This is A Great Conference for Title IX Coordinators!

Higher Education Risk Management
Certification Institute (HERM-CI)

HERM-CI button 2

August 11 & 12, 2016 in Philadelphia, PA
Hosted by Temple University

Register by card | Register by cheque | Download W9

Early bird registration deadline is Friday, July 1, 2016.
Registration deadline is Friday, August 5, 2016.*

Questions? Contact The NCHERM Group at (610) 993-0229



The Higher Education Risk Management Certification Institute (HERM-CI) is an intensive two-day immersion in The NCHERM Way.  We’ll teach you how to do what we do, and how to bring our proven techniques of holistic risk management home to your campus. The NCHERM Group plans to host two regional HERM-CI events each year, in which you will receive certification in the effective risk management practices that have made us the leader in the field. With issue after issue, The NCHERM Group has had risk management structures in place well before those issues were top-of-mind for higher education. Our farsightedness isn’t luck, and we’ve designed this two-day certification curriculum specifically to prepare you for the legal environment of today, but more importantly, for the challenges of tomorrow.

Our expert faculty is comprised of the top names in the field, and our curriculum is deeper than other law and policy conferences because of our intensive institute format. HERM-CI is more than just professional development — it is designed to build professional expertise around critical competencies. Your HERM-CI certification, like other certifications we offer, is a valuable credential that is sought by employers and respected in the courtroom. The NCHERM Group and its associations have certified more than 8,000 higher education professionals in the last five years.

Attending a HERM-CI is an investment that pays tangible dividends by helping to keep your campus out of the headlines, off the OCR docket, out of the courtroom and on the good sides of your President and Board of Trustees. Our goal is to keep you focused on bringing excellence to your professional role without the time-consuming and costly distractions experienced by those who don’t prioritize risk management in their daily administrative practice. The onslaught of litigation we’ve experienced over the last couple of years in higher education isn’t an inevitability. We don’t accept that it’s the new normal. We can turn it around. We can show you how.


This course is designed for the following:

  • Risk Management personnel
  • Prevention specialists
  • Title IX Coordinators
  • Investigators
  • Human Resources Chief Officer and personnel
  • Student Conduct personnel
  • Student Affairs administrators
  • General Counsel and outside attorneys


Once the course is completed, you will receive your certification from The NCHERM Group. Certificates for this training event will be provided to you electronically via our Continuing Certification Credit (CCC) program system. A member of our team will be in contact with you via email with instructions on accepting your certification credits in the 7-10 business days following the completion of this course.

Please note that CCCs are unique to the growing field of school and college risk management and are issued by The NCHERM Group, LLC. This program is not accredited by any third-party agency. CCCs are a profession-specific approach to quantifying training and professional development in the higher education risk management field.  Accordingly, CCCs are not directly transferrable to CEUs or CLEs, though we will provide documentation in support of retroactive use of CCCs for such credit, on request.


Thursday, August 11

Session 1
9:00am to 1:00pm — Case law review

2015-2016 has been one of the most litigious time periods in the history of higher education, with lawsuits spanning every topic from due process to free speech to tenure, negligence and sexual misconduct. This four-hour session digests the most significant cases for attendees, to identify trends and help us to understand the trajectory of future potential litigation so that we can make our best efforts at keeping our campuses out of the headlines and the courtrooms.

Session 2A
2:00pm to 4:00pm — Two-hour optional breakout on case law review

6-8 cases reviewed in the morning will be highlighted in this breakout, not for their facts, but for in-depth discussion of their take-aways, and what practices attendees can implement or avoid, to incorporate the message of the courts into their campus risk management programs.

Session 2B
2:00pm to 4:00pm — Managing Investigations

While much time and attention is paid on college campuses to performing investigations, very few trainings hit the nuts and bolts of investigation management, and the best practices that those managing investigations need to bring to this task. The presenters in this session have managed complex investigations involving sexual misconduct, hazing and discrimination. Their practical advice, including do’s and don’ts, will make the take-aways for this topic incredibly valuable to participants, including:

  • Strategizing the game plan
  • Timeline compliance
  • Involving general counsel
  • Managing the communication protocol
  • Avoiding micromanagement
  • Complex case techniques

Session 3A
4:15pm to 5:30pm — The Anatomy of a Title IX Lawsuit

Who is suing whom, for what, and what kind of success are they having? Title IX is an ever-broadening cause of action, with courts entertaining suits by victims and accused students. More than 110 new cases have been filed by accused students alone, and now victims are starting to allege erroneous outcome as well. How will this impact on courts’ historical disinclination to relitigate the underlying facts of a case? How can naming the victim in a defamation claim get the underlying claim relitigated in front of the jury? We’ll explore the “before” and “after”theories of deliberate indifference as well as the increasing use of selective enforcement and erroneous outcome causes of action. What does it take to survive a motion to dismiss in federal court, and how can campuses better defend themselves against such actions? How is the increased involvement of attorneys in the campus resolution impacting later litigation, and what is all this talk of campuses cutting deals with accused students as an end-run around Title IX? These questions and more will be addressed in this session.

Session 3B
4:15 to 5:30pm — Roundtables facilitated by faculty

  • Negligence
  • First Amendment
  • Intersection: Title IX & FERPA
  • Hazing
  • Investigations

Friday, August 12

Session 4A
9am to noon — Hot Topics in Title IX

This session, offered by the nation’s foremost Title IX experts, will address a series of top issues within Title IX that administrators need to have on their radar screens, including new information from OCR.

  • Mandated Reporters and Confidential Resources
  • The Title VI, Section 504 and VAWA Coordinator role
  • The courts and the investigator model
  • Notification of outcomes
  • The ways that advisors are re-shaping how campuses process Title IX allegations
  • How to survive high profile cases
  • Implementing climate survey data — the three-year action plan
  • Ethics issues for Title IX administrators
  • Conflict-of-interest issues for Title IX administrators
  • What will OCR look like after 2017?

Session 4B
9:00am to noon — Due Process and Student Conduct

This session takes a deep dive into student conduct practices from the risk management perspective. How do we craft and implement student discipline while minimizing the risk of collateral attack on our decisions in the courts?  The expert presenters will frame key questions as well as engage discussion with the audience on topics such as:

  • Should sexual misconduct reside within student conduct or external to it?
  • Training regimens and proof of training in litigation;
  • How should we be looking at interim suspension in sexual misconduct and organization misconduct cases? What are the acceptable bases for interim actions today?
  • Avoiding the Temporary Restraining Order;
  • How to manage the appeals runaway train;
  • Hearing, an option or a right?
  • How do we incorporate investigation functions into student conduct cases that don’t involve sexual misconduct?
  • How can we use the code to decrease the bystander effect?
  • Vague words in the code — what is litigated and how can we better protect and defend?
  • Defensible sanctioning practice;
  • The mission-centered code as risk management;
  • Flexible practice and multi-model resolution frameworks.

Session 5A
1:00pm to 3:00pm — Hazing and Organizations Risk Management

The expert presenters will facilitate case-study and scenario-based discussion of the challenges and effective practices for prevention and response to hazing and other forms of organizational misconduct.  The session will use cases currently in the news to spark conversation and reflection on how they might be handled differently and with more effective risk management.

Session 5B
1:00pm to 3:00pm — Legislative Horizons

New law is always just behind us, in the hopper, or in the not-too-distant future. Join the foremost policy expert in higher education, to learn where legislation has taken us, and where it will take us in the future. This session will review recent legislation as well as new legislation on the horizon for which you can begin preparing today. What’s new from OCR? What kind of omnibus campus safety provisions should we be preparing for? Are FERPA amendments coming down the pike? What about legislation mandating behavioral intervention teams? What do we make of the state-by-state laws impacting due process, and will Congress take up a federal version of some kind? These questions and yours will be addressed by Dr. John Wesley Lowery.

Session 5C
1:00pm to 3:00pm — Protests and Student Activism

The last of the Millennials to make their way through college are social justice activists. They want to leave their mark, and aren’t bashful about making demands, occupying buildings and harnessing social media to effect social change. Bringing down a dean or a president is symbolic, and they are as interested in symbolic change as in actual change. The issues important to them are inclusion, diversity, race, sexual violence, sexual harassment, climate, inequality, historical reckoning, and more. Administrators can’t be tone deaf today, or you’ll soon have their treadmarks on your back. This session will examine topics including student lists of demands, the faculty/staff role in encouraging student protests, and protest management itself. Special attention will be paid to managing the media cycle and ways to invite conversation about organizational change that can either provoke a crisis or defuse the potential for traumatic confrontation.

Session 6
3:30pm to 5:00pm — Closing Q&A Panel with All Faculty

This wrap-up session will start with five minute summary statements from each faculty member, discussing the key take-aways that participants should bring back to their campuses. Then, the certification institute will close with Q&A with participants and discussion by the faculty panel of future horizons and areas to watch in 2017.


Register here

Early Bird Registration (Register by July 1, 2016)

  • $999 for an individual attendee
  • $799 each for a group of three or more

Regular Registration (After July 1, 2016)

  • $1,250 for an individual attendee
  • $999 each for a group of three or more

All registrations include access to electronic training materials and presentation slides.

Attendee contact information is not required at time of registration; TNG will reach out 7-10 days prior to the training to collect each attendee’s name, professional title, institutional affiliation, email address, and phone number. Access to materials is delivered via email to each attendee 5 days prior to the training.


This training qualifies as a certifying event within The NCHERM Group’s Continuing Certification Credit (CCC) Program.


Brett A. Sokolow, J.D., President and CEO, The NCHERM Group, LLC
W. Scott Lewis, J.D., Partner, The NCHERM Group, LLC
Saundra K. Schuster, J.D., Partner, The NCHERM Group, LLC
Daniel C. Swinton, J.D., Ed.D., Managing Partner, The NCHERM Group, LLC
Gentry McCreary, Ph.D., Affiliated Consultant, The NCHERM Group, LLC
John W. Lowery, Ph.D., Affiliated Consultant, The NCHERM Group, LLC; Professor, Indiana University of Pennsylvania



Training is from 9:00AM to 5:30PM on Thursday, August 11. Registration will begin at 8:30AM. Training is 9:00AM to 5:00PM on Friday, August 12. One hour will be provided for lunch. Two short breaks will be taken throughout the day.


Temple University
Howard Gittis Student Center, Registration is outside room 200
#50B on campus map
1755 N. 13th Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Complimentary parking will be provided. Detailed parking information will be sent to training attendees 5 days before training.



Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
8000 Essington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19153
Approximately 12 miles from campus
Getting to and from PHL


30th Street Station
2955 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Approximately 3 miles from campus
Take a taxi or use SEPTA Public Transportation.

To go to the training location from 30th Street:

  • Take the regional rail to the Temple stop.
  • OR take the Market/Frankford subway line Eastbound to 15th Street and then transfer to the Broad Street subway line Northbound. Get off at the Temple stop, Cecil B. Moore Avenue. 

Breakfast, Lunch & Snack Breaks

Temple University will provide a light continental breakfast and afternoon snack break each day. Lunch each day will be on your own. A list of on-campus and nearby eateries will be provided at check-in.


Attire is business casual with an emphasis on casual.  Room temperatures may vary; layers are encouraged.

Technical Assistance

Internet access will be available upon arrival to campus. If you wish to use a laptop to take notes, please have your computer fully charged and consider bringing a back-up battery, as there are not enough outlets in the room for individual use. Staff on-site will not be available to provide any electrical cords or technological assistance.


Doubletree Hotel 
Broad Street at Locust, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Club Quarters 
1628 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Holiday Inn Express (Midtown) 
1305 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Hilton Garden Inn 
1100 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107


Click here to learn about events and activities happening in Philly!


Please provide The NCHERM Group  with advance notice of any accommodation request, including parking, interpretation services, gender neutral bathrooms, lactation room, etc. Specify in you correspondence the location of the training you are attending.


The NCHERM Group’s policies provide guidance on cancellations, substitutions, credits, and more.

*Although a registration deadline is outlined above, it is possible that the training may reach capacity before that date. If this happens, registration will close earlier than scheduled. Please have registration confirmed before making travel and lodging accommodations.

Need an App for That?

These days,  young people, (and even a few of use older ones) use Apps for everything! And why is that? Apps can be kwirky, cool,  or crazy! But the reason I use them is that they are incredibly convenient. The Association of Title IX administrators (ATIXA) have developed an app that can be used as a Title IX compliance tool. I can’t say that I have personal experience with this app, (how well it works, or engages students) but given all of the extensive training requirements of Title IX compliance, I’d say, it seems this might be a great solution to a problem that is always going to a moving target. Click on the links below to get more information.


U of Nine is an app-based solution to help colleges and universities educate students and employees about sexual violence, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence and stalking. A cost-effective way to offer awareness and education content for audiences that can be hard-to-reach.

U of Nine modules are quiz-based, and have been created by ATIXA, the Association of Title IX Administrators, in collaboration with leading education quiz-based training app company, Trivie.

Experience U of Nine for yourself! Free 14-day trials available online

To learn more, click here.
To read the official press release, click here.

The Chronicle of Higher Education


‘Fundamental Failure’ on Sexual Assaults Brings Sweeping Change at Baylor

MAY 27, 2016

Rod Aydelotte, Waco Tribune Herald, AP Images
Kenneth W. Starr will no longer serve as Baylor’s president, though he will stay on as chancellor and remain a professor of law. His demotion was part of a series of personnel and policy changes announced by the regents on Thursday in response to an outside firm’s scathing examination of the university’s handling of sexual-violence reports.

Baylor University’s Board of Regents on Thursday announced sweeping changes in how the Texas institution and its athletic program will be run, including the removal of Kenneth W. Starr as president and the firing of the head football coach, Art Briles.The overhaul is the result of damning findings that acknowledged the Baptist university’s failures to respond properly to numerous reports of sexual assault over three academic years on the Waco campus, especially those involving its powerhouse football team. The board’ssummary of findings by investigators from the law firm Pepper Hamilton LLC concluded that the university’s processes for dealing with such complaints were “wholly inadequate” and that high-level administrators and athletics-staff members had “directly discouraged” students from reporting assaults and, in one case, retaliated against a student who reported an incident.

“We were horrified by the extent of these acts of sexual violence on our campus,” Richard Willis, chair of the board, said in a written statement. “This investigation revealed the university’s mishandling of reports in what should have been a supportive, responsive, and caring environment for students.”

In addition to the personnel changes, the regents enacted a number of new practices and policies meant not only to better respond to reports of sexual violence, but also to maintain more oversight of the athletics department.

“Things like this should have already been in place.”

But the upheaval presents serious challenges for the institution and its leadership.”Any changes by Baylor optically look good, but the devil is in the details,” said B. David Ridpath, an associate professor of sports administration at Ohio University. “Things like this should have already been in place.”

The Fallout

It’s rare for a college’s president to be dismissed for the institution’s failures under the federal gender-equity law known as Title IX. Mr. Starr’s demotion was all the more surprising because he has been credited with significantly raising Baylor’s profile since taking office, in 2010, and he is held in high regard by many faculty members and alumni. His reputation has also been bolstered by his experience as a former federal judge, solicitor general of the United States, and the independent counsel who led a lengthy investigation of President Bill Clinton.

But the pressure on Baylor had been building for months, and Mr. Starr’s demotion was foreshadowed by several news reports this week suggesting that he had been fired.

Under the terms of a proposed agreement, Mr. Starr will retain his title as chancellor of the university — a role that regents described as focused on fund raising. He is also expected to remain a tenured member of the law-school faculty and earn the full base salary that he is currently paid. Baylor’s 2014 report to the IRS lists that amount as $611,654.

Tony Gutierrez, AP Images
Baylor’s head football coach, Art Briles, was suspended “with intent to terminate.” Other athletics officials also face sanctions or termination, and the regents also adopted several new practices and policies meant not only to better respond to reports of sexual violence, but also to maintain more oversight of the athletics department.

Ian McCaw, the university’s athletics director, has been put on probation and is being sanctioned, though the regents declined to provide further details of that action when they spoke with reporters during a conference call on Thursday.Mr. Briles, the football coach, has been “suspended indefinitely with intent to terminate according to contractual procedures,” according to a news release on Baylor’s website, and “additional members of the administration and athletics department have also been dismissed.” The university is not identifying those people or positions publicly.

Taking over as interim president will be David E. Garland, a former dean of the university’s theological seminary. Mr. Garland also served as interim president of Baylor for two years before Mr. Starr’s hiring. He did not respond to a request for comment.

The challenge for the new leader will be to “refocus the institution on its core purposes and values,” said William E. (Brit) Kirwan, a former chancellor of the University System of Maryland. And that will have to include placing athletics in a proper context within the university, said Mr. Kirwan, who is now a co-chairman of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.

“Athletics will have to take a back seat and play a more appropriate role in the life of the institution,” he said.

While the university’s football team has risen from being a woeful underdog to a force in the Big 12 Conference and a fixture among the nation’s top teams, a series of sexual-assault cases cast a cloud over the team and its head coach.

The investigation by Pepper Hamilton found: “In certain instances, including reports of a sexual assault by multiple football players, athletics and football personnel affirmatively chose not to report sexual violence and dating violence to an appropriate administrator outside of athletics.”Some measures enacted by the regents are aimed at putting the athletics department on a shorter leash. The business operations of the athletics department will now be overseen by the university’s chief operating officer, and the university will seek to ensure that athletes are not given any preferential treatment in student-conduct proceedings.

Putting the athletics department under the control of the university’s main administrators may be helpful, Mr. Ridpath said, or it may turn out to be a “paper drill.”

A lot will depend on how much leverage alumni and donors to the athletics program exert on the new president, he said. “So many, including presidents, are not willing to take on that fight, and situations like this are allowed to happen and fester,” Mr. Ridpath said.

High Stakes for Colleges

In all, however, the measures mark what some legal and higher-education experts described as an exceptional response to one of higher education’s most vexing issues.

In particular, it’s unusual for a university to publicly release findings regarding sexual assault that make it clear the institution violated federal law — particularly when the institution, like Baylor, was not under federal investigation. After all, the ultimate penalty for violating Title IX is the loss of all federal funds.

But Baylor’s actions represent an attempt to keep nothing hidden. In a 13-page document called “Findings of Fact,” the Board of Regents said the Pepper Hamilton investigation found that Baylor had failed in a multitude of ways, including a failure “to prioritize, recognize, implement, and resource Title IX.”

The language used in the Baylor release sounds very much like what the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights uses in its own findings when investigating universities’ compliance with Title IX. In fact, a division of Pepper Hamilton specializes in helping universities both respond to investigations by the federal government and reform their policies surrounding Title IX in order to meet federal guidelines.

But while investigations by the federal office, known as OCR, frequently take years to complete, Pepper Hamilton’s review of Baylor took just around nine months.

“This looks like a pre-emptive strike, which any good defense attorney would make. This way they get more control.”

While the university’s level of disclosure seems to put the institution at more risk, putting all of its problems on the table now could also help it minimize the impact of any later federal investigation.”This looks like a pre-emptive strike, which any good defense attorney would make,” said Djuna Perkins, a trial lawyer in Massachusetts who is hired by colleges to investigate sexual-assault cases. “This way they get more control.”

By announcing the university’s intentions to overhaul its response to sexual-assault reports — things the federal government no doubt would require following any investigation — Baylor gets to make those changes on its own terms, Ms. Perkins said.

Peter F. Lake, an expert on Title IX and a professor at the Stetson University College of Law, said universities gradually are realizing that transparency is important when it comes to how they’ve handled sexual-misconduct cases. “This is no time for wallpapering or whitewashing of any kind,” he said. “External investigators must be keenly aware of the reality that the stakes are rising, and institutions without sincere, voluntary compliance efforts are at risk.”

The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights said Baylor’s actions were a positive step. “We are grateful when any school evaluates its civil-rights compliance and takes necessary corrective steps — those are key elements in ensuring all students’ civil rights are met,” Dorie Nolt, a department spokeswoman, said in a statement on Thursday evening.

But the measures don’t preclude a federal investigation, she continued. “The department will not hesitate to investigate if necessary,” she said, “and if we receive a complaint within our jurisdiction.”

Eric Kelderman writes about money and accountability in higher education, including such areas as state policy, accreditation, and legal affairs. You can find him on Twitter @etkeld, or email him at

Robin Wilson writes about campus culture, including sexual assault and sexual harassment. Contact her at