Dear TC Community,
As I wrote you in May, the U.S. Department of Education released new Title IX regulations that govern how colleges and universities manage certain types of student and employee reports of sexual misconduct. We were required to implement these regulations by August 14, 2020.
Specifically, the U.S. Department of Education’s new set of regulations under Title IX:
- Defines the meaning of “sexual harassment” (including forms of sex-based violence), and limits Title IX’s coverage to incidents involving sexual misconduct that is “severe, pervasive and objectively offensive”;
- Addresses how institutions of higher education that receive federal funding (including Teachers College) must respond to reports of behaviors falling within that definition of sexual harassment; and
- Lays out a detailed grievance process, (which includes a live hearing) that institutions of higher education (including Teachers College) must follow when investigating, adjudicating and imposing sanctions in cases involving sexual harassment under that definition.
To comply with these regulations, the College has adopted a new policy for those types of misconduct alleged against faculty and staff titled, Title IX Policy and Procedures.
Complying with the new regulations will not alter or diminish our unwavering commitment to our core values: We will always be a caring community that recognizes the fundamental rights and inherent dignity and worth of all of our members. We will remain steadfast in our commitment to providing every member of our community a safe, inclusive, vibrant, nurturing, and welcoming environment free from discrimination and harassment. In adjudicating cases of gender-based misconduct, we will remain equally steadfast in our commitment to protect the rights of all parties involved in complaints fairly and with sensitivity.
Effective August 14, 2020, the following may be found in our Policy Library: the revised Columbia, Teachers College, Barnard Gender-Based Misconduct Policy and Procedures for Students; TC’s Policy on Protection from Discrimination and Harassment; and TC’s Title IX Policy and Procedures. Please visit TC’s Title IX website and Columbia’s Sexual Respect website for more information about our policy and supportive resources.
Janice S. Robinson, Esq.
Title IX Coordinator
Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs
Associate Professor of Higher Education