Punishment First, Trial Later, or Never: The Education Department’s Investigation of Tufts Universit


Imagine if you could be expelled from your dorm, or a class, just because someone accused you of something — even if the accusation was so weak or thinly-grounded that it never even led to a disciplinary hearing against you, or the complainant was unwilling to even let you have the opportunity to clear your name. Such “interim measures” by colleges seem to be what the Education Department recently required of Tufts University in Massachusetts, as a condition of settling a Title IX investigation against it after it found a student not guilty of sexually assaulting a classmate who denied those charges, after he convinced it that the complainant was not credible and had clearly lied about her medical history. If Tufts didn’t agree to the settlement, the Education Department could have cut off all federal funds to the University — millions of dollars — and all federal financial aid to its students could have been terminated. So the settlement was not exactly voluntary.
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