On August 25, Vice President for Administration Michelle Rogers sent the following memo to the University Community announcing a new University policy for reporting, investigating, and adjudicating equity concerns.
In review of all the feedback provided to the University in recent months and in collaboration with many campus partners, we have expanded the Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Retaliation. The policy now outlines the process to report Title IX sexual harassment matters as well as non-Title IX equity matters, including discrimination on the basis of race. As promised in the June 29 communication on our diversity, equity, and inclusion work, the expanded policy now includes a defined process for reporting equity concerns and procedures for investigating and adjudicating equity matters.
In order to effectively manage the expansion of a single policy that now contains two distinct processes, we are changing the name of the Title IX Office to the Office of Equity and Title IX. Erica Moorer, our current Title IX Coordinator, will also oversee the equity complaint, investigation, and adjudication processes. In her expanded role as the Director of Equity and Title IX Coordinator, Erica will be the primary resource for complaint procedures and processes for Title IX sexual harassment and non-Title IX equity matters. Over the past three years, Erica has demonstrated her abilities to oversee investigations, draft and implement procedures, ensure sound adjudication processes, facilitate training, and stay aligned with best practices—all skills relevant to her new responsibilities. Erica will continue to report to me, as we support the growth and collaborative efforts of the Office of Equity and Title IX.
Of her expanded role, Erica commented, “I take seriously this opportunity to advocate and create policies and procedures that establish individuals’ rights and the institutional commitment to protecting those rights. Everyone should be able to work and go to school in a safe and inclusive environment.”
The Office of Equity and Title IX will soon be relocated in the first floor (garden level) of the Administration building on the Redlands main campus. The space is ADA accessible and provides privacy for visitors.
Changes to the Title IX policy were made in accordance with the Department of Education’s May 6, 2020 revisions to Title IX regulations, which aim to standardize the Title IX process across institutions. The new regulations carry the full force of law—unlike previous federal Title IX guidance—and they required the following updates and changes to our policy and procedures:
- Updated definitions of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, as unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex
- Definition of an advisor and procedural changes to the advisor’s role
- Procedural changes to the hearing process
- Live cross-examination requirement
- Advisor requirement
- Procedural changes to the appeals process
- Scope of Title IX adjudication for students abroad
Our commitment to creating a learning environment free of sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination remains unwavering.
Erica will be arranging a University forum and small group sessions in September to discuss the changes to the Title IX section of the policy in depth, review the new equity section of the policy, and brainstorm how the Office of Equity and Title IX can continue to support our entire community.
The new policy and supporting resources, as well as the links to file a formal complaint, can be found online at: https://www.redlands.edu/titleixandequity.