Policies

One Process:  Dominican University Policy and Procedures
for Ensuring a Just and Humane Campus

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Sheila Radford-Hill,
PhD, Chief Diversity Officer/Title IX Coordinator
 

One Process 2017 - 2018 policy (html)

One Process 2017 - 2018 Policy (pdf)


Statement in Response to the Department of Education’s (DOE) intent to change OCR guidance for
Title IX Enforcement

On September 7, 2017, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the Department’s intention to replace the Title IX guidance issued in April 2011.  Ms. DeVos stated that DOE would oversee a notice and comment process to create new regulations governing the enforcement of Title IX as it applies to sexual misconduct. According to

Ms. DeVos, submitting the existing Title IX guidance to federal rulemaking would create more effective regulations and better protect survivors of sexual assault while ensuring due process rights for the accused. Although she did not announce when this process would begin, she encouraged all interested parties to participate.

In the aftermath of Ms. DeVos’ remarks, it is important to note that the Department of Education did not withdraw or rescind current Title IX guidance. All colleges and universities receiving federal funds are required to follow existing guidance until it is replaced.

In addition to the federal guidelines, a 2015 Illinois law titled Preventing Sexual Violence on College Campuses Act requires Illinois colleges and universities to:

  • Develop and maintain a comprehensive policy to address issues of sexual and gender-based misconduct;
  • Maintain a confidential on-line system for reporting such concerns;
  • Develop and implement a process for providing training and professional development related to sexual misconduct policies; and
  • Provide information and supports for survivors of sexual assault.

Ms. DeVos’ speech focused on the needs of students and the failure of current Title IX guidance to meet those needs. It remains to be seen how any new regulations will impact university policies or affect survivors or those accused of sexual assault or gender-based misconduct. However, Ms. DeVos made several comments that are consistent with the focus and the intent of Dominican University’s One Process system for resolving complaints of sexual misconduct and discrimination.   Specifically, she stated: “Acts of sexual misconduct are reprehensible, disgusting and unacceptable . . . campus sexual misconduct must continue to be confronted head on . . . (A school’s) core obligation is to ensure that students can pursue their education free of discrimination.” On these points, the university’s One Process stakeholders agree.

In fact, in 2014, Dominican’s One Process system began because our community was committed to the core concerns represented by Ms. DeVos’ quotations.  As Dominican enters its fourth year under One Process, the university continues to improve the system for resolving complaints.  Under the supervision of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (OEDI), One Process continues to evolve and remains committed to providing protection and support for survivors while ensuring the due process rights of those accused.

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will monitor new developments related to Title IX, submit comments during the rule making process, and maintain the commitment to fair, impartial, and thorough investigations.

Although we agree with some of Ms. DeVos’ concerns, Dominican University supports the current federal guidance and Illinois law.  The community is committed to keeping our campus free of sexual misconduct and discrimination.  Our goal is to prevent sexual and gender-based misconduct, protect those who have survived sexual assault, and respond with compassion and fairness to One Process concerns.

If there questions or concerns, please contact Sheila Radford-Hill, PhD, Chief Diversity Officer/Title IX Coordinator at 708-524-6381 or sradfordhill@dom.edu.