2023 Sessions

May 3

8:45 – 10:15 a.m.

The New Regulations and (hopefully) Final Rule on Title IX and the OCR
W. Scott Lewis, J.D., Managing Partner
TNG Consulting, LLC

It has been challenging for institutions to keep pace with the constant swinging pendulum of the Title IX regulations. This session will explore the procedural and substantive elements of the proposed Title IX regulations against the backdrop of ATIXA’s best practices approach for institutional sex-based discrimination and harassment grievance procedures, as well as more specific requirements for non-discrimination on the basis of pregnancy or related conditions. Title IX professionals will leave this session with a solid understanding of the proposed requirements for the various phases of the Title IX Grievance Process; training and reporting; awareness and response requirements for pregnant and parenting students and employees; protections for LGBTQIA+ individuals; and the scope and applicability of Title IX.

10:30 – Noon

The Alliance Project Suicide Prevention Program
Michael Nadorff, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology

Kevin J. Armstrong, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology
Mississippi State University

Suicide risk is one of the most difficult challenges facing colleges and universities, with recent data showing that more than a quarter of university students are at clinically-significant risk for suicidal behavior. Given the magnitude of the problem, suicide prevention cannot just be a counseling center issue, but rather must be a university initiative. The Alliance Project teaches lay individuals how to identify those who may be at risk of suicide, how to connect with them, and make a referral to mental health services. It makes each and every person who attends a vital piece of the community’s mental health web and greatly enhances our ability to identify and reach out to students who are in greatest need.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Concurrent I

Managing Legal Issues From the Senior Student Affairs Officer Perspective
Moderator: Regina Hyatt-Young, Ph.D., Vice President for Student Affairs
Mississippi State University
Fran’Cee Brown-McClure, Ph.D., Vice President for Student Affairs
Jackson State University
Sirena Cantrell, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students
The University of Southern Mississippi
Tracy Cook, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management
Alcorn State University
Jessica Harpole, Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students
Mississippi University for Women
Justin Lawhead, Ed.D., Dean of Students
University of Memphis
Charlotte Pegues, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
University of Mississippi

Join this panel discussion with senior student affairs leaders as they share their insights on managing legal issues on campus. Hear how they have managed the changing legal landscape while balancing expectations and needs related to student care, student safety, and student success.

Hearings and Sanctions in Sexual Misconduct Cases
Honey Ussery, J.D., Assistant Director of EORC/Title IX Coordinator
University of Mississippi

This session will explore different hearing processes as well as sanctioning guidelines for Independent Decision Makers (IDMs). Hearing processes under the current regulations can be challenging due to limited resources. Assistant Director of EORC/Title IX Coordinator Honey Ussery will discuss ways to conduct hearings under those regulations and what changes may be coming under the proposed regulations. 

Additionally, due to the wide variety of sanctions that an IDM may impose at the end of a hearing, guidelines can provide a helpful list of mitigating, aggravating, and compounding factors that can assist IDMs in their determination of sanctions. The guidelines can also work to make sure that violations of Title IX and Sexual Misconduct policies are sanctioned appropriately by violation and remain consistent. These guidelines will also provide clear notice in an easily understandable framework to students and those involved in the process of what the sanctions may be if a student is found responsible of a violation of the Title IX or Sexual Misconduct policies.  

State Legislation and Impact to Your Code: Adapting Your Code to the Changing Landscape of Student Conduct
Carlton (Trey) Jones, J.D., Deputy General Counsel
Jonathan Sanders, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Advocacy & Accountability
Louisiana State University

States across the country are passing legislation that may impact your Code of Student Conduct. Learn how LSU reimagined its Code of Student Conduct based on Louisiana State legislation that was passed during the summer of 2022. This will include a review of Louisiana House Bill 364 and its impact on the Code of Student Conduct process. We will share with participants how we navigated major changes and implemented an improved Code for LSU students and community.

2:45 – 3:45 p.m.

Concurrent II

Town Hall Review and Q&A
W. Scott Lewis, J.D., Partner
TNG Consulting, LLC 

The new regulations and ever-changing legislation and judicial decisions create a constant challenge for practitioners as they try to keep up with best practices, new legislation, and case law. This question-and-answer forum will allow participants to ask questions about what they know and find out what they don’t know they don’t know.

Due Process and Fundamental Fairness on Campus
Alex Morey, J.D., Director of Campus Rights Advocacy
Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE)

When you're managing a student or faculty misconduct allegation, there's a lot at stake for all involved. Due process and fundamental fairness lend legitimacy to any disciplinary proceeding and are usually required by institutional policy. But what do these principles look like in practice, and why are they important? Join Alex Morey from the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) as she explains the elements of due process, discusses recent legal developments in this space, and how basic fairness and simple procedural safeguards can promote justice on your campus.

BIT Teams, Title IX, and Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Chris Dallager, Director Disability Resource Center and ACCESS
Mississippi State University

Students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) may come to the attention of BIT Teams and staff overseeing Title IX for college and university campuses. Disability staff should be ready to consult with these campus colleagues. What do we need to understand about students with ASD so each of us can effectively do our jobs? What information needs to be provided to students with ASD? Attendees will have clear directions and communication to share with students with ASD. Additionally, they will be better able to consider some of the unique concerns as they relate to working through BIT Teams and Title IX policies.

Your Student Organizations Are (possibly) Being Robbed
Charlie Winfield, J.D., Attorney at Law
The Winfield Law Firm, P.A.

As an attorney, Charlie Winfield has spent the past three years assisting with an investigation into the embezzlement of millions of dollars from a local student organization. He blends this experience with his years of service as a fraternity advisor in discussing the problem of student-organization theft, and he shares his thoughts on how college and university administrators can assist in preventing these white-collar crimes from occurring on their campuses.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Concurrent III

Complaints about Clery: Overcoming Obstacles to Ensure Clery Compliance can Lead to a Safer Campus                            
Chad Clark, Ph.D., Compliance Director
The University of Alabama

The Clery Act, a federally required piece of campus safety legislation, can be increasingly difficult to navigate for administrators and institutions. Those charged with the compliance oversight for Clery may often find themselves struggling with understanding the details of reporting requirements, necessary notification procedures, and facing potential negative publicity that repeatedly exposing their communities to incidents on and around campus could have. Today we want to acknowledge those difficulties and frustrations and explore ways to overcome them to ensure our institutions are both compliant, and also making our campus a safer place.

Pregnancy Accommodations under the Proposed Title IX Regulations
Honey Ussery, J.D., Assistant Director of EORC/Title IX Coordinator
University of Mississippi

Under the proposed Title IX Regulations, several meaningful regulatory changes are contemplated regarding the rights of pregnant and parenting students. These potential changes, combined with an uptick in pregnant and parenting students, necessitate a second look at the resources and rights guaranteed under university policies. University of Mississippi Assistant Director of EORC/Title IX Coordinator Honey Ussery will discuss pregnancy policies on university campuses and offer feedback on how programs can support pregnant and parenting students while adhering to the new regulations.

Fundamental Alteration: How to Make Academic Accommodation Decisions
Chris Dallager, Director Disability Resource Center and ACCESS
Mississippi State University

Disability office staff and college and university instructors receive requests to make significant changes in the way education is delivered. How can a determination be made that the change requested alters the essential nature of the course or the instruction? How can we work to address the requests effectively? Attendees will gain an understanding of an effective, comprehensive interactive process through a review of key OCR and court cases.

Navigating Organizational Misconduct: Changing Culture, Building Community, and Strong Partnerships
Jonathan Sanders, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Students/Director of Student Advocacy & Accountability
Louisiana State University

One of the last truly unexplored (or at least unsettled) frontiers in student affairs is exactly how campuses should structure their organizational investigation and adjudication procedures. Often universities address organization misconduct the same way in which they address individual violations of the Code and not taking into consideration the culture of an organization and various stakeholders. This presentation provides an overview of the DYAD Model Code of Student Organization Conduct and the three tiers to address misconduct with student organizations, to include strategies for implementation on a college campus.

May 4

8:45 – 10:15 a.m.

First Amendment Issue-Spotting: Know When Expressive Rights are in Play
Alex Morey, J.D., Director of Campus Rights Advocacy
Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE)

Florida's ongoing attempt to enforce its 'Stop W.O.K.E. Act' — which would ban a universe of in-class discussion about race and gender — highlights the problem of legislative interference in higher ed. Join Alex Morey from the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) for an overview of laws seeking to limit what can be taught on public college campuses, how these efforts violate the First Amendment, and how groups like FIRE are fighting back. Morey will answer questions about how colleges and universities can respond when state and federal law conflict.

10:30 a.m. – Noon

BIT/Care Trends and the Impact of the BIG Act on Colleges and Universities
W. Scott Lewis, J.D., Managing Partner
TNG Consulting, LLC

Colleges and Universities are aware of the rise in mental health issues on their campuses. Their BIT/Care teams are dealing with more cases that are more complex. Often justifying the budget to adhere to best practices can be difficult with the current state of higher education. The Behavioral Intervention Guidelines Act (BIG Act) requires the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to develop best practices for schools and higher education institutions. The BIG Act will help to establish behavioral intervention teams comprised of small groups of school officials who meet regularly to collect and review concerning information about at-risk community members and develop plans to assist them. This session will explore the current BIT/Care trends facing practitioners and the impact of the BIG ACT moving forward.