Russlynn H. Ali, chief of the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, has announced that she will step down from her post on Friday, in the same week that her office released a report touting its accomplishments over the last four years, according to Education Week. Ms. Ali, who became the office’s leader in 2009, told The Chronicle in a 2010 interview that she expected to take on more discrimination complaints and to take a different approach to certain issues than the office had done under the George W. Bush administration. During her tenure, Ms. Ali’s office issued controversial new guidance for how colleges and schools should respond to allegations of sexual assault, in an attempt to clarify rules under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which bars gender discrimination at educational institutions that receive federal financing. Several colleges responded by announcing new plans or plans to update old policies. The office also praised Yale University for how it responded to a complaint stemming from a high-profile 2010 incident involving male students pledging a fraternity. The department did not find Yale out of compliance with Title IX, though it did criticize some of Yale’s previous policies.
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