In a reversal, Tufts University has accepted a finding by the US Department of Education that its policies on how to handle sexual assault cases have been in violation of a law mandating gender equity on college campuses.
Last week, Tufts defiantly backed out of an agreement with the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights after being told that it was violating the law, known as Title IX. The university issued a statement at the time saying it “could not, in good faith, allow our community to believe that we are not in compliance with such an important law.”
In response, the Office for Civil Rights warned that it could move to terminate Tufts’ federal funding if the university did not comply, a result so catastrophic that it virtually required Tufts to reach some understanding with the government.
Tufts president Anthony P. Monaco said in an interview Friday that Tufts initially had walked away from the agreement because officials did not know the basis for the government’s finding. He said he received that clarity in a phone conversation last week and a meeting in Washington on Thursday with Catherine Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights at the Department of Education.
The issues, Monaco said, involved a number of Tufts’ policies on handling sexual assault complaints, and he said Tufts submitted proposed changes to those policies to the government Monday.
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