NAICU Washington Update

Department of Education Issues Final Regulations Dealing with Campus Sexual Assault

October 29, 2014

The Department of Education has issued final regulations implementing changes made by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to the Clery campus safety provisions of the Higher Education Act.

The final regulations closely track the proposed regulations published in June. Under the new regulations, institutions will be required to:

  • Include information in annual security reports about the number of incidents of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. These terms are defined in the regulations.
  • Include gender identity and national origin as categories of bias in hate crime reports.
  • Conduct prevention and awareness programs and campaigns related to sexual violence.
  • Provide information regarding the institution’s disciplinary proceedings, possible sanctions, and range of protective measures that may be offered to address allegations of sexual violence.
  • Provide for prompt and impartial disciplinary proceedings where the accuser and the accused are treated equitably, including having the same opportunity to have the advisor of their choice present at the proceedings.  

Those regulations reflect the consensus agreement of the negotiated rulemaking committee appointed to consider the regulatory changes. Among the few changes made to the proposed regulations are modifications in the reporting of stalking, and the addition of requirements related to the reporting of “unfounded” crimes.

The new regulations will take effect on July 1, 2015. However, because the statutory provisions took effect in March 2014, institutions were required to make a “good faith effort” to include statistics for dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking in the annual security report that was due October 1. Additional information regarding these requirements is outlined in a guidance letter issued by the Department of Education.