AAUP Response to New Title IX Regulations

Update: In April 2024, the department released final regulations. The information below pertains to an earlier version. 

The AAUP has issued a response to revised Title IX regulations that the US Department of Education released on May 6. The AAUP had submitted comments in January of this year on the proposed revisions to the regulations in response to the secretary of education’s 2018 request. Those comments build on recommendations made in the AAUP's 2016 report The History, Uses, and Abuses of Title IX. On March 27, 2020, following news reports that the Department of Education would soon be issuing its new proposed Title IX regulations, the AAUP joined the attorneys general of eighteen states in calling for the Department of Education to suspend the rulemaking process for the proposed regulations during the COVID-19 crisis, but the process continued.

The AAUP response, prepared by a subcommittee of Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure and the Committee on Gender and Sexuality in the Academic Profession, comments on some aspects of the revised regulations that represent small steps forward and others that represent large steps backward. Overarching concerns about the regulations include the following:

  • Parts of the new regulations will make it more difficult for victims of harassment to come forward and for the perpetrators to be held responsible, thus making it easier for harassment to be minimized.
  • The standard for harassment has been overly narrowed, the responsibility of the university to address harassment has been excessively limited, and the evidence needed to prove harassment has been increased significantly.
  • While the new regulations have expanded protections for the accused, they do not directly address protections for the vital interests of academic freedom.
  • Improvements related to the burden of proof and some elements of due process, while welcome, are overshadowed by the overall regressive nature of the proposed regulations.

Read an executive summary of the AAUP's response to revised Title IX regulations

Read the full AAUP response to revised Title IX regulations

Publication Date: 
Friday, May 15, 2020