Dear Students, Faculty and Staff: As we look forward to the energy that comes with students returning to campus soon, I would like to recognize the important work so many individuals have accomplished this summer. I also want to give…
Syracuse University Announces Changes to Public Safety, Title IX to Better Serve Students, Faculty and Staff
Syracuse University today announced changes to its public safety and Title IX reporting lines to enhance collaboration and ensure students, faculty and staff continue to feel safe, supported and respected while on campus, and during investigations.
“The University is constantly evaluating how we can improve the experience for every member of our community, including as it relates to their safety and well-being,” says Allen Groves, senior vice president and chief student experience officer. “Based on feedback from students, faculty and staff, the University is better aligning its services and resources, strengthening its support of our community and working to streamline Title IX processes.”
Department of Public Safety
As part of this effort, the Department of Public Safety will now reside in the Division of the Student Experience with Chief Craig Stone reporting directly to Groves, who chaired the search committee that recommended Chief Stone for his post.
“Bringing public safety, Title IX, Community Standards and Student Living together in one division will allow Syracuse University to make our processes and procedures more efficient while supporting our students in a holistic, integrated and collaborative manner,” says Groves. “Together, our teams will be well positioned to apply our experience and align our resources to ensure the most effective prevention and response strategies to these complex situations.”
Changes to Title IX
Key to the efficacy of the University’s Title IX resources is ensuring all involved parties receive tailored support, swift investigations and equitable and timely resolutions. To achieve these goals, there will be two Title IX teams: one dedicated to addressing complaints in which a student is alleged to have violated University policy, and the other in which a faculty or staff member is alleged to have violated University policy.
- Student Title IX Team: The Title IX team handling allegations against students will now reside within the Division of the Student Experience. This team will be led by a Title IX coordinator, for whom a search will commence this summer, and supported by three Title IX investigators and one case manager. Recruitment for the case manager position is also in progress. The Student Experience team focuses on supporting students inside and outside the classroom, from the time they arrive on campus until they graduate. Situations in which sexual harassment, sexual assault or intimate partner violence are alleged to have occurred are among the most difficult experiences any student may face. Student Experience staff are well positioned to support students through the reporting and investigation process, working to bring all reports to a prompt and equitable resolution.
- Faculty/Staff Title IX Team: The Title IX team dedicated to investigating faculty and staff complaints will remain reporting to Sheila Johnson-Willis, associate vice president and chief equal opportunity and Title IX officer, who will also continue to report to Andrew Gordon, senior vice president and chief human resource officer. In addition to Title IX, the team will continue to support faculty and staff with training and direction for the broad range of equal opportunity matters. In addition to Johnson-Willis, the team will be staffed by two Title IX investigators, a Title IX employee coordinator and one training specialist.
- Continued Collaboration: While the two teams will have dedicated focus areas, they will continue to collaborate on several matters, including the completion of the yearly audit and compliance certifications as governed by New York State’s Enough Is Enough New York State Education Department Education Law. Both teams will also be represented on the Chancellor’s Task Force on Sexual and Relationship Violence and the University Advisory Committee on Campus Security. The two teams will remain co-located in the existing EOIRS offices in Steele Hall through the remainder of the summer. The faculty/staff Title IX team will then move to South Campus to join the full Human Resources team; the student Title IX team will remain on North Campus.
“Students and faculty and staff have distinct needs and face different issues,” says Gordon. “These changes will strengthen our services to these unique constituency groups by providing access to professional staff who are best positioned to support them through the investigation and resolution processes. Not only does this realignment allow us to better support our community, it also means increased resources will be dedicated to this critically important and sensitive work.”