Georgia’s University System voted today to update its sexual misconduct policy. The goal is to make policy consistent across the state’s colleges and universities.
Each campus will now notify the university system about any case that may involve suspension or expulsion.
Overseeing those complaints will be Assistant Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs Kimberly Ballard-Washington.
She said each school will now handle its own adjudication hearings, leaving Title IX coordinators to focus on sexual assault prevention and education.
"On a lot of campuses, we have one person in the Title IX coordinating role – we don't have an office – and so this is going to free them up," Ballard-Washington said.
But legal advocate Lisa Anderson with Atlanta Women for Equality has concerns about the hiring and training that needs to happen by the fall semester, which starts this month.
"I'm really not sure, based on the laws of physics, how that would work," Anderson said.
The changes are the latest to go into effect after the University System of Georgia looked into its compliance with Title IX, which bans discrimination based on sex.
Anderson and other advocates say they're reviewing the update and, while they believe the changes are a step forward, would have liked to a chance to go over the final language earlier than the night before the vote. They’re hopeful tweaks can be made as the policy is implemented over the course of the year.