What disturbs me in analyzing these matters is the short shrift often given to the lingering effects of the false accusation.
In the case of Kavanaugh, the now-two accusations, even if false, have little impact on him other than reputational damage. As you say, all but a small handful of us live happy and fulfilled lives without being on the SCOTUS. He does not lose his seat on the DC Circuit, and although there’s a few left-wing extremists who seem to think that Dr. Ford’s accusation alone is enough to gain a felony conviction in Maryland and subsequent impeachment from the DC Circuit, the chances of that, given the evidence currently known, are nil.
In the case of the college student who is expelled from school on a false accusation, the impact is far more broad. Because schools are able to tell other schools that the individual was expelled, and the *reason* for that expulsion, the falsely accused student may have their life severely impacted. They may be unable to gain admission to another university of similar status, impacting their career and earnings potential for life; the alternative may be to “strand” dozens of expensive credit hours and start completely over on a low-level path just to avoid the “expelled” stamp on the transcript. That’s a pretty high penalty on a “maybe”, which is why the “Dear Colleague” memo was screaming out for revision, along with it authorizing the college to sidestep due process if it so choose.
Not to digress further, but to me this seems somewhat connected with the experiences felons have after completing their sentences. We have this notion in the US that once a person has “served their time” they are eligible for re-integration into society without a cloud over their heads, but this is not true; employers are legally able to demand that applicants confess their sins (otherwise, those sins pop up on background checks), and may deny them employment accordingly. It seems to me that asking anyone if they have ever been convicted of a crime (much less simply accused of one, which also pops up on some job applications; I recall one where an accounting of my traffic infractions was demanded) should be out-of-bounds; if the person has paid their debt to society, they’ve paid it.