A message from the director of Equity and Inclusion
August 20, 2020
Dear Members of the Idaho State University Community,
As the Director of Equity and Inclusion, I am responsible for the overall Title compliance program at ISU. My office addresses all complaints of protected class harassment and discrimination, including issues of sex/gender equity, sexual harassment (including sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence), protecting the rights of pregnant/parenting students, and the rights of all students and employees to be free from discrimination. I am supported by our dedicated Title IX Team, including our new Title IX Coordinator, Melissa Millican. Melissa and I have some important news for you concerning significant changes to Title IX regulations.
First, this office has been conducting interviews and investigations for allegations of sexual misconduct remotely since last March. We have become proficient at doing so using technology platforms, though no platform is perfect. Moving forward, we will always be able to offer a remote option for investigations and hearings for parties who prefer it, regardless of whether classes are in normal session.
Second, effective August 14, 2020, ISU will have completely revised its Title IX policies and procedures in our policy ISUPP3100. These revisions provide for live hearings to decide allegations of sexual misconduct, and those live hearings can also be conducted virtually using technology. This procedure is the result of new Title IX regulations that were issued by the U.S. Department of Education in May. These regulations are very lengthy and detailed, but they primarily seek to provide strong due process protections to those who are accused of sexual misconduct, while also balancing the rights of those who experience sexual harassment, assault, dating violence, domestic violence, retaliation, and/or sex/gender discrimination.
You may have heard a lot about the new regulations from friends or on social media. Many people who have read them have mixed feelings about them. It is our goal to emphasize the best parts of the regulations while working to minimize the potentially negative impact of some of the more challenging provisions. We comply with all requirements, but there is some latitude for how we interpret the new rules and how they are implemented. Importantly, we provide a number of procedural protections that are important for all members of this community.
While the new regulations mean many changes for ISU’s policies and procedures, what hasn’t changed is our dedication to a process that respects the equal dignity of all members of our community. We respect the right of someone who experiences sexual misconduct to process it in the way that is best for them and their healing process. We respect their right to choose to bring a report forward for a formal resolution or to seek a response that is primarily centered on supportive measures and resources available from ISU or the larger community. Fair process is a priority, as is repairing harm and facilitating healing and safety for all members of the community irrespective of race, sex, gender identity/expression, age, ability, religion, socio-economic status, or the other qualities/identities that we value within a diverse community.
To learn more about the revised policy and procedures, please click on the Title IX link. If you have questions about the process or wish to talk to someone about your options to report or seek support, please contact Melissa Millican at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 282 5829. There is no time limit on the reporting of offenses.
Not every member of the community is going to be comfortable with the changes to the regulations or with our policies and procedures. We understand that and welcome your voices and input as we strive to improve our Title IX program and to be responsive to the concerns of the members of our community. We wish you a healthy and safe 2020-2021 school year and remind you that the Office of Equity and Inclusion and the Title IX Office is here for you.
Stacey Gibson, Director, Office of Equity and Inclusion
Melissa Millican, Title IX Coordinator, Office of Equity and Inclusion