Race & Racism at the University of Richmond

Implementation of Title IX in the Late 90s and early 2000s

Article "Does UR Comply with Title IX?"

Article from the Collegian: "Does UR Comply with Title IX?"

Article "Richmond earns 18th spot in gender equity ranking"

Article from the Collegian: "Richmond earns 18th spot in gender equity ranking"

On February 1st, 1996, the Collegian published the article titled "Does UR Comply with Title IX?" At the time, the University of Richmond was in the process of adding the women’s soccer team “in its attempt to comply with the 23-year-old Title IX law, which demands gender equity in athletics.” Commenting on this new addition, Ruth Goehring, associate athletic director, explained that the university had a 50-50 enrollment of male-to-female undergraduates, however, UR did not have a 50-50 ratio of male to female athletes. “We’re not 50-50 and it isn’t a secret,” Goehring said, “we are probably 60-40 in participation with is why we added soccer to get us closer to 50-50 proportionality.” This proportionality is a requirement to be in compliance with Title IX. 

According to the aforementioned article, in 1993 Richmond was ranked third for being closest to proportionality, as measured by a research study done by the Newport News Daily Press on 21 state and Atlantic Coast Conference schools. However, the writer expresses his mixed feelings about the results, because while gains had been made, 23 years later there was still work to be done. A case in point is that, in Ruth Goehring’s own words “nobody is in compliance [with Title IX] and everybody knows they’re not.” At UR in particular at the time, the greatest area that institution needed to make progress in order to be in full compliance was the athletic scholarships.

Years later, in March 2002, the university ranked in the top 20 nationally on gender-equity for sports, according to U.S. News and World Report. In the Collegian article "Richmond earns 18th spot in gender equity ranking" published days later after the issue, the University President, William Cooper, is quoted saying that “the recognition is consistent with our values [at the University].” He added that the main step to achieve this recognition was to create an equal number of scholarships. As President Cooper puts it: “Before this time, many more scholarships existed for men than for women. Over time we set aside money to do this [balance the scholarships].” Athletic Director Jim Miller commented that, “Prior to about four years ago the University was out of bounds with Title IX guidelines, and I think they realized that and have made a conscious effort to fix it through things like scholarship money.” 

As it has been illustrated, the university has made many changes to bring itself towards full compliance with Title IX, specifically in athletics. Nevertheless, it is worth emphasizing that compliance of Title IX guidelines was not fully finalized until the 2000s. As this exhibit has presented, while in the later years there was a conscious effort to strive towards an equal environment for female and male athletes, for many years before there was a conscious effort to deny and avoid to follow the regulation. Although it is important to highlight the progress made by the university in the recent decade, the magnitude of this progress cannot be fully appreciated unless we explore the setbacks and challenges faced by the university.

 

Implementation of Title IX in the Late 90s and early 2000s