Message to the University Community from President Jim Ryan
To the University community,
UVA is committed to creating and fostering a community based on the values of fairness, dignity, and respect. Sexual and gender-based harassment and other forms of interpersonal violence have no place at UVA.
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education released new regulations that govern how schools, including colleges and universities, address reports of sexual harassment, including stalking and relationship violence, under Title IX, and we are in the process of evaluating the regulations to determine what changes to our current policy and procedures would need to be implemented in order to comply with the new requirements. These new requirements become effective August 14, 2020, which is a short turnaround time.
When UVA developed its current Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence in 2015, UVA sought feedback and input from community members—including staff, faculty, and students—and this time will be no different. In the coming weeks, the Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights, which includes the Title IX team, will be announcing opportunities to provide input to be considered during this evaluation and review process. While a quick review of the regulations reveals specific requirements, there also appear to be some areas where schools have been given discretion to make decisions that are best for their community. Rest assured that, with respect to any changes, UVA will prioritize the safety and well-being of all members of the University community and continue to ensure that we have a process to promptly address reports of sexual and gender-based harassment and violence that is empathetic, fair, and equitable.
James E. Ryan
University of Virginia