Higher Education Report

Higher Education Report

Category Archives: Discrimination

Subscribe to Discrimination RSS Feed

Supreme Court Will Review Fourth Circuit Decision in Transgender Student’s Rights Case

Posted in Discrimination, Student Affairs, Title IX
On October 28, 2016 the United States Supreme Court agreed to review the Fourth Circuit’s decision in Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. This case is about whether a Virginia School Board’s policy limiting students’ bathroom access to facilities that correspond to students’ biological gender is discriminatory. The case was brought by the ACLU, on… Continue Reading

Harvard and OCR Enter into a Resolution Agreement – More Guidance for the Rest of Us

Posted in Discrimination, Students, Title IX
In the closing weeks of 2014, OCR announced its findings with respect to Harvard Law School’s Title IX compliance, as well as a resolution agreement which subjects the Law School, and the University, to monitoring for at least the next three years.  As just one indication of how complicated it has become to comply with… Continue Reading

Confidentiality and Title IX

Posted in Discrimination, Students, Title IV
In OCR’s April 2011 Dear Colleague Letter, OCR referenced a covered institution’s obligations in the face of knowledge of sexual harassment/misconduct and a victim’s request for confidentiality and/or that the institution not act on the report, but did not provide particularly helpful guidance on how an institution is to balance those competing concerns.  Its recent… Continue Reading

Responsible Employees and Title IX

Posted in Discrimination, Students, Title IX, Uncategorized
Under Title IX, the concept of “responsible employee” has a great deal of significance, as recently reaffirmed by OCR in its Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence (Q&A), and previously reported in this blog. OCR deems an institution to have notice of student-on-student sexual harassment and/or misconduct if a “responsible employee” knew, or… Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Education Reaffirms the Importance of Diversity Efforts Post- Schuette

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Diversity
In April, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, upholding Michigan’s State Constitutional Amendment prohibiting, among other things, any preferential treatment on the basis of race in the admissions process at Michigan’s public colleges and universities. Yesterday, the Department of Education responded to that decision by “confirming” that Schuette… Continue Reading

The Assault on Sexual Assault Continues – On Both the Federal and State Levels

Posted in Discrimination, Students, Title IX
As reported last week, The White House Task Force To Protect Students From Sexual Assault issued its first report.  Simultaneously, OCR issued Q&As on Title IX obligations and related documents to help guide institutions and to reinforce the government’s interest in pushing colleges and universities to better respond to campus sexual assaults.  The effort to protect… Continue Reading

Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault

Posted in Discrimination, Sexual Assault, Students, Title IX
Today the White House issued the “first” report from its task force on sexual assault.  The Report provides a number of recommendations for colleges and universities and is a “must read” for any administrator charged with any aspect of Title IX compliance. Among the items addressed in the Report are the following: Campus Climate Surveys. … Continue Reading

Navigating the Uncertain Waters of Suicidal Students on Campus

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Student Affairs
Inside Higher Ed recently reported a situation involving Western Michigan University (WMU).  According to published reports, WMU placed a suicidal student on involuntary medical leave.  The student appealed his dismissal and filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”).  The student was readmitted, but he later committed suicide in his apartment, where he… Continue Reading

Sexual Assault Cases on Campus – The Rise of Claims from the Accused

Posted in Discrimination, Risk Management, Student Affairs, Title IX
In the past three years, there has been considerable activity on the Title IX/Sexual Assault legal front.  We have all read about the increase in claims  brought by victims against their institutions through the complaint procedures of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.  There have been well publicized resolution agreements reached between OCR… Continue Reading

When You Say You Are Going, You Are Going……….

Posted in Discrimination, Faculty Affairs
Institutions often make a “deal” with an individual faculty member that is memorialized in something less formal than a lawyer-drafted contract, and there is always that lingering question as to whether it will be “enforceable” if and when the time comes.  A recent decision involving Northwestern University is good news for institutions in this regard. Here,… Continue Reading

Another Roadmap to Title IX Compliance: The SUNY/OCR Resolution Agreement

Posted in Discrimination, Employment, Student Affairs
At the end of last week, the U. S. Department of Education announced that its Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) had entered into a Resolution Agreement with the State University of New York (“SUNY”) dealing with Title IX compliance issues.  Significantly, the Agreement arose out of an OCR initiated investigation and was not based on… Continue Reading