As we learned today, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) issued its new Title IX regulation, which will go into effect on Aug. 14, 2020. When changes were first proposed to the federal Title IX regulation in 2018, I assured our community that I will not rest until Harvard has done all that it can to ensure a safe, healthy, and inclusive environment that is free from sexual and gender-based harassment and assault.
Through our associations, including the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AICUM) and the Association of American Universities (AAU), Harvard commented on various aspects of the proposed changes, including areas that we believed might limit our ability to provide a safe and welcoming environment on our campus.
With the issuance of the final rule today, we will begin reviewing the changes that are now law, with careful consideration of the implications for Harvard’s current policy and procedures. We will explore any changes needed to adhere to current federal and state law, keeping the needs of our community at the forefront of our efforts.
All who call this University home must know that they are welcome and safe—and that they will have every opportunity to be successful. I’m grateful to the many community members who have already become deeply engaged in our efforts, including by participating in Title IX in-person and online trainings, prevention initiatives offered by the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR), completing the Harvard 2019 AAU Student Survey on Sexual Assault & Misconduct, and serving on student, staff, and faculty liaison committees. These actions continue to further the conversation on how we can best support each other and continue to strive to make Harvard free of harassment and assault.
We know there is more work to do, and you have my commitment and support for our continued, collective efforts. Together, we can make Harvard a place where our respect and care for one another infuses every aspect of our work.