Member Spotlight: Ryan Thompson

What is a successful achievement you have had doing Title IX work?

Well, just three days after the 2020 Regs went into effect, I started my own law firm focused on this type of work. Time will tell if I am actually successful, but so far so good…

What is an ATIXA resource or tool that has aided you?

The listserv. The listserv. The listserv. … From the moment I turned off the inbox filter and started reading the messages daily for education, insights and encouragement.

How has ATIXA helped you to be a better professional?

I wouldn’t have been able to be the successful Title IX Coordinator that I was without ATIXA. My former boss, the General Counsel, insisted that I needed to be trained by this group called “ATIXA” immediately upon my involuntary appointment to become the University’s first full-time Title IX Coordinator & Civil Rights Officer. It was by pure coincidence (or serendipity) that ATIXA and Daniel Swinton were coming to Buffalo within the the first few weeks of my tenure. And my second daughter held on and let me finish the training before being born a few days later. I often wonder how different and hazardous my path would’ve been without that proper introduction to this field.

What is one way you practice self-care doing such intense work?

Interestingly, now that I’m asked to think about this, I think that when I was a TIXC, I was extremely easy-going with all parties (and even witnesses) who requested accommodations (especially academic accommodations), and doing so was a means to self-medicate by engaging in actions that were purely designed to help students, while simultaneously allowing me an outlet to be tough and demanding on staff/faculty who resisted providing such accommodations.

What is one piece of advice you would offer your fellow practitioners?

You will make mistakes. Recognize and accept them. Very few will lead to disaster, but covering anything up can be a catastrophe.