This post is a modified and updated version of a post from January 2019.
The U.S. Department of Education is reopening submission for comments on changes to Title IX (Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance) for one day only on February 15th. We are urging you to contact the and submit comments; to learn more, please read on.
The Department of Education is reopening commenting on Title IX on February 15th only. Having already received 104,367 public comments, many from scientists and scientific organizations, comments are being reopened due to technical difficulties experienced on the last day of commenting previously. Read on to find out more, and how to comment on February 15th.
What is Title IX? Title IX protects students and employees of educational institutions from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX states that:
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Title IX has helped women in education in various ways.
What is happening with Title IX right now? At the moment the Secretary of Education is proposing rule changes to Title IX, which you can read in detail here, but a great summary is here at 500 Women Scientists.
Comments may be submitted on February 15th via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=ED_FRDOC_0001-0830
For more information, please check out the Take Action Tuesday page at 500 Women Scientists, this page at UAW 5810, or this site set up by a Faculty group which aggregates a resources aiming to help faculty and other educators who wish to write comments, and to encourage commenting by others inside or outside academia. It includes information on how to easily submit relevant research. You can also check out this campus action group.
One note is that it is very important to try not to use template comments, which may all be counted as one comment, but to try to make your comments and submissions as individual as possible, to ensure they are read.
Title IX has an important role to play in protecting early career researchers in academia. FoR ED Gary McDowell was a co-author on a letter to Science, calling for the retraction of another letter, which was defending a researcher who resigned from UC Irvine after being found to have committed sexual harassment under a Title IX investigation. The letter suggested that a scientist’s research credentials should excuse poor behavior and is itself considered a retaliatory act under Title IX. Science has refused to retract the letter, while promising not to publish any more like it in the future.