Some Harvard Professors Oppose Policy on Assaults

October 17, 2014 / Phil Lesch

New York Times
October 15th, 2014

Dozens of Harvard Law School faculty members are asking the university to withdraw its new sexual misconduct policy, saying that it violates basic principles of fairness and would do more harm than good.

“Harvard has adopted procedures for deciding cases of alleged sexual misconduct which lack the most basic elements of fairness and due process, are overwhelmingly stacked against the accused, and are in no way required” by the federal anti-discrimination law, known as Title IX, they wrote in an op-ed article signed by 28 current and retired members of the Harvard Law faculty and posted online by The Boston Globe on Tuesday night.

“It’s a totally secret process, in which real genuine unfairnesses can happen, and it’s so airtight that no one would know,” Janet Halley, one of the professors who signed the article, said Wednesday.

Harvard College and Harvard Law School are among the dozens of higher-education institutions under investigation by the federal Education Department over their handling of complaints of sexual assault or sexual harassment.

The federal government has threatened to withhold funds from universities that do not have adequate sexual misconduct policies.

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