Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Four members of the Harvard Law School faculty have called on the U.S. Department of Education to revise the Obama Administration’s policies enforcing Title IX in matters of sexual harassment and sexual assault on college and university campuses.
The four scholars — Janet Halley, Jeannie Suk Gersen ’02, Elizabeth Bartholet ’65, and Nancy Gertner — have researched, taught, and written on Title IX, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and feminist legal reform. They were among the 28 Harvard Law School professors who published a statement in the Boston Globe on Oct 15, 2014, criticizing Harvard University’s sexual harassment policy as “overwhelmingly stacked against the accused” and “in no way required by Title IX law or regulation.”
On August 21, in a memo entitled “Fairness for All Students under Title IX,” the four scholars urged the Department of Education to adopt what they describe as “an agenda of fairness for all students, accusers and accused.”
Said Jeannie Suk Gersen: “In recent years the Education Department has pressured colleges and universities to adopt overbroad definitions of wrongdoing that are unfair to both men and women, and to set up procedures for handling complaints that are deeply skewed against the accused and also unfair to accusers.”
Janet Halley said: “To fully address campus sexual assault, the college definitions of violations and processes need legitimacy. Now is the time to build in respect for fairness and due process, academic freedom, and sexual autonomy.”
The memorandum is available here: