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University response to new Title IX regulations


 

On May 6, 2020, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education issued regulations related to Title IX, a law that mandates that institutions that receive federal funds operate in a nondiscriminatory manner based on sex. As one of more than 7,000 post-secondary institutions that accepts federal funds, James Madison University is obligated to comply with Title IX, and uses the law as a framework to go above and beyond in ensuring that our admissions, athletics, and discipline practices are fair and equitable. The new regulations relate specifically to sexual misconduct and differ from previous guidance offered by the OCR in that they carry the force of law.

The OCR’s more than 2,000-page regulatory document seeks to cement some of the most debated policy positions around Title IX in the last decade, and will impact the university’s current policies and procedures related to sexual misconduct.

We would like to stress that it is our goal to serve our students and act in their best interest always. The new regulations provide a baseline and spell out the most foundational actions that the university must take to be compliant with Title IX, many of which are already in practice at JMU today. These new regulations in no way limit the university in our ongoing quest to exceed the minimum standards in ensuring the safety and success of our students. We remain unwavering in our commitment to eliminating sexual misconduct on our campus, while simultaneously continuing to serve all involved parties in an unbiased and fair manner, treating each Duke on campus with equal dignity.

While it is expected that some of the new mandates may be challenged in court, the university is still obligated to move toward compliance. The university will work expediently across a number of offices to ensure that our existing policies and processes meet the requirements of the law by the mandated deadline of August 14. As has been our policy for many years, changes to the JMU Student Handbook and University Policy 1340, which outline processes used to resolve allegations of sexual misconduct, will be communicated broadly with the JMU community.

Media Contact: Caitlyn Read, University Spokesperson, 540-560-0551, readcl@jmu.edu

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Published: Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 12, 2020

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