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U.S. Department of Education proposes revisions to regulations on managing Title IX cases

Stanford will participate in the public comment process; university community members also are invited to do so.

The U.S. Department of Education has issued proposed revisions to the rules for colleges and universities to follow in managing Title IX cases and will be opening a public comment period. The proposed rules would replace previous regulations issued by the Trump Administration that took effect in August 2020.

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. The law prohibits sexual harassment and sexual assault in educational settings.

Some of the changes in regulations that the Department of Education proposes include expanding the definition of sex-based harassment; clarifying that Title IX’s prohibition on discrimination based on sex applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity; permitting but not requiring cross-examination by the parties in a Title IX matter; and clarifying provisions preventing retaliation against someone providing information or participating in a Title IX process.

Once the proposed revisions to the regulations are published to the Federal Register, the public will have the opportunity to provide input to the federal government during a 60-day comment period.

The university will be analyzing the proposed revisions and participating in the public comment process. Any Stanford community member who wishes can use this form to provide feedback to the university to consider as it evaluates the proposed revisions. In addition, individuals will be able to share their comments directly with the federal government via the website once the proposed revisions are posted there.

Stephen Chen, Title IX coordinator and director of the SHARE Office, said that nothing will change in Stanford’s Title IX procedures during the comment period. The Department of Education is legally obligated to consider all comments, and that process is expected to take several months. Once the public review period ends and all comments have been reviewed, the Department of Education will decide whether to revise the proposed rules or not based on the feedback. At that point, the Department of Education will issue the new regulations in their final form.

“We welcome the opportunity to provide input to the federal government on the proposed changes to the regulations,” said Chen. “As always, we will continue in our efforts to prevent sexual violence and sexual harassment in our community, and to respond to any such incidents by providing support to survivors, holding perpetrators accountable, and conducting fair adjudication processes. We will also continue to strengthen and expand our educational programs and raise awareness of the university’s many support resources.”

For additional information about Stanford’s Title IX resources and policies, please visit the SHARE/Title IX Office website.