Chancellor's Office with the copy "News Update" across the middle.
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CSU Commits to Improve Title IX Processes, Strengthen Culture of Care



Chancellor's Office with the copy "News Update" across the middle.

Following the release of a nearly year-long assessment, the California State University (CSU) has committed to improving its Title IX and other non-discrimination programs prohibiting discrimination, harassment and retaliation (DHR) based on protected categories and, in doing so, strengthen its culture of care and compliance across the 23-university system.

The largest and most comprehensive review of its kind, the CSU Systemwide Title IX and DHR Assessment, undertaken by the Institutional Response Group of the Cozen O'Connor law firm, found that the CSU will need to expand its infrastructure and resources to best address the complex landscape of Title IX and DHR work including prevention, education and complaint resolution. According to the report, centralized oversight and accountability measures will play an important role in rebuilding the community's trust in the CSU's ability to more effectively protect its students, faculty and staff, and ensure a culture and climate on campuses that is welcoming, inclusive and respectful.

“The systemwide and university recommendations outlined in this report provide a pathway that moves us from where we have fallen short to a stronger and more vital university system," said Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester. “To bring about meaningful, authentic and sustained change, the entire Cal State community must walk this path together. We will not squander this opportunity. We will get this right. The CSU's mission and core values demand it and our community deserves it."

In March 2022, the CSU Board of Trustees commissioned Cozen O'Connor to conduct a comprehensive systemwide independent assessment of the university's implementation of Title IX and other anti- discrimination programs following troubling reports of sexual harassment and other misconduct. The goal of the assessment—which included site visits to all 23 CSU universities and the Chancellor's Office and feedback from more than 18,000 students, staff and faculty—​is to strengthen the culture in the workplace and the classroom so that it is better aligned with the CSU's core values. The assessment considered current practices and provided insights, recommendations and resources to advance the CSU's Title IX and DHR training, awareness, prevention, intervention, compliance and support systems, as well as campus culture and climate.

“The CSU Board of Trustees would like to thank Cozen O'Connor for its methodical and comprehensive examination of the CSU's Title IX and DHR programming," said CSU Board of Trustees Chair Wenda Fong. “The findings and recommendations of this assessment provide the CSU with a vital, valuable and necessary roadmap to realize its potential to become a national leader in responding to Title IX and discrimination, harassment and retaliation matters."

According to the report, in some instances, the CSU has already taken steps to address the concerns publicly identified and assessed through the review. Despite this swift action by the CSU to address gaps identified in institutional responses to particular instances, there is still significant work to be done to ensure that the CSU's universities are welcoming environments for students, faculty and staff, free of discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct, the report indicates.

Cozen's recommendations also include steps to address ongoing concerns, including issues related to barriers to reporting or participating in lengthy campus complaint processes, concerns about retaliation and challenges in the accountability processes for represented employees.

The full Cozen report is publicly available on the CSU Cozen Titl​e IX A​ssessment webpage, where the CSU will also post regular updates on the implementation of the recommendations.

​About the California State University

The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, nearly 460,000 students, and 56,000 faculty and staff. Nearly 40 percent of the CSU's undergraduate students transfer from California Community Colleges. The CSU was created in 1960 with a mission of providing high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards nearly 130,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.​