Policy updates were mandated in response to new Federal regulations for colleges and universities
NYU has implemented new Title IX- related sexual misconduct policies in response to recently issued federal Title IX regulations. In May, the U.S. Department of Education issued new regulations mandating how colleges and universities must investigate and adjudicate sexual misconduct cases under Title IX, the federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities. As a result, like all educational institutions that receive federal funding, NYU was required to amend its policies related to sexual misconduct by no later than August 14. The policies apply to all students, faculty and staff.
NYU and the higher education community previously expressed concerns that the federal government’s proposal would create an overly legalistic and adversarial process (universities' conduct proceedings are not courts of law) that could result in fewer students reporting instances of sexual assault. NYU spent the past few months developing a comprehensive policy that strikes an effective balance: complying with the new federal mandates; sustaining our commitment to reducing sexual misconduct, protecting students and employees, and creating an atmosphere that leaves individuals comfortable about coming forward; retaining key elements created in the wake of New York’s landmark “Enough is Enough” legislation; and ensuring a fair process for all involved.
Reported incidents of sexual misconduct, relationship violence, and stalking that meet the definitions of such conduct under the Title IX regulations are reviewed under the University’s Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policy; while forms of sexual harassment that fall below the threshold definition established under the new regulations are reviewed under the University's Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedures for Employees and/or the Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedures for Students. For more information about which policy applies based on reported circumstances, please refer to the "To Whom the Policy Applies" section of the Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policy.
New provisions of the Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policy include, where applicable:
- Parties who do not wish to participate in the University’s formal investigation process and choose to engage in an informal resolution now have the possibility of pursuing a Restorative Justice option, consistent with requests by students to provide more choices in our policy.
- The University will provide an advisor of its choice free of charge to conduct cross examination on behalf of a party in circumstances where the party does not have an advisor.
- In compliance with the new regulations, the University's decision-maker cannot rely on statements made by parties or witnesses who do not appear at the hearing.
It is important to highlight that many key aspects of the University’s previous iteration of its Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policy remain unchanged, including:
- The University will continue to address sexual misconduct falling within the scope of the Sexual Misconduct Policy that occurs off-campus between members of the NYU Community, or when it occurs during University-sponsored programs or activities (including study abroad or conferences).
- The preponderance of the evidence standard continues to apply.
- Individuals will continue to be offered supportive measures—such as confidential assistance through the Wellness Exchange or the Employee Assistance Program (Optum), academic support, housing changes, and Public Safety assistance—with or without participating in the formal investigation / adjudication process.
NYU stands firm in its commitment to prevent and address sexual and gender-based misconduct in our community by building an atmosphere of trust, sexual respect, and expectations about every individual’s conduct. We will continue to provide mandatory training to all NYU employees and students and should misconduct be alleged, it will be pursued through all the available avenues.