In response to increasing concern about sexual assault and its consequences, the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a new “guidance” document concerning compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs, including sexual misconduct. In this context, the Office of Student Conduct and the Office of the General Counsel, working closely with other University student affairs professionals, prepared amendments to the Charter of the Student Disciplinary System. As required by the Charter, the amendments have been approved by the Council of Deans, the Faculty Senate and the Provost and are in effect.
Andrew N. Binns, Vice Provost for Education
Susan Herron, Director, Office of Student Conduct
The significant points of OCR’s guidance include the following:
- Once a school knows or reasonably should know of possible sexual misconduct, it must take immediate and appropriate action to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred.
- If sexual misconduct has occurred, a school must take prompt and effective steps to end the sexual violence, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects, whether or not the sexual violence is the subject of criminal investigation.
- A school must take steps to protect the complainant as necessary, including interim steps taken prior to the final outcome of the investigation.
- A school must provide a procedure for students to file complaints of sex discrimination, including complaints of sexual misconduct. These procedures must include an equal opportunity for both parties to present witnesses and other evidence and the same appeal rights.
- A school’s procedures must use the preponderance of the evidence standard to resolve complaints of sexual misconduct. 
With the guidance in mind, we developed some special procedures for handling sexual misconduct cases and added a section in the Charter describing these. For the full text of these amendments, please refer to Section II.J. of the amended Charter. The amendments also include other minor clean-up revisions, such as correction of scrivener’s errors.
 U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Dear Colleague Letter: Sexual Violence, Background, Summary and Fast Facts, April 4, 2011