Title IX - Student Protections Against Sexual Misconduct & Gender Discrimination

Enacted in 1972, Title IX of the Education Amendments prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational settings. The Colorado Department of Higher Education is committed to supporting institutions as they work to provide safe learning environments free of gender-based discrimination, violence and harassment. 

Each institution's Title IX office addresses the following forms of discrimination: 

  • Gender-based discrimination 

  • Discrimination against pregnant and parenting students 

  • Sexual harassment 

  • Sexual violence (including rape or sexual assault, stalking, voyeurism, exhibitionism, verbal or physical sexuality-based threats or abuse, and intimate partner violence) 

Sexual Misconduct Advisory Committee and Report 

In 2019, the Colorado General Assembly passed Senate Bill 19-007, which among several provisions, created the Sexual Misconduct Advisory Committee. Members of the committee are appointed by the executive director of the Department of Higher Education. 

The advisory committee was created quickly and began meeting in January 2020. Their primary charge was to make recommendations to the General Assembly and institutions of higher education on the updated U.S. Department of Education Title IX rules which were subsequently released on May 6, 2020 (and comprised of over 2,000 pages). The committee had to work quickly as the senate bill required they submit a report to the Education Committees of the Colorado Senate and House 90 days after the final Title IX rules were adopted. The report was delivered on time on August 4, 2020 and was forwarded to many different functional groups at institutions of higher education within the state. The report provides recommendations to satisfy the updated Title IX rules and includes policies and methods to reduce sexual misconduct at institutions.  

Sexual Misconduct Advisory Committee Report 

The committee is also charged with submitting an updated report to the Education Committees of the Colorado Senate and House on January 15, 2021 and each year after until sunset review in 2023. 

The list of the exemplary committee members is included on the submitted report. The members have experience that aligns with one or more of the following roles: 

  • A representative from an institution of higher education 

  • A Title IX coordinator from an institution of higher education 

  • A representative from an organization that advocates on behalf of or provides services to victims of sexual misconduct 

  • An attorney who has experience representing victims of sexual misconduct on college campuses 

  • An attorney who has experience representing persons accused of sexual misconduct at institutions of higher education 

  • A person who has experience providing trauma-informed care. 

Federal Action Regarding Title IX Rules 

On Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, the U.S. Department of Education announced a new, proposed Title IX rule related to campus sexual misconduct after previously rescinding 2011 Obama administration guidance. The Department’s proposed Title IX rule was open for public comment for 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. The final Title IX rules were released on May 6, 2020. In mid-August 2020, the US Department of Education launched a new web page which provides resources for students and institutions of higher education regarding the Title IX rule changes.