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New Federal Title IX Rules & UW

Accommodating & Opposing New Title IX Rule Changes

The US Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, recently took action to increase Title IX protections for all students. Remember, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. The new federal rule changes intended to strengthen Title IX protections for sexual assault survivors and “ … restore due process in campus proceedings to ensure all students can pursue an education free from sex discrimination,” according to the US Department of Education (DOE). This holds schools accountable for failing to respond to sexual misconduct allegations in a timely and appropriate manner.

As a result, Wisconsin joined 17 other states in filing a legal challenge against these rule changes because state officials believe such protocols can cause less protection for sexual assault victims, despite the DOE alleging that these rules can help victims. Opposing states argue that these rules limit the range of cases universities must investigate and enhance the rights of defendants.

Examples of these Title IX rule changes include holding live hearings and cross-examination when adjudicating sexual misconduct allegations, as well as abolishing the “single-investigator model” commonly used by universities.

UW & Title IX Changes

In response to these federal rule changes, the University of Wisconsin acted quickly to amend its rules to comply with the new Title IX regulations. However, Governor Tony Evers initially prohibited officials from enacting these orders because the plan didn't describe whether UW will strengthen or weaken its definition of sexual harassment and didn't acknowledge how providing more mental health services for “disqualified” victims can create economic impacts.

Four days later, Gov. Evers approved UW’s revised statements on June 19th because university officials made the appropriate changes to their regulations. The new statement includes the following elements:

  • The system plans to update disciplinary and dismissal policies for faculty and academic staff as well as non-academic student misconduct policies.
  • UW institutions recognize that they may experience an economic impact from providing resources to victims but don’t quantify it. UW schools pledge to continue to help all sexual misconduct victims regardless of whether they file a formal complaint.

Regardless of your opinion on these rule changes, you must be aware that learning institutions like UW may adopt different policies and definitions of sexual assault. This could result in inconsistent approaches to handling sexual assault allegations, meaning you will need our attorney to help you navigate your accusation.

Our sexual assault defense lawyer can evaluate your learning institution’s rules and processes for handling sexual assault allegations to devise a hard-hitting defense strategy on your behalf. Our goal is to help you move forward with your education without a criminal record or tainted reputation holding you back. If you’re facing sex crime accusations, reach out to us at (414) 882-8382 to learn about your options!