Education Dept. Closes Title IX Investigation of Liberty U.

The Education Department’s civil-rights office has closed a Title IX investigation of Liberty University that had been triggered by a sexual-assault claim. The office cited a lack of jurisdiction.

In a letter addressed to President Jerry L. Falwell Jr., Letisha Morgan, a team leader in the Office for Civil Rights, wrote that the office had learned that the person who filed the original complaint was not a student at Liberty and did not have “meaningful and sustained contact” with the institution at the time of the alleged sexual assault.

The letter also said the office had received “conflicting information” about whether the accused individual had been a graduate student at the time of the alleged assault. “Even if true,” the letter continued, “the accused’s status as a graduate student would not obligate the university to respond under Title IX,” because the person who filed the complaint was not a student and the alleged assault “did not occur in connection with a university education program or activity.”

The White House recently confirmed that Mr. Falwell would be a part of a task force that he says will look at possible changes in higher-education regulations.

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