Today, Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson, issued a letter formally “withdrawing the statements of policy and guidance” reflected in the U.S. Department of Education’s April 2011 Dear Colleague Letter concerning sexual violence and its April 2014 Questions and Answers on Title IX and sexual violence.  Ms. Jackson’s letter indicates that the Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will “not rely on the withdrawn documents in its enforcement of Title IX” and will instead rely on its 2001 Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance and January 2006 Dear Colleague Letter on sexual harassment.  Ms. Jackson’s letter also indicates the Department’s intent to undergo a new public rulemaking process will result in an “approach to student sexual misconduct that responds to the concerns of stakeholders and that aligns with the purpose of Title IX to achieve access to educational benefits.”  The letter is accompanied by a document titled “Q&A on Campus Sexual Misconduct,” intended to provide interim guidance related to the Department’s enforcement positions.  Notably, this guidance emphasizes that schools must continue to meet their legal obligations under the Clery Act, which includes amendments to the Act by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, and accompanying regulations. Continue Reading U.S. Department of Education Withdraws Title IX Guidance

In a speech yesterday afternoon at George Mason University, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos outlined the Department of Education’s intention to launch “a full, transparent notice-and-comment process to incorporate the insights of all parties in developing a better way” to handle the investigation of sexual assaults under Title IX. Continue Reading DeVos on Title IX: “The era of ‘rule by letter’ is over”

Last week, the NCAA Board of Governors adopted a policy regarding yearly sexual violence prevention education, and all institutions participating in the NCAA (at any level) must comply with the policy. The policy was recommended by the NCAA’s Commission to Combat Campus Sexual Violence, which is composed of college and university presidents, athletics administrators, NCAA coaches, sexual violence experts, and NCAA student-athletes.

Continue Reading The Time is Now: NCAA Adopts Sexual Violence Policy

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced its plan to review a University’s alcohol and other drug (AOD) policies and procedures as part of an ongoing investigation related to Title IX. With students and employees the subject of Title IX investigations and subject to AOD policies, as well as emerging trends related to medical and recreational marijuana, now is the time to reevaluate your school’s AOD policies, procedures, and practices as it relates to students and employees. Continue Reading Students and Employees at the Intersection of Alcohol and Other Drug Policies and Title IX

In the wake of headlines chronicling sexual assault scandals at universities and colleges around the country, states responded by introducing legislation aimed at curbing these assaults. Texas State Senator and Husch Blackwell Partner, Kirk Watson, authored two pieces of legislation that will begin to address the issue at Texas universities and colleges—both public and private. Continue Reading New Texas Laws Require Public and Private Universities to Remove Barriers to Reporting Sexual Assault

An institution may have off campus property that meets the geographical definition for “noncampus buildings or property” while at the same time meeting the Clery definition of “separate campus.”  If that is the case, the property should be classified as a separate campus, which carries with it significant Clery compliance obligations. Continue Reading Be Careful! Your Noncampus Property May Actually Be a Separate Campus (Clery Blog Series #6*)

Under the Clery Act, institutions must disclose crime statistics reported to have occurred on their Clery geography.  The U.S. Department of Education (ED) included guidance in the 2016 edition of The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting (“Clery Handbook”) that indicates that hotels where your students stay while participating in the institution’s program and activities should be included in the noncampus buildings or property geographical category in some circumstances.   Continue Reading Are You Including Student Overnight Trips in Your Clery Geography? You Might Need To (Clery Blog Series #5*)

The Clery Act requires institutions to disclose certain crime statistics that occur on its Clery geography in its Annual Security Report and to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) each year.   The crimes to be disclosed are as follows: Continue Reading You May Not Need to Disclose All Clery Crimes Occurring on Your Clery Geography (Clery Blog Series #4*)

Under the Clery Act, institutions must disclose crime statistics reported on their Clery geography, which includes on-campus property, on-campus student housing facilities (if applicable), noncampus buildings or property, and public property.   Whether the property at issue is “reasonably contiguous” to the campus can be the determinative factor when choosing between an on-campus property designation or a noncampus building or property designation.  The 2016 edition of The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting (“Clery Handbook”) provides new and additional information about what it means for a piece of property to be “reasonably contiguous” to the campus with its discussion of the “one-mile rule.”
Continue Reading Clery’s “One-Mile Rule” – What is it? Why does it matter? (Clery Blog Series #3*)

PrintThere are several approaches the U.S. Department of Education (ED) utilizes to evaluate an institution’s compliance with the Clery Act, including program reviews and “spot check” assessments.

Commonly, an institution’s Clery compliance is evaluated as part of  Continue Reading ED Uses Multi-pronged Approach to Checking Your Clery Compliance (Clery Blog Series #2*)