Harvard University’s law school has agreed to revise its policies for responding to complaints of sexual violence after the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights found that the school’s handling of such cases violated the federal gender-equity law known as Title IX.
The department announced on Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with the law school to resolve an investigation by the civil-rights office. The department said that the pact did not resolve a separate investigation into Harvard College’s response to sexual-assault cases, which is still pending.
The university’s new policy on sexual misconduct has caused some controversy at the law school, where a group of current and retired professors this fall objected to procedures that they said trampled on the due-process rights of the accused. Some Harvard students, however, said that the new policy did not go far enough.
As part of its agreement with the department, the law school said it would take several steps to strengthen its response to complaints of sexual violence. They include reviewing complaints filed during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years, conducting annual climate assessments, and expanding training for staff members.
In a written statement, the university said the agreement “approves and enshrines many of the proactive changes Harvard has made in recent years.”
Harvard vowed to continue “the critical work of preventing sexual harassment and assault among our students, faculty and staff, and responding effectively when incidents do occur.”