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U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights Withdraws 2011 Dear Colleague Letter: Highlights for Campus Leaders

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U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights Withdraws 2011 Dear Colleague Letter: Highlights for Campus Leaders

September 26, 2017

​Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced Sept. 22 that she was rescinding the 2011 and 2014 guidelines issued by the Obama administration on Title IX campus sexual assault, issuing a Dear Colleague letter and Q&A document to help institutions navigate the issue while a review is conducted. The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will use the Q&A to assess institutions' compliance with Title IX while a formal rulemaking process is launched to develop a new policy that “responds to the concerns of stakeholders and that aligns with the purpose of Title IX to achieve fair access to educational benefits.”

This issue brief unpacks the interim guidance and what it means for campuses and students. Some expectations remain the same, while others have been changed to give institutions more flexibility. For example, the Q&A grants institutions the ability to set their own standards for misconduct findings, to pursue informal resolutions such as mediation and to establish an appeals process for disciplinary sanctions. It also includes language dealing with protections for accused students.

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