Title IX and Sexual Assault & Misconduct: Prevention and Response at Two Catholic Universities

Angelica Joy Ermitano Concepcion, Fordham University


Since April 2011, sexual assault and misconduct on college campuses has become one of the most pressing issues that leaders face in their efforts to maintain a safe campus community. A multiple case study approach explored how mid to senior-level campus leaders achieve Title IX compliance for the purpose of sexual assault prevention and response at two private, Catholic 4-year universities located in the northeastern United States. The study’s framework utilized institutional isomorphism and sensemaking theories. Data collection, conducted during summer and fall 2018, included interviews, document analysis, and field observations. Interview participants offered their reflections and understanding of Title IX and its guidance documents, particularly Dear Colleague Letters from April 2011 and September 2017, and how university mission and values inform prevention and response. A constant comparative method of data analysis was used (Merriam, 1998). This method features three levels of coding: open, to group similar concepts to create categories; axial, to determine conceptual linkages among open code categories; and selective, to discover a core category that unifies previous categories (Corbin & Strauss, 1990). Study findings include the following: importance of senior-level leaders, particularly at the Dean or Vice President levels, in convening regular and as-needed policy reviews by committee; financial constraints on training and staffing; use of online and in-person training sessions for incoming students on sexual assault prevention; and prevention and response conceptualized as a collaborative effort among campus leaders and external partners, such as local law enforcement and local domestic and sexual violence crisis centers.

Subject Area

Higher Education Administration|Educational leadership|Educational administration

Recommended Citation

Concepcion, Angelica Joy Ermitano, "Title IX and Sexual Assault & Misconduct: Prevention and Response at Two Catholic Universities" (2019). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI13885781.