URSA Team Publishes Paper on Campus Sexual Assault Adjudication

June 28, 2022

URSA researchers Kamaria Porter, Sandra Levitsky, and Elizabeth Armstrong are excited to announce the publication of their paper, Gender Equity and Due Process in Campus Sexual Assault Adjudication Procedures in the Journal of Higher Education. Through a comprehensive content analysis of the 2016 – 2017 sexual misconduct policies of 381 American colleges and universities, they found that most schools had procedures for investigating and adjudicating complaints of sexual misconduct that were based on hybrid models. These models incorporated due process protections while acknowledging Title IX obligations. Conversely, the 2020 regulations issued under the Trump administration limited the range of approaches allowed, only allowing adversarial, resource-intensive models with disproportionate protection for respondents, including requiring cross-examination. The effect of these changes on reporting has been “chilling“. 

To the best of our knowledge, ours is the only national study examining how schools have reconciled Title IX and due process rights in adjudication procedures. Additionally, our article helps make sense of the proposed regulations just released by the Department of Education. The new proposed regulations offer more flexibility on how to respond to complaints including not requiring live hearings, moving away from cross-examination, and separating students using video conferencing. These changes may reduce traumatization and offer more options to smaller, less resource-rich schools.

Read the full paper here.

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