New Federal Title IX Guidelines
Department of Education Title IX Final Rule
The Department of Education released new Federal Title IX guidelines "Final Rule" May 6, 2020. The rule outlines new procedures universities must follow in cases of sexual harassment and assault on campuses.
In response to the new federal Title IX guidelines, on July 30 the Board of Regents approved significant revisions to Regents’ policy 01.04.010. Sex and Gender-Based Discrimination Under Title IX, and the UA President signed the enabling regulations regarding sex and gender based discrimination. The changes detail new specific procedures that all universities must follow in cases of sexual harassment and assault on campuses in accordance with the new federal rule, and became effective August 14, 2020.
The board also approved minor revisions to employee and student conduct policies. Those changes mean that misconduct that no longer falls within the scope of Title IX will be addressed through alternative processes. These changes were shared with student, faculty, and staff governance, as well as with the chancellors and university leadership, to gather feedback.
Federal Rule Changes
The federal rule changes are extensive and alter some key policies that have governed the university’s Title IX processes to date. For example:
- The required definitions for the terms sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking have changed, and while these definitions differ from the current model, the same sexual offenses remain prohibited.
- The new guidelines focus on the due process rights of individuals, and require a more formal complaint process including the opportunity for cross-examination by a party’s advisor during a live hearing.
- It is possible to participate in the live hearing through video conference.
- If a party does not have an advisor to perform cross-examination during the hearing, the university will provide an advisor at no cost.
- The guidelines also offer options for alternative processes that would allow parties to come to an informal resolution that does not require a live hearing in some cases.
Please continue to report any occurrence of misconduct to your Title IX Coordinator. If a reported instance doesn’t fall within the newly defined Title IX policy and regulations, it will still be addressed under nondiscrimination, student conduct or human resources policies as appropriate.
What will not change is UA’s commitment to provide students, faculty, and staff an educational and workplace environment free from sex and gender-based discrimination. Ongoing efforts in training and prevention will continue, and UA also will ensure that complaints are investigated timely and thoroughly.