Title IX Updates
May 6, 2020 1:16 PM

To our students, faculty, and staff:

Among the Guiding Principles of the University of Illinois System is one that promises: “We will respond expeditiously to discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, and bullying with policies that are legally appropriate, fair, and widely understood.” This principle is particularly noteworthy today as the U.S. Department of Education issued new regulations regarding the handling of sexual misconduct allegations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 – changes that will affect all of us as we work to provide safe and welcoming campuses for our more than 100,000 students and employees.

The changes under Title IX are both lengthy and complex, and our attorneys, Title IX officers, and other administrators are reviewing them to gauge their precise impact on all of us.

The new rules include provisions about which we expressed concerns last year when the Department of Education offered the opportunity to comment on proposals being considered. We remain concerned about an overly narrow definition of sexual harassment, a single grievance procedure for both students and employees, and hearing processes that require participants to be subject to cross examination.

As a public university system, we will always comply with Department of Education rules. Almost certainly, though, the new regulations will be subject to litigation that could delay their implementation.

Each of our universities will follow up with more-detailed statements in response to the new regulations. In addition to the U of I System’s review of these regulations, we will continue our ongoing efforts to foster safe learning environments. A system-wide task force recently spent more than a year developing a holistic approach to the prevention of sexual misconduct and fostering a safe, healthy culture for learning and success. Those efforts will continue in partnership with each university.

We thank all of you who have so closely followed this ongoing discussion. Be assured that the U of I System will continue to support our universities as they work toward our collective goal of building campus communities that do not tolerate sexual misconduct, harassment, bullying, or violence in any form.


Tim Killeen

Barbara J. Wilson
Executive Vice President/Vice President for Academic Affairs

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