The U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced a comprehensive review of the agency's regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, in direct response to President Biden's March 8, 2021 Executive Order on Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity. The department hosted a five-day virtual public hearing in June 2021 to collect comments on steps to be taken
to ensure students who experience sexual harassment, including sexual violence, receive appropriate supports; schools provide fair processes for resolving complaints of sexual harassment, including sexual violence; and students who have experienced
discrimination based on gender identify and sexual orientation have their legal rights fully met. AACRAO joined the higher education community in a statement for the proceedings. Following the hearings, the department will review the input from stakeholders and said that it intends to release a new proposed rule in May 2022.
The Education Department, under former Secretary Betsy DeVos, released new rules to overhaul Title IX enforcement. The final regulations, which drastically alter the way colleges and universities handle sexual assault and harassment charges, took effect August 14, 2020. President Biden's executive order specifically directs the agency to
review the previous administration's rule and consider "suspending, revising, or rescinding" it.