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Statement on the U.S. Department of Education’s “Interim Guidance” on Campus Sexual Misconduct and Assault

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released on Friday, September 22, 2017, new "interim guidance" on campus sexual misconduct and assault, and also rescinded the guidance it provided in 2011 and 2014.

This "interim guidance," which is in effect as OCR begins the formal process of rule-making, does not change the University of Maryland's resolute commitment to a learning, living, and working environment on campus that is free from sexual misconduct and violence. 

We continue to implement strategies to prevent sexual assaults by providing mandatory education and training, conducting regular climate surveys, and reporting on campus incidents and progress related to sexual misconduct and assaults. 

The rescission of the prior guidance requires us to assess the "interim guidance" and review our internal policies and procedures, which we will do according to our shared governance processes. 

This means discussions and consultations with the University Senate, the Division of Student Affairs, the UMD Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct, the University of Maryland Police Department, campus leadership groups, the University System of Maryland, and the State Attorney General of Maryland.

The University of Maryland will also seek to provide comments in OCR's rule-making process, either individually and/or jointly with influential higher education associations of which UMD is a member institution.  

We will move forward in a manner that reflects our institution's core educational mission and values, complies with existing law and regulations, and provides the safety and fairness that all members of our University community deserve.

Wallace D. Loh
President, University of Maryland