OCR

An Illegal Program OCR Won’t Strike Down

In my research as a labor economist, I discovered that the Lawton program, offering aid exclusively to minority and disadvantaged students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is operating illegally—Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits Federal aid going to members of certain racial and ethnic groups, and not others, as Lawton does. That […]

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Wendy Murphy Comes to the University of Virginia

The Office of Civil Rights’ mandated procedures for investigating sexual assault are tilted heavily against the accused party. The institution can hire “neutral fact-finders” who produce the equivalent of a grand jury presentment, deny the accused an advisor of his choice, add witnesses that the accused student does not request, forbid the students from cross-examining […]

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Yale’s New Low and the Sad Saga of Wendy Murphy

Few figures involved in the Duke lacrosse case behaved more disgracefully than Wendy Murphy, an adjunct professor at the New England School of Law. A  frequent TV commentator on the case, she  earned a reputation for defending Mike Nifong’s prosecution through myriad errors of fact, misstatements of the law, and deeply offensive statements such as […]

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Campus Due Process, Obama-Style

In this week’s Chronicle of Higher Education, Joseph Cohn, director of policy at FIRE, summarizes the due process implications of a letter sent to colleges and universities last April by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. As was widely reported at the time, the letter instructs schools to adopt the lowest standard of […]

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The OCR’s Newest Target: Xavier University

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has entered into its latest Title IX-related agreement with Xavier University. Unlike the OCR’s agreement with Yale, which used a manufactured controversy to weaken the due process rights of the university’s students, at least at Xavier the OCR involved itself only in response […]

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More Advice on Railroading Males in Sex Cases

Not one college or university that I know of has resisted the notorious “Dear Colleague” letter’ urging a lowering of the burden of proof in campus sexual assault cases. Reasons for this timidity include the fact that powerful forces within the academy fully support the attack on due process by the Department of Education’s Office […]

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The Hollow Nature of the “Dear Colleague” Threat

An interesting article by Sara Ganim noted that with the conclusion of the Jerry Sandusky trial, attention will shift to civil suits against Penn State and criminal actions against former and current Penn State employees. Probably the most explosive recent report came from NBC, which revealed existence of e-mails among former top university officials (including […]

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Yale Abandons All Pretense of Due Process

Yale and the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights recently announced a settlement of a Title IX complaint brought by several Yale students alleging a “hostile environment” on the campus toward women. (The idea that any contemporary Ivy League campus is hostile to women is nothing short of preposterous.) The settlement’s terms included the […]

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More on the Rape Accusation at Brown

Marcella (Beth) Dresdale was the former Brown student who accused a classmate of sexual harassment and then (a week later) changed the accusation to one of rape. The classmate, William McCormick, quickly left Brown, but eventually sued both Dresdale and her father, Richard Dresdale, a wealthy Brown donor. Before the Dresdales agreed to an out-of-court […]

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Student Editor Details the Corruption at Brown

As university after university follows the OCR’s mandate to lower the threshold for evaluating campus sexual assault claims–and thereby to increase the likelihood of convictions from false accusations–it’s worth keeping in mind cases in which even the pre-“Dear Colleague” procedure broke down. Caleb Warner’s is one such case; William McCormick’s is another.

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The Kafka-like “Dear Colleague” Letter Wins at Cornell

Another day, another two-tier student disciplinary policy–this time at Cornell. The Cornell Daily Sun reports that the university has modified its sexual assault policy, in response to pressure from the Russlynn Ali-led Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education. As the Obama administration demanded, the key change comes in a lowering of the […]

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The Notorious “Dear Colleague” Letter in Action

Inside Higher Ed brings interesting news today about how the infamous “Dear Colleague” letter from the Obama education department–which requires all sexual assault and harassment cases to be judged by the lowest possible burden of proof, a preponderance of the evidence–has affected one university campus. In response to the letter’s mandate, the University of North […]

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Confusion over Anti-Asian Discrimination

At the request of the unidentified Asian-American student who filed discrimination complaints against Harvard and Princeton, the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has ended its investigation. The civil rights office had folded the complaint against Princeton … into a compliance review begun in 2008 of whether that university discriminates against Asian-Americans. The allegations […]

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Let’s Not Turn Satire and Criticism into Discriminatory Harassment

FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) has attracted important support for its open letter asking the Department of Education to define harassment narrowly enough to allow genuinely free speech on campus. Many colleges and universities ban expression that might be considered “offensive” or cause “embarrassment” or “ridicule.” The January 6 letter, sent to […]

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A Black Eye for Brown In a Controversial Rape Case

I’ve written before of the peculiar case of Brown and Marcella Dresdale. In 2006, Dresdale accused another Brown freshman, William McCormick, of sexual assault. But she didn’t go the local police, and she never filed charges. Instead, she went to the Brown administration–over which, it turned out, her father Richard, a major Brown donor, exercised […]

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Brown Shows How to Skew a Case and Skewer the Accused

Tuesday’s Brown Daily Herald brings an interesting column on one of Brown University’s best known–and most questionable–disciplinary proceedings: the expulsion of a student, William McCormick, after an allegation of rape by the daughter of a major donor. I’ve written about McCormick’s case before–in what resembled a coerced plea bargain, he was dismissed from Brown after […]

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Star Chamber Provision on Campus Dropped

In April, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights outlined a policy shift that represented perhaps the gravest threat to civil liberties on campus in a generation. Worse, Sen. Patrick Leahy inserted a provision in a draft of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011 that would have made the dubious new policy part […]

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Sorry, Charlotte, I Only Wish I Were Wrong About Columbia

In her thoughtful and intelligent critique of my case against Columbia University, Charlotte Allen agrees with my basic concern when she writes that what’s wrong at Columbia is “the university’s continued support of professors who have turned their classrooms into bully pulpits for preaching religious and ethnic hatred.”  She disagrees, however, with whether OCR should […]

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You’re Wrong about Columbia’s ‘Steering,’ Ken

I disagree with Kenneth L. Marcus’s post here approving the Education Department’s pending investigation of Columbia University for allegedly “steering” a Jewish student at Barnard College away from a course taught by Joseph Massad. While I’m in sympathy with Marcus’s efforts to show up Massad for the unreconstructed ideologue and tiresome non-scholar that he is, […]

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“Steering” Orthodox Jews Away from Massad at Columbia

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has just opened a new investigation into anti-Semitism at Columbia University.  At this author’s urging, OCR is looking into whether a Jewish Barnard student was unlawfully “steered” away from a course taught by controversial Columbia Professor Joseph Massad.  Massad has been accused of anti-Semitism before.  This […]

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A Great Article on a Disastrous Act of Federal Meddling

Sandy Hingston has captured, in an article of extraordinary importance, the fruits of political correctness in the Dept of Education (the insistence that colleges make it almost impossible for men to be found innocent of charges of sexual misbehavior), the infantilization of women; the grotesque joining of careerism, cynicism, and ideological blinders to actual justice […]

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Stanford: Guilty Even If Innocent

At Stanford, according to the “alternative misconduct review process” guidelines offered on the university’s website, a student accused of sexual misconduct doesn’t have the right to cross-examine his accuser–or any other witnesses in his case. He cannot offer exculpatory evidence on his behalf, but can only “request” that the university’s assigned “Investigator contact individuals who […]

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The Star Chamber Comes to a Campus Near You

As Harvey Silverglate and Kyle Smeallie pointed out in Minding The Campus, the recent letter from the Obama Administration’s Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights outlines a policy shift that represents perhaps the gravest threat to civil liberties on campus in a generation. The letter’s provisions would be gravely damaging even in its narrowest possible scope, […]

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Sexual Assault on Campus–Is It Exaggerated?

Earlier this month, shortly after the announcement of a sexual harassment investigation targeting Yale University, the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” to colleges on the handling of sexual violence cases.  On the same day, April 4, Vice President Joe Biden kicked off a nationwide “awareness campaign” on schools’ […]

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A Brown Cover-Up

Duke—which is defending a civil suit filed by most of the unindicted lacrosse players and their families—isn’t the only university being sued, in part, for bowing to politically correct winds on campus. Brown, a prominent donor, and the donor’s daughter are facing a civil suit, for allegedly conspiring to drive out of school a former […]

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A Rape Accusation At Brown

Brown University is being sued by a former student, William McCormick III, over its handling of a charge of rape on campus. Because of McCormick’s allegations, the case is bound to attract major publicity. In court papers, he argues that the female student was reluctant to name him, and that Brown officials yelled at her, […]

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