2020 Title IX Regulations: Resources and Updates
On May 6, 2020, the Department of Education announced new Title IX regulations, with which all colleges and universities in the United States must comply, effective August 14, 2020. This requirement comes after the Department proposed these regulations for public review on November 16, 2018. Skidmore responded to this posting in two formal letters: one as a member of the New York Six Consortium and another as one of 24 private, liberal arts colleges and universities. Additionally, this message was sent to the community on May 20, 2020.
Skidmore College remains strongly committed to its efforts to combat sexual and gender-based misconduct, support victims and survivors of these acts, and protect our community through a fair and unbiased hearing process. Skidmore College prohibits all forms of sexual and gender-based discrimination, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, intimate-partner violence, and stalking.
As the College works to finalize recommendations and meet the August 14 deadline, below are some relevant topics, updates, and FAQs, but if you have any questions or wish to provide any comments or feedback about the new regulations, please contact Title IX Coordinator Joel Aure at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While there are numerous requirements under the new Title IX regulations, here are some of the most significant ones:
- The grievance process must incorporate live hearings and allow for advisors to cross-examine parties and witnesses.
- If a party cannot afford or independently acquire an advisor of choice for the purpose of cross-examining, the institution must provide one.
- These grievance process requirements must now apply to faculty and staff despite collective bargaining agreement, shared governance, or conflicting state laws.
- All grievance processes specific to Title IX must use the same evidentiary standard regardless of whether the parties are students, faculty, or staff.
- All evidence collected during the investigation must be shared with all relevant parties regardless of whether the evidence is irrelevant or will be considered by the adjudicator(s) or “decision-makers.”
- Parties must be allowed to appeal on equal grounds.
- There is a narrower definition for what constitutes sexual harassment based on the definition determined by the Supreme Court as well as a narrower geographical jurisdiction for Title IX.
- The criteria for when an institution of higher education would have official notice of an act of sexual harassment is now only when the Title IX Coordinator is informed.
- There would be fewer limitations for when an informal resolution process, such as mediation, could be utilized.
- Policies must formally incorporate language that there is no presumption that the respondent is responsible for the allegation(s) unless there is a finding.
- Adjudicators or “decision-makers” cannot be the Title IX Coordinator or investigator.
- Alleged sexual and gender-based misconduct that does not meet the definition of sexual harassment per the final regulation must be “dismissed” under Title IX but can be addressed under a non-Title IX policy (ie. code of conduct, Title VII/Anti-Harassment Policy, etc.).
- All relevant training materials must be available to the public via the College’s website.
For more information about other new requirements or to read the regulations yourself, please visit the Department of Education’s website.
The Department of Education is requiring all colleges and universities to comply with these new regulations as August 14, 2020. Over the month of June, there will be opportunities and programs that will provide students, faculty, staff, and community members to ask questions and provide comments and feedback. In the meantime, comments and feedback can be sent to Title IX Coordinator Joel Aure at email@example.com.
Student Information Sessions:
- Tuesday, June 23 at 7:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, June 24 at 1:00 p.m.
Faculty Information Sessions:
- Tuesday, June 23 from 1:30-2:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, June 24 from 10-11 a.m.
Staff Information Sessions:
- Tuesday, June 30 at 1:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, July 2 at 2:00 p.m.
More programs and sessions will be announced soon!
A: Under the new regulations, the reported incident would have to be “dismissed” under a Title IX policy. However, this means that the report would then be referred and addressed under an existing non-Title IX policy, such as the Student Code of Conduct/Current SGBM Policy or the Anti-Harassment Policies for Faculty and Staff.
A: Yes, the regulations apply to Title IX cases involving faculty and staff.
A: No. No one will be forced to participate in this process. If a Complainant decides to come forward to access resources and support but is unsure if they wish to file a Formal Complaint, the Title IX Coordinator would review their options and rights but still help them access the necessary resources and support.
A: Yes, an individual can come forward to seek supportive measures without filing a Formal Complaint. However, if information reported requires the College to investigate the matter for the safety and protection of our community in accordance with federal and state laws, then the College will do so. Once again, no one will be forced to participate in the process.
A: No. Parties can still select an advisor of their own choosing with the understanding that for the hearing, each party has the right to have their advisor conduct cross-examination of any other party or witness.
A: No. If you file a Formal Complaint, the allegations reported will determine whether the Title IX process has jurisdiction and must be utilized.