Editor’s note: The following message is being emailed to all students, faculty and staff on Sept. 8, 2017.
Dear Campus Community,
In the time that I have been president, I have made clear—both in our words and our actions—our commitment to supporting gender equity, diversity and inclusion. Among many things, this means honoring the principles and policies enumerated in federal Title IX regulations and Executive Orders promulgated by the California State University. Our values demand nothing less. I also have acknowledged that we would learn from past actions and apply what we have learned moving forward.
Establishing and maturing an Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to lead diversity and equity programming and training was a seminal step. Growing our pool of trained Title IX investigators and other community members was another. Together, this has enabled us to offer expertise, support and guidance to students, faculty and staff members; adhere consistently to all rules governing how we investigate and resolve complaints under Title IX and other regulations; and ensure that all parties—complainants, respondents and witnesses—are treated fairly.
Progress to date includes:
- Hiring four Title IX officers and training 20 “divisional liaisons” able to interpret Title IX processes for faculty and staff members across the university;
- Investing in an Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, including new personnel and expanded programming;
- Training more than 1,100 faculty and staff members to ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities to recognize and report Title IX violations;
- Implementing equity and diversity programming for new students and faculty in the on-boarding processes, and;
- Delivering face-to-face training to 9,000 new freshmen, transfer and graduate students during summer orientation, as well as to continuing students, faculty and staff members.
While considerable progress is being made, there is much more to be done. I will update you throughout the year on our efforts. Meanwhile, we will be monitoring closely the developments from the U.S. Department of Education as it unveils any new directives regarding Title IX guidelines relating to sexual assault investigations. At the same time, I want to assure our community that we will continue to be guided by policies and protocols established by CSU Executive Orders, which themselves conform to California law and require swift and thorough action by our university in all cases. We will continue to uphold all standards of due process and maintain unwavering commitment to the requirements of these laws and policies.
I will be in touch as we learn more about the latest federal regulatory actions and how they might impact our community.
Dr. Mary A. Papazian