Our Office | History & News

History & News

History of the Office: 

In 2013, the Institute hired a Title IX Investigator/Coordinator to conduct the intake, investigations, and informal remedies within the Division of Student Life. As students became more familiar with the Title IX procedures, the need for staff and resources grew. The Title IX office was created in 2015, with a staff of three, including a full-time investigator, education specialist, and the Title IX Coordinator. 

In 2017, the office’s scope changed again, this time to support students with experiences of discrimination on the basis of other identities including race, national origin, and other salient identities. This broadening of scope led to the creation of the Bias Response Team (BRT) which includes community members from across the Institute who meet regularly to process new online reports and determine any necessary intervention strategies. 

In 2020, after a comprehensive review of the various systems in place to manage allegations of discrimination against faculty, staff, and students, the scope of the office expanded again. In an effort to streamline processes, ensure that a dedicated team is available to address issues, and coordinate reporting information across the Institute, IDHR became MIT’s centralized office for students, faculty, and staff with concerns related to discrimination, discriminatory harassment, and bias.


Aug 12,  2019 The Office of the Chancellor implements two significant recommendations generated by the MIT community to make it more inclusive, respectful, equitable, and safe. Sophomores now take an online Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training module along with an Sexual Assault Prevention Ongoing Education module. 

April 10, 2019 MIT community members gather to recognize and celebrate the achievements of select students, student groups, faculty, and staff for being “Change-Makers” in the MIT community. Read about the award recipients

November 27, 2018 Title IX Institute Coordinator and Director of the Title IX and Bias Response Office, Sarah Rankin, updates MIT on the Department of Education's proposed regulations governing sexual harassment and misconduct under Title IX. Read her letter

November 8, 2018  The Tech covers the Title IX and Bias Response (T9BR) Office's annual report of sexual misconduct on campus. They highlight this office's efforts to collect a deeper and broader pool of data. Read the full report.

October 4, 2018 Chancellor Barnhart announces that her office will administer the Association of American Universities (AAU) 2019 Campus Climate Survey to undergraduate and graduate students during the upcoming spring 2019 semester. Read the full article.

September 17, 2018 In MIT News' "3 Qs," Sheila Widnall, MIT Institute Professor and former secretary of the U.S. Air Force, discusses her role as co-chair for a major report on sexual harassment of women in sciences, engineering, and medicine. Read the full text.

September 1, 2018 Starting this academic year, all faculty and staff will join all incoming students and new hires in participating in foundational online sexual misconduct prevention and response training. MIT is also implementing a new consensual relationships policy, which prohibits certain relationships in which academic and/or supervisory authority are present. Read the newsletter.

Spring 2018 All incoming and existing faculty and staff members across MIT are required to take an EverFi online training module to learn about gender-based discrimination, student disclosure, policies, and resources. 

November 29, 2017 Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart answers "3 Qs" about MIT's efforts to address sexual assault. She writes, "Against the backdrop of the national dialogue that’s happening right now, I believe we can double-down on our commitment to address all types of sexual misconduct at MIT." Read the full text

November 29, 2017 In a letter to the community, President L. Rafael Reif urges MIT to "actively build a culture that treats sexual harassment, coercion and assault as taboo, absurdly out of bounds — unthinkable for anyone, of any age, in any context." Read the full text

September 28, 2017 Title IX Coordinator and Director of the Title IX and Bias Response Office, Sarah Rankin, updates MIT on the Department of Education's upcoming, revised recommended guidelines on sexual misconduct.

April 26, 2017 MIT community members are honored for their work to prevent sexual misconduct. Read the full text

February 27, 2017 Vice president and Dean for Student Life Suzy Nelson answers "3 Qs," affirming the Institute's committment to transgender students' rights and protections on campus. Read the full text.

Spring 2015 A home-grown online training is created for all new employees to complete during New Employee Orientation.

October 2014 Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart appoints a committee to make recommendations for a comprehensive Education and Prevention plan.

Fall 2014 Incoming graduate students are required to take an online training course on sexual assault prevention. The central graduate student orientation now has an in-person training opportunity for students to learn about policies and resources.

Summer 2014 First Year Orientation is revised with a more robust online training program for incoming students to complete over the summer. A new performance workshop about sexual assault and bystander intervention is planned for the Fall 2014 New Student Orientation

May 2014 Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart appoints a committee to review the Committee on Discipline’s Sexual Misconduct procedures and make recommendations for changes.

April 25, 2014 A climate survey (CASA 2014) is released to assess the prevalence of sexual misconduct, attitudes and beliefs regarding sexual violence, knowledge of reporting options, and prevalence of help-seeking behavior.

April 2, 2014 Newly appointed Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart sends a letter to students affirming that sexual misconduct is a priority and introducing a survey and opportunity to participate in focus groups to better understand student experiences. 

February 7, 2014 President Rafael Reif sends a letter to the community and issues a call to action in response to the story “Breaking Silence” published in the student newspaper, The Tech.