Your editorial entitled “Title IX and University Administration” argues the importance of uniform Title IX procedures across “One Harvard." Uniformity in some matters is good, but you do not say why it is needed for this one.
The reason the law faculty drafted its own procedures was the overwhelming sentiment in our faculty that the university’s Title IX procedures were so unfair as to be unacceptable. At our meetings not a single faculty member spoke in defense of the university’s procedures. And, after all, procedure is what we do. If we had not been allowed to draft our own procedures a strong denunciation by the faculty would almost certainly have followed and would have made law suits by accused students a virtual certainty. (Indeed, early in the discussions twenty-eight of our colleagues did denounce the procedures in an op-ed in The Boston Globe). Our HLS alternative procedures were overwhelmingly adopted by the law faculty.
The broader lesson relates to the university's governance structure and the absence of faculty participation in the creation of the central administration's standards. In spite of vague talk of review by “the schools” and reference to some unidentified “working groups,” the fact is that the university’s Title IX procedures were drafted without a single law professor's or assistant professor’s active participation. We have done the university a favor, and if the rest of the university takes up our procedures that would be all to the good.
Had there been a representative faculty senate, that senate could have insured faculty participation in the creation of these new regulatory standards.
Charles Fried and Robert H. Mnookin '64 are professors at Harvard Law School.
Law School Found in Violation of Title IX after Years-Long ProbeIn its investigation into the Law School’s Title IX compliance, the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights found that the Law School “failed to comply with Title IX's requirements for prompt and equitable response” to complaints of alleged sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Law School Still Awaits Government Sign-Off on Title IXMore than two months after having received initial feedback on its Title IX procedures from the federal Office for Civil Rights, the Law School has still not received final sign-off from OCR on its updated draft.
Title IX Office Launches New WebsiteThe central Title IX office's new website provides information about Title IX policies and procedures, continuing a push to better inform students, faculty, and staff.
Students, Profs Skeptical of Title IX Office Restructuring
Harvard's Sexual Assault Policies Could Change Under Leaked DeVos Rules