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Comments on Proposed Changes to Title IX

On September 10, the AAUP submitted comments in response to proposed changes by the US Department of Education (ED) to regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination in any program or activity receiving federal financial funding.

The AAUP’s comments relate to faculty and other academic professionals as well as staff, because Title IX affects them in multiple ways. Beyond protected categories like race and gender, the proposed changes must be responsive to how job categories and rank can also create vulnerabilities to sex discrimination. It is the AAUP’s position that the interpretation and implementation of Title IX must occur alongside careful and increased consideration of all forms of systemic discrimination and inequity in academia and that such consideration would be best accomplished through a robust commitment to shared governance and academic freedom.

While the AAUP commends several aspects of the ED’s proposed regulations, including clarification that Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, we urge the ED to further amend provisions of the proposed regulations to better enact Title IX’s broad equity goals for higher education.

The AAUP urges the Department of Education to adopt regulations that do the following:

•       Address gender inequity within a more comprehensive assessment of bases for inequality.
•       Protect freedom of speech and, in particular, academic freedom of faculty in their teaching and research.
•       Protect due process in investigations and hearings.
•       Endorse shared governance and collective bargaining to bring faculty expertise and institutional knowledge into developing and implementing policies related to Title IX.

An executive summary and the full comments are available here.

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, September 13, 2022