Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Title IX Controversy Continues

From the Washington Post: Students accused of sexual assault will win new rights under sweeping rules being finalized by the Trump administration, giving universities clear but controversial guidance on handling these emotionally charged conflicts.

The final regulation will maintain contentious elements of a version proposed a year ago, including a provision requiring universities to allow cross-examination of those alleging sexual harassment or assault, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the rules.

In publishing last year’s proposed regulation, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said the new rules would restore balance in a system that, in her view, had been skewed in favor of the accusers. She said her approach would provide clarity and fairness for victims and those accused of wrongdoing. But the proposal came under intense fire from women’s rights groups and Democrats, who said it would allow assailants and schools to escape responsibility and make college campuses less safe for women. It received an astounding 124,196 public comments, including a crush of criticism from advocacy groups, survivors of sexual assault and campus leaders.

DeVos has been aiming to publish the final regulation before the year is out, although it’s possible that timeline will slip. Meetings are scheduled into January on the matter at the White House Office of Management and Budget, which reviews all regulations. It’s unclear when the new rules will take effect. Advocates for sexual assault survivors said they’re already planning to challenge the regulation in court...

Full story at

Editorial note from yours truly: We will again* add an editorial comment that the way to have fair hearings is to have a neutral decision maker - one not employed by or beholden to either side - similar to what occurs in the arbitration of grievances for union-represented employees at UCLA and many other employers, public and private. The issue of cross examination can be dealt with by the neutral and is less central to due process and fairness than just having a neutral.

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