NU updates sexual misconduct policy, procedures to comply with Title IX regulations

Following a months’ long review and drafting process involving 30-plus students, faculty and staff from across the University of Nebraska system, NU has updated its policy and procedures on sexual misconduct in order to comply with new federal Title IX regulations.

The Board of Regents approved an amended sexual misconduct policy at its Aug. 14 meeting. The university has also updated procedures for how it responds to sexual misconduct reports against both employees and students.

Title IX is the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. The U.S. Department in May issued new regulations for how colleges and universities covered by Title IX, including the University of Nebraska, must investigate and adjudicate reports of sexual misconduct.

A summary of key provisions of the new federal regulations – including those related to jurisdiction, the hearing process, appeals and training – has been compiled by the American Council on Education here. Institutions were required to implement the new regulations by Aug. 14.

The system-wide effort to draft the necessary updates to NU’s policy and procedures was coordinated by Drew Nielsen, Title IX coordinator in NU’s Central Administration office and compliance officer at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He praised the team for its thoughtful and collaborative work under a rapid timeline. The team included student and faculty leaders from all four campuses, the Title IX officers, and representatives of the offices of student and academic affairs, diversity and inclusion, human resources, the general counsel and other key stakeholder groups across the system.

“The University of Nebraska has a fundamental commitment to creating a safe and inclusive environment for all members of our community to learn, work and study,” Nielsen said. “As part of that commitment, we are continually working to prevent and address all forms of sexual misconduct on our campuses.

“We’ve had a good and inclusive process thus far to bring us into compliance with the new regulations. The critical next steps for our university community are education and engagement. Our Title IX officers and others will continue their dialogue with students, faculty and staff about our policies, procedures and mission to create a safe and welcoming campus climate for all. We’ll evolve our practices as necessary. It’s important that we get this right.”

More information about Title IX at the University of Nebraska Kearney is available on UNK’s Title IX page.