Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972
Title IX is a federal law that prohibits any educational program or activity that receives federal financial assistance from discriminating based on sex. NIFA’s expectation is that any institution to which it extends financial assistance to administer an educational program or activity takes proactive measures to prevent sex-based discrimination and sexual harassment in all forms.
Sex-based discriminationTreating an applicant, program participant, employee, or student differently because of that person's sex. This includes providing different services or benefits, applying different rules, or otherwise limiting any person in the enjoyment of any right, privilege, or advantage or opportunity because of their sex.
Sexual HarassmentSexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that can include unwelcome sexual advances or pressure, physical acts of sexual assault, requests for sexual favors, verbal harassment such as jokes of a sexual nature or discussion of sexual topics and sharing explicit digital media. Sexual harassment also includes harassment of an individual because of their nonconformance with gender stereotypes.
ResponsibilityCompliance with Title IX is a joint responsibility. The USDA Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) investigate complaints, conduct compliance reviews, and provide technical assistance and guidance.
Title IX applies to any recipient of federal funds. Any applicant to, participant in, or employee of, a program receiving federal financial assistance from NIFA has the right to file a Title IX complaint through OASCR if they feel that they have been discriminated against or harassed based on their sex: https://www.usda.gov/oascr/how-to-file-a-program-discrimination-complaint.
For more information contact NIFA's Office of Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights.