Page Header

Title IX Compliance

"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..." 20 U.S.C. § 1681

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. § 1681) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on the gender of students and employees of educational institutions which receive federal financial assistance. 

The Title IX Coordinator at Virginia Union University is Deborah Jones. The Compliance Specialist is Brooke Harrell Berry, JD. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics is Felicia Johnson.

If you are a student and would like to speak with a campus professional who is obligated by law to keep your information confidential, you can go to University Counseling in the Henderson Health Center.  A second option is to speak with the University Pastor.

There are also off-campus professionals who will maintain confidentiality such as the YWCA which can be reached at their 24-hour hotline at (804) 612-6126.

Who Is Covered by Title IX?
Educational institutions that receive federal financial assistance are covered by Title IX. If only one of the institution’s programs or activities receives federal funding, all of the programs within the institution must comply with Title IX regulations. In compliance with Title IX, Virginia Union University prohibits discrimination in employment as well as in all programs and activities on the basis of sex.

University Title IX Coordinators
In accordance with Title IX regulations, the University has designated Deborah Jones, Director of Human Resources, as the University’s Title IX Coordinator. Brooke Berry is the University Compliance Specialist charged with monitoring University compliance of local and federal regulations. Questions regarding Title IX, as well as concerns and complaints of non-compliance, may be directed to The University has also designated Felicia Johnson, as Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics. She is responsible for receiving student and employee complaints of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, sexual violence or other sexual misconduct, against other University athletes.

Myths about Title IX

Myth: Title IX only applies to athletic programs.

This is perhaps the most widely held misconception about Title IX. Athletics are not the only component of academic life governed by Title IX. Other areas which fall within the scope of Title IX include:

  • Recruitment, Admissions, Financial Aid and Scholarships
  • Course Offerings and Access
  • Counseling
  • Hiring and Retention of Employees
  • Benefits and Leave

Title IX also prohibits sexual harassment, which includes sexual assault and sexual violence. Additional information regarding what behaviors may constitute sexual harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct is available at

Myth: Title IX requires that male athletic opportunities be decreased to provide opportunities for female programs. 

Title IX is designed to create parity in athletics, as well as other educational opportunities and experiences for men and women. Title IX does not require schools to cut men’s athletic programs. Each school determines how it will comply with Title IX regulations. 

Myth: Title IX applies only to discrimination against women. 

While Title IX has been used mostly by women seeking to protect their rights, Title IX also serves to protect the rights of men. Title IX requires that males and females receive fair and equal treatment in all areas of education. 

Myth: According to Title IX, all educational activities and programs must be co-ed and open to both men and women. 

Title IX specifically allows for, or has been interpreted to allow for, single-sex programs in a number of categories. Included among those are: religious schools, traditional men’s/women’s colleges, social fraternities/sororities, youth service organizations such as, The Boy/Girl Scouts of America, and beauty pageants. 

Myth: Gender bias in science, medicine, and engineering is not prohibited by Title IX. 

The under-representation of women in science, medicine, and engineering may violate Title IX. Educational institutions are required to provide women in these disciplines resources, support, and promotional opportunities comparable to their male colleagues.

Myth: Advocates for victims of Title IX who file complaints of discrimination for others are not protected from retaliation under Title IX. 

The U.S. Supreme Court has broadened the interpretation of Title IX to protect from retaliation whistle-blowers who accuse educational institutions of sex discrimination. The court is of the opinion that reporting incidents of discrimination is integral to Title IX enforcement and would be discouraged if retaliation against those who report it goes unpunished. 

Failure to Comply with Title IX
The penalty for failure to comply with Title IX in the most extreme circumstances can include the termination of all or part of an institution’s federal funding. This includes grants, subsidies, and other program funds from the federal government. In addition to the loss of federal funds, universities may be sued by those seeking redress for violations of Title IX. It is essential that institutions receiving federal financial assistances operate in a nondiscriminatory manner. To ensure the University’s compliance with the law, adherence to Title IX regulations is everyone’s responsibility.
Who Enforces Title IX?
The United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is in charge of enforcing Title IX. Information regarding OCR can be found at

Complaints Under Title IX at Virginia Union University

If you are a student who believes you have been subjected to (1) sexual misconduct by University faculty or staff; (2) sexual harassment by University faculty or staff or (2) any other form of gender discrimination under Title IX, you may report such misconduct or file a formal complaint with the Title IX Program Coordinator. Complaints can be submitted in writing to Brooke Harrell Berry. The entire complaint procedure and complaint form can be found on VUU’s website at Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures

If you are a student who believes you have been or are the victim of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, sexual violence, sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct, by another University student, you may report such conduct or file a complaint under Title IX with the Title IX Program Coordinator. Complaints of student sexual misconduct are addressed by the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Panel and are governed by the University’s “Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.” 

If you are an employee who believes you have been subjected to sexual misconduct under Title IX, including sexual harassment, or who wishes to file a complaint under Title IX, you can do so with the Title IX Program Coordinator in the Human Resources Office. The entire complaint procedure and complaint form can be found on VUU’s website at Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures

Federal and state laws prohibit the taking of retaliatory measures against any individual who files a complaint in good faith. 

Contact Information 

Brooke Harrell Berry, JD
Compliance Specialist
1500 N. Lombardy Street
C.D. King Hall, Room 103
Richmond, Virginia 23220
Phone: (804) 257-5633

Deborah Jones 
Title IX Coordinator 
1500 N. Lombardy Street 
C.D. King Building, Room 111 
Richmond, Virginia 23220 
Phone: (804) 257-5712  

Felicia Johnson 
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics 
Department of Athletics 
1500 N. Lombardy Street 
Barco-Stevens Gym 
Richmond, Virginia 23220 
Phone: (804) 354-5933  

Clery Act

The Clery Act requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses. Compliance is monitored by the United States Department of Education, which can impose civil penalties, up to $35,000, against institutions for each infraction and can suspend institutions from participating in federal student financial aid programs.

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a federal law that was enacted by Congress in 1994 and reauthorized in 2013. VAWA is aimed at ending crimes referred to as “the big four”: 

  • Sexual assault
  • Domestic violence
  • Dating violence
  • Stalking

VAWA mandates training, tracking, reporting, and programming specifically focused on each of these “big four” areas, as well as a bystander prevention program. 

Campus SaVE Act

The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, or Campus SaVE Act, is a companion to Title IX and an amendment to the Clery Act that will help improve the response to and prevention of sexual violence on campus. The Campus SaVE Act applies to all postsecondary institutions that participate in federal student financial assistance programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. 

SaVE requires colleges and universities, both public and private, participating in federal student aid programs to increase transparency about the scope of sexual violence on campus, guarantee victims enhanced rights, provide for standards in institutional conduct proceedings, and provide campus community-wide prevention educational programming. 


Clery Center 

Campus SaVE Act

Violence Against Women, US Department of Justice

Not Alone, US Government

Drug-Free Workplace and Campus

In accordance with Public Law 101-226 (Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989), VUU pursues and promotes a comprehensive program to prevent and correct the illegal use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol by staff and students . 
The use of illicit drugs and alcohol can lead to physical and psychological dependence and damage, behavioral changes, and possible death. Even low doses may significantly impair judgment and coordination. 

VUU does not tolerate illegal drugs or alcohol on campus, and the use or possession of such substances on VUU grounds is sufficient cause for termination of a staff and student’s enrollment as well as referral of the case to appropriate legal authorities. 
Staff and students are informed at orientation that the standards of conduct clearly prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs and alcohol; a clear statement of the specific sanctions to be imposed on student (consistent with local, state and Federal law); and a description of these sanctions, up to and including dismissal and referral for prosecution for violations of the standards. 

VUU 2010 – 2014 Biennial Review Report

VUU 2014 Alcohol and Drug Program

VUU 2016 Annual Security Report