Higher Education Alert!
Last Friday the United States Department of Education released proposed new federal regulations in connection with Title IX, the 1972 civil rights legislation designed to prohibit sex discrimination in federally funded educational programs. The new rules are intended to clarify how colleges and universities receiving federal funding are to handle instances of sexual misconduct. In 2017, the Department withdrew guidance put in place by the Obama administration in 2011 and 2014 through “Dear Colleague Letters.” In place of that prior guidance, the Department had issued a Dear Colleague Letter in September 2017, along with a Q&A. The new regulations are not without controversy. For example, new rules would allow an institution to set its own evidentiary standard rather than the “by a preponderance of the evidence” standard established in 2011. In addition, institutions would be required to allow for cross-examination of students during institutional proceedings. Once published in the Federal Registry, on open comment period will commence for 60 days. The new regulations will likely take effect in July 2019. You may access the USDOE’s Proposed Title Regulation Fact Sheet here.