Professors, rights groups write letter defending student due process rights


Professors from across the country, as well as several rights groups, have written a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee condemning the evisceration of due process rights for college students.

The letter, addressed to Sens. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., describes the example of Northwestern University professor Laura Kipnis, who earlier this year faced a Title IX investigation for writing an article condemning current campus sexual assault policies. Title IX is the federal law that bans gender discrimination and has been used in recent years to justify adjudicating sexual assault as campus disciplinary matters.

The letter points out that it was the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights that reinterpreted Title IX as an adjudication tool, and the signees believe OCR violated the Administrative Procedure Act when issuing its directive for schools to apply this.