Abuse of Freedom: Balancing Quality and Efficiency in Faculty Title IX Processes

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2018


In early 2015, an essay authored by University of California President Janet Napolitano called for greater clarity and simplicity in federal oversight and described how the university adapted to the changing regulations and “experienced three separate and comprehensive investigations of its Title IX and Clery practices related to sexual violence . . . .” Despite federal investigations and oversight, following Napolitano’s essay the UC Berkeley campus experienced three high-profile sexual misconduct cases involving faculty and administrators. Napolitano then created a committee of administrators, faculty, and students to review sexual misconduct complaints against tenured faculty members. After a third case arose involving the Berkeley Law dean, both its provost, Claude Steele, and its chancellor, Nicholas Dirks, resigned. President Napolitano could not have foreseen the resignation of the Berkeley provost, chancellor, and law dean when writing her 2015 essay on campus sexual misconduct. If the University of California, an institution that experienced three comprehensive federal investigations before these three incidents, is still struggling to correct their policies and procedures, how are institutions of higher education more broadly handling the conflict between Title IX and protecting faculty due-process rights?

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