Biden Administration’s Final Title IX Rule Goes Into Effect Aug. 1
April 22, 2024

​The Biden administration’s long-awaited final rule overhauling Title IX was unveiled on Friday, ushering in a yet another new era for how colleges and universities handle cases of sexual harassment and assault.

Title IX is the 1972 law that serves as a cornerstone in safeguarding students from sex-based discrimination across all educational levels in schools that receive federal funding. The new regulations, which take effect Aug. 1, introduce significant shifts in how institutions address sexual harassment and assault allegations while expanding protections for LGBTQ+ and pregnant students.

Among the changes, the regulations eliminate the mandate for live hearings with cross-examination as part of campus disciplinary processes for resolving sexual assault.  This will provide important flexibility for campuses and will help them better protect survivors while ensuring fairness to all parties.

Other key changes include a new definition of sexual harassment, extending jurisdiction to off-campus and international incidents, and clarifying protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, and parenting status.

Absent is a proposal on transgender participation on specific men and women athletics teams, which is anticipated after the November election.

The regulations mark another pivotal moment for Title IX, which has been subject to political fluctuations in recent years. Institutions hope this latest rule will bring stability to a landscape marked by uncertainty over the past decade.

Replacing the Trump-era rule from May 2020, which rolled back Obama-era guidance on addressing sexual misconduct, the new regulations address longstanding criticisms from certain sectors that have long contended that the existing rules pose barriers to reporting and receiving support.

The Biden administration made rewriting the Title IX regulations a priority since taking office in 2021. Despite facing delays, the final rule represents a culmination of extensive review and response to some 235,000 comments.

In a statement, ACE President Ted Mitchell highlighted the responsiveness of the Department of Education to the concerns raised by various stakeholders, including ACE, in these comments. He praised the flexibility provided to institutions in evaluating allegations and assessing credibility, emphasizing the removal of the live hearing mandate for sexual assault complaints, which can turn proceedings into adversarial tribunals, potentially re-traumatizing survivors and discouraging reporting.

However, Mitchell cautioned that while the rule offered flexibility and clarity, it also introduced new complexities and obligations for campuses, necessitating extensive retraining of administrators and staff. He noted the challenges, especially for smaller, under-resourced institutions, in meeting the Aug. 1 compliance deadline.

“After years of constant churn in Title IX guidance and regulations,” Mitchell said, “we hope for the sake of students and institutions that there will be more stability and consistency in the requirements going forward.”

ACE will hold a webinar April 29 to review what campuses need to know to prepare for the Aug. 1 deadline. To register, please click here.

​2024 Changes to the Title IX Regulations: What Campuses Need to Know Now

Monday, April 29 | 1:00 p.m. ET

register now