WASHINGTON, June 22, 2022 – On June 23, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) will join millions of Americans in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, more commonly known as Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 or Title IX. The golden anniversary of Title IX provides all Americans the opportunity to commemorate the profound impact this legislation has had on the educational and professional prospects for millions of women, while honoring those who inspired and shepherded its creation; educators like Bernice Sandler and legislators such as original sponsors Sen. Birch Bayh, Rep. Edith Green, and Rep. Patsy Mink.
“Title IX was instrumental to help shape the current academic, professional, and athletic opportunities for women and girls in the United States. We pay tribute to Sen. Bayh who wrote the original 37 words of the amendment. The language of this seemingly simple one sentence continues to reverberate throughout our society with enduring impact,” said AASCU President Mildred García. “This work is not complete. We are not yet done in ensuring equality and equity among the various peoples of this country. AASCU continues to support this work but today we celebrate the birth of one of the tenets of our evolving democracy,” she added.
AASCU intrinsically knows the success stories of Title IX because they were written by the graduates and faculty of our member institutions. When Title IX was signed in 1972, women represented only 42% of undergraduate enrollees, today that number stands at 57%. Postsecondary education faculty were less than 20% female and women represented only 3% of college presidents; today women make up 50% of postsecondary faculty and 32% of college presidents. And participation in collegiate athletics, the expansion of which Title IX has become best known, grew from less than 30,000 in 1972 to over 223,000 in 2021.
Though these achievements are worthy of praise, AASCU continues to advocate for the full implementation of protections promised by Title IX. Equity in educational and professional opportunities has not yet been attained for individuals of all races, gender, income levels, or sexual orientation. More can be done to protect students and faculty from sexual violence and discrimination. As AASCU awaits the release of proposed amendments to Title IX regulations by the U.S. Department of Education, we join those celebrating the successes achieved by the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act and hope it does not take an additional five decades to fully achieve the vision of its namesake.
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise.