On June 23, the Department of Education released a proposal to update federal Title IX rules to “advance Title IX's goal of ensuring that no person experiences sex discrimination, sex-based harassment, or sexual violence in education.”
The Biden administration has been reviewing federal Title IX regulations since early 2021 and was expected to propose regulations to reverse many of the Title IX requirements set by the Trump administration.
The proposal sets standards for defining sex-based harassment and for responding to sex discrimination, establishing rules for grievance procedures and resolution. It notably eliminates a controversial Trump-era regulation that had required institutions to allow cross-examination of witnesses.
ED’s press release states that the proposal would also—
- Clearly protect students and employees from all forms of sex discrimination.
- Provide full protection from sex-based harassment.
- Require schools to take prompt and effective action to end any sex discrimination in their education programs or activities—and to prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects.
- Protect students and employees who are pregnant or have pregnancy-related conditions.
- Require schools to respond promptly to all complaints of sex discrimination with a fair and reliable process that includes trained, unbiased decision-makers who evaluate the evidence.
- Require schools to provide supportive measures to students and employees affected by conduct that may constitute sex discrimination, including students who have brought complaints or who have been accused of sex-based harassment.
- Protect LGBTQIA+ students from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics.
- Clarify and confirm protection from retaliation for students, employees, and others who exercise their Title IX rights.
- Improve the adaptability of the regulations' grievance procedure requirements so that all recipients can implement Title IX's promise of nondiscrimination fully and fairly in their educational environments.
- Ensure that schools share their nondiscrimination policies with all students, employees, and other participants in their education programs or activities.
Notably, ED stated that it will issue a separate notice of proposed rulemaking concerns Title IX’s application to athletics.
ED has provided a summary of major changes and a fact sheet. Once the proposal is published in the Federal Register, the public will have 60 days to submit comments before ED finalizes the regulation. An implementation and compliance date will be set with publication of a final rule.
NACUBO is currently reviewing the release and expects to respond in coordination with other national higher education organizations and associations.