Devos Poised to Change Campus Sexual Assault Policy


Obama-era Policies Set for Overhaul

Education Secretary Betsy Devos is poised to make sweeping reforms to federal policy regarding sexual assault on college campuses. In a recent speech at George Mason University, Devos vowed that the Department of Education will be overhauling how sexual assault claims on campuses are handled.

In her speech, Devos signaled a strong course change: “Washington has burdened schools with increasingly elaborate and confusing guidelines that even lawyers find difficult to understand and navigate.”

Devos then offered up several examples of where current policy has failed students. She cited real cases where schools have either failed to provide due process protections, or have bungled evidentiary standards.

The “Dear Colleague” Letter

The policies that Devos is critiquing stem from a 2011 letter issued to U.S. colleges and universities by the Department of Education’s lesser-known Office of Civil Rights (OCR). It argues that sexual assault is a form a harassment prohibited under Title IX anti-discrimination law.