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Federal Title IX Regulations and Updates

2020 Federal Regulations for Title IX

On May 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education released its final regulations under Title IX amending its regulation, most significantly about sexual harassment in education programs or activities. You can find a bookmarked PDF of the regulation here.  This federal regulation has limited the scope of what constitutes prohibited sexual harassment under Title IX. It raised the bar for what would previously be called “hostile environment” sexual harassment to be unwelcome sexual conduct that is severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive. As many acts of sexual violence occur only once (and therefore are not pervasive), federal regulation sexual harassment now explicitly includes sexual assault, stalking, and dating/domestic violence, all as defined by the FBI. Further, the federal regulation sexual harassment encompasses only those incidents that occur on campus, in student organization houses (i.e., fraternities and sororities), and potentially off-campus school-sponsored programs or activities that occur in the United States.

The majority of reports of sexual misconduct to the University fall outside of these parameters. However, all conduct of a sexual nature that previously constituted a violation of University policy will continue to constitute a violation of University policy. Such conduct may now be adjudicated under one of three different grievance procedures.

  1. The Federal Regulation Sexual Harassment Policies address sexual misconduct that falls within the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IX regulations. The policy is found as an Amendment to the Code of Student Conduct to address students and as an Amendment to the Equal Opportunity/Anti-Discrimination Policy to address employees. This policy is limited in its jurisdiction.
  2. Sexual misconduct involving students that does not fall within the scope of the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IX regulations is addressed, as before, by the Code of Student Conduct.
  3. Sexual misconduct involving employees that does not fall within the scope of the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IX regulations is addressed, as before, by the Equal Opportunity/Anti-Discrimination Policy.

As required by the final regulations, the Federal Regulation Sexual Harassment Policies include some additional due process requirements for adjudicating alleged violations, including the process we must abide for formal hearings. Please click here for an infographic explaining those requirements.  You can also learn more by viewing these two videos created by the Title IX office.

 

To learn more about the 2020 Title IX regulatory requirements, please consider reading or watching the following sources that should be informative:

Webinar from the Office of Civil Rights summarizing the new regulations

Overview of the regulations from the Office of Civil Rights

Summary of regulations from the American Council on Education

 

News articles about the 2020 regulations:

New York Times

U.S. News & World Report

Chronicle of Higher Education

Inside Higher Ed

 

2022 Proposed Title IX Regulations

On June 23, 2022, the Department of Education proposed changes to the 2020 Title IX regulations.  You can read the press release from the Department of Education here.  A fact sheet and summary of the proposed rule from the Department of Education is available here.  The unofficial version of the proposed rule is available here.  On July 12, 2022, an official version of the proposed rule was published in the Federal Register, beginning a 60 day public comment period.  The 60-day comment period closes at 11:59 pm ET on September 12, 2022.  You can view the official version of the proposed rule and submit a public comment here.  You may also want to review the federal government's tips for submitting an effective comment

Please note that the proposed rule does not currently impact Tulane's policies or procedures.  Once the Department of Education releases final regulations (which is not anticipated until 2023 at the earliest), Tulane will update its policies and procedures to comply with the finalized regulations.