Update on DOEs Proposed Title IX Rule

January 30, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

As follow-up to our Fall communication regarding the U.S. Department of Education (DOE)’s proposal to amend regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and as the comment period of DOE’s rulemaking process comes to a close, we write to provide confirmation about our current policies and procedures.

Seattle University’s current sexual misconduct policies and procedures remain in effect and we do not anticipate action by DOE that would require changes this academic year.

As previously explained, if the proposed rule were to be implemented without modification, our university, like many others, would be required to make significant changes to our sexual misconduct policies and procedures. However, it is unlikely a finalized rule will become effective prior to the end of this academic year.

  • DOE’s proposal is subject to a comment period, which ends today, January 30, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. At last check, the number of comments submitted was approaching 100,000. These include comments from members of our campus community as well as various higher education associations with whom offices, departments, and divisions across our campus have collaborated.
  • It is unknown how long DOE will take to consider comments and publish a final rule, although federal agencies often take many months. Once a final rule is published, it typically takes at least another 30 days before the rule becomes effective. Even then, lawsuits may lead to further delays.
  • Seattle University’s FAQ regarding DOE’s 2017 Title IX guidance currently in effect and how it relates to Seattle University’s sexual misconduct policies and procedures can be found here: FAQ on Updated Title IX Guidance.

While we continue in a period of uncertainty around what changes will come at the federal level, Seattle University remains 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.

In line with this commitment, Seattle University provides safety and support resources and assistance for all community members who have experienced or been impacted by sexual misconduct, regardless of where incidents occur and whether or not formal complaints are pursued.

Further in line with the university’s commitment and in anticipation of finalized regulations that may require modification to our sexual misconduct policies and procedures, the university will be engaging students, faculty, and staff further as we move forward.

In the meantime, for campus community members still wanting to provide comments to DOE on their proposed rule, please remember that they are due tonight, January 30, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Comments can be submitted online here, and general information about the federal rulemaking process can be found at regulations.gov.


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