Russlyn Ali Steps Down From Civil Rights Post at the Department of Education

Russlyn H. Ali has stepped down from her post as assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for the position on May 1, 2009.

During her tenure, the Office for Civil Rights focused more on complaints of discrimination than had been the case in the Bush administration. Her office also issued new guidance for how colleges and universities should respond to incidents of sexual assault.

Prior to joining the Department of Education in 2009, Ali served as vice president of the Education Trust and as founding director of Education Trust-West. She has also taught at the University of Southern California Law Center and the University of California at Davis.

Ali attended Spelman College in Atlanta but transferred to American University in Washington, D.C., where she earned a bachelor’s degree in law and society. She is also a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law.

Comments (5)

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  1. Daria P. Winter says:

    I am sorry to hear that she has left this post. But she has made a tremendous impact on the position in the enforcement of laws against discrimination. She has raised the bar for the next appointee to this position.

    • Thomas The says:

      She disgraced herself by her April 4 2011 letter demanding that schools eliminate 3 or more safeguards of justice, the standard of proof, the right to confront ones witnesses, and double jeopardy. She also suggests an odd mix of civil and criminal procedure that she apparently invented herself, allowing an accuser to change their story after reviewing an alibi! She told schools to lower the standard of proof for charges of any sexual harassment to just 51%, and remove procedural process protection based on her reasoning that it was too important for safety not to do it. In the history of law, there is a consistent thread, all justice is procedural.
      When will we see someone in govermnent try to decrease their own power?
      Increases in power are almost always justified with the reason of “safety.” Search for the shameful letter with these terms: Ali dear colleague letter.
      Read the whole letter, not just summaries on the web. It includes the shocking suggestion that an accused student not be allowed to question the accuser unless they have hired their own attorney. Sadly, I doubt that Ali is a fan of history and wanted to emulate the Star Chamber, but is just uneducated as well as power hungry and/or evil. And allowing a rebuffed accuser to be able to appeal as well is a violation of double jeopardy. Strong evidence that either something went wrong when Ali was given a law degree, or that she doesn’t care about the history of law as a tool of oppression. I agree “she has made a tremendous impact on the position in the enforcement of laws against discrimination.” Now, sadly, there will not be a repealing of the previous damage she has done, as she probably gave the OCR more power before this final excessive power grab, and they won’t give it up.

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