New Title IX Final Rules Published

Krystyna Dias .

Although the implementation of Title IX rules on campus may not directly impact the day-to-day responsibilities of your job, lack of compliance will result in the loss of federal funding, so read on to understand the changes coming and share the news with your colleagues who have more direct involvement with the implementation.

The Department of Education (ED) published updated Title IX Final Rules at the end of April that contain reversals of some of the changes made in the 2020 updates, as well as expanded definitions. In addition, new protections have been added for members of the LGBTQ+ community. As in 2020, several states have already filed suit to stop the implementation of the new rules — Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina filed as a group and Texas has filed its own. Without knowing what the outcome of these lawsuits will be, institutions should play it safe and start planning for the implementation of the new rules.

Some of the major changes are as follows:

  • An expanded definition of sex-based harassment which includes harassment based on sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
  • Broader conditions triggering Title IX protections by changing the definition of sex-based harassment from conduct that is “severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive,” to either “severe or pervasive” conduct that must be considered both “subjectively and objectively offensive.”
  • The assumption that the accused student is innocent at the outset of an investigation.
  • The single-investigator model, which allows an individual to serve as both the case decision-maker and Title IX investigator, has been reinstated.
  • Institutions can largely rely on the “preponderance of the evidence” standard often used in civil lawsuits, making the “clear and convincing” standard optional.
  • The flexibility for institutions to set their own reasonable time frames to allow parties to review and respond to evidence.

Consult the Final Rules for the other changes (there are many) and additional details. Institutions are expected to implement compliant policies and procedures by August 1, 2024. ED has provided a guide to assist institutions in this process.

In addition to these updates to existing rules, a separate rule regarding transgender students’ participation in athletics is still under review by the Office of Management and Budget, which has up to ninety days to review and can request another thirty days beyond that if needed. The timing, of course, is critical on two counts. First, colleges need to have enough time to implement any new rules before the start of the school year. Further, if delayed beyond the election in November, an ‘unfriendly’ Congress may try to block new requirements. We’ll need to await publication before we know for sure what changes need to be made on campus, so there is more uncertainty for those responsible.

Compliance with Title IX regulation is a critical responsibility of your institution and if you have concerns, we encourage you to speak with your colleagues who administer the programs that fall under it or your institution’s legal counsel. Follow the Higher Education Assistance Group Blog for any updates to this story.

Speaking of compliance, our regulatory experts are an excellent resource for financial administrators, no matter how experienced you are. Email us at to let us know how we can help your office.