Putting Policy Into Practice Series: Blog Post 5

Perfection is NOT the Standard

Here we are, in the uncertainty of the year 2020, in the middle of a pandemic, and a month and a half into the work under new Title IX policies. This is different. This is hard. This is exhausting. But you, as Title IX professionals, continue to make a difference. Don’t forget it.

There is a lot of pressure in the Title IX world. Pressure to do it quickly. Pressure to do it right. Pressure to please everyone. Now, more than ever, it is important to remember that perfection is NOT the standard. You will make mistakes. Period. Those mistakes will not define you. However, the ways in which you respond to those mistakes are significant.

Take the time and effort to correct the mistakes.  Often we try to find the easy fix, or at least one that doesn’t highlight our mistakes. Conversely, the answer is in transparency.  Explaining a mistake and correcting it equitably is the key.  Send a new notice, update the parties, allow for equitable extensions, or do whatever needs to be done to make it right. Then, clearly articulate the next steps to the parties. This may delay the process, but it is better to correct the error in real time than to have to explain it on appeal or in litigation later.

We are all human, and the pressure is real. We need good, solid, humans doing this work. The kind who own their missteps but give themselves and each other some grace. The kind who believe in doing the right thing. The kind who build each other up and have each other’s back.

As you navigate these uncharted waters, remember that you are not alone. There are other professionals out there directing these processes alongside you while making similar mistakes. Pivot and correct in the moment, be a good teammate, and don’t be too hard on yourself. The Title IX world needs you.