On Title IX, Rutgers' Commitment Will Not Waver

October 3, 2017

Members of the Rutgers Community:

In February 2016, Rutgers University announced the adoption of a new policy to protect our students from sexual violence and reaffirm our long-standing commitment to fostering an environment that is safe, secure, and free from gender-based discrimination and harassment, including sexual assault and all other forms of sexual misconduct. That policy remains in effect today. It reflects our values and our nationally recognized leadership in this area.

As you may know, on September 7, 2017, Secretary DeVos announced that the US Department of Education (DoE) would replace the previous informal DoE guidance on enforcement of Title IX with rules and regulations that would be the subject of a formal rule-making process. Last week, Secretary DeVos issued informal interim guidance until the formal rule-making process is concluded. That formal process is expected to begin in the coming months.

I want to be clear that nothing about these announcements will affect the way that we at Rutgers address sexual assault and harassment. We are the leaders in providing evidence-based, innovative, and comprehensive services to all members of our community.  We will continue to lead.

We are committed to equity, fairness, and respect for all of our students who may be personally involved in instances of sexual assault or harassment, are exposed to such behavior, or are accused of such behavior. Our commitment will not waver.

Rutgers University has a longstanding history of providing comprehensive support and advocacy to survivors, and we believe firmly in prevention programs that teach students to be positive, active bystanders. We believe in continuous learning and improvement, and—with the help of $2 million Rutgers has received from the Victims of Crime Act Grant Program distributed through the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office—we will continue working to make advancements in services, education, research, and prevention.

We expect to play an important and informative role as the federal rule-making process begins, and we look forward to contributing our expertise as rules are being drafted and considered.


Robert Barchi