Update on Title IX Review
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
I am writing to you today to provide an update on the University’s Title IX review currently underway with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
As you may know, in June the University received a letter from OCR notifying it of a gender discrimination complaint. The individual complaint was brought by a former student who alleges that the University did not adequately address a report of sexual assault. In the initial complaint letter to the University, OCR made clear that its review of the individual complaint in no way implies wrongdoing by the University—it is simply an information-gathering exercise at this point.
As part of the process, OCR also initiates a review of the University’s Title IX complaint procedures and past reports. This review is common. At least 275 other colleges and universities are in the midst of a similar process. This review has also presented an opportunity for the University to work with OCR and further educate them on the important procedures, protocols and systems in place at the University.
In late July, the University provided to OCR the files and information related to the individual complaint, and has yet to receive any additional requests from OCR. The University continues to assist OCR with information related to the past reports.
To protect the privacy of our students, faculty, and staff—who may report Title IX violations as confidential matters—we have worked with OCR to obtain the time necessary to redact any personally identifiable information from past records. For these same protected privacy reasons, the University cannot release or share details on any individual complaint.
In the coming weeks, the Office of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion & Resolution Services (“EOIRS”) will be hosting a forum: “Title IX-Year in Review,” during which an overview of the Title IX complaint process and what we have learned over the last year, will be provided. When the date for the forum is set, we will inform the campus community.
Should you need any assistance in the interim, please refer to the 2016-2017 “Sexual and Relationship Violence Resource Guide for Syracuse University Students,” which identifies reporting options, including the Counseling Center, EOIRS, the Department of Public Safety, and the Syracuse Police Department, among others. For more information on the OCR process, see the OCR Case Processing Manual.
I want to assure all of you that the University takes all complaints of discrimination, including Title IX complaints, very seriously. We will continue to respond promptly and equitably to all incidents reported to the University. As made clear in multiple University policies, discrimination and harassment have no place in our community.
Interim Chief, Equal Opportunity & Title IX Officer