodation; disciplinary process; academic programs and grading; housing, and employment.
The new regulations, which became effective on August 14, 2020, require postsecondary institutions to promptly respond to individuals who are alleged to be victims of sexual harassment by offering supportive measures; follow a fair grievance process to resolve sexual harassment allegations; and, provide remedies to victims of sexual harassment and prevent the recurrence of possible sex discrimination. It also requires the designation of at least one employee referred to as the “Title IX Coordinator” to coordinate the institution’s efforts to comply with the regulations.
Sexual harassmentis defined under Title IX as conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
- An employee of the University conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome conduct (i.e., quid pro quo);
- Unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would determine to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education program or activity; or
- “Sexual assault” as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(6)(A)(v), “dating violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(10), “domestic violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8), or “stalking” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30).
The University is committed to responding promptly and effectively when it learns of any form of possible discrimination based on sex, as described in the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy, 1104 and Title IX Complaint Resolution Procedures, 1105. It carries out its responsibilities in administering and enforcing these policies through the Title IX Coordinator who oversees the university’s response to ensure compliance. Other responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Communicating with all members of the University community regarding Title IX, Clery and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and providing information about how individuals may access their rights;
- Reviewing applicable University policies and all related record keeping, timeframes, and other procedural requirements to ensure institutional compliance.
- Conducting training regarding Title IX, VAWA, and prohibited conduct as defined in the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy, 1104; and
- Responding to any report or formal complaint regarding conduct that violates the policy. For any report of which the University has actual knowledge (and any formal complaint), the Title IX Coordinator shall implement the provision of any supportive measures; oversee the investigation and resolution of such alleged misconduct, direct the provision of any additional supportive measures, and monitor the administration of any related appeal.
Have questions or concerns regarding possible sexual harassment or discrimination based on sex? Contact:
Deborah D. Howard, MS, VASIII
Title IX Coordinator/Office of EEO & Title IX Compliance
Virginia Hall – Room 313
1 Hayden Drive or P.O. Box 9001
Virginia State University, VA 23806
P: (804) 524-5371
F: (804) 524-6506
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504)
The ADA mandates equal opportunity for students and employees with disabilities – they’re entitled to access and benefit from all applicable university programs, services and facilities. Section 504 prohibits discrimination against an otherwise qualified individual with a disability, solely on the basis of the disability, in any program or activity that receives federal financial assistance. The University is committed to non-discrimination in the administration of its educational programs and activities, including admission and employment practices, access to or treatment in programs and services. The laws also require institutions to reasonably accommodate the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or employee, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the institution's business. Title I of the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Title II, requires that State and local entities give people with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from all of their programs, services, and activities (e.g. public education, employment, transportation, recreation, health care, social services, courts, voting, and town meetings) is enforced by the Department of Justice. Section 504 is enforced by, amongst others, the U.S.DOE/Office for Civil Rights.
Need An Accommodation?
Students wishing to request information regarding reasonable accommodation, or seeking support for health challenges or conditions, should contact Student Accessibility Services at the University Counseling Center, Room 101 Memorial Hall; (804) 524-5939; (804) 524-5001 (24-hour helpline); (TTY) (804) 524-5838; (Fax) (804) 524-5978 or visit their webpage by clicking here.
Employees wishing to request information regarding reasonable accommodation, or seeking support for health challenges or conditions, should contact:
David Madison Thornton
Director, Office of EEO & Title IX Compliance
Virginia Hall, Room 314