Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released new regulations which mandate how colleges and universities respond to sexual misconduct cases under Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex or gender in any federally funded education program or activity.
To comply with these new regulations, Marquette must amend its current Title IX Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Many of the new regulations provide neutral clarifications to prior OCR guidance on how educational institutions respond to sexual misconduct. The new regulations also afford many of the fundamental fairness protections for complainants and respondents that are already included in Marquette’s current policy.
The most substantial change relates to the university’s current resolution process for formal complaints filed under the university’s Title IX Policy. The university will switch from a single investigator model to a live hearing model. This means Marquette will be required to hold live hearings in which parties must be present and advisors may question the parties and witnesses in real time before the decision maker(s). Please note that the parties need not be in the same room with one another during the live hearing.
The university will be sure to make this transition with great care while continuing to provide a neutral, objective and considerate environment for all those involved.
The new regulations are scheduled to take effect beginning on Aug. 14, 2020.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimo Ah Yun will convene a task force to amend Marquette’s policy. In the coming weeks, the task force will carefully review the new regulations and determine how to amend the policy in a way that best preserves our current policy’s fairness and thoroughness, while protecting the rights of all parties.
Marquette remains committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive and respectful educational and working environment for everyone in our community. Sex or gender discrimination, including sexual misconduct such as sexual assault and relationship violence, are not tolerated. The Title IX Office remains open and available for remote meetings and consultations, and Advocacy Services remains available to provide support.