President Johnson submitted comments on the Department of Education’s proposed Title IX Regulations. Drawing from her work as co-chair of a study sponsored by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine regarding the impacts of sexual harassment in academia, President Johnson suggests recommendations that would lessen potential harmful effects of the Department’s proposed regulations.
Wellesley joined fellow private liberal arts colleges in releasing a statement on the Department of Education’s proposed Title IX Regulations. The colleges ask for reconsideration and/or further work on the regulations to ensure that they advance Title IX’s goal of educational environments free from discrimination and harassment. The primary concern of the colleges is that “the Department seeks to remove the autonomy of private, independent schools by seeking to impose a uniform, “one-size-fits-all” set of procedures for handling all allegations of sexual violence and sexual harassment, for every school in the United States, regardless of the school’s size, history, geography, mission, values, or culture.”
The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM), of which Wellesley is a member, submitted written comments on the Department of Education’s proposed changes to Title IX regulations. AICUM is concerned that the proposed regulations, as currently drafted, may undermine rather than advance Title IX’s very purpose – to protect against discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities.
On November 16, 2018, the Department of Education (DOE) released proposed regulations regarding how colleges and universities will be held accountable for responding to complaints of sexual harassment. Under Title IX, sexual harassment includes sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct. These regulations, if they were to be put into place, would have a significant impact on how institutions are expected to address these issues within their communities.
The regulations are only proposed at this stage, as a 60-day notice and comment period began on November 29, 2018. During this time period., the public is invited to submit comments regarding the proposed regulations. When the comment period closes on January 28, 2019, the DOE will review these comments and decide whether to make any changes to the proposed regulations. After that, the final regulations will be issued. Find more information regarding the notice and comment process.
Wellesley is working with the leadership of colleges and universities locally and around the country to consider how best to comment on these proposed regulations. As we develop next steps, anyone with questions about how Wellesley College responds to issues of discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct should visit the Sexual Misconduct/Title IX website, which has information about College policy, resources, and how to report misconduct.
Individuals should also feel free to contact the Director for Non-Discrimination Initiatives/ Title IX Coordinator directly with any questions you may have (firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-283-2451).
Wellesley College’s support for those who may have experienced sexual harassment remains strong, as there is no place for any form of discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct within our community. Individuals who may have experienced this conduct are reminded that there are many resources available to support them, including confidential support from the Stone Center, Health Services, and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.
Information regarding other support resources both on and off campus can be found on this site's resources page.