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tainty. But criminal punishment is not at stake in university disciplinary proceedings. What is at stake is whether a student presents enough of a threat to other students to warrant the school taking steps to protect those other students. At the extreme, those steps might include expulsion. But it is far more typical, even in sexual misconduct cases, for schools to adopt more tailored protective steps, whether suspensions, reprimands, counseling requirements, or orders requiring perpetrators to stay away from their victims. Where protection, and not criminal punishment, is at stake, we should weight the interests of those who claim that they have been subject to misconduct just as heavily as the interests of those whom they accuse of committing misconduct. And particularly where schools adopt the preponderance standard for disciplinary proceedings involving other potentially criminal conduct, as they typically do, they should do the same for disciplinary proceedings involving sexual misconduct. To be sure, there are difficult questions here. University disciplinary proceedings that charge students with misconduct that is also criminal must be carefully coordinated and sequenced with criminal investigations and prosecutions, lest the accused students give up (whether inadvertently or under pressure) key protections such as the privilege against self-incrimination. But thoughtful universities and law enforcement officials can address those issues without leaving campus sexual violence to the criminal justice system-which is appropriately deliberative and protective of the accused, but which as a result cannot alone serve the non-criminal function of protecting students. Nor is the OCR's resolution of the standard-of-proof issue free from doubt. A charge of sexual violence is an incredibly serious matter, even if criminal punishment is not at stake. To many, it appears different in kind from a charge of assault, vandalism, or theft. Add the fact that a significant subset of cases are (literally) he-said/she-said affairs, and many observers believe that a university should not be entitled to discipline a student for a sexual violence charge without a greater degree of certainty than a mere preponderance of the evidence. But to elevate the standard of proof is to give more weight to the interests of accused students to be free from erroneous discipline than to the interests of victims against erroneous failures to discipline students who actually harmed them. The preponderance standard gives equal weight to the important interests on both sides. And the procedures in disciplinary proceedings, as the OCR guidance says, should provide the accused student a fair opportunity to develop evidence and ensure that the accuser's story is well tested. Absent reason to believe that allegations of sexual assault are especially likely to be false-and, certain examples to the contrary, the evidence is that such allegations are generally true-the OCR's endorsement of the preponderance test represents at least a reasonable resolution of an arguable issue. T he horror stories, then, are not the result of the Department of Education pronouncements themselves but of universities going well beyond anything that the department has purported to require. What has led universities to react in such an extreme manner? A principal explanation would point to the bureaucracy that, at most universities, is assigned the task of implementing the department's pronouncements. A 2014 analysis found that the number of university administrators had "more than doubled in the last 25 years, vastly outpacing the growth in the number of students or faculty." Many of these administrators work in the field of "compliance." In other words, their job is to ensure that the university complies with the regulatory mandates that apply to it. This compliance function can be salutary, but it comes at a cost. Because compliance administrators do not come from the faculty, they are Russlynn Ali, the assistant secretary tasked in 2011 with responding to the problem of sexual assault and harassment on campuses, was an able veteran of civil rights and education reform groups, but she had no experience working in higher education administration. Nor did her successor, the talented civil rights attorney Catherine Lhamon. unlikely to fully appreciate the academic values of independent inquiry that challenges-often aggressively-the certitudes of students and others in the academic community. When that lack of grounding in academic values is combined with the tunnel vision that arises whenever an office is designed with the sole aim of maximizing compliance with a particular mandate, it is a prescription for a bureaucracy that prefers to sanitize the classroom, and override fair-process interests, in order to avoid any risk of being found to have violated the applicable regulations. A very similar dynamic has led institutional review boards to metastasize at American universities, as Zachary Schrag recently pointed out in these pages ("You Can't Ask That," September/October 2014). The Department of Education should have seen this coming. A major, highly publicized government enforcement Washington Monthly 71

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