Meet Chris Griffin, Title IX Coordinator
Christina “Chris” Griffin is director of Equity and Compliance Programs and Title IX Coordinator in the Equity and Compliance Programs Office, which is part of Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
She came to Georgia Tech last June from Kennesaw State University, where she was a Title IX civil rights investigator.
“A friend worked at Tech and told me about the job opening,” Griffin said. “I loved Kennesaw and had no intention of leaving, but the job seemed like a great fit for me because I would focus on Title IX matters and sex discrimination matters exclusively. And that’s what I wanted to do.”
As the Title IX Coordinator for Georgia Tech, Griffin is the designated Institute official with responsibility for coordinating the institute’s compliance with Title IX and other federal and state laws and regulations relating to sex-based discrimination. Title IX became law in 1972.
“Title IX says that no person shall, on the basis of sex, be discriminated against, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance,” she explained. Title IX applies to students, faculty, and staff.
Griffin gave examples of the types of things prohibited by Title IX.
“Title IX prohibits sex discrimination, which has been defined to include sexual assault and sexual harassment, as well as sex-based discrimination in a school’s courses, programs, and activities, including its athletic programs. It also prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy,” she said.
“Title IX is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Thanks to Title IX, there is greater acceptance of women in all roles of society. It’s all about opportunity and not limiting opportunity based on sex. Title IX has influenced American life and made it better for everybody,” she said.
Griffin holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia and a Master’s in conflict resolution from Kennesaw State University. She has worked as a government and private practice attorney. She also is a certified civil rights investigator, mediator, and conflict resolution professional.
Her current projects include a collaborative effort with several campus partners to implement a new NCAA policy that requires schools to vet all incoming and transfer student athletes for Title IX or sexual misconduct disciplinary records.
“Another project that I’m involved in is a campus wide, multi-department effort to assess and strengthen Georgia Tech’s capacity to address and end sexual violence,” she said. The project is a part of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ Culture of Respect initiative.
“Without question, the most rewarding part of my job is helping students by making sure they have the support and resources they need to get them through what is often the most stressful time of their lives,” she said.
Away From Work
Griffin is one of seven children born to a Croatian mother and an American serviceman father who met on a military base in Italy, where her mother worked as a telephone operator.
“My three older siblings were born in Italy, and I was the first to be born in the United States,” she said.
When she isn’t working, Griffin likes to have fun.
“I enjoy spending time with my family first. I also enjoy spending time with friends, reading, hiking, doing yoga, and listening to podcasts.”
Griffin’s husband David has been her biggest supporter. They have been married for 34 years and have three adult children — Michael, Andrew, and Claire.
Griffin’s taste in books varies, but she leans toward autobiographies. “I just finished Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, which is the story of his experience in a Nazi concentration camp. I read it many years ago and I just read it again,” she said. “I also have an audiobook waiting for me — Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings — which has been on my reading list forever.”
Chris Griffin is the Title IX coordinator for Georgia Tech. (Photo by Allison Carter)