College leaders ponder future of Title IX under Trump

Article here. Excerpt:

'As the Trump administration begins its term in office, college leaders remain unsure about how the new White House will regulate institutions' approaches to campus sexual assault. A briefing Wednesday on Capitol Hill reflected that anxiety, with college presidents calling on institutions to continue the Obama administration’s increased focus on protecting students while urging the Trump administration to provide more clarity and to take a less adversarial stance.

“My hope is that whatever Congress or the administration does in terms of peeling back federal regulations, that the universities in this country do not step away from this issue,” said Diane Harrison, president of California State University, Northridge. “There are rumors that they’re going to lessen what we have to do. So we are potentially going to need to be far more assertive and far more vocal.”
College presidents at Wednesday’s briefing were in agreement that they would continue to use the preponderance of evidence standard, even if the 2011 guidance were to be reversed. The majority of colleges were already using the standard prior to the Dear Colleague letter. Alisa White, president of Austin Peay State University, in Tennessee, said the lower standard is appropriate because a campus disciplinary decision does not involve “a loss of liberty.”

“I think the preponderance of the evidence standard should be one that would stand,” White said, while adding that colleges should not rush to judgment on a student’s culpability. “It’s important to us and will be important to us regardless of what guidance and policies change.”

The presidents disagreed, however, on whether students suspended or expelled over sexual assault allegations should have the charge noted on their transcripts. Last month, Representative Jackie Speier, a California Democrat, introduced a bill that would require academic transcripts to show that a student had violated campus policies involving sexual violence. Speier said at the time that colleges and universities currently have no way of knowing if a student transferring to their campus has committed a sexual assault at a previous institution.'

Also see: Campus sexual assault panel offered good, bad and ugly for due process

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