"The comments released today by ACE on the Department of Education’s proposed Title IX regulations are signed onto by 60 other higher education associations, representing a broad cross-section of the American higher education community.
We believe there are some elements of these proposed regulations that will help us accomplish the goal of establishing a clear regulatory framework that sets out the responsibilities of colleges and universities under Title IX and allows institutions to fairly, effectively, and compassionately investigate and resolve allegations of sexual harassment on their campuses. For example, the draft regulations provide survivors more flexibility to determine how they wish to proceed and require an objective evaluation of evidence, underscoring what should always be clear: there can be no “thumb on the scale” in favor of one party or the other.
However, on balance, we think these draft regulations are a step in the wrong direction. Our central concern is that the proposed rule imposes a legalistic, prescriptive “one-size-fits-all” judicial-like process and assumes that institutions are a substitute for our criminal and civil legal system. They are not.
We make a series of recommendations to address the problematic areas of the proposed regulations. Absent our concerns being addressed, these regulations would do more harm than good and undermine college and university efforts to effectively, fairly, and compassionately combat sexual harassment and treat both parties equitably when investigating and resolving cases.
We look forward to working with the Department of Education and other stakeholders as this process moves ahead."