What follows are regulatory and policy updates, as well as instructive legal case updates that we hope will provide a useful education for the common good. 
 

NEW POLICIES ANNOUNCEMENT FOR JULY 2021


Dickinson College has recently added some new policies and changed multiple institutional policies. They are briefly described below and can be read in greater detail by either visiting the Office of General Counsel webpage and clicking the Updates tab on the left, or by going to the policy manual by signing onto the Gateway, clicking on the Employee tab on the left and then clicking on the Campus Policy Manual link on the right.

Religious Accommodations Policy:  This policy has been updated to better reflect the diversity of religions practiced in our campus community. While classes will still be held, the administration and faculty will make every effort not to schedule College-wide and/or public events on major religious holidays.  Dickinson College offers full time benefit-eligible staff floating holidays each fiscal year to aid in the observance of non-federal religious holidays.

Employee Equipment Insurance Policy: In recognition that faculty and staff may bring equipment or other personal property onto campus for use in an educational program, or for another use in the performance of their official college duties, this new policy has been created to insure those items. The College shall provide actual cash value insurance coverage for employee-owned instructional materials and equipment used in the performance of an employee’s official duties, subject to the terms outlined in the policy. 

Vehicle Administration Policy: This policy has been updated with a new section regarding commercial drivers’ submission to random drug & alcohol testing, as required by the Department of Transportation.

All policies listed above can all be found in their entirety by going to the Campus Policy Manual at: https://www.dickinson.edu/homepage/1146/campus_policies_manual or by going to the Legal and Policy Updates section of the Office of General Counsel webpages.

If you have any questions please contact our office at legal@dickinson.edu 

Legislative and Regulatory Updates

Supreme Court Ruling Will Change NCAA Rules: The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of students seeking to overturn an NCAA ban on compensation for educational-related benefits. The ruling permits payments for things like graduate or vocational school scholarships, payments for computers, tutoring and education expenses, but does not permit schools to compensate athletes for non-educational expenses.

DOJ Issues Memo on LGBTQ Rights Under Title IX: The memo states that the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice finds that the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County is applicable to Title IX. Under this interpretation, Title IX’s prohibition on discrimination “on the basis of sex” necessarily includes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona has since stated his agreement with the interpretation, but the Department of Education has not issued updated guidance at this time.

Dickinson College’s Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy already prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. But this interpretation could lead to a broader acceptance of this standard at other institutions.
 

NEW POLICIES ANNOUNCEMENT FOR APRIL 2021


Dickinson College has recently changed multiple institutional policies. They are briefly described below and can be read in greater detail by either visiting the Office of General Counsel webpage and clicking the Updates tab on the left, or by going to the policy manual by signing onto the Gateway, clicking on the Employee tab on the left and then clicking on the Campus Policy Manual link on the right.

Academic Policies and Procedures – This policy was updated to include examples of mitigating circumstances which are considered in an appeal of a required withdrawal for academic reasons, and to clarify that exit interviews are required for students who voluntarily withdraw.

Comprehensive Waste Management Plan – This policy, which assures that all waste generated on campus is properly managed with the least impact on environmental resources, had a comprehensive update to reflect changes in college procedures and applicable rules.

Hazardous Communication Program - This document serves as the written guide for Dickinson College compliance to the Hazard Communication Program requirements and other federal regulations. All employees at Dickinson College engaged in the use of hazardous chemicals outside laboratories and art studios are required to comply with this document. This updated policy has two substantive changes:

  1. It has been updated to reflect the College’s move to an online inventory of hazardous chemicals.
     
  2. It has been updated to clarify training requirements for the introduction of new chemicals to the workplace.

All policies listed above can all be found in their entirety by going to the Campus Policy Manual at: https://www.dickinson.edu/homepage/1146/campus_policies_manual or by going to the Legal and Policy Updates section of the Office of General Counsel webpages.

If you have any questions please contact our office at legal@dickinson.edu 

Legislative and Regulatory Updates

On March 8, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order titled “Executive Order on Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.” This order directs federal officials to review regulations and other agency documents to identify any areas of inconsistency between those agency documents and the Biden Administration’s stated policy “that all students should be guaranteed an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, including discrimination in the form of sexual harassment, which encompasses sexual violence, and including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

There is speculation that this order will result in changes to Department of Education rules and guidance which dictate the procedures for Title IX grievance complaints. While this is a possible outcome, this order directs a review and does not change existing rules and guidance. The Office of General Counsel continues to monitor this situation.