DOE’s Proposed Title IX Rule

November 20, 2018

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Last Friday the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) released a proposal to amend regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX).

Seattle University has started reviewing the 149-page proposal and it is clear that if the proposed rule were to become binding as is, our university, like many others, would be required to modify its policies and procedures as they pertain to sexual misconduct. There will soon be further communication about this, including the university’s plans to engage the campus community in its participation in the comment period of DOE’s rulemaking process.

In the meantime, we want to provide some initial information about DOE’s anticipated process – and confirm that the proposal does not require any immediate changes to Seattle University’s existing sexual misconduct policies and procedures.

DOE is in the early stages of its anticipated rulemaking process, which at a minimum will take several months.

  • The official version of DOE’s proposal was sent to the Office of the Federal Register last week, but it has not yet been scheduled for publication. Once it is published, the proposed regulations will be subject to a 60-day comment period.
  • Following this period, the proposed rule may be modified based on the input received, and a final rule will be published. While it is unknown how long it will take to consider comments and prepare a final rule, federal agencies often take many months, and sometimes more than a year.
  • Once the rule is published, it typically takes at least another 30 days before the rule becomes effective.

There are no immediate changes to Seattle University’s policies and procedures required.

  • Seattle University’s current sexual misconduct policies and procedures remain in effect. This includes the investigation and conduct process outlined on pages 23-26 of Section 4.6 of the Code of Student Conduct for matters in which a student is accused of sexual misconduct.
  • Seattle University continues to provide emergency, medical and other support resources, as well as assistance with safety and support measures, to all community members who have experienced or been impacted by sexual misconduct, whether or not they pursue a formal complaint.

While there is uncertainty around what regulatory changes will ultimately be implemented at the federal level, please know that Seattle University remains firmly committed to providing a safe and equitable learning, living and working environment, and to maintaining and continually improving upon our efforts to prevent and best respond to incidences of sexual misconduct impacting members of our community.

Again, you can anticipate further communication from the university as we continue to review DOE’s proposed rule. Meanwhile, for those interested in learning more about how the public may submit comments, the proposal released last week includes instructions, and additional information on providing comments and the rulemaking process overall can be found at



Andrea Herrera Katahira
Assistant Vice President for Institutional Equity
Chief EEO Officer
Title IX Coordinator
ADA/504 Coordinator

Alvin Sturdivant
Vice President for Student Development