Letter to the Editor: New Title IX Regulations

Recently, The Duke published an article notifying the campus about the new Department of Education (“DoE”) Title IX regulations. The article identified questions and concerns about these regulations which this letter is intended to address.

The university responded to these new regulations by publishing TAP No. 61: Interim Policy on Title IX Sexual Harassment. Although the regulations include a new definition of sexual harassment, DoE guidance allows universities to address conduct that does not meet this definition through another university policy.

The university, therefore, will continue to address conduct that violates other university policies, even if it falls outside of the definition of Title IX sexual harassment. More specifically, the university will continue to address reported non-Title IX sexual misconduct through TAP 31.

Additionally, Title IX’s jurisdiction for addressing Title IX sexual harassment includes some off-campus locations. More information can be found in TAP 61.

Second, there are safeguards available during a Title IX investigation under TAP 61. Supportive measures, which are intended to ensure continued access to education, are available to complainants and respondents throughout the Title IX process.

Complainants may access supportive measures whether or not they choose to pursue a formal complaint. Examples include a change in class schedule or housing, mutual no-contact orders, or connection with resources.

Additionally, there are rules that must be followed throughout the Title IX process under TAP 61, such as rules regarding hearing decorum and questioning by the other party’s advisor. Finally, retaliation of any kind violates university policy and is not tolerated.

I encourage any university student who has feedback or questions about the regulations or policy to contact me directly, and to attend a webinar I am hosting on Oct. 26 about TAP 61. Members of the campus community can also visit the Title IX website, duq.edu/titleix, for more details.

Lee K. Robbins
Title IX Coordinator &
Director of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response
Office of Legal Affairs