Dear Members of the UMBC Community,
UMBC’s Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) has primary responsibility for compliance, education, and outreach related to sexual misconduct and Title IX, as well as other laws and policies regarding discrimination, harassment, hate, and bias. Title IX of the Civil Rights Act prohibits sex discrimination, sexual assault, sexual harassment; and discrimination against pregnant and parenting students, faculty, and staff.
In May, after a more than two-year-long notice and comment period, the U.S. Department of Education issued updated regulations implementing Title IX. These new regulations go into effect today, August 14, 2020.
Since May, OEI has been working with the University System of Maryland, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, and campus partners to ensure that our policies and procedures align with the new federal regulations, Maryland laws, court decisions, and our community values. UMBC’s new Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, and Gender Discrimination, which takes effect today, incorportes these new regulations.
While the new regulations require changes to the University’s policies and procedures, what has not changed is our dedication to a process that respects the equal dignity of all members of the UMBC community. OEI worked to ensure that this new Title IX policy reflects UMBC’s values and commitment to inclusive excellence and equity. OEI remains committed to providing the highest standard of support and care to all impacted by sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and gender discrimination.
In addition to developing the new Title IX policy, OEI has updated the UMBC non-discrimination policy. These updates are reflected in the new Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy and Procedures, which will be implemented on August 18, 2020. The updates to the discrimination policy provide a clear process for handling discrimination complaints, and provide additional protections against sex discrimination and sexual misconduct that may not be covered under UMBC’s Title IX policy, based on the requirements of the new Title IX regulations.
The UMBC community has a variety of resources available on campus and beyond to support students, faculty, and staff who are impacted by Title IX and equity and inclusion issues. OEI is committed to being a resource and has created a FAQ that addresses questions UMBC community members may have regarding the new Title IX policy.
What you need to know:
- UMBC’s new Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, and Gender Discrimination goes into effect on August 14, 2020. UMBC’s new Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy and Procedures go into effect on August 18, 2020.
- For Prohibited Conduct that occurred prior to August 14, 2020, and was reported prior to August 14, 2020, including matters currently under review, the definitions, policies, and procedures in UMBC’s former Title IX policy will be used through conclusion of the matter, including any appeal and enforcement of any sanctions.
- For Prohibited Conduct that occurred prior to August 14, 2020, but is reported on or after August 14, 2020, the policy and definitions in UMBC’s former Title IX policy will apply, but the procedures in the new policy will be used to investigate and resolve any formal complaints through the conclusion of the matter, including any appeal and enforcement of any sanctions.
- Where Prohibited Conduct occurs on or after August 14, 2020, the new definitions, policies, and procedures will apply, except that when the Prohibited Conduct is sufficiently related to a matter already under review, the former policy and/or procedures will apply to the related matter.
- There may be legal challenges to some of these regulations, and the U.S. Department of Education is issuing additional implementing guidance for the new regulations nearly every day. Either or both of these could modify the regulations and/or guidance and require us to make modifications to the new policy. In the event this occurs, OEI will work to promptly inform the UMBC community of any changes.
OEI is open and fully operational, with staff working remotely. Please visit the OEI website to learn more about the team. If you have questions about the Title IX process or wish to talk to someone about your options to report or seek support, please contact our office. To report a complaint of sexual violence, misconduct, harassment, or discrimination, please use our online form.
UMBC Office of Equity and Inclusion
UMBC Office of Equity and Inclusion