Update on Title IX and related policies
Dear Skidmore Community,
This past weekend, our first cohort of students arrived to begin their quarantine period in local hotels in accord with the governor’s order. I wrote to these intrepid students to praise their grit and commitment, and to note that although this semester will indeed be a fall unlike any other, with serious challenges and frustrations, it will also give us great opportunities for service, for achievement and for community-building. I’m certain we will all never forget this year. In that spirit, I cannot thank you all enough for the hard work, patience and creativity that have gone into navigating this unprecedented time and preparing for the academic year ahead.
In addition to developing the fall reopening plan, we have also been working all summer to align our policies with the new Title IX regulations that we received from the federal government. A Title IX Working Group, consisting of students and contributors from student affairs, academic affairs, Human Resources and other offices, have spent months adapting our policies to these new federal regulations, always with the primary goal of doing all we can to ensure the safety of our students and our entire community.
In compliance with the U.S. Department of Education’s new Title IX regulations, the Title IX Working Group gathered input and guidance from information and feedback sessions with students, staff and faculty, including members from the Faculty Executive Committee, the Faculty Advisory Board, and the Committee on Academic Freedom and Rights, and drafted three separate Title IX policies, consistent with the preferences and values of each constituency. These policies, which will be implemented on Friday, Aug. 14, as required by the regulations, do not replace any existing policies and will parallel the current student, faculty and staff policies for addressing sexual and gender-based misconduct, specifically the anti-harassment policies for faculty and staff and the current student policy, which also complies with New York state’s Enough is Enough law.
The specific policy that will be applied to a reported incident will be determined based on the specific allegation, geographical location and whether the person involved is a student, faculty or staff member. Questions about the Title IX policies should be directed to Title IX Coordinator Joel Aure at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the new Title IX procedures, we will update our anti-harassment policy. Human Resources will send out information about required trainings for the fall, including one for the protection of minors policy. Having all areas of policy in alignment is a best practice in this work, and I urge all members of our community to review the policies and familiarize themselves with required trainings and related procedures.
On behalf of the entire Skidmore community, I thank our colleagues for this important work during a challenging summer. Together, we will remain a strong community, with all of us looking out for each other.
As I approach the end of my sixth week as Skidmore's eighth president, I am honored to be serving such a great school with all of you during this critical and challenging time.
Marc C. Conner