Building Skills to Successfully Mediate Title IX Sexual Harassment Cases

Building Skills to Successfully Mediate Title IX Sexual Harassment Cases

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Gain confidence in your ability to serve as a mediator in your Title IX informal resolution process.


The Title IX 2020 Amendments permit formal complaints alleging sexual harassment to be resolved informally through an informal resolution process. Informal Resolution is an alternative to the formal grievance process that empowers the individual parties to successfully negotiate an amenable resolution on their termsAre you prepared to offer informal resolution on your campus? The skills of an informal resolution facilitator are vital to carefully and effectively resolving sexual harassment cases that are often full of emotion on all sides. Indeed, an unskilled facilitator may do more harm than good.  

  • Do you or someone else at your institution understand how to truly facilitate an informal resolution or have the skills necessary to guide the informal resolution process?
  • Do you or your colleagues feel overwhelmed and intimidated about having to manage party emotions and desires while carefully and neutrally steering the parties toward resolution?

If these questions apply to you or your institution, you may want to consider mediation (i.e., negotiated resolution) as one of them, or at least ensure your facilitators receive mediation training that will help them employ a safe, non-intimidating, desirable, and effective informal resolution experience.

Join us online for a one-of-a-kind two-day virtual conference to gain the tools you need to become an effective mediator and negotiator for your sexual harassment informal resolutions. Our experts—who are both legal and practical experts in mediation and Title IX within higher education—will walk you through the mediation process from start to finish. In addition, you will gain insight and practical advice on how to perform the necessary skills of a mediator so that you can enter your next mediation or another type of informal resolution process with greater confidence.
Specifically, you will learn how to:

  • Establish your role and rapport with all parties
  • Communicate each party’s position directly, persuasively, and neutrally
  • Manage unreasonable demands, so you can maintain momentum and progress
  • Address factual strengths and weaknesses
  • Respond to situations where there is no agreement
  • Create a resolution agreement

You will also participate in a mock mediation, so you can experience how the facilitation skills you learn are best applied in action.


Who Should Attend

This virtual conference will benefit:

  • New mediators and experienced mediators who want to hone their mediation skills working directly on sexual harassment cases
  • Title IX Coordinators who oversee and facilitate the informal resolution process

Both new and seasoned mediators will walk away feeling more confident and empowered to facilitate an effective informal resolution process using mediation skills.


Follow Through With Success Coaching

Have you ever gone to a training only to find that you came back with great ideas but don’t have the time, support, or skills needed to make the changes?

Academic Impressions has produced thousands of trainings and we have learned that utilizing a coach after attending a conference helps provide accountability and bridges the training with the on-the-ground work of getting the job done.

As a result, we are now offering success coaching on select conferences.

  • Purchase this training + 3 one hour follow up success coaching calls
  • Work with an assigned coach who has extensive experience in higher ed.
  • Get individualized support to help you follow through on what you’ve learned.
  • Workshop your plans, run your ideas by someone and get additional help/practice.

To get success coaching, simply purchase the Conference and add Success Coaching during registration.

Learn More About Success Coaching

The Academic Impressions Online Learning Experience

Intentionally Designed
Online Learning

Our virtual trainings go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these experiences are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. These trainings provide you with an active learning environment and an online space where you can explore ideas, get inspired by what your peers are doing, and understand the range of possibilities around a certain topic. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Guidance from vetted subject matter experts

See What Our Attendees are Saying

“The virtual design of this conference coupled with the amazing work of our program manager promoted a high level of engagement and sense of community among attendees. The speakers were knowledgeable and enthusiastic to share their experiences. It was a refreshing shift from long days of traditional meetings on Zoom!”

“This is the first time I’ve ever attended a virtual conference, and to be honest, I had low expectations. Well, I was wrong. I am very impressed with the platform used and the quality of the content shared. Oftentimes, these conferences only talk about ideas and what could work, but at this event, actual pathways and practical next steps were shared. Academic Impressions did a great job featuring quality speakers who were willing to share what they know.”

“Although the workshop was online, it felt as if the presenters were right there with us. All presenters were knowledgeable and really related the content to real work experiences. They were so willing to answer questions and offer assistance—I learned so much that I can apply.”

“Many conferences leave you with learning but not always sure how to turn that into action for your organization. There were actionable tips shared throughout the two days and tools provided to help move the learning into action. I am always impressed with Academic Impressions conferences and this virtual one did not disappoint.”

"At first, I was skeptical that a virtual conference was capable of being both engaging and informational - but Academic Impressions has mastered it! The 3-day online event was structured in a creative way that all participants had multiple opportunities to interact with each other and the presenters. No one's questions went unheard or unanswered. Thank you for this great experience, it has changed my view of virtual conferences and I look forward to attending more in the future."

- Desiree Ford, Digital Communications Manager, Binghamton University

“The virtual conference has been amazing. The presenters have all been great and the information they’ve provided is going to help us better use our social media. Even though this conference had to be virtualized due to COVID-19, the online format has been set up in a way that we can all collaborate and share ideas. I’m very eager to take what I’ve learned back to campus and start implementing new ideas.”

- Chris Forde, Coordinator of Marketing & Public Information, Lincoln Trail College


Day One | Tuesday, November 9, 2021

(All Times Eastern)


Welcome & Faculty Introductions
10:30 – 10:45 a.m. ET



Informal Resolution Overview
10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET
In this opening session, you will learn the foundations of an informal resolution process, including:

  • Informal resolution requirements under the 2020 Amendments
  • Written notice requirements
  • Types of informal resolutions available under the regulations
  • Types of cases appropriate for informal resolution
  • Addressing informal resolution in your policy
  • Introducing informal resolutions to the parties
  • The facilitator’s role



Short Break
12:00 – 12:15 p.m. ET



Mediation in the Context of Title IX and Pre-Mediation Prep
12:15 – 1:15 p.m. ET
Next, you will be introduced to the mediation process. You will learn about the collaborative process, the types of mediation available, and the steps necessary to prepare for effective mediation in a Title IX sexual harassment case, including how to conduct pre-mediation conferences with the parties. These are the topics that our faculty will cover in this session:

  1. The value of a collaborative process
  2. Preparation
  3. Evaluation
  4. Framing the issues
  5. Focus on objectives
  6. The Do’s and Don’ts during communications with the party's pre-mediation



Role of the Mediator & Setting the Environment
1:15 – 2:00 p.m. ET
The mediator plays a critical role in setting a professional and neutral tone from the onset of meditation. You will examine:

  • The multiple roles of the mediator, including communicator, neutral, facilitator, and evaluator
  • Building the strategy
  • How multiple perspectives, including the mediator’s, can impact the mediation
  • How the physical environment and placement of parties can impact comfort and outcome
  • The link between pre-mediation preparation and the resolution agreement



Long Break
2:00 – 2:30 p.m. ET



The Mediation – Critical Steps and Considerations
2:30 - 3:15 p.m. ET
You will learn the critical steps and considerations for effectively facilitating a mediation of a sexual harassment case for your campus, including:

  • Historical perspectives on joint sessions
  • Framing issues
  • Establishing common ground
  • Searching for shared values
  • Establishing credibility
  • Maintaining confidence
  • Dealing with party advisors



Short Break
3:15 – 3:30 p.m. ET



The Mediation – Fundamental Skills
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET
We will discuss the fundamental skills of being a good mediator, including:

  • Fact exploration v. fact finding
  • Knowing how to direct the parties
  • Being subtly persuasive
  • Addressing factual strengths and weaknesses
  • Making suggestions and handling unreasonable demands



Day One Q&A
4:30 – 5:00 p.m. ET
We will wrap up day one with a final question and answer session with you and our faculty panel.


Day Two | Wednesday, November 10, 2021

(All Times Eastern)


Refresh & Reset
10:30 – 10:45 a.m. ET
You will have the opportunity to share and hear from other attendees one lesson that resonated the most from yesterday’s training or one strategy that you are looking forward to learning about today.



The Mediation – Communication Strategies
10:45 – 11:30 a.m. ET
Building upon yesterday’s mediation sessions, our expert faculty will guide you through the rest of the critical steps and considerations to continue your mediation process. You will explore:

  • The importance and skill of communicating one party’s position to the other party as we progress toward a compromise and agreed upon resolution
  • Techniques for keeping the parties talking, even when it appears the mediation may not be successful
  • Ethical considerations relating to the mediator, the parties, and the party advisors



Preparing the Agreement
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET
Once an informal resolution is achieved, you must ensure there is a clear understanding between all parties regarding what happens next. In this session, you will explore:

  • Essential provisions within the resolution agreement and best practices
  • Your continuing obligations as a mediator



Short Break
12:00 – 12:15 p.m. ET



Failure to Reach Agreement
12:15 – 12:30 p.m. ET
In some rare situations, the parties may fail to reach an agreement. We will dedicate this time to learn what happens in those situations and what continuing obligations you, as the mediator, must know or do. Our faculty will also walk you through how to have continuing settlement discussions despite existing barriers to resolution.



Preparing for the Mock Mediation
12:30 – 12:45 p.m. ET
Before we begin our mock mediation, our faculty will introduce a Formal Complaint that will proceed to mediation. The faculty will use this time to help attendees strategize for the pre-mediation conferences and mediation.



Mock Mediation Module Part I: Setting the Scene & Messaging
12:45 – 1:45 p.m. ET
With assistance from volunteers, the faculty will demo mock pre-mediation conferences with the parties to the Formal Complaint. The mediators will begin the mediation by speaking with each of the parties independent of the other and applying the skills learned on Day 1. Next, with the assistance of volunteers, the faculty will demo mock mediation with the parties to the Formal Complaint, again applying the skills necessary to negotiate a resolution effectively. See first-hand how to solicit from the parties what they need to achieve a resolution and then how to communicate the opposing party’s position.



Long Break
1:45 – 2:15 p.m. ET



Mock Mediation Module Part I: Setting the Scene & Messaging
2:15 – 3:15 p.m. ET
After a meal break, we will continue setting the scene and practice messaging through a mock mediation utilizing participant volunteers.



Mock Mediation Module Part II: Dealing with Party Advisors & Saving the Mediation
3:15 - 4:00 p.m. ET
Volunteer mediators will communicate with party advisors as the advisors address their parties' position and expected outcome. The mediators will be confronted with party positions that impede achieving an agreement. The mediators will try and help the parties reach a compromise.



Mock Mediation Debrief and Final Q&A
4:00 - 4:15 p.m. ET
As a large group, we will use this time to debrief on the day’s mediation-related activities. Our faculty will provide additional feedback and concrete strategies to close out the conference and answer any remaining questions by our attendees.



Wrap Up
4:15 - 4:30 p.m. ET


Portrait of Sanford Brook

Hon. Sanford M. Brook (Ret.)

Mediator and Arbiter, Judicial Arbiter Group

Sandy has served as a mediator in over 1,000 cases. He’s the former Chief Judge of the Indiana Court of Appeals who joined the Judicial Arbiter Group in 2004, after 16 years on the bench in Indiana. Twelve of these years were spent on the trial bench where he also served three years as Chief Judge. While a judge, he promoted alternative dispute resolution in the Indiana court system by serving as a judicial mediator.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

Portrait of Cara Hardin

Cara Hardin, J.D.

Title IX Deputy Coordinator, Marquette University

Cara Hardin is an attorney serving as Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Marquette University. In addition to assisting in the coordination and monitoring of Marquette’s compliance with Title IX and associated regulations, she is the lead investigator of formal complaints of sexual harassment and the lead investigator and adjudicator of sex discrimination filed by Marquette students, faculty and staff.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.


Can't attend the conference? Buy the binder.

Questions About the Event?


Rabia Khan Harvey
Senior Learning & Development Manager,
Academic Impressions