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Campus Due Process

Rep. Shalala Tells Colleges Not To Change

Scott Greenfield May 15, 2019 When dreaded Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos withdrew the “Dear Colleague Letter” and its ensuing “guidance,” then issued new regs which were put through the rigors of Notice and Comment as required by law, heads exploded. Providing the accused with minimal due process on campus was tantamount to giving rapists

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When dreaded Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos withdrew the “Dear Colleague Letter” and its ensuing “guidance,” then issued new regs which were put through the rigors of Notice and Comment as required by law, heads exploded. Providing the accused with minimal due process on campus was tantamount to giving rapists a free ride, activists screamed.

But it begged the question, would any of this matter? Would colleges care what the regs provided, or would they ignore them, continue to apply rules that deprived  males any chance to defend themselves? Absent mandatory language in the regs, or court decisions like Doe v. Baum, who was going to make colleges change?

Appearing at The Atlantic Education Summit, Shalala — who served as president of the University of Miami from 2001 to 2015 — criticized DeVos for her department’s rollback of several Obama-era regulations and guidance documents, including those regarding Title IX.

“Many of these things that are coming out of the secretary’s office reflect someone that really does not understand the institutions or their experience or the traditions,” Shalala said, adding that “she’s a nice person, but boy she really is confused about what we’re doing out there.”

Donna Shalala, currently the congresswoman from Florida’s 27th district, and formerly Secretary of Health and Human Services, served as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and president of the University of Miami. Her message to the summit was clear.

During the education summit, Shalala said she didn’t think “any institutions in this country are going to follow” DeVos’s changes and that Democrats “will try to overturn them.”

First, a representative in Congress calls for educational institutions to reject the regulations, despite court after court holding that they violate the constitutional rights of male students. Ironically, claiming “experience and tradition” as the piece DeVos is missing reflects the social engineering that was rammed down the throat of colleges at the behest of two bureaucrats during the Obama administration who circumvented law. Some tradition.

Second, she says what needs to be said, that should the Democrats regain the executive branch, they will “overturn” regulations that comport with the Constitution and return to unconstitutional process. So why bother to change? Or more to the point, hold out until 2020, when the Democrats will repeal the new regs and  restore the old guidance so you can return to depriving male students of due process.

What makes Shalala’s admonition to colleges that they should persist in denying male students due process—that they shouldn’t change despite the new regs, despite the voluminous judicial opinions holding the processes invented by OCR’s Russyn Ali and her successor, Catherine Lhamon, unconstitutional—shocking is that it’s a call for lawlessness. Hardly the only one, and hardly the only side doing so, but lawlessness nonetheless. And it comes as no surprise.

All of this is true, and yet, doesn’t quite address either the situation or mandate. The “arrogance” of the Dear Colleague letters doesn’t mean that colleges, their bureaucracies built around implementation of the letters and the indoctrinated students and faculty who have become adherents to Lhamon’s and Ali’s orthodoxy, will go away.

Even if this letter, issued lawlessly, is withdrawn, that does not mean colleges will change their tune. Sure, they won’t have the Dear Colleague letters to fall back on as an excuse, but that doesn’t mean academia doesn’t actually like, no love, what Lhamon rammed down their throats.

When the old guidance was withdrawn, and new regs proffered for comment, many took for granted that this would mean change, that colleges would end their war against male students for the sexual sanctity of believing their female students. Battles were huge, as activists geared up to perpetuate the lies that women never falsely accused, that there was an epidemic on campus, that women were being raped all the time, provided one left rape to the fertile imagination of empowered co-eds.

Shalala is right, of course. Should the Democrats prevail in 2020, the DeVos regs will be gone in a jiff. But it won’t mean much as long as colleges refuse to change in accordance with the new regs, court decisions or the Constitution. Many have raised the cost of lost Title IX actions percolating through the federal courts, but it’s a price colleges seem happy to pay to keep their female students from feeling uncomfortable. Well, colleges don’t actually pay it, since they pass along the cost to students in tuition.

The battle waged to end the Obama-era guidance was nasty and ugly, and cost a lot of young men their future, but to what end?

 It is a tale. Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing.

In a more rational world, perhaps a United States congresswoman would not call upon colleges to violate the Constitution, to act lawlessly for the sake of woman at the expense of men. In a more rational world, perhaps the discussions about why sex discrimination against male and deprivation of due process would make academics pause and think about the harm they are doing.

But there is little rational these days, and so there is no good reason why Donna Shalala shouldn’t take to the podium to implore that colleges ignore the regs, reject the law and persist in their discrimination. To explain why this is wrong seems to be a tale told by an idiot. They’ll fix it in 2020 anyway, when they regain control and petty constitutional concerns will no longer be an impediment to experience and tradition.