In November, the U.S. Department of Education announced proposed regulations governing how institutions must treat allegations of sexual harassment to be in compliance with Title IX. Now, education leaders can comment on that proposal.
ED has issued a formal Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) will file a formal response to the NPRM and expects to endorse the comments of the American Council on Education (ACE). But community college leaders also are encouraged to make their voices heard by submitting responses. Comments are due by January 28. AACC has posted a template colleges can use. (Note: It opens in a Word document.)
The proposed changes affect the definition of sexual harassment and when and how an institution is obligated to take action. New requirements also would bolster what is referred to as due process protections for respondents in Title IX cases, which could dissuade some students from pursuing claims, to the detriment of student safety. Proceedings at colleges and universities would have to include a live hearing at which both parties, through their advisors, are entitled to cross-examine the other party and any witnesses. The regulations mandate that institutions provide an advisor for the hearing to any parties that do not already have one—putting burden on the institutions.
Learn more about the proposed regulations here.