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FAQ's re: Secretary Betsy DeVos' September 7, 2017 Announcement

FAQ’s re: Secretary Betsy DeVos’ September 7, 2017, Announcement

by Sara L. Trower, Civil Rights Compliance Training and Outreach Coordinator

  1. What is Title IX?
    Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities.


  1. Which federal agency has responsibility for the enforcement of Title IX?
    The United States Department of Education has responsibility for the enforcement of Title IX. The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is the specific office designated to receive complaints regarding Title IX violations.


  1. Secretary DeVos said the Department of Education previously “imposed [Title IX] policy by political letter.”  What letter was she referencing?
    Secretary DeVos’ remarks were alluding to the Title IX guidance previously issued by the Department of Education, including the items below:

April 4, 2011 “Dear Colleague Letter”:           https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201104.html


April 29, 2014 “Questions and Answers about Title IX and Sexual Violence”:



April 24, 2015, “Dear Colleague Letter” regarding designation of a Title IX Coordinator:



  1. What is the federal rulemaking process that Secretary DeVos announced the Department of Education will be initiating?
    Rulemaking is the process by which a federal agency with responsibility for implementing a federal statute like Title IX promulgates rules and regulations.  The process provides for notice of a proposed rule in the Federal Register and an opportunity for review and comment by the public before federal regulations are adopted.  For more information on the rulemaking process, see “A guide to the Rulemaking Process.”:  https://www.federalregister.gov/uploads/2011/01/the_rulemaking_process.pdf


  1. What can I do to make my voice heard in the Title IX rulemaking process that the Department of Education will be initiating?
    Stay informed about the process.  The process begins with publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register.  You can sign up to receive notices at:  https://www.federalregister.gov/

The notice of proposed rulemaking will include information on the time period provided for comment (generally 30 to 60 days), and it will provide the methods by which comments can be submitted.

Review the notice of proposed rulemaking and submit your comments as indicated in the notice.


  1. Why is sexual misconduct in all its forms (e.g., sexual harassment, non-consensual intercourse, non-consensual touching, stalking, dating violence, domestic violence, and sexual exploitation) prohibited under Title IX?
    Sexual misconduct is prohibited because it creates a barrier to educational and employment opportunities by interfering with the survivor’s educational or work opportunity.


  1. Does Title IX protect all students and employees from sexual misconduct?
    Yes.  All students and employees at educational institutions receiving federal funds are protected from sex discrimination, including sexual violence.  Any student or employee can experience sex discrimination, including sexual violence – undergraduate students, graduate students, professional school students; males, females, straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and employees; students and employees with or without disabilities; students and employees of different races, religions, ethnicities, and national origins.


  1. Does Secretary Betsy DeVos’ announcement that the Department of Education will be initiating the rulemaking process for new Title IX regulations change Ohio University’s policy regarding the duty to report sexual misconduct, relationship violence, and stalking?
    No.  The University’s policy remains unchanged.  https://www.ohio.edu/policy/03-004.html#procedure


Report sexual misconduct to:  University Equity & Civil Rights Compliance (ECRC)
Lindley 006
e-mail:  equity@ohio.edu or titleix@ohio.edu
Click on “Report Sexual Misconduct” tab at:  www.ohio.edu/equity-civil-rights  


  9.  Where can I find information on resources regarding sexual misconduct?

        Faculty and Staff Secual Misconduct Resource Folders: 



For additional FAQ’s about sexual misconduct:  https://www.ohio.edu/equity-civil-rights/sexual-misconduct-faqs.cfm