Title IX Investigations at Texas A&M University

March 12, 2024 | By Shane Phelps Law
Title IX Investigations at Texas A&M University
College Station Title IX lawyers in Texas

Aiming to ensure gender equality in all aspects of academic life, Title IX has a broad scope that covers everything from athletics to student services. However, a mention of Title IX often brings to mind its pivotal role in addressing sexual harassment and assault on college campuses. 

Regardless of the context, being armed with knowledge about Title IX can make a significant difference should a student face related allegations. Our College Station Title IX lawyers in Texas aim to shed light on Title IX investigations at Texas A&M University and are prepared to offer informed, competent legal representation every step of the way.

What Is Title IX?

Title IX is a landmark federal civil rights law that fundamentally reshaped the landscape of American education. Passed in 1972 as part of the Education Amendments, Title IX unequivocally prohibits sex discrimination in any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Title IX holds particular relevance for college campuses like Texas A&M University and its efforts to foster a safe, inclusive learning environment. While the stipulation of the law is simple, the resulting impact has been momentous, resulting in more than an enhanced drive toward gender-balanced athletics that it's often associated with.

Title IX broadly encompasses a range of issues, such as admissions, financial aid, academics, employment, and, most notably, discrimination and harassment, including instances of sexual misconduct.

What Is Texas A&M’s Title IX Policy? 

Title IX Policy

Located in College Station, Texas, Texas A&M is a nationally-renowned public university committed to educational excellence and individual and community enhancement. Serving a student population diverse in background and age, Texas A&M seeks to promote a safe and inclusive academic environment – a commitment mirrored in its Title IX policies.

Texas A&M says it takes seriously any form of discrimination, ensuring its policies and procedures in line with Title IX legislation provide a clear, accessible means of addressing allegations of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and misconduct.

Prohibited Conduct Under Title IX

Texas A&M has outlined a series of behaviors it strictly prohibits under Title IX to maintain a safe and inclusive environment.

  • Sexual Harassment: Texas A&M considers unwelcome sexual conduct, whether verbal, non-verbal, physical, or explicitly sexual, to violate its policies.
  • Sexual Assault: Texas A&M outlines sexual assault as an extreme form of sexual harassment. This includes any non-consensual sexual act, ranging from unwelcome sexual touching to rape.
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse: Any form of sexual intercourse without clear and voluntary consent is considered a violation. Regulations emphasize that silence or absence of active resistance does not constitute consent.
  • Domestic and Dating Violence: The University strictly prohibits acts of violence or threats of violence against an individual involved in a personal, intimate relationship with the offender. This applies to both current and former spouses and dating partners.
  • Stalking: Repeated unwanted attention, harassment, physical or verbal contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable individual to feel fear or suffer substantial emotional distress is classified as stalking.
  • Gender-Based Discrimination: Any unjust or prejudicial treatment of a person or group based on gender, including gender identity and gender expression, is prohibited.
  • Retaliation:Texas A&M prohibits retaliation against any person who files a complaint, serves as a witness, assists with a complaint, or participates in any manner in a Title IX investigation.

This list details the most common types of prohibited conduct under Title IX, but it is not exhaustive. Any act of discrimination or harassment based on sex is considered a violation. 

Given these strict guidelines, a student facing such allegations can make mistakes when navigating the investigation process without the help of competent legal guidance. Qualified attorneys can help students understand their rights and avoid compromising the integrity of their cases in these situations.

How Do Title IX Investigations at Texas A&M Work?

Upon receiving a formal complaint, Texas A&M  immediately responds by initiating its Title IX process orchestrated by the Title IX Coordinator. This process is designed to resolve such allegations promptly and effectively while upholding the rights of all parties involved.


The intake phase is where the initial steps of the Title IX process occur. This begins with the receipt of a report by the Title IX Office, which initiates the initial contact with the involved parties. The complainant (individual/entity who made the complaint), the respondent (individual/entity that the complaint was made against), and potential witnesses are all contacted.

During this phase, the complainant can decide to pursue a formal complaint. If such a decision is made, the process proceeds to the next stage: the investigation.



Upon the initiation of a formal complaint, the investigation phase commences. The parties involved are provided with a Notice of Investigation, details about the allegations, violations of the Code of Conduct, and a general timeline for the investigation process.

The Title IX Office collects all relative data, including interview statements from the complainant, respondent, and potential witnesses. They also gather additional documents or evidence relevant to the allegations.

Once all the data collection is complete, an investigative report is compiled, providing a comprehensive summary of all the pertinent information. The complainant and the respondent are allowed to review and provide feedback on this report, potentially suggesting additional witnesses or evidence.

The Title IX Hearing and Decision

Any additional investigations are conducted as needed after the review period, and a final investigative report is assembled. A hearing is then conducted before a hearing examiner.  During the hearing, the hearing examiner hears evidence and testimony from the Title IX investigator, the complainant and any witnesses provided by the complainant, and evidence and testimony from the Respondent, if the Respondent chooses to testify or provide evidence.

At Texas A&M currently, a respondent is allowed to have an advisor to assist him or her, and that advisor can be an attorney. At Shane Phelps Law, we strongly encourage having an experienced Title IX attorney help you through this process if you are the respondent. Your attorney can cross-examine witnesses, including the complainant, but cannot otherwise advocate for you in the hearing. The potential consequences of being found responsible for a Title IX violation following a Title IX investigation and hearing can be devastating and usually involve either suspension or expulsion.

Title IX Hearing and Decision

Another very important reason to have an experienced Title IX attorney help you through the process is that allegations in a Title IX proceeding can result in criminal prosecution by law enforcement. Often, there are parallel investigations conducted by law enforcement which can lead to criminal charges being filed. Law enforcement and prosecutors can subpoena the entire Title IX investigation, including your statements, any documentary evidence such as text messages, and even a recording of the Title IX hearing, and these can be used against you in a criminal proceeding. If allegations have been made against you in a Title IX investigation at Texas A&M, it is imperative that you immediately contact a skilled Title IX attorney who also practices criminal defense law. The Title IX attorneys at Shane Phelps Law have vast experience in both criminal law and Title IX proceedings. Whether it is Shane Phelps Law or another competent attorney, you should contact an attorney as soon as you receive a Title IX investigation notice.

After the hearing before the hearing examiner is concluded, all parties involved are notified of the outcome, which includes determining whether the respondent has been found violating the Code of Conduct and any subsequent disciplinary actions. If the complainant or respondent is dissatisfied with the outcome, he or she can appeal the decision based on procedural errors, new evidence, or disproportionate sanctions. 

Understanding Your Rights During a Title IX Investigation

During a Title IX investigation, it is crucial for the individual facing the allegations to understand the multitude of rights at their disposal. Firstly, they have the right to a fair and impartial investigation. This implies that an investigative process must be rigorous, reliable, and provide due consideration to the rights of all parties involved.

Understanding Your Rights

The individuals are also entitled to be informed about the nature of the allegations against them and have access to all relevant evidence. Moreover, it is within their rights to have representation, such as legal counsel, present during any related meetings or proceedings.

A right to silence is another powerful tool protecting those facing allegations. Furthermore, this is often accompanied by the right to appeal the findings and consequences if they believe the decision to be unjust.

Significantly, protection from retaliation for involvement in a Title IX process is another crucial right the law entitles them to. Any adverse action taken against them solely due to their involvement in a Title IX complaint can be considered retaliatory and is therefore prohibited under Title IX.

Contact the Title IX Attorneys at Shane Phelps Law Today

Shane Phelps, Title IX Lawyer, TX
Shane Phelps, Title IX Lawyer, TX

The presence of a competent legal representative can be instrumental in safeguarding these rights throughout the investigation.

A team of experienced College Station criminal defense attorneys, such as those at Shane Phelps Law, can work diligently to ensure the rights of their clients aren't compromised, offering the necessary legal support to navigate the process confidently. Contact our team today at (979) 775-4100 to learn how we can help in your legal matter.