The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today approved an updated Title IX compliance statement which reflects new guidance from the Department of Education regarding sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct/sexual violence. The Board also approved a revised policy regarding anti-harassment and non-discrimination.
Sonia Rucker, assistant to the president for equity and diversity and dean of students, said the updated and revised policies are in response to a new Title IX rule that was finalized and published by the U.S. Department of Education on May 19, 2020. The new guidance replaces the extensive guidance offered the by the Department of Education’s April 2011 Dear Colleague Letter, and includes an August 14, 2020 effective date for institutions to incorporate the new guidance, Rucker said.
The action taken by the Board of Regents addresses requirements in the revised Final Rule on Title IX that requires the University to incorporate language from the Final Title IX Rule including updating the definition of sexual harassment, to include sexual assault, as a form of unlawful discrimination; along with dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as those offenses are defined in the Cleary Act and the Violence Against Women Act.
Additionally, further changes will include revisions to how the University will investigate Title IX complaints, in accordance with the Procedures for Defining and Adjudicating Title IX cases, the grievance process, and the hearing and appellate processes.
The updated and revised policies were drafted in consultation with legal counsel and will be reflected in the University’s Business Policies and Procedures Manual, Rucker said.