The U.S. Department of Education recently issued new guidelines for how universities and K-12 schools will investigate and adjudicate sexual misconduct allegations beginning Aug. 14.
To ensure that students, faculty and staff are aware of the new rules and how they will work in practice, Title IX coordinators for all four campuses in the CU system have begun meeting with stakeholder groups to explain what has changed with Title IX, what will remain the same, and how the campuses can continue to address sexual misconduct with strong university policies that complement the new Title IX rules.
Valerie Simons, associate vice chancellor and Title IX coordinator for CU Boulder’s Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC), is leading the systemwide implementation of the new rules issued on May 6. This effort is in addition to the work of a statewide committee she chairs that is providing recommendations to all of Colorado’s institutions of higher education required to update their policies under the new rules.
No later than Aug. 14, universities and K-12 schools across the country are required to implement the federal rule changes and provide appropriate trainings to all students, faculty, and staff.
In a Nutshell
CU Denver | CU Anschutz and other universities as well as K-12 schools
across the country must implement new Title IX rules related to the investigation
and adjudication of sexual misconduct cases. The new rules take effect on Aug. 14.
To meet that deadline, all faculty and staff must complete online training on university policy.
What is Title IX?
Enacted in 1972, Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational settings
that receive federal funds. This year, the U.S. Department of Education announced
rule changes to the pioneering law regarding the adjudication of sexual misconduct cases
on college campuses and in K-12 schools. The new regulations apply to the entire CU system
of four campuses and will mean updates to the systemwide Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Got Questions or Feedback?
If you have questions or would like to provide feedback about the Title IX revisions,
please contact OE
The Office of Equity (OE) staff are currently working to update the CU Denver | CU Anschutz Sexual Misconduct Procedures in accordance with the new regulations, staff in the OE are working diligently to review and update the Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Training in Skillsoft for faculty and staff in accordance with the new regulations. The Skillsoft training is currently scheduled to be available for faculty and staff to take beginning on August 18. Given the substantive changes to both the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures, all Faculty and Staff will be required to take this training, and will be required to complete this training every three years.
Additionally, the OE Staff is working closely with the Phoenix Center to update the Canvas training available to students to comply with the new regulations. The OE continue to evaluate how best to deliver this online training, and in-person training to incoming and continuing students at CU Anschutz and CU Denver.
Commitment to Equity and Fairness
The OE and partner offices on the other CU campuses continue to be committed to providing equity and fairness during resolutions in sexual misconduct cases, to comply with new and existing applicable federal and state laws, and to create a process that campus communities can understand and access.
CU’s sexual misconduct policy, which has been updated to include the new guidance, will remain strong, and efforts that will continue include the full investigation of all sexual misconduct allegations; maintaining on- and off-campus jurisdiction; provision of supportive measures and services to victims; mandatory reporting by responsible employees; and procedural protections for all parties during formal investigations.
The federal government’s new regulations narrow sexual misconduct definitions under Title IX, specify jurisdiction for such cases, and prescribe grievance procedures and staff roles for adjudications. However, the regulations do not restrict universities from additionally addressing sexual misconduct outside the purview of Title IX, which CU will continue to do.
Mandated federal changes include definitions and terminology about what is considered prohibited conduct; the separation of roles between decision-makers and sexual misconduct investigators; and the inclusion of live, cross-examination hearings that provide cost-free advisers if needed.
Since fall 2018, when federal education officials issued proposed changes to Title IX rules, the CU system’s Title IX Committee has been analyzing them and working to establish a model for scenarios that are consistent with university policies and applicable laws. Committee members include campus Title IX, human resources and university counsel staff.
In order to review proposed policies and processes, the OE staff have also provided updates to CU Denver | CU Anschutz partner offices such as the Phoenix Centers at Auraria and Anschutz, CUPD, Student Conduct and Community Standards, and student, faculty, and staff governance groups.