On Title IX Updates

On Title IX Updates

NADOHE Statement on Title IX Rules

April 19, 2024

As the preeminent voice for diversity leaders in higher education, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education welcomes the measures finalized this morning to strengthen and clarify Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. These critical changes from the administration restore key elements of the landmark law that will help protect all students and foster safer campuses across the country. In particular, the final regulations clarify the requirements for investigation and adjudication of each student report of sexual misconduct and portends greater accountability for offenders and greater security for college communities. 

The Title IX updates also introduce much-needed expansion to the scope of the law. By broadening essential safeguards for transgender and non-binary individuals that were weakened by the previous administration, and by codifying protections for pregnant and parenting individuals, this administration has taken seriously the need to secure access and support for historically vulnerable students. Further, by acknowledging the necessity of flexibility, the administration has granted colleges and universities the space to determine policies best suited to their respective institutional sizes and cultures.

These regulatory adjustments have better positioned Title IX to fulfill the law’s central mission: undermining sex-based discrimination in those educational institutions that rely on public funding. Sexual misconduct and other discrimination based on gender and gender identity remain among the biggest threats to equitable, inclusive access to education and its lifelong individual and collective benefits. We are confident the Title IX changes will go a long way in confronting and, in the long run, easing these threats.

Many NADOHE members are responsible for overseeing their campuses’ work related to Title IX, gender equity, and nondiscrimination based on sex. We lead efforts to maintain equitable processes and work to assure the safety and well-being of campus communities, and welcome opportunities to partner with the Department of Education to achieve these goals.

Still, while NADOHE is grateful for the changes achieved by this administration, we remain deeply concerned about shifts in the regulatory landscape as presidential administrations turn over. Campuses over the past decade have endured a regulatory back-and-forth over Title IX rules and guidance. The resulting uncertainty has compounded the difficulty of what are already traumatic experiences for many individuals. Consistency for the sake of fairness and to avoid confusion should be a primary objective for elected officials and campus leaders alike.

On a final note, for more than a half-century, Title IX has proven vital to the organization and administration of institutional responses to sex-based discrimination and sexual misconduct. The law’s latest iteration represents well-considered progress, enabling new mechanisms that NADOHE members are fully prepared to employ.