OU’s President Responds to U.S. Department of Education’s Title IX Announcement

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Ohio University President Duane Nellis says the U.S. Department of Education’s new plan to evaluate federal regulation of campus sexual assault will not change the way his administration approaches the issue.

“The U.S. Department of Education’s announcement today has not changed the law,” Nellis wrote in a state released Thursday. “We are steadfast in our efforts to provide Title IX’s guarantees of equitable access to educational and fair employment opportunities. This includes the commitment to identify, stop, remediate, and prevent sexual misconduct on our campuses.”

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced earlier the same day that the department would be looking into Obama-era guidelines sent in a 2011 letter for how schools should handle sexual assault.

Proponents of the previous administration’s move said it provided more resources to monitoring and preventing sexual assaults and harassment on campuses across the country. Critics of the measure said it denied due process to those of accused of sexual assault and harassment.

Devos, speaking to a crowd at the George Mason University’s Arlington, Virginia, campus, said “One rape is one too many, one assault is one too many, one aggressive act of harassment is one too many, one person denied due process is one too many.”

She did not indicate how the department will change the policy but established that there will be a public comment period.

“We will monitor the public comment period, and we will advocate for a safe and healthy learning and working environment for all members of our community,” Nellis said.

Read the full statement from Nellis here.