The accused do not necessarily have those rights outside criminal court, and federal regulators are pressuring colleges to weaken those rights. Here is the latest:
Cornell is planning to change its disciplinary procedure for sexual assault claims by dispensing with the requirement that witnesses testify in person. It will, instead, allow written statements of witnesses. See here and here. The change is a significant blow to the rights of the accused. It flies in the face of judicial authority holding that in college disciplinary cases that are essentially credibility contests, the cross-examination of witnesses is essential to a fair hearing. An accused student cannot cross-examine an affidavit.I believe that people should be innocent until proven guilty. Sometimes I think that I am in the minority on this.
The change is being made to benefit accusers. The basis for the change seems to be anecdotal evidence suggesting that accusers may find hearings intimidating, and, therefore, they may be deterred from reporting misconduct. Narda Terrones, a member of the school's Women’s Resource Center, explained: “The most terrifying thing is getting in front of the panel and telling their story in front of the person they are accusing.”
The right to confront one's accuser is fundamental to due process. Its roots extend back to Roman law. In our modern criminal and civil jurisprudence, there are expansive protections to guard against the admission of hearsay evidence that can't be cross-examined.