The state of Nevada on Monday joined 17 other states and the District of Columbia in a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Education’s changes to Title IX, the law prohibiting discrimination based on sex at federally funded institutions.
The department announced in May several changes to the law, including mandating that institutions offer live hearings and cross-examination in cases of sexual assault, and gave schools a deadline of Aug. 14 to adopt the policies.
But the changes prompted heated debate at the Aug. 7 meeting of the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents, where regents heard from advocates that the new policies would make it more difficult for victims of sexual assault to come forward. The board eventually voted 10-3 to adopt the changes to ensure compliance, but authorized NSHE to participate in the lawsuit at a later meeting.
“The Board of Regents is prepared to take all necessary action to protect our students, faculty, and staff. We will continue to provide support and implement necessary policies that extend beyond the new federal regulations in order to ensure appropriate responses to all allegations of sexual harassment and assault,” said Board of Regents Chair Mark Doubrava.
“I, along with NSHE’s campus presidents, feel strongly that these changes to Title IX are a step backwards towards maintaining open, inclusive, respectful, safe, and secure campuses,” said Chancellor Melody Rose. “I want to thank Attorney General Ford and his team for their work on this legal challenge.”