BERWYN, Pa., Oct. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- ATIXA, the nation's only membership association dedicated solely to Title IX compliance, has released two new position statements.
ATIXA Position Statements on Cross-Examining the Urge to Transform College Conduct Proceedings Into Courtrooms
Since the early 1960s, American courts have wisely and successfully resisted the urge to transform college and school conduct proceedings into mini criminal courtrooms. While mandating basic due process elements, courts have not considered formal due process protections such as cross-examination a necessity. Until now.
Starting in 2017, some courts have become more interventionist with respect to cases involving campus conduct proceedings, especially sexual misconduct resolutions conducted pursuant to Title IX. Since then, the Sixth Circuit, state courts in California, and federal courts in Pennsylvania have continued to expand the due process required by public universities and have started to mandate some form of cross-examination as part of campus conduct proceedings.
ATIXA issues this position statement to encourage these courts to reassess their due process demands, and to similarly encourage other courts to avoid sliding down a slippery slope that will turn college hearings into quasi-criminal courts. Requiring direct, live cross-examination is antithetical to the administrative and educational nature of college disciplinary proceedings. It is also unnecessary and of unknown efficacy. While the Sixth Circuit has referenced the Wigmore quote that "cross-examination is beyond any doubt the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth," Wigmore made this pronouncement in reference to the 6th Amendment right to confrontation in criminal proceedings, not in the context of campus disciplinary proceedings.
ATIXA Position Statement on Equitable Appeals Best Practices
In light of the Office for Civil Rights' 2017 interim guidance document and the leaked draft Title IX regulations, ATIXA issues this position statement supporting equitable appeal rights for the parties to campus and school sexual misconduct resolutions and other allegations of discrimination.
Despite indications that OCR will propose regulations that permit inequitable appeals, ATIXA believes that equitable appeals are both an industry standard and best practice that should be preserved by schools and colleges, irrespective of the floor set by OCR.
This position statement differentiates between equity of appeal opportunity and equity of appeal participation; ATIXA supports equity of both. Language proposed at this point suggests that OCR will permit recipients to deny equity of appeal opportunity, meaning that only the responding party will have the ability to appeal an adverse finding, and a reporting party will not. Whether a reporting party will have the equitable right to participate in that appeal once an appeal is requested by the responding party is unclear from current OCR publications.
Founded in 2011, ATIXA is the nation's only membership association dedicated solely to Title IX compliance and supports over 3,000 administrator members who hold Title IX responsibilities in schools and colleges. ATIXA is the leading provider of Title IX training and certification in the U.S., having certified more than 3,000 Title IX Coordinators and more than 8,000 Title IX investigators since 2011. ATIXA releases position statements on matters of import to members and the field, as authorized by the ATIXA Board of Advisors. For more information, visit www.atixa.org.
SOURCE Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA)