November 16, 2018

On the Education Department’s proposed Title IX rules

As you may have read, the U.S. Department of Education has issued proposed new rules for colleges and universities to use in managing Title IX cases. These proposed rules would replace previous guidance that had been issued by the Obama Administration.

I want to be clear that nothing changes today in our campus Title IX procedures as a result of this development. We welcome the opportunity to provide input to the federal government on the proposed new rules. And we fully intend to continue our efforts to reject sexual violence in our community, to support survivors, to hold perpetrators accountable and to have fair adjudication processes.

As the proposed federal rules become available for public comment, we will review them and participate in the comment period. We expect to do so through the Association of American Universities (AAU), of which Stanford is a member, on the belief that multiple voices together from the higher education community will be more effective than any single voice.

The comment process is open to all, and we encourage everyone in our community who wishes to weigh in on the proposals to share their comments with the federal government. The ASSU also will be welcoming comments from students.

It’s important, also, to keep in mind that Stanford operates under California law, which in many respects goes beyond the federal guidance we had been operating under since 2011. For example, requiring affirmative consent for sexual acts is state law in California.

We’ve made continuous efforts at Stanford over the last many years to strengthen our programs and processes to prevent and respond effectively to sexual violence. Creating a healthier community with healthier relationships continues to be a major priority for us. We’ll contribute thoughtfully to the discussion of the proposed new rules with that priority firmly in mind.

If you have thoughts to share on the proposed new rules, you are welcome to share them with me at Alternatively, you are welcome to share them with the ASSU executive leadership at The ASSU also will be putting together comment workshops for interested Stanford students.

If you need support related to sexual violence, or if you are seeking additional information about our resources and policies, please visit our Sexual Violence Support & Resources website.