Dear Campus Community,
At the University of Maryland, we work to be a community that is free from sexual misconduct. Achieving this goal means we must educate and train, advocate and enforce.
Every year, we must dedicate ourselves anew to ending sexual misconduct in all of its forms on our campus. Our campus policies that address sexual misconduct are important tools in this effort, and any changes must be carefully crafted in consultation with students and advocates.
New federal regulations
On May 6, 2020, the Department of Education released new Title IX regulations that mandate how colleges and universities must investigate and adjudicate cases of sexual harassment under Title IX. We had significant concerns about how these regulations would impact our campus community and sexual assault survivors when they were proposed over a year ago. Nonetheless, our university is required to comply with the Department of Education mandates, as are all universities and colleges across the nation.
Today, we write to update you on a new interim Policy and Procedures on Sexual Harassment and Other Sexual Misconduct, which was crafted to meet the new requirements. We engaged students, sexual assault prevention advocates, faculty and staff during the development of this interim policy. It was written by a working group representative of university stakeholders from across campus who provided valuable comment and feedback.
New interim policy
The result is an interim policy that meets the new federal requirements while continuing to fulfill the university's values of fairness, equity, safety and well-being. We have ensured that previous provisions that protect our community members remain within the policy. It goes into effect today, August 14, 2020.
Outlined below are some of the key provisions under the new interim policy, and the full version can be viewed on the University Policies website.
- Maintains that conduct of a sexual nature that previously constituted a violation will continue to constitute a violation under the new policy.
- Maintains the provision of Supportive Measures to the parties, which are adjustments needed to support parties in maintaining their working and learning environments.
- Maintains the Responsible University Employee (RUE) reporting requirement.
- Utilizes the preponderance of evidence standard (the "more likely than not") for all cases.
- Covers sexual harassment and sexual misconduct that took place off campus, as well as inside and outside of the United States.
- Provides clear notice to anyone accused of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct along with a presumption of innocence, and ensures Policy administrators are impartial and unbiased.
- Provides for a live hearing (which can also be remote/virtual) that allows parties to be in separate rooms, and provides Advisors to either party as needed.
- Provides for an appeal process.
- Allows for informal resolution opportunities when appropriate.
- Provides a single, uniform and equal investigation, adjudication, and appellate procedure for addressing all formal complaints of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.
This fall, the University Senate will conduct a comprehensive review of the interim policy and procedures and submit their recommendations for approval.
The University of Maryland will continue to provide support services and resources that extend beyond what is required by federal regulations. To access these resources, visit ocrsm.umd.edu.
Darryll J. Pines
President, University of Maryland
Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
To make a Report and for Title IX and Non-Discrimination inquiries:
Title IX Coordinator/Officer, Grace C. Karmiol, Esquire
Office of Civil Rights & Sexual Misconduct
3101 Susquehanna Hall/4200 Lehigh Road
College Park, MD 20742
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The University requires that RUEs (any university administrator, supervisor, faculty member, campus police, coach, trainer, resident assistant, or non-confidential first responder) must promptly notify the Title IX Officer of any report of sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct brought to their attention.
Notice of Non-Discrimination
The University of Maryland does not discriminate on the basis of sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, race, color religion, national origin, ethnicity, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, age, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law in its programs and activities.