University of Minnesota considers policy changes to comply with new Title IX regulations
What and when: University of Minnesota Board of Regents Meeting and Retreat (Wednesday, July 8 and Thursday, July 9, beginning at 9 a.m. both days)
Where: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these meetings will be conducted virtually with a livestream publicly available at youtube.com/UMNRegents
As public higher education institutions throughout the country consider necessary adjustments to sexual misconduct policies to comply with new federal Title IX regulations, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents will consider proposed amendments to the University’s policies and processes during its July meeting.
Released by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) last month, these regulations narrow the scope of sexual misconduct (including sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence) that educational institutions are required to prohibit. They also set requirements for how institutions must conduct grievance processes related to Title IX concerns. The University’s policies and procedures must comply with the federal regulations by Aug. 14.
In many places, the DOE regulations set minimum standards and allow individual institutions to make policy choices appropriate for their unique needs. Since the DOE publicly announced these changes, University leaders have reiterated that the discretion built into this guidance will allow the University to continue providing effective and fair response to all types of sexual misconduct that harms University community members, whether that misconduct occurs on- or off-campus.
The Board will discuss the following primary considerations related to these changes:
- A uniform standard of evidence for all Title IX cases, whether these matters involve students, faculty or staff;
- Adjustments to how live hearings are conducted, as well as the process for appealing University Title IX decisions;
- The size and composition of Title IX hearing panels;
- The scope of advisor roles for those assisting parties involved in these matters, and;
- The level of systemwide centralization the University will employ as it moves forward with updates to its processes.
Since the initial DOE announcement, the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, in collaboration with other University offices, has consulted broadly with students, faculty and staff systemwide to determine how the University can best meet these federal mandates on all five of its campuses. Though University administrators are continuing to gather feedback from governance groups and beyond, consultation in recent months is reflected in materials coming before the Board for consideration in July.
As part of its July meetings, the Board is also expected to:
- Act on a recommendation for a one-time employee retirement incentive option.
- Hear the annual report from the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, which represents nearly 500,000 alums from the University's Twin Cities and Rochester campuses.
- Act on the purchase of 501 Oak Street SE in Minneapolis and the sale of 1.66 acres at UMore Park in Rosemount.
For more information, including future meeting times, visit regents.umn.edu.