Pepperdine changes course on Title IX
- Pepperdine University officials have requested that the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights remove the school from a list of institutions exempt from certain Title IX rules on discrimination.
- Originally requested in 1976, the Christian university had remained eligible for federal funding despite asking for the right to exclude women from ministerial activities, and barring premarital sex on the grounds of religious beliefs.
- Officials say that while the exemption was granted, the campus had not taken serious measures to enforce rules reflecting these beliefs, which today are not in keeping with the values of administration or the campus body.
Dozens of colleges and universities have requested and received exemptions from the federal government to hold religious values and associated campus rules while still receiving federal support. But Pepperdine's unique approach to promoting tolerance could create a new wave of response from gender and sexual equity groups at peer campuses nationwide.
Much in the way the Black Lives Matter movement is creating change in administrative approaches to race and ethnicity, and growing scrutiny for campuses' handling of Title IX sexual assault cases, institutions may also have to do more to bring policies, even those written years ago and unenforced over generations, back into review to maintain campus calm.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education A university makes a rare call to ditch its Title IX exemption