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SCU Statement on New Title IX Regulations

 

Dear Santa Clara University Community,

On May 6, Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, announced federal changes to the Title IX regulations affecting how our University must respond to complaints of gender- or sex-based discrimination, harassment or violence. The Department of Education (DOE) has set a deadline of Aug. 14 for compliance—a very short turnaround for such complex issues.

We want to assure you of our commitment to create and maintain a safe, supportive, and responsive environment for all members of our community and let you know of steps that our Title IX Office will take in the short- and long-term to comply with the new regulations.

Many on our campus and across higher education share concerns expressed by the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA), and many other organizations that the new regulations may discourage reporting, undermine the goals of a fair and equitable process, and harm parties. On May 8, Fr. O’Brien endorsed a statement from AJCU leadership expressing disappointment that few, if any, of AJCU’s recommendations were adopted in the final rules and that the final regulations were released in the midst of a pandemic.

The Director of Equal Opportunity and Title IX, General Counsel’s office and members of the Policy 311 Task Force, chaired by Professor Laura Ellingson, are carefully reviewing the new Title IX regulations to determine what changes or additions will be required. While some of the changes from the DOE require measures that Santa Clara University already employs, others will require substantial revisions to existing policies and procedures.

Understanding that laws and regulations create a baseline, we want to reaffirm our Jesuit commitment to cura personalis and continue to build above that baseline, creating and sustaining an environment free from discrimination, harassment and sexual violence. 

Our Title IX Office will provide additional information to the SCU community as our work continues in the coming weeks.

Sincerely,

Kevin F. O'Brien, S.J.
President

Belinda Guthrie
Director of Equal Opportunity
Title IX Coordinator

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