Effective Bystander Intervention Programs

What makes an effective bystander? (And  AE’s definition of an effective bystander  is someone who is willing to put themselves on the line in an attempt to prevent sexual assault; and actually accomplishes this task, without harm to themselves or others.) It can be a seriously dangerous proposition; and people who are trained to intervene will have better chances of success. Below are the components of effective bystanding, taken from the article Bystander-Focused Prevention of Sexual Violence, a resource from  the Not Alone toolkit.

Common Components of Bystander Intervention

  • Awareness.

A key first step is to heighten awareness so individuals and groups are better able to identify instances of sexual violence.

  • Sense of Responsibility.

A sense of responsibility gives the bystander motivation to step in and take action. Bystanders are much more likely to help friends than strangers, and are more likely to help strangers if they see them as part of a group they identify with (like supporting the same sports team).

  • Perceptions of norms.

Perceptions of peer norms about helping (whether you think your friends are likely to help), and perceptions of authorities’ (like teachers’) attitudes are related to bystander attitudes. People often mistakenly think others are less supportive of doing something to address sexual violence than they actually are. Studies show links between perceptions of helping, trust, and commitment among community members; trust in campus authorities; and their willingness to take action as a bystander.

  • Weighing pros and cons.

People weigh the costs and benefits of getting involved in a risky situation. These include threats to their own safety, negative consequences for their relationships with others, and the potential to change the outcome of a risky situation or to help a victim.

  • Confidence.

People who feel more confident in their ability to help are more likely to take action.3 A consistent research finding is that prevention programs, particularly in-person educational and skill workshops, increase individuals’ sense that they can take effective action.

  • Building Skills.

People need to know what to do and how to do it. Population survey data shows that many people are at a loss for specific ways to help. Survivors tell us that friends and family do not always do things that are useful or supportive, and these negative or unhelpful responses make coping with and recovering from abuse much harder. Some of the promise of bystander intervention training is that it can give motivated community members skills to intervene in ways that protect their own safety and are truly supportive to victims.

  • Context.

Bystanders also need safety nets for themselves – resources they can call upon and community policies that support intervention.

Delivery Methods

In person, skill-building curricula. Workshops of varying lengths are the most researched prevention training for potential bystanders.

Campus Health Center Trauma Resources

Online resource site to assist with providing services to students who have experienced trauma. 

The Safe Place resource kit encompasses a broad range of material introducing and endorsing trauma-sensitive practice with an emphasis on sexual assault trauma. Designed specifically for health center staff who serve as primary care providers to students in higher education, the kit will support health center staff at all levels to:

  • Understand the likelihood that they serve student patients and even work with colleagues affected by trauma.
  • Infuse trauma-sensitive approaches into their daily routine.
  • Create a care environment that supports students affected by trauma.

Safe Place is one in a diverse collection of tools commissioned by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. These tools are designed to supplement higher education efforts to develop campus-wide plans addressing sexual assault at their institutions.

Compliance is Not That Complicated!


The Alchemy Enterprise Approach to Compliance

 When it comes to compliance, what is critical is having a workable compliance system in place. At Alchemy, we can walk you through the steps of building a workable compliance system in the easiest most painless fashion, starting with a top-down initiative that spirals through the organization organically growing into a transformative movement.

 Compliance – It’s Complicated, but It Doesn’t have to be

There are so many laws, regulations and guidances that have an impact upon how higher education is expected to deal with sexual assault and intimate violence on college campuses. There is Title IX of the Education Act of 1972, the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, (Campus SaVE Act) which is incidentally, a part of the  Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act,  which then spurred amendments to the Jeanne Clery Act. Also, let’s not forget the April 2011  “Dear Colleague” letter, which identifies a host of responsibilities, to be undertaken by a (often newly appointed) Title IX coordinator.

In this “Dear Colleague” letter, the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights highly recommends that every institution of higher education appoint at least one individual into a Title IX coordinator full-time position for the express purpose of overseeing compliance efforts in the area of sexual assault and intimate violence.

Also, on April 29, 2014, the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault released a report entitled, Not Alone. This report contains a number of recommendations and action items which, institutions of higher education are expected to implement in order to combat sexual assault and intimate violence.  The problems presented by a need to be in compliance with so many laws can be pretty complex.  Proposed solutions involving all these numerous and sometimes conflicting, laws, guidances and recommendations seem complicated.

But this cannot get too complicated because the moment that happens any attempts to actually solve the problem become ineffective. This is where Alchemy Enterprises can help. We take the complicated and we simplify it. With all this information that is coming at you, whether you be a Title IX coordinator, a Provost, a Vice President of Student Affairs, a Sorority President, a Fraternity President, A Student Activist, or a member of the PanHellenic council, or Student Government, Alchemy Enterprises can help.  We understand that you need to understand the issues and your responsibilities with regard to them and then you need to do something. And not just anything, but the right thing. And that’s where Alchemy Enterprises can help.

 Why Choose AE for Compliance?

 As with any area of compliance there are risks associated with noncompliance. With regard to Title IX sexual misconduct and intimate violence, the risks associated with noncompliance can be substantial.  For institutions that have been caught in a noncompliance mode, the consequences have been, million dollar law suit settlements, unrest and discord amongst the student body, local and even national scandal, and loss of competent administrators who are forced to resign because of inappropriate actions and behaviors taken during what is often a very difficult time for all parties involved.

Navigating through allegations involving sexual misconduct and to a lesser degree, intimate violence is wrought with so many difficulties. It’s like walking through a figurative minefield. This is why setting up compliance systems that run smoothly, before such allegations are received are critical to moving through that process effectively. These are the products that Alchemy Enterprises offers – compliance and prevention products and services that create the map that navigates through the minefield.

Every institution should have certain compliance systems in place, but how well do they really work? Institutions often learn through trial and error what is working and what’s not. Even worse, organizations are forced to learn though embarrassing media coverage that explodes the issue into the national spotlight in ways that are unproductive and very harmful for the organization; and yet, most times this is what is required before an organization is truly willing to address failures in compliance. Don’t wait until then. Get ahead of the curve. Alchemy Enterprises offers a relatively painless and easy framework to begin analyzing your institutions Title IX compliance policies effectiveness in the area of sexual misconduct and intimate violence.

There are quite a few consulting groups that offer services to higher education. What makes AE different from the rest?  There are three things that immediately distinguish AE from all the rest:

  1. We are highly specialized


  1. We are systematic and innovative.


  1. We are high quality and value-driven


AE’s Mission

It is AE’s mission to transform the systems used in higher education to bring about Title IX compliance, by partnering with our clients to provide high quality compliance systems, in a way that is consistent with our values which are: partnership, innovation, transformation, integrity, creativity and respect for the Individual the Institution, the World.

The Benefits of Specialization

We know how to do the right thing. How do we know?  Because we are specialized in this area, which means we think about how to accomplish the right thing, all the time, considering the latest and greatest best practices that are occurring in this area. Many higher Ed consulting groups are specialized in higher ed risk management, but are not specialized in sexual assault and intimate violence. The requirements to address the sexual assault and intimate violence on campus are fairly new- so it’s safe to say that no higher ed consultants are going to be all that specialized in these areas of compliance. But at Alchemy, we are. At Alchemy many of our associates have worked in disciplines that have provided them with direct experience with sexual harassment, sexual assault and intimate violence.

Most higher education administrators are responsible for ensuring that a number of areas that interact and intersect are running smoothly. Do they have time to stay abreast of every single new case, new ruling, and new big media story on campus sexual assault or intimate violence? Do they have the time to keep abreast of all of the latest and greatest practices regarding diversity and inclusion in the realm of higher ed.? Not likely.  Administrators have to spend most of their time attending to the business of running the school.

But even if they did have time to spare to devote to these issues, much of the compliance material in these areas is obtuse and unnecessarily legalistic.  Who wants to spend their time reading between all of these convoluted lines? No one really, but at Alchemy Enterprises we’ve done it for you.  It was our job to do it so we did. We are specialized and current in these areas of federal law, guidance and recommendations, so that your administrators don’t have to be. We also work very hard to stay abreast of the latest trends in these areas. We take in all of the information, thoroughly review it, research it and evaluate it, to bring the most important information directly to you, in an easy to understand concise format.

Innovative Systems

We have also developed systems that work; and let’s be clear- compliance will not work effectively without some kind of system in place. At AE we have developed our own systems approach that is designed to work directly with your current systems.  Our compliance and training systems focus on three areas- all are absolutely critical to compliance-

  1. Policy
  2. Procedure and
  3. Training

Our training systems are innovative in that they are creative, interactive, engaging and hopefully fun! We want all of our clients to feel as though their experience with AE was time well-spent. Therefore, our training sessions do not utilize a lecture format which participants usually forget very shortly after the training session is over.  Instead, our training sessions are interactive based upon what participants want and need to know. At AE, our training is designed to engage our clients in a transformative process that has a ripple effect throughout the entire organization.  A top to bottom roll-out method works best with compliance training. AE will work with your institution to get such a system in place and working effectively and efficiently.

High Quality Value

Our training systems are of a very high quality, which is to say they require a significant investment of time from AE associates as well as our clients.  A high quality compliance system with integrity can only occur when a pretty secure partnership exists between AE and its clients and stakeholders. However, such high quality systems provide tremendous value. Knowing how to effectively manage a situation that could potentially lead to numerous lawsuits and national scandal before such a situation gets out of hand is incredibly valuable. And having a system in place that allows an organization to do the right thing, quickly and efficiently – that is priceless.

While such a system does not come cheap- it definitely is worth what it costs and usually twice that, even three times that and more. Compliance problems are incredibly costly – not just in terms of money, but time. Compliance problems within any system eat up a tremendous amount of time.  Any organization that has had compliance problems in the past, should quickly invest in a compliance system, in order to prevent future compliance problems.

The High Cost of Noncompliance (Don’t Start Here)

 When it comes to compliance, it can be difficult to know where to start, or how to move beyond the initial phase of policy development. Here is where you don’t want to start, with scandal or tragedy. Sadly, that’s usually when most organizations decide to make compliance a priority.

Many schools learn how well its compliance systems work (or don’t work) the hard way.  With regard to sexual assault investigations, Columbia, Harvard, Baylor, Stanford, and the University of Virginia, have had their compliance systems attacked through embarrassing national media attention, which of course causes significant disruption within the institutions themselves and forces almost immediate revision of compliance systems that are deemed ineffective, primarily due to emerging negative public opinion. And this public opinion can be quite scathing.

In a controversial film and companion book, entitled, The Hunting Ground – The Inside Story of Sexual Assault on American College Campuses, campus sexual assault has been described as an epidemic. The underlying premise of the film The Hunting Ground is that many large and well-funded universities are purposefully permitting sexual assault to occur on their campuses, without taking any appropriate or remedial action. It is a controversial position, which many colleges have denied and are challenging, but where any given institution stands with regard to this particular position is largely irrelevant at this point, because the idea has become increasingly pervasive and has spurred a tremendous amount of student activism around this position. This has resulted in many colleges and universities being accused of severe wrong doing, such as violating the rights of victims and protecting perpetrators of sexual assault.  No university wants to be all over the media enmeshed in accusations of turning a blind eye toward rampant sexual assault, or even worse facilitating and encouraging it. What is the best way to deal with these potentially damaging allegations? Be proactive. Understand the issues and develop effective systems to deal with them.

A Policy Review is the Place to Start

Compliance, which, if done correctly, typically involves adopting a set of policies and an accompanying set of procedures, as well as sufficient training of all relevant stakeholders on the new policies and procedures. In order to be most effective, this needs to occur periodically.

Universities must not only adopt policies and procedures that address sexual assault and intimate violence on campus- they must also ensure that what is implemented is effective.  The starting point for compliance involves adopting a set of policies and an accompanying set of procedures, and training all relevant stakeholders on the new policies and procedures, periodically.  AE offers a framework by which a college or university can begin to analyze the efficacy of its own Title IX Sexual Misconduct and Intimate Violence policies and procedures, beginning with an objective review of its current policy. This policy review is absolutely critical as it is necessary to develop institutional comprehension regarding what is working with the policy, what is not and identifying areas where there is room for improvement.

At a minimum, an AE policy review involves AE staff thoroughly reviewing an institution’s current policy, providing a written evaluation of it and discussing the policy review with the university’s Title IX coordinator.

Ideally, this conversation would also include follow – up discussions with at least at least two other executive level administrators, such as the President or Chancellor, The Title IX coordinator, and the Vice President of Student Affairs. With regard to effective implementation- in all actuality- several high level administrators need to be involved at some point. But, AE can certainly begin these preliminary discussions on the policy, with those who have the power and influence to impact the dissemination of the policy through appropriate channels. –

Executive Briefing Is the Next Step

Ideally, everyone who holds any power inside of an institution needs to be briefed on the institutions Title IX Compliance efforts. This effort begins with the President or the Chancellor announcing, in some way shape of form, that compliance efforts are being undertaken, that the compliance efforts are important to the well-being of the institution, and requesting that all of his or her direct reports be knowledgeable about the basic tenets of the compliance efforts which is the policy and procedure.

Everyone reporting to the President or Chancellor needs to understand that the policy is important- that it needs to be read, reviewed, understood and ultimately ingrained into the fabric of the organization. It cannot be overestimated how critical this component is to all institutional compliance efforts. Without this critical next step, a great deal of any subsequent compliance efforts taken on behalf of the university will fail. They will be sabotaged by individuals who misunderstand the compliance efforts or fundamentally take issue with the compliance efforts because of their own values.

Even with the imprimatur of the President or Chancellor of the University, compliance efforts can still be sabotaged. This, however, is much less likely to occur with a sound policy and very detailed procedures in place. This is why a policy review is the best place for an institution to begin its compliance efforts. There is a method to compliance; and not following that methodology is a lot like building a house on shifting sands. Many gains are lost when a steady foundation is not established in the beginning.

A Roll Out of the W Series- A Problem Solving Approach – Keeps the Momentum Going

However, once a steady foundation has been established via the policy review and the executive briefing, the Institution is ready to keep that momentum going by rolling-out training systems that will organically grow a transformation movement that will bring the institution into a compliance mode- and effectively deal with the kinds of growing pains that cultural transformations inevitably cause.

Institutions of Higher Learning are incredibly complex organizations that have many different audiences needing to be informed and aware of the laws, guidances and recommendations regarding sexual assault and intimate violence for many different reasons.

Alchemy Enterprises has developed training products that are easy to understand and highly customizable, and yet, up to the task of delivering extremely complicated content in this arena that is- sexual misconduct and intimate violence.


The W- Series

Our W series training products accomplish this in a highly accessible, easy to understand and implement formula that can be rolled out organization – wide and to several different types of audiences and participants.

Through its W training series, Alchemy Enterprise has developed a framework that works with all topics and all different groups due to its conceptual simplicity- which is – problem solving. For most of the training series participants are asked to define what the current problem is and agree upon the best ways in which to approach solutions.

This works because the W series does not confront or accuse the current organizational culture, but rather invites it into a line of inquiry and a discussion, which will allow the current culture to collectively establish the new norms and appropriate dialogue and action. That has to be created in order to meet new compliance requirements. The W series does this using a problem solving methodology, framed around a series of questions.

No matter what the topic is: Intimate Violence, Sexual Assault, Affirmative Consent, Safe- Spaces, Administrative Investigations, the Implementation of Policy and Procedure, and any other topic that you may want to tackle,  Alchemy Enterprises, approaches the topic, through a series of What, Why, When, Who questions such as:

What is it?

What is the solution to the Problem?

What is your particular interest or what specific role do you play in solving the problem?

What can you do to solve this problem?

Who else can be of assistance in solving the problem?

What kind of resistance will you encounter with regard to your ability to solve the problem, and from whom?

What resources will you need in order to solve this problem?

When and where can you take action, to solve this problem?


Engagement and Buy In

The W- series training sessions are task-oriented, which is to say, it immediately engages participants in problem-solving exercises which educate and empower participants to learn how to take appropriate actions when faced with difficult or controversial decisions.

No matter who is participating in these training sessions on whatever topic is at issue, the goal is for participants to be engaged and to have some stake in the outcome for the training session.

It’s Not Check off The Box, Off-the-Shelf That We’re Offering

Oh this law was passed, so we’ll hire some consultants, do their training- and check off the box. That will do it. Walah! Instant compliance.

This is often the solution organizations are seeking. And it makes sense, because it’s easy. It’s very easy to hire a firm to roll-out their off the shelf- training, much of it online, (which is even easier). All that needs to be done is purchase the product, have participants sign up for it, force them through it and then be done with it. The mission has been accomplished. The box has been checked. And all this cost is a relatively little bit of time and a relatively little bit of money, considering how much time and money is spent on more high-quality, specifically customized in-person training. Is this kind of training effective? Does that work? In some cases, for certain types of institutional compliance – yes.  These kinds of training systems work with straightforward compliance concepts such as the best practices for utilizing IT systems, or the best work space safety practices.

But when the compliance concept impacts, not only the institution’s organizational culture (as well as the larger social culture around certain behaviors and deeply held beliefs, that tie into religion, morality, gender, race, class, money, power, justice, criminal justice,  developing a compliance system that is effective  is not an easy task, nor is it one that can be accomplished quickly. Any firm that claims that one particular type of training session will solve all problems the multitude of problems that Title IX compliance presents is being disingenuous.  In order for any real transformation to occur, people must be engaged in the transformation process and believe in its efficacy.

This is what is so unique about the W series.  It is not simply a training system that is pushed onto to them, that they have to suffer through as a result of some mandate that they may or may not agree with. The W series engages participants from the very start and provides them with a stake in the outcome of the training. It’s not training that happens to them – it is training that they collectively create.  Through lines of inquiry, each training group can collectively and organically establish an action plan for bringing about the kind of transformational organizational change that will be required to consistently and effectively deal with the challenges posed in preventing campus sexual assault and intimate violence, using the resources that the group has identified as being at their disposal.

It is very important that any training in this area realistically identify the resources that are at the college and university’s disposal to go forward with working out solutions via this problem-solving methodology. Training in these sorts of areas should never be viewed as a “well we did that, let’s check off this box on someone’s action plan somewhere and move on” endeavor.  All too often, organizational training is viewed in that way. But that approach heavily undervalues the greatest benefits and gains to be derived from training.

Rather than a check-off- the-task- approach, training should be viewed as providing participants with tools and a framework that can be used over and over again to allow for significant organizational cultural shifts and changes that occur gradually. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Title IX compliance in the area of sexual assault and intimate violence is definitely like eating an elephant. Changes need to occur, and they will one way or another. But they will not happen overnight. What is most important for most colleges and universities is having a framework in place by which change can occur most organically, productively and progressively.

Our training modules are so simple, anyone with the appropriate facilitation skills can implement them. While we do not recommend this initially, it is certainly a possibility once the framework has been properly established, within your organization.

 When Things Go Wrong – The Risk of Non-Compliance

 On July 6, 2016, the University of Tennessee announced a $2.48 million dollar settlement of a lawsuit against it, with regard to the manner in which it had handles sexual misconduct on its campus. As a part of the settlement, the school agreed to increase training for all employees on addressing sexual violence, make changes to the manner in which its student disciplinary board is organized and nationally recognized hire consultants to improve their school policies.

In exchange for this, the plaintiffs – all of the women remained anonymous – agreed to drop any additional legal claims against the school and refrain from making any statements that will reflective negatively on the school. However, a settlement of this nature that is being dissected critically via national news media outlets already reflects negatively on the school.

When things are going wrong, in this arena, (and in this arena, they can go wrong to the tune of two and a half million dollars), it is important to call in the experts to manage the situation as expeditiously as possible.

These experts should be able to utilize crisis management techniques that have been time tested and proven to work. The Alchemy Enterprises F.L.I.P.P. investigative model is one such technique, and for that reason, every Title IX Coordinator should review this model and evaluate how well its organization’s investigations into sexual assault and intimate violence follow this model.

Our specialization into this particular area is what distinguishes us from the rest. Make no mistake, the sexual assault and intimate violence arenas are rife with conflict, confusion and controversy – in order to effectively solve problems in this area, an organization will need to hire outside, specialized help with a proven track record of handling investigations in this area specifically.  And then in moving forward, past the crisis, there is still a need for the specialized serviced to assure that the organization can transform and grow beyond the crisis.

Transformation and Growth – Ensuring that Things Go Right

Beyond the investigation, or the mishandled allegations, or whatever the issue is that needed to be properly managed, but was not, beyond the problems, obstacles, conflict and confusion there is a way.

Every college and university can begin its Title IX compliance efforts by systematically investing in resources and tools designed to ensure that things go right. This is how Alchemy Enterprises can assist schools in discovering the correct formula for moving forward in this area of sexual misconduct and intimate violence. We provide a comprehensive framework, from policy review to flexible, problem-solving based training systems; to refined investigation systems. These are all invaluable tools for any institution to utilize. That is what the Alchemy Enterprises brand offers, training products that work, investigative procedures that work and most importantly solutions to problems that work!

A Complimentary Consultation

To kick off its fall 2016 launch, Alchemy Enterprises is offering complimentary consultations to University Presidents, Chancellors and Title IX and Student Affairs coordinators. Please contact us at:





Alchemy Enterprises

Transforming Education through Innovation

Compliance Made Easy

Biden and Obama rewrite the rulebook on college sexual assaults

July 3 at 6:37 PM
See the full text on Huffington Post

Last month, Vice President Biden penned a searing letter to the victim in a notorious Stanford University rape case. “I am filled with furious anger,” he wrote, “both that this happened to you and that our culture is still so broken.”

Biden’s letter encapsulated the national outrage that erupted when the woman’s attacker was sentenced to just six months in county jail. It was also a sharp reminder that one of the Obama administration’s most ardent policy initiatives has been a concerted campaign to end the scourge of sexual assault on college campuses.

According to White House officials, top members of the administration — including the president, the vice president, their wives and members of the Cabinet — will not visit institutions whose leaders they consider insufficiently serious about pursuing sexual-assault allegations and punishing perpetrators. Biden said in an interview that he would like the federal government to “take away their money” if a college or university fails to change its ways.

As the administration nears its end, the urgency of some proposals has dissipated, but the focus on campus sexual misconduct has intensified: “Now’s the time to put the pedal to the metal,” Biden said.

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 atwww.uofnine.com

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