Zumberge Hall as seen in front of the pond with tree on right hand side

Carmody: Any proposed Title IX changes would be years away from implementation

Kevin Carmody, director of the Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX coordinator, said proposed U.S. Department of Education changes to Title IX regulations may bring more flexibility for institutions but any implementation will be years away.

The proposed changes are wide ranging and include protecting LGBTQIA+ students from discrimination based on sexual orientation, improving the adaptability of the regulations' grievance procedure and requiring protections for pregnant students and parenting students.

Carmody said the 60-day public comment period will end in late August, then the Department of Education will review and respond to comments, a process that will likely take two years.

"The biggest thing to know is that this is a fairly long process, at least one to two years before seeing any changes in effect," Carmody said. "We will be under the 2020 regulations for this academic year and likely the next year."

Kevin Carmody, director of the Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX coordinator, in blue shirt and bow tie, standing outside
Kevin Carmody, director of the Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX coordinator
Image Credit: courtesy photo

He added that the last time changes were made to Title IX regulations there were 144,000 comments. Carmody said the Title IX website will contain information about how to make informed comments.

One proposal would expand mandatory reporting requirements to all university employees who have knowledge of sex discrimination. Carmody said he believes there still should be confidential employees and added Grand Valley is broadening its mandatory reporting training.

The proposed changes may bring a "middle ground" to grievance procedures, Carmody said. The 2020 regulations placed a heavier burden on complainants, which Carmody said may prevent some people from coming forward. In Michigan, he added, all public universities will still be required to conduct cross examination despite any future changes to the federal regulation.

In addition, the university’s Title IX advisory group is considering policy and procedure changes that will be posted on the Title IX website in the Fall semester.

New Title IX staff members

Three new people have joined Carmody in the Title IX office. 

  • Jacqueline Adams, administrative assistant
  • MJ Creutz, assistant director for Title IX and Institutional Equity
  • Stacy Piasecki, lead civil rights investigator and deputy Title IX coordinator