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Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment Special Report Title IX

PR: Appellate Court Decisions Reveal Widespread Due Process Deficiencies

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Contact: Rebecca Stewart

Telephone: 513-479-3335


Appellate Court Decisions Reveal Widespread Due Process Deficiencies. Oberlin, Purdue, and USC the Most Egregious Cases.

WASHINGTON / April 22, 2021 – A new report summarizes 23 appellate court decisions of college procedures for handling allegations of sexual misconduct. Titled, “Appellate Court Decisions for Allegations of Campus Due Process Violations, 2013-2020,” the SAVE report summarizes the 23 court rulings, which document major deficiencies in the procedures that colleges and universities utilize to investigate and adjudicate allegations of sexual misconduct.

One or more of the appellate rulings apply to all colleges, public and private, in the following 31 states: AR, CA, CT, DE, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, ME, MO, NJ, NY, OH, OR, MA, ME, MN, MT, ND, NE, NV, PA, RI, SD, TN, VT, WA, and WI. The report notes that 67% of all U.S. colleges are located in these states.

The most egregious cases involved the following three institutions:

  1. Oberlin College, which advertised on its website that it had a 100% conviction rate.
  2. Purdue University, where two hearing board members admitted to not reading the investigative report, but still voted to expel the accused student.
  3. University of Southern California, which relied on a “judge, jury, and executioner” single-investigator model.

From a legal perspective, the most important ruling was the Doe v. Purdue University case, which made future allegations of sex discrimination easier to prove. The Seventh Circuit Court ruled that a student only needed to “raise a plausible inference that the university discriminated against [him] ‘on the basis of sex.’” (1)

Overall, the decisions enumerate a broad range of protections that are due on college campuses regarding adequate notice of the allegations, impartial and accurate investigations, disclosure of evidence to the accused, cross-examination, fair hearings, lack of conflict of interest among college officials, proper use of testimony, and institutional compliance with its own policies.

Seven public opinion polls have been conducted in recent years, all documenting that a strong majority of Americans support due process on campus (2). Recent editorials and statements by liberal and conservative voices reveal continued support for campus fairness (3).

SAVE urges college officials to become fully acquainted with the appellate decisions, and continue to fully implement the new Title IX regulation, which upholds rights and protections for both complainants and the accused. The new SAVE report is available online (4).



SAVE is leading the national policy movement for fairness and due process on campus: