Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is preparing new policies that would offer more support to students accused of sexual assault and harassment on campus and reduce liability for colleges, The New York Times reports.
The Times obtained a copy of the proposed rules, which would redefine sexual harassment as "unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it denies a person access to the school's education program or activity." Colleges would only have to investigate claims of misconduct that took place on their campuses, and schools would be tasked with launching investigations that provide "prompt and equitable" resolutions and begin "under the presumption that the accused is innocent until proved guilty," the Times reports.
Last fall, DeVos announced she was rescinding the Obama administration's Title IX guidance on sexual assault on campus, saying it was not fair to students accused of misconduct. Education Department spokeswoman Liz Hill told the Times the information "is premature and speculative." Catherine Garcia