With Education Secretary Betsey Devos much in the news over possible changes to the Dear Colleague letter promulgated by the DOE’s Office of Civil Rights, this note by me and my Lightfoot colleagues Brandon Essig and Clint Speegle in University Business is timely: High-profile lawsuits, OCR investigations and new congressional legislative interest have all conspired to mean that colleges and universities ignore the Dear Colleague situation to their peril. Unlike the disciplinary process for a cheating scandal, the resolution of a sexual assault case is a classic “parallel-proceedings” scenario. At any moment there may be an administrative proceeding (by the university), as well as a criminal investigation (by external law enforcement) and potential civil lawsuits by either the accuser or the respondent. In the university disciplinary context, parallel proceedings raise at least two often troubling—and sometimes disastrous—special issues. Read the full article here. We have written extensively before about Title IX here. It’s a topic not likely to go away soon.
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