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New Title IX Regulations Set to Take Effect on Aug. 14

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights recently issued new and revised regulations addressing how colleges and universities must respond to cases of alleged sexual misconduct under Title IX, a federal statute that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex or gender in any federally funded education program or activity. As you may be aware, the changes embodied in the over 2,000 pages of new regulations and commentary are comprehensive, complicated and, in some instances, controversial. By mandating that institutions come into compliance with the new regulations in total by Aug. 14, 2020, the Department of Education has prescribed an unusually tight time frame for implementation, as well.

The work of reviewing and implementing these changes is substantial: there are policies to be re-written, processes to be re-thought, training to be re-conceived and delivered and difficult decisions to be made. Nevertheless, Drexel is approaching this moment as a challenge as well as an opportunity to revitalize existing processes and to reaffirm the University’s unwavering commitment to fostering an educational and work environment that is free from harassment and misconduct in all its forms. 

Under the leadership of Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator Paul Apicella, the team has already begun working on this difficult, time-sensitive and critical task. Several cross-departmental working groups have been assembled and will continue to engage stakeholders from the University community throughout the process, including students, faculty and professional staff; they will communicate with members of the Drexel community about any changes and updates as they occur. In the meantime, the University’s existing Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Misconduct Policy remains in effect, as does Drexel’s dedication to administering resolution processes that not only are compliant with applicable laws, but also are in keeping with fundamental values of providing fair, sensitive and accessible processes for all members of the Drexel community.      

While time is short and there is much to be done, Drexel appreciates your patience as the University works through these important issues and welcome your ongoing engagement. If you have any questions or concerns about the new regulations, or if you would like to report concerns regarding harassment or discrimination, including sexual misconduct, please contact the Office of Equality and Diversity at oed@drexel.edu or 215.895.1405.