She did not provide any hints about whether the final rules would force schools to adopt the higher standard.

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“Through intimidation and coercion, the failed system has clearly pushed schools to overreach,” she said.

Natalie Weill, a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was among those on Friday expressing dismay about Ms. She said that she had used the 2011 guidelines to convince the college that the student who attacked her should be expelled.

“I think it’s misguided to depict the average undergraduate in terms of oppressor and oppressed,” she said.

But Cari Simon, a Washington lawyer who represents sexual assault victims, said that colleges could use mediation to avoid addressing serious accusations.

Without them, “I would have been forced to drop out of school or risk the danger of encountering the offender,” she said.

“De Vos’s decision is a disaster for students, and there will be an outcry from engaged and enraged students on this attack on our civil rights.”In a statement, a spokeswoman for the university, Meredith Mc Glone, said a Wisconsin student who commits sexual assault today would be no less likely to be expelled because of the changes.

Mediation was not permitted under the Obama administration guidelines, on the belief that women would feel pressure to participate.

Christina Hoff Sommers, a scholar with the conservative American Enterprise Institute who has written about sexual assault, applauded the administration’s decision to permit mediations, saying that some victims were not necessarily seeking a full-blown investigation and a trial.

According to his lawsuit, the accuser said that she had been unable to consent to sex because of alcohol consumption, while he claimed the accuser did not even appear to be intoxicated, let alone incapacitated.

There are likely to be other immediate effects of Ms. She eliminated a requirement that investigations be completed in 60 days, now suggesting that the time frame be “reasonably prompt.” The department will also allow mediation — sessions in which an accuser and accused hash out their differences — if both sides agree.

Since many cases come down to one student’s word against another’s, and do not rise to the level of a police investigation, the evidentiary standard has become the main battleground in the nationwide fight over sexual behavior on campus.