Campus Sexual Misconduct

Colleges and universities face special challenges in designing and implementing procedures to respond to campus sexual and gender-based misconduct. These challenges include maintaining an academic community with equal educational opportunities for all students while implementing procedures that are both effective and fair for those who have suffered from such misconduct and for those accused of such misconduct. Through examination of existing disciplinary procedures in colleges and universities (small and large, public and private), relevant regulatory requirements and guidance, critiques of existing practice and procedure, and proposals for improvements, we aim to produce principles and analyses that will help universities and colleges, and their disciplinary boards, thoughtfully, fairly, and effectively respond to such misconduct complaints. – Reporter Vicki Jackson from the press release announcing the project

The Student Sexual Misconduct project is a separate project from the Model Penal Code: Sexual Assault project.

This project will examine college and university responses to complaints of gender-based and sexual misconduct, including sexual assault. Some of the issues to be considered include reporting procedures; confidentiality; relationships with police and local criminal justice, including obligations to report; interim measures and support for complainants and fair treatment of the accused; investigation and adjudication, including training requirements for investigators and adjudicators; the role of lawyers; the creation and maintenance of records; sanctions or remedies; and appeals. The project will also examine informal resolutions, as well as the nature of hearings (including, for example, admissible evidence and methods of taking testimony).

Project Reporters

Vicki C. Jackson

Campus Sexual Misconduct Reporter

Vicki Jackson, Thurgood Marshall Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, has written on constitutional aspects of federalism, gender equality, election law, free speech, sovereign immunity, courts and judicial independence, methodological challenges in comparative constitutional law, and other topics. Her scholarly projects include normative conceptions of the role of elected representatives in a democracy; proportionality in constitutional law and interpretation; gender equality and the interaction of international and domestic law; and the co-evolution of the constitutionalization of international law and the internationalization of constitutional law.

Suzanne B. Goldberg

Campus Sexual Misconduct Associate Reporter

Suzanne Goldberg is the Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law and Director, Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School, as well as the Executive Vice President for University Life, Columbia University. She is one of the country’s foremost experts on gender and sexuality law and a leading advocate for the LGBTQ community. In 2015, she was appointed to serve as Columbia University’s first executive vice president for university life. In this role, she works to reinforce and broaden the university’s commitment to respect, inclusion, and ethical leadership among students, faculty, and administrators. She is a frequent commentator and analyst for news media on sexuality and gender law, and on discrimination law and litigation issues.

Panel Addresses Campus Assault

The ABA presented a panel titled “Sexual Assault on College Campuses: Balancing the Rights and Interests of the Accused and the Victim” at its Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The ABA reported that the panel “discussed some of the most pressing issues concerning...