WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will sign an executive order Monday directing the Department of Education to review Trump administration changes to Title IX regulations that overhauled how schools and universities handle complaints of sexual assault and misconduct.
During his presidential campaign, Biden said he would bring a “quick end” to the Title IX regulations implemented under then-President Donald Trump, which provided added protections for students who are accused. The rules allow those students to be presumed innocent throughout the disciplinary process and gives them the right to see all evidence collected against them. Those students can also cross-examine their accusers and vice versa during live hearings through their lawyers or representatives.
The process of reversing any of the rules could take years, however, because former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos instituted them through the formal rulemaking process. The current administration would have to use that same process to rescind the rules unless Congress were to take action.
The executive order also directs a review of all other regulations and policies with the aim of ensuring students have access to education free from sexual violence.
The second executive order will establish a gender policy council to aid in developing domestic and foreign policies that fight “bias and discrimination, including sexual harassment,” the White House said in a news release.
The council will work to advance gender equality globally, promote equity and opportunities in education and leadership, and address the obstacles women face in the labor force, the release said.
The White House called the council “an essential part of the Biden-Harris administration’s plan to ensure we build a more equal and just society.” The order also requires the co-chairs of the council, which includes first lady Jill Biden's chief of staff Julissa Reynoso, to submit a governmentwide strategy to the president addressing the role of gender in policies, programs and budgets, and track the administration's progress in an annual report.
Biden will sign the orders on International Women's Day, and along with Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, will deliver remarks at the White House in the afternoon to mark the day.