Drew’s Revised Human Rights Policy

Changes in federal and State law compelled Drew to revise its Sexual Harassment Policy in 2011-2012.  That Policy incorporated many provisions of the old Policy; however, it also made some significant modifications.  Changes to the Policy are driven by new and evolving Title IX mandates implemented by the United States Department of Education (DOE) as part of its national campaign against sexual harassment.  Additional modifications will again be implemented for the Fall 2013 term in order to better address the University’s obligations under federal and state law.

Building on the work of diverse members of this community over the last several years, this updated and more comprehensive Policy reflects the University’s ongoing commitment to address discrimination, including sexual harassment.  It provides a framework that will enhance the University’s capacity to investigate, remedy, and prevent incidents of discrimination or harassment in this community by building on the University’s experience to date.

Summary: Key Provisions and Changes

  • The Student Conduct Board and members of the Human Rights Committee, who may also sit on the Board, will hear and decide the most serious matters involving charges against students.  Appeal will be to the Dean of Students.
  • The Human Rights Committee will hear the most serious matters involving faculty and staff.  In the case of staff, appeals will be decided by the Human Resources Director, or designee
  • In matters involving faculty, the Hearing Committee’s determination(s) will go to the Dean for review and action in accordance with the Faculty Personnel Policy.
  • Most violations will be decided by an administrator drawn from the constituency of the person complained against, after fact finding.  In the case of a student, for example, most matters will be heard by the CLSA professional staff.
  • Matters may be referred to for a Committee or Board hearing, based on a variety of factors, including the severity of the alleged violation, whether the charges are contested, the inclination of the parties, timeliness, the University’s schedule, and the severity of potential penalties.
  • Victims of sexual assault or serious sexual misconduct will be told about their right to pursue a complaint criminally, and, if they request, will be placed in contact with law enforcement authorities.
  • Violations will continue to be required to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, a “more likely than not” standard,  recently imposed by DOE’s Office of Civil Rights.
  • The position of Title IX Coordinator is continued.  The Coordinator is charged with overseeing and coordinating Drew’s response to sexual harassment and discrimination.  In addition, a Deputy Title IX Coordinator will help coordinate fact finding and investigations.

While Drew’s anti-discrimination policies were supplemented and revised in 2011 and again in 2012, additional changes will be required for the spring 2014 semester as the Reauthorization of the Federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) becomes effective.  That law expands the obligations imposed on institutions of higher education to include prohibitions and procedures designed to address domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking

Important components of the University’s prior Policy are preserved. Disciplinary matters covered under the University’s Faculty Personnel Policy will continue to be heard under those procedures.  Pre-existing procedures governing the conduct of hearings, appeal rights, and the equal treatment of each party will also be maintained.

8/28/2013