CounterCurrent: Week of 5/10
Last week, the Department of Education released its new Title IX regulations, which have been in the works since 2018. Title IX was first written into law as part of the Higher Education Act of 1965 with the purpose of banning sex discrimination at colleges and universities receiving federal funding. It was last amended in 1998, and its implementation since 2011 has been influenced by Obama-era guidance documents.
In recent years, however, Title IX offices have become best-known for governing campus accusations of sexual misconduct in an oft-corrupt manner. Their plethora of administrators are given excessive leeway to adjudicate cases independent of law enforcement and with little regard for the rights of the accused. This has led to rampant violation of due process and the assumption of guilt rather than innocence. A growing list of students claim to have been punished unjustly and have sued their schools for damages—several have won.
The new regulations come as a welcome change to the lawless status quo. In this week’s featured press release, we break down key aspects of the new-and-improved Title IX, to which colleges and universities must adhere by August 15. These include strengthened protections for the due process rights of accused students and the requirement “that students accused of such behavior are presumed innocent until proven otherwise, that they cannot be punished until a case is closed and responsibility is found, and that all evidence and information regarding allegations, including exculpatory evidence, must be disclosed.”
“These new regulations go a long way toward fixing a broken system,” said National Association of Scholars (NAS) President Peter Wood. “We congratulate and thank Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for tackling the many problems that plague Title IX administration at America's colleges and universities.”
Of course, it’s not a given that schools will comply with the new regulations. Time will tell, and we’ll be here watching.
CounterCurrent is the National Association of Scholars’ weekly newsletter, written by Communications & Administrative Associate John David. To subscribe, update your email preferences here.