Kamaria Porter led the work on coding 2016 sexual misconduct policies, particularly the complex analysis of campus sexual assault adjudication. This analysis enabled us to weigh into the public conversation with a Washington Post OpEd on the release of the DeVos Department of Education Title IX regulations.
The goal of this analysis is to understand how schools adjudicated student to student sexual misconduct in 2016. We collected and analyzed publicly available sexual misconduct policies from our sample of 381 schools. The variety of document types ranged from standalone sexual misconduct policies (SMP), umbrella policies covering students, staff, and faculty, student codes of conduct, and university system policy directives.
Our data has many implications for understanding past and current policy conflicts over adjudicating campus sexual misconduct. Through an in depth policy analysis, we found half of the schools in our sample implemented adjudication procedures that attempted to balance Title IX rights with due process protections through hybrid procedures. These models allowed for a trained investigator to conduct the fact finding process and handed off the decision making process to a university hearing board to provide students with the opportunity to challenge and question evidence. This finding runs counter to the dominant media and political narratives painting campus adjudication procedures as overly damaging to accused students and due process on campus.
In subsequent analysis, we will examine how universities distributed responsibility and control of different aspects of the adjudication procedures. Particularly we want to understand the extent to which Title IX/civil rights experts took control, shared, or lost jurisdiction of these policies to student conduct officers, who oversaw this function prior to Title IX and increased calls for compliance in 2011.
Kamaria B. Porter, Sandra R. Levitsky and Elizabeth A. Armstrong (2022). “Gender Equity and Due Process in Campus Sexual Assault Adjudication Procedures”. The Journal of Higher Education. DOI: 10.1080/00221546.2022.2082784