Outsourcing Rape Investigations

When Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced she had withdrawn the Obama administration’s rules on investigating campus rape, her message rang clear: due process and fairness were paramount.

"The notion that a school must diminish due process rights to better serve the victim only creates more victims," DeVos said last month in announcing the Education Department’s intent to revise the federal regulation on Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the law prohibiting gender discrimination.

The Obama guidance on Title IX, issued in 2011 in the form of a Dear Colleague letter, has been attacked for creating hostile environments at colleges where overzealous administrators disregarded the rights of those accused of sexual assault. At the same time, many victims' advocates credit that letter with creating protections for survivors, saying that investigators had previously failed to properly find out what happened.

But some institutions don’t leave Title IX investigations or adjudication of sexual assault to college leaders or panels. Particularly since the 2011 letter, some have hired outside parties to do the work for them -- lawyers or other trained professionals to conduct the investigation, retired judges for disciplinary hearings.

Read more at Inside Higher Ed: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/10/09/some-colleges-opt-outsource-title-ix-investigations-hearings