In September 2016, then University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro appointed a special independent commission to review and address Title IX compliance across the UT System. The commission, comprised of four nationally recognized experts in Title IX compliance, conducted a detailed review of existing policies, protocols, and resources systemwide. The group reviewed documents; conducted 65 interviews and follow-up conversations with 52 administrators and staff; hosted a series of focus group discussions and listening sessions with students on campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Martin; and met multiple times without any official UT presence.
Information gathered by the commission was released in June 2017 with observations and recommendations. This report was reviewed by the president, chancellors, general counsel, and others to ensure effective implementation of selected enhancements. The report made five major recommendations:
- Creation of a system-wide Title IX coordinating presence
- Campus Title IX staffing and resource enhancements
- Policy, grievance procedure, and Student Code of Conduct updates and modifications
- Case management and care and support enhancements
- Enhanced education, prevention, and training
In response to these suggestions, UT established a central Title IX compliance coordination function in August 2017.