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AAU President Urges Delay of Complex Title IX Changes Due to COVID-19 Crisis

The following is a statement by President Mary Sue Coleman about the Education Department’s misguided decision to roll out new Title IX regulations during a global pandemic:

America's leading research universities are committed to protecting the safety and well-being of their campus communities and are working diligently to prevent and address sexual assault and misconduct. In 2019, AAU conducted the Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct to inform the fight against sexual assault and misconduct on campus – a follow-up to our groundbreaking 2015 Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct.

While we have engaged extensively with the Education Department on the content of the regulations and appreciate the department’s efforts to protect our students from sexual assault and misconduct, now is not the time to implement this extensive and complex change in federal regulations. Institutions across the nation are shifting their resources to fight the scourge of COVID-19, and critical campus operations are strained to their limit. The department’s decision to implement new Title IX regulations during a global public health crisis is a clear indication that they are not interested in seriously consulting America’s colleges and universities to implement the regulations in a manner that best serves students’ interests.

We hope that the department will delay the implementation of any new regulations until the COVID-19 emergency has passed and campuses have returned to their normal operations.

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Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities is composed of America’s leading research universities. AAU’s 65 research universities transform lives through education, research, and innovation.

Our member universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for research that improves public health, seeks to address national challenges, and contributes significantly to our economic strength, while educating and training tomorrow’s visionary leaders and innovators.

AAU member universities collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities to American society.

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