August 14, 2020
New Title IX regulations result in revised policy
In order to meet a stringent federal deadline for policy compliance, the Office of Institutional Equity has published revisions to the "Policy Prohibiting, Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Harassment, and Procedure for Reviewing Complaints." Kansas State University's revised policy reflects the federally required changes and can be found in Chapter 3010 of the university's Policy and Procedure Manual.
On May 6, 2020, the Department of Education released its Final Title IX Regulation with an implementation deadline of today. A targeted working group was formed under the leadership of the Office of Institutional Equity to update existing policies to be legally compliant within a short time frame. At this point, the process moves to implementing the new policies and procedures, which includes bringing in voices from various campus stakeholders.
On Monday, Aug. 31, at 11 a.m., the university will host a virtual open forum to explain the new federal requirements and discuss the process for broader stakeholder involvement. The new regulations do not apply to cases filed before today.
"At the core of our policy is a commitment to improving how we report and respond to incidents involving our students, faculty and staff," said Scott Jones, director for the Office of Institutional Equity. "With the initial deadline for compliance met, we plan for the policy and procedures to continue to evolve as we move forward in the implementation of the new regulations."
Among the core provisions of the new Title IX regulations:
- An explanation that sexual harassment consists of quid pro quo harassment; unwelcome conduct that is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the university's educational program or activity; or sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in the United States Code.
- A detailed investigation and live hearing process (grievance process) including the right to have an advisor cross-examine parties and witnesses. This includes increased focus on elements of due process including notice of allegations, access to evidence, the right to confront witnesses and accusers, and the right to appeal.
- A specified method for initiating the formal grievance process through a formal complaint signed by either the complainant or the Title IX coordinator.
- A complainant must be actively participating in or attempting to participate in the institution's education program or activity at the time the complaint is filed.
Among the provisions that did not change:
- The preponderance of evidence standard remains in place.
- Resources, support and reasonably available changes to academic, living, transportation and working situations, for a party when requested and appropriate during the PPM 3010 process.
- Requirement that administrators and supervisors will continue to be required to report allegations of conduct that violates PPM 3010.
- Prohibition on retaliation for anyone participating in the PPM 3010 process
According to the new regulations, Title IX no longer applies to sexual harassment that occurs outside the geographic boundaries of the United States. However, the university will continue to investigate claims that arise in university programs and activities outside the United States. Title IX also does not apply to sexual harassment that occurs off-campus, in a private setting, and that is not part of the institution's education program or activity. The university will continue to have Title IX jurisdiction over matters on campus and those connected to university programs and activities.
Those with specific questions should reach out to the Office of Institutional Equity at 785 532 6220 (TRS 711) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Frequently asked questions will be posted on the OIE site before the open forum.