To strengthen its systems of care and compliance, in 2022 and 2023 the CSU engaged Cozen O'Connor to conduct a systemwide assessment of its Title IX and Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation (DHR) programs. The report identifies core observations and recommendations for improvements at both the system and university levels. The CSU remains committed to making the meaningful and impactful changes needed to transform our Title IX and other anti-discrimination policies, procedures, infrastructure, culture and climate within the Chancellor's Office and our 23 universities.
As part of a California State University effort to improve Title IX processes, the Cozen O’Connor Institutional Response Group assessed how the CSU and its 23 campuses respond to reports and incidents of discrimination and harassment—which includes all conduct that falls under Title IX.
Cozen O’Connor compiled its findings in a report, which identifies core observations for improvements both at the system level, and those applicable to each of the 23 CSU campuses.
Title IX and Discrimination, Harassment & Retaliation (DHR) Assessments
- Cozen O’Connor Systemwide Report [pdf]
- Cozen O'Connor Summary Report [pdf]
- Cozen O’Connor Report on San Jose State University [pdf]
SJSU will be working to implement the recommendations from Cozen. (The CSA’s recommendations were not directed to SJSU; they were for the Chancellor’s Office.) As a first step in implementation, the university has empaneled a Campus Implementation Team that includes a diverse set of campus constituents. In the coming year – AY 2023-24 – the CIT will be working to implement Cozen’s recommendations, and will keep the campus updated on its progress.
The members of the CIT are as follows:
- Peter Lim, Chair, interim Title IX and Gender Equity Officer;
- Julie Paisant, Senior Director Retention, Employee Relations, DHR & Whistleblower Administrator;
- Karthika Sasikumar, Chair, Academic Senate and Professor of Political Science;
- Angee Ortega, Associate Resource Analyst, Lucas College & Graduate School of Business;
- Dominic Treseler, Class of 2024, President, CSU Student Association;
- Sarab Multani, Class of 2025, President & CEO at Associated Students, SJSU;
- Lisa Millora, Vice President of Institutional Affairs and Chief of Staff for SJSU; and
- Mary Keating, Title IX Investigator.
Campus Communications and Updates
- 2023.07.19 - Deep Dive in 5: The Title IX and Gender Equity Office
Deep Dive in 5: The Title IX and Gender Equity Office
by Michelle Smith McDonald | Jul 19, 2023 | Campus Life
Earlier this week, two reports were released regarding SJSU’s Title IX office — one from the California State Auditor and another by law firm Cozen O’Connor at the request of the California State University Chancellor’s Office. In this Deep Dive in 5, SJSU’s Interim Title IX and Gender Equity Officer Peter Lim discusses the reports and shares insights about how SJSU has made great strides in raising awareness about Title IX services on campus.
How have you seen the Title IX and Gender Equity Office change since you started working with SJSU in 2021? (Editor’s note: Lim first started working as a consultant in 2021 before transitioning into his current interim role in 2022)
Peter Lim (PL): Since 2021, the university has invested substantial resources into the Title IX and Gender Equity Office (Title IX Office). As a result, I have seen tremendous improvements to our Title IX program during that timeframe. While I am pleased with this progress, our work is far from done. Ensuring the safety of our campus community is one of the university’s highest priorities, and addressing sex- and gender-based discrimination and harassment is central to that aim. To that end, we are always evaluating how we can better care for students, staff, and faculty impacted by these behaviors.
Some of the improvements include significant increases in staffing in the Title IX Office; a new and improved office location; faster responses to new reports; the development of pamphlets, informational items, and flowcharts that explain and demystify our services; improvements to the quality and timeliness of investigations; enhanced educational programming; an increase in the number of Title IX trainings delivered; a much improved website; the standardization of internal protocols and practices; more subject-matter training for all Title IX staff members; and a focused marketing campaign to raise awareness about our office and its services.
This week, two reports were released regarding SJSU’s Title IX office — one from the California State Auditor and another by law firm Cozen O’Connor at the request of the California State University Chancellor’s Office. What are the main takeaways from these reports for the SJSU community?
PL: I value any opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of our programs and protocols to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based harassment, and to foster gender equity. For context, while the reviews by the California State Auditor (CSA) and Cozen O’Connor (Cozen) had similarities, they were quite different.
On the one hand, both the CSA and Cozen reviewed San José State’s Title IX program. Additionally, they both delivered a large majority of their recommendations to the CSU’s systemwide Title IX Compliance Office. In their reports, both the CSA and Cozen recommend that the CSU’s central Title IX Compliance Office provide more oversight to each campus to ensure the consistent implementation of best practices at the campus level.
On the other hand, the CSA’s audit was more narrow in scope. The CSA focused its review on three campuses — San José State, Fresno State, and Sonoma State — and only reviewed how each Title IX Office handles reports of sexual harassment involving employees. Cozen’s assessment was more expansive; it extended to all 23 CSU campuses, included a review of how each campus responds to reports involving both students and employees, and evaluated each campus’s Title IX and Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation (DHR) programs. For background, at San José State, the Title IX and DHR are separate offices. The Title IX Office oversees the university’s response to reports of harassment and discrimination based on sex and gender. DHR oversees the university’s response to reports of harassment and discrimination based on all other protected statuses.
While I am encouraged by the fact that both the CSA and Cozen were complimentary of San José State’s current Title IX program, we still need to do better. For instance, one of Cozen’s primary recommendations for San José State is that our campus consolidate the Title IX and DHR programs into one office, so we can better ensure that our campus invests the same level of resources into our DHR program. Combining the two offices will also ensure that the university’s response to all forms of protected status discrimination and harassment are consistent. The goal is to provide the same level of wraparound care to anyone who experiences protected status discrimination and harassment. I look forward to working with our campus community to implement this recommendation.
(Editor’s note: After providing Lim with five questions, we added an additional question regarding the perception there are many complaints that are filed to the Title IX Office but the number of investigations is much lower.)
Can you address this perception that there are many complaints filed to the Title IX Office at SJSU but the number of investigations is lower than that number?
PL: We commence an investigation into nearly every complaint received. To clarify, a “complaint” is an official request, filed by a complainant (the person who experienced the prohibited conduct), to commence an investigation. When a complainant makes such a request, we carefully evaluate the information they provide and make a decision on whether to commence an investigation. If the complaint, on its face, states facts that would constitute a potential violation of the CSU Nondiscrimination Policy, we promptly initiate a Title IX investigation.
There may be some confusion here, which involves the distinction between a “report” and a “complaint.” For context, a report is different than a complaint. A report is any information shared with the Title IX Office that involves a suspected violation of the CSU Nondiscrimination Policy. A report can be made directly by a complainant, or by a third-party such as a witness, Responsible Employee, or anyone else who wants to share information with the Title IX Office. When we receive a report, we promptly send a letter to the complainant with information about supportive resources, investigation options, as well as an offer to meet. If the person then requests an investigation (i.e., submits a complaint), we commence an investigation in every instance where there is a possible violation of the CSU Nondiscrimination Policy.
Now, going back to the question raised, there is a large difference between the number of “reports” made to the Title IX Office and the number of investigations commenced. However, the number of complaints received and the number of investigations initiated are nearly identical.
Through the conversations you and the Title IX team have had with the students, faculty and staff, what have been the biggest takeaways that have changed how you are delivering resources to the campus community?
PL: Our students and employees care deeply about gender equity, and have a very high IQ around Title IX and other nondiscrimination laws. Over the past year, I have solicited and received feedback from the community through individual and group meetings with students and staff. As I said in one of my prior campus updates, I have consistently heard that the Title IX Office must do better. We, as an office, must build a more robust system of care for individuals impacted by and accused of sex- and gender-based harassment and misconduct.
We achieve this goal by increasing transparency in our work and holding ourselves accountable to the campus community. During the past year, I have sent a number of campus updates on our goals and the progress we have made toward reaching them. I have shared data with the campus on how many reports we receive each year, how many of those reports we investigate, and how long it takes for our office to complete an investigation. I share that data so our campus knows exactly what we do, how we do it, and where we need to improve.
I am extremely grateful for the campus’s high-level of engagement on our Title IX program, and my door is always open should anyone ever want to provide feedback.
What are some of the continued changes or improvements that will be coming to the Title IX office as the new academic year begins?
PL: In the coming academic year (2023-24), the university will be focusing on combining the Title IX and Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation (DHR) programs into one office. Because these programs have been run by separate offices for many years, the consolidation process will take time. There will be a lot of internal work that needs to be done to ensure a seamless transition and the implementation of effective practices for this new office. Additionally, we will need to raise awareness of the new office through a refocused marketing campaign, new websites, redesigned informational items, and new training content. In the end, the combined Title IX and DHR office will make it easier to find the “right” office to report protected status discrimination and harassment and receive support from the university.
We will also be focusing on identifying and hiring a qualified candidate to permanently serve as the director of this newly combined office. The hiring process has and will continue to include opportunities for the campus to provide input and feedback. The retention of a permanent director is an important next step in our work toward building an elite Title IX and DHR program at San José State.
What is the best way for the campus community to access resources from the Title IX and Gender Equity Office?
PL: One of our goals this past year was to remove barriers to contacting our office. To help achieve this goal, we developed more ways to reach us. I want people to be able to access our services however they want. Please connect with us in any of the following ways:
Visit us in our office located in Clark Hall, Room 126;
Email us at email@example.com;
Text or call our 24/7 line at 669-877-0620;
Call our landline during normal business hours at 408-924-7290; or
Submit a report on our website at www.sjsu.edu/titleix.
I also recognize that an individual may not be ready to make outreach to the Title IX Office. Perhaps they prefer to start by talking about their experience(s) and learning about campus resources in an entirely confidential setting. That is fine, too. Comfort is key, so we have a dedicated confidential resource known as the Campus Survivor Advocate, who has specialized training on the impact of trauma. This is a dedicated position for any student or employee impacted by interpersonal violence.
- 2023.06.29 - Update from the CSU Office of the Chancellor
Update: Cozen O’Connor Systemwide Title IX and DHR Assessment
Sent: June 29, 2023
From: Leora D. Freedman, Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
Dear Members of the CSU Community,
I write to provide an update on the completion of the Cozen O’Connor Systemwide Title IX and DHR Assessment. At the May 24 meeting of the Board of Trustees, Cozen O’Connor gave a public, oral report about the assessment during the Committee on University and Faculty Personnel. A recording of the presentation (Cozen section begins at 23:15 in video) and a copy of the PowerPoint [pdf] are publicly accessible.
Cozen O’Connor is actively working to complete its written report, which will include a systemwide report of common observations and recommendations for enhanced system oversight, as well as individual reports for each of CSU’s universities and the Chancellor’s Office.
At the time of the Board meeting, we anticipated the written reports would be completed in June. Cozen O’Connor has informed the Chancellor that an additional period of time is necessary to complete the written reports, which collectively span hundreds of pages in length. Given the complexity of the issues and the enormity of the assessment, the writing and synthesis process is understandably very time consuming. We anticipate releasing the written report (with 23 campus and Chancellor’s Office reports attached) no later than July 17, 2023.
Leora D. Freedman
Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
CSU Office of the Chancellor
- 2023.06.26 - Campus wide email sent by the University President Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson
Important Summer Updates
Sent: June 26, 2023
From: Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, The University President.
Dear Spartan community,
Summer is a time of rest and rejuvenation for many and yet it is also a busy summer for the university, and a very productive preparatory period for the next academic year. It is important that we remain informed about the developments of several important reports and related activities that will take place over the next few weeks.
NAGPRA and CalNAGPRA State Auditor Report: The federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), sets expectations for the respectful and dignified handling and return of Native American human remains and
cultural and sacred objects to descendants of federally recognized tribes. In June 2022, the State Auditor announced it would review practices across CSU with a focus on four campuses, including SJSU. Findings are expected to be released by month’s end. We continue working with Tribal descendants to fulfill our obligations under NAGPRA and CalNAGPRA (which extends to non-federally recognized tribes). We are committed to honoring and respecting the first inhabitants of this land.
Cozen O’Connor CSU Title IX Review: The Cozen O'Connor law firm, recognized nationwide for work related to Title IX, has conducted a systemwide assessment of Title IX and Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation (DHR) programs. That assessment was completed and shared with the CSU Board of Trustees in May. The Chancellor’s statement on the assessment can be found here. Next is the public release of the report and the bulk of the report is expected to focus on systemwide activities and actions, although Cozen will also produce campus-specific reports, including one for San José State. Those recommendations will be provided directly to
me and I will engage with campus stakeholders to incorporate them into the work that’s already happening. We expect the campus specific reports to become public and we will share it on our FYI page.
State Auditor Title IX Report: The legislature asked the State Auditor to conduct a review of CSU policies and practices related to the administration of Title IX and Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation (DHR) programs, with a focus on several campuses, including SJSU. We expect that report to be released in mid-July. We have shared with the State Auditor’s team our practices and ongoing improvements to Title IX services. Our Interim Title IX and Gender Equity Officer, Peter Lim communicated those positive steps forward in a recent communication to the university.
Federal Trial Update: The federal trial of a former SJSU athletic trainer is expected to begin in July. We anticipate testimony that will likely be painful and difficult to digest. We hope that the legal process and eventual outcome will bring some measure of
healing to those who were harmed.
The combination of upcoming reports and the trial will once again bring a spotlight on SJSU. The information in the reports reminds us of the importance of a continued commitment to improvement and internal capacity building
The President’s Cabinet is committed to a continual focus on meaningful steps to shape our culture and improve our work and in these areas. I am confident in our ability to serve students and our open-minded approach to learning and adapting to best serve our campus community
Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson
- 2023.04.05 - Campus wide email sent by the University President Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson
Title IX Assessment Update 4.6.23
Sent: April 5, 2023
From: Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, The University President.
Dear Spartan community,
I am writing to share this update from the CSU Chancellor’s Ofﬁce regarding the status of the Title IX assessments of all CSU campuses being conducted by Cozen O’Connor, the ﬁrm retained by the Chancellor’s ofﬁce.
Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson
April 5, 2023
Re: Conclusion of Cozen O’Connor Assessment
Dear Members of the CSU Community,
I write to provide you with an update about the conclusion of Cozen O’Connor’s systemwide assessment of California State University’s implementation of Title IX, and Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation (DHR) programs. I am deeply appreciative of the level of participation and engagement at each of our 23 universities, as well as the Chancellor’s Office, which will ensure the assessment is informed, thorough, complete, and individually tailored to each university.
Throughout the process, Cozen O’Connor has invited feedback from university constituents, including through its dedicated email address
(CalStateReview@cozen.com) and in meetings with community members at each university. In my December 21 community update, all members of the CSU community were also invited to share feedback with Cozen O’Connor through a confidential
(anonymous) online survey.
I am delighted to report that nearly 18,000 members of the CSU community responded to the survey to share their perspectives! Thank you to all members of our CSU community who met with, or otherwise gave feedback to, the Cozen O’Connor team. Your engagement and partnership on these issues are critical to our shared work to achieve important culture and climate changes at our universities.
At the May 2023 board of trustees meeting, Cozen O’Connor will report to the trustees, university leaders, and all members of our university community at an open session that will be live streamed (as are all open CSU board meetings). Cozen O’Connor’s report will describe the assessment process, what the assessment revealed, and their recommendations regarding programming and services at the system level
(Chancellor’s Office) and at our universities. Consistent with our commitment to candor in this assessment, Cozen O’Connor’s written report will be publicly released soon after the board meeting and will include an individual section devoted to observations and recommendations for each university.
At the outset of the assessment, Cozen O’Connor initially planned to provide a separate report to each university prior to the final systemwide report. While Cozen O’Connor has shared ongoing feedback about recommendations to strengthen and support the work of Title IX and DHR during campus visits and in follow-up discussions, the Cozen O’Connor team concluded that sharing individually tailored recommendations to each university would be best understood and most meaningful if delivered in the context of, and in conjunction with, systemwide observations and recommendations. Given the commonality of observations across most of our universities, and the need for a significant and coordinated response, Cozen O’Connor’s recommendations for achieving the CSU’s goals will require the Chancellor’s Office to provide significantly more (and different) support to university Title IX, DHR and employee relations operations. We stand ready to do that.
When Cozen O’Connor’s assessment ends, our hard work at the CSU will begin as we work to develop plans at the Chancellor’s Office and at each university to implement Cozen O’Connor’s recommendations. Each university president is forming an Implementation Team that will include university Title IX and DHR staff, as well as student, faculty, and staff stakeholders. Beginning in mid-April, the Cozen O’Connor team will convene all members of these Implementation Teams to ensure that all team members have the opportunity (before the end of the term) to develop a deeper understanding of the framework of the assessment; the evidence base and process for reaching observations and recommendations; the goals that form the basis for the recommendations; and how to be best prepared to receive the upcoming report and successfully move forward.
After the May meeting of the board of trustees, Cozen O’Connor and a member of the CO Title IX/DHR team will meet separately with each university Implementation Team to discuss implementation of systemwide recommendations, and Cozen O’Connor’s observations, recommendations and next steps with respect to that university. The university’s Title IX Coordinator and DHR Administrator will be responsible for designing and planning the steps necessary to implement the recommendations, with assistance from the Cozen O’Connor team and the CO Title IX/DHR team. The role of the other members of the university Implementation Team will be to help facilitate and support the implementation of this plan in a manner that is consistent with agreed-upon timelines, the goals of the assessment and university culture. Each university will also develop a communications plan designed to keep its community informed about the implementation process and status.
Our board of trustees, our leaders and our university community are committed to working together to better align our culture with our institutional values. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us, but I am ready for the challenge and look forward to joining forces with all of you to achieve our goals.
- 2023.03.01 - Campus wide email sent by the University President Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson
Title IX Assessment Update 3.1.23
Sent: March 1, 2023
From: Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, The University President.
Dear Spartan community,
I write to share that Ms. Maureen Holland from Cozen O’Connor, the firm retained by the Chancellor’s office to conduct Title IX assessments of all CSU campuses, was unable to visit SJSU as planned last week due to unforeseen circumstances. Ms. Holland notified all those she was scheduled to meet and will be rescheduling her visit in the next few weeks. The rescheduled visit may present an opportunity for individuals who were unavailable last week to contact her with requests to meet at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would like to share some additional work that is happening to advance and improve Title IX and Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation work on all CSU campuses. In December 2022, Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester and then-Acting Vice Chancellor Leora Freedman provided communications to CSU campuses via Interim President Steve Perez about the Title IX and DHR Assessment. Acting VC Freedman’s letter indicated that each campus president will form a campus team that will be charged with implementing the recommendations in the campus report. The letter indicated that the working group would likely include the president’s chief of staff or a member of the President’s cabinet, the Title IX Coordinator, the DHR Administrator, a staff member, a representative of the faculty senate, and a member of student leadership.
The letter further indicated that each campus president and working group will meet with members of the Cozen team to discuss the report. The president will then promptly share the campus report with the campus community, and will identify the members of the working group, as well as their charge. The president and campus senior leadership will secure resources and extend authority and approval to facilitate the implementation of the recommendations.
Membership of the team is intended to represent the key constituencies of faculty, staff, and students who can collaborate with the administrators responsible for Title IX and DHR. The Cabinet member's role is to ensure the recommendations are implemented. Appointing faculty, staff, and student leaders who are committed to creating a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment at SJSU and who can bring the perspective of their constituency to the work is important. Once I have formed the implementation team, I will share that news with you.
In this first month at SJSU, I have engaged in many conversations on this topic with different campus constituents. I appreciate the deep level of engagement and commitment to changing our culture to be more safe, welcoming, and inclusive to our university community.
Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson
- 2023.02.13 - Campus wide email sent by the University President Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson
Cozen O’Connor’s Follow-Up Visit on TIX and DHR - Feb. 22-24, 2023
Sent: Ferbuary 13, 2023
From: Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, The University President.
Dear Spartan community,
As you may know, we have been building and strengthening our work in Title IX. In the summer of 2022, the Chancellor’s Office engaged Gina Smith and Leslie Gomez of Cozen O’Connor’s Institutional Response Group to conduct a system wide assessment of the CSU’s implementation of its Title IX & discrimination, harassment, and retaliation (DHR) programs. Cozen O’Connor is conducting an assessment at each of CSU’s 23 universities and the Chancellor’s Office, as well as looking at opportunities for system-wide collaboration. The goal of this work is to strengthen CSU’s culture by assessing current practices and providing insights, recommendations, and resources to advance our Title IX and civil rights training, awareness, prevention, intervention, compliance, and support systems.
In the fall 2022 semester, Cozen O’Connor’s campus assessment leader for San José State University, Maureen Holland, met with Title IX and DHR implementers and additional SJSU personnel whose work intersects most directly with Title IX and DHR efforts. During the time between those initial meetings and the launch of the survey, she has met with and sought advice from staff, faculty, and student leaders about how to bring their perspectives and experiences into the assessment.
Ms. Holland will return to campus Wednesday, February 22 through Friday, February 24, 2023, to meet with students, faculty, and staff as an in-person opportunity to hear community and individual perspectives and experiences. Ms. Holland will continue to work with student ASI leaders, Staff Council and union leadership, and faculty leaders to ensure that she creates opportunities in person and/or via Zoom to engage with interested stakeholders who wish to provide feedback about SJSU’s Title IX and DHR programs. Please contact her directly with any requests to meet at email@example.com.
Additionally, Cozen O'Connor is asking for your direct feedback through an anonymous survey. The survey will be open until Wednesday, February 15. Depending on the nature and depth of your responses, the survey should take between 10 and 30 minutes to complete.
CLICK HERE TO RESPOND https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/San_Jose_State_University
Finally, if you wish to provide input to the entire Cozen O’Connor team working on the system-wide assessment, please email CalStateReview@cozen.com.
All of the information provided to Cozen O’Connor as part of the assessment – whether in person, via email, via the survey, or otherwise – is maintained as private by Cozen O’Connor and will not be shared with SJSU or CSU leadership with personal attribution.
Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson
- 2023.02.10 - Campus wide email sent by the interim Title IX and Gender Equity Officer
A Message from the Interim Title IX & Gender Equity Officer
Sent: Ferbuary 10, 2023
From: Peter Lim, Interim Title IX and Gender Equity Officer
Last semester, I committed to keeping you updated on our work. I share these updates to promote accountability and transparency in the Title IX and Gender Equity Office (Title IX Office). The spring semester is already underway, so I wanted to share another update.
New Informational Materials
In a continuing effort to improve our services, we recently created the following informational items to help explain some of the services we provide:
A Guide for Responsible Employees and Confidential Resources; A flowchart that explains the Title IX investigation process;
A flowchart that explains the Informal Resolution process,
An informational guide for Complainants;
An informational guide for Respondents; and
A poster on Reporting Options.
All of the above informational items are available in our office and on our webpage.
Additionally, the CSU policy prohibiting sex discrimination and related grievance procedures
(Nondiscrimination Policy) is available here.
Trainings and Other Educational Programming
We want to be out in our community increasing awareness about our services. We do this through trainings and other educational offerings. Since the start of the academic year, we have delivered 72 live Title IX trainings and tabled at seven campus-wide events. If you want to request a training – big or small – simply fill out this form.
We Value Your Feedback!
Your feedback and input makes us better. Sharing input by email at firstname.lastname@example.org is one way to reach us; however, I value the opportunity to talk directly with members of our community about the work we do. This semester, I will be holding open Q&A sessions. Please stay tuned for more information!
Information About the Title IX and Gender Equity Office’s Staff
On January 9, 2023, we added a second full-time Title IX Investigator, Arielle Egan. Arielle is an experienced investigator with specialized training on the impact of trauma. We now have six full-time staff members working in the Title IX Office.
You may find information about all of our professional backgrounds on our webpage.
Cozen O’Connor’s Audit and Assessment of SJSU’s Title IX and DHR Programs
SU’s Title IX and DHR policies and practices are currently undergoing a systemwide assessment. A team from Cozen O’Connor’s Institutional Response Group (IRG) - the law firm engaged by the CSU system conducting the assessment - is asking for your direct feedback in the form of a survey, which must be completed by February 15, 2023.
TAKE THE SURVEY
The Department of Justice and the Resolution Agreement
We continue to work collaboratively with the Department of Justice. Information about the Resolution Agreement and the commitments we made to improve our Title IX program are available on our website here.
Interim Title IX and Gender Equity Officer
- 2022.12.21 - Campus wide email sent by the University President Dr. Steve Perez
CSU update regarding Title IX and DHR assessment
Sent: December 21, 2022
From: Steve Perez, Interim University President
SJSU campus community,
am sharing with you the below message received today from CSU Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester providing an update regarding the systemwide assessment of CSU's implementation of Title IX and Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation (DHR) and practices.
December 21, 2022
To the California State University Community:
As we close the academic term and prepare for the new year, I write to provide an update regarding the systemwide assessment of California State University’s implementation of Title IX and Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation (DHR) policies and practices, and to encourage your continued feedback this spring. As I relayed when the assessment was launched in June, one of my foremost priorities as interim chancellor is to lay the groundwork to ensure that our universities are safe and welcoming environments, where students, faculty and staff can thrive personally, professionally and intellectually, free of discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct. Your input is highly valued â€“ indeed, essential â€“ to this effort.
Cozen Oâ€™Connorâ€™s Institutional Response Group has been engaged to assess how we implement our Title IX and DHR programs and to provide insights, recommendations and resources to advance the CSUâ€™s antidiscrimination training, awareness, prevention, intervention, compliance and support systems. I am pleased to report that the Cozen team has made significant progress this fall and winter, visiting 20 of our 23 universities to thoroughly review our systems of accountability and care. I offer my deepest gratitude to the campus teams who have hosted and supported Cozenâ€™s visits, and to all of you who have provided your candid, thoughtful and heartfelt feedback. Three remaining campus visits are scheduled in January:
San Luis Obispo January 17 to January 19
Dominguez Hills January 17 to January 19
Fullerton January 24 to January 26
Key to this assessment is actively, authentically and humbly listening – to our diverse and talented students, our world-class faculty and staff, and partners and friends. And through our listening to date, we have clearly heard a strong desire – especially from student and faculty leaders – for additional opportunities to contribute, and for information about Cozen’s findings at, and recommendations for, each campus.
Additional Opportunities to Provide Input to Cozen
Cozen has prepared surveys unique to each campus. You are encouraged to share with Cozen insights into your campus, its culture and climate, and its strengths and challenges related to its Title IX and DHR programs. Participation is voluntary and entirely confidential, with your responses sent directly and exclusively to Cozen. This survey will remain open through February 15, 2023. The surveys can be accessed immediately via links in the attached communication from Leora Freedman, acting vice chancellor for Human Resources. In January, each campus will also send a link to the survey to its students, faculty and staff via email. You may also continue to submit confidential feedback to Cozen via the following dedicated email address established for this assessment: CalStateReview@cozen.com.
Please note that this is an opportunity to provide critical input on systemwide Title IX and DHR policies and procedures; any reports or questions regarding specific cases should be directed to your university's Title IX Coordinator.
Reports Regarding Campus Visits
In February and March, Cozen will deliver a written report to each university president describing the campus visit, the aggregate themes shared by university community members, strengths the university should continue to support, and areas that call for improvement. The report will also note other initial observations and recommendations – including steps the university can take immediately, even without significant additional funding. With these reports in hand, each president will form a working group that will be charged with reviewing Cozen’s reports and ensuring that the recommendations are implemented. The working groups will include a student, faculty and staff member. Additional information about the campus reports is provided in Acting Vice Chancellor Freedman’s communication.
Cozen will conclude its assessment this spring and will report to the Board of Trustees at an open session in mid-2023 (likely the May meeting), at which time it will discuss recommendations for systemic improvements.
Allow me to reiterate what I stated in June: As the nation’s largest, most diverse and most consequential university system, we have countless reasons to be proud. United in our mission, and building upon our resilience and great strengths, this is an opportunity to showcase our core values in how we care for people and to exemplify this standard for our next generation of leaders. We are well on our way, and I thank you.
- 2022.10.05 - Campus wide email sent by the University President Dr. Steve Perez
Mid-Semester Updates and Accomplishments
Sent: October 5th, 2022
From: Steve Perez, Interim University President
Hello Spartan Community,
I hope the fall semester has started well and you are enjoying the energy and activity on campus as much as I am. We have so much to be thankful for and proud of and it has been such a pleasure to see so many people on campus and around the city. As we approach the middle of the semester, I want to share several updates on initiatives and issues from across campus.
o begin, I want to keep focus on the numerous world, national, and local events that impact our campus community. From natural disasters like Hurricane Ian to human rights disasters such as what is happening in Iran and the war in Ukraine, these events — and many others — affect us as a community, even when they are far from our campus. We live in a wonderfully connected world which means individuals at San José State, as well as their families and friends, are both directly and indirectly impacted when world events occur. We have heard personally from individuals sharing their distress regarding these events and asking to be heard. They have also expressed feeling invisible in their suffering. Please know that we hear you, we see you, and stand with you. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need support. We are also reaching out in the best way that we can while respecting people’s privacy and concerns about the safety of their families and friends.
As we have passed the census date for fall, itâ€™s a good time to look at where we stand with enrollment. As we have seen over the years, demand to come to San JosÃ© State is strong, thanks to our exceptional academic programs, community, and location. We have, however, seen a drop in overall headcount since last year. This is largely due to a drop in transfer enrollment, which is unsurprising given the significant drop in California Community College enrollment in the past three years. Here is where we are now as a campus:
Total number of students (headcount) 35,869
Resident full-time equivalent students (FTES) 23,354
State-funded resident FTES target 23,891
Resident enrollment percent of target 97.75%
Non-resident FTES 2,453
We will continue to work toward building spring enrollment to reach our funded resident enrollment target, and I’m confident we will get there. Additionally, we need to look at our enrollment strategy for the next academic year with a continued eye toward reaching our funded resident student target, along with growing where possible to more fully meet the demands of our region.
Now I’d like to update you on something at the forefront of many people’s minds: Our response to Title IX issues that have occurred on our campus, and how you can participate in two processes currently underway at San José State.
As you saw in the campus message from Interim Director of Title IX and Gender Equity Officer Peter Lim on September 22, 2022, we have made great progress in meeting the needs of our campus and community. I am grateful for all who have played a part in our progress and especially want to thank those who came forward and will come forward to share their experiences so we can improve. Supporting a safe and caring learning and working environment is critical to our success.
I hope you are aware the Department of Justice will visit campus October 11 - 14 and there will be an opportunity for the campus community to talk directly with the DOJ. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts, please go to the link above.
Additionally, as part of the CSU-wide assessment of Title IX practices, policies, and procedures across the system, the CSU contracted with Cozen O’Connor to do the assessment. Representatives of Cozen O’Connor visited campus in early August to review our policies and practices and meet with individuals responsible for their implementation. The assessment is ongoing and the team will be inviting further community engagement through listening sessions with interested students, staff and faculty. A campus survey will also be disseminated to the San José State community, so please keep your eyes out for announcements regarding how to participate. If you have any questions about these visits or how we support Title IX efforts on campus, please contact our Title IX office at email@example.com.
Finally, it is always important to recognize and lift up some of the great work happening around us…we have accomplished a lot this semester already:
Spartans Stepping Beyond: Thank you to Zonny who “has been an unbelievable bright spot for [Cory] since I started working at SJSU.” Please take a look at this posting on Spartans Stepping Beyond to see how small gestures can positively impact others. Great job Zonny!
SJSU Online has launched and is attracting a lot of interest. Thank you to all who have put in so much time and effort in its development. It will be a real game-changer for many people looking to complete their degrees.
CSU Trustee Award: SJSU Psychology student Ome Garcia was honored as the 2022 CSU Trusteeâ€™s Award for Outstanding Achievement. It was a privilege to see Ome recognized at the September Board of Trustees meeting.
Four-Year Grad Rate: A 12-percentage point improvement in our ﬁrst-time student four-year graduation rate is off-the-charts.
Sustainable Campus Award: SJSU has been recognized as a top performer in the 2022 publication from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the Sustainable Campus Index recognizes top-performing sustainable colleges and universities.
Faculty Accolade: Congratulations to SJSU associate professor of creative writing Keenan Norris, who won the 2022 Northern California Book Award for Fiction for his novel, “The Confession of Copeland Cane.”
Accreditation: I’m happy to say that the campus Accreditation Review Committee has already begun meeting and discussing how we will work to address the WSCUC requirements in preparation for the review team visit in spring 2025.
Weeks of Welcome took place from August 19-September 30th. An impressive 135 programs were provided; 92 in-person, 34 online, and 9 hybrid.
Mubadala SV Classic: During the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in August, SJSU Green Campus, Spartan Eats, the Campus Community Garden, and San Jose Conservation Corps worked together to make the professional tennis tournament hosted on our campus a zero waste (90% diversion from landfill) event by only offering recyclable or compostable containers and donating leftover food.
New Sammy App resources: A new â€œSJSU Helpâ€ tile has been created in the Sammy App with links to campus web pages.â€ This is intended to be a place people can go if they are in crisis and donâ€™t know where to turn. If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, please access the lists of resources available to our campus community.
Online Chat Improvements: Thanks to the AI-enabled Enterprise Live Chat and Chatbot, students and parents using online chat no longer need to re-explain their problem or retell their story every time a new department needs to be brought in, completely eliminating one of the most frustrating things about trying to get help online. This has already been rolled out to over 20 campus units with more in the works.
SJSU’s First Incubator: The Office of Innovation launched the SpartUp Incubator to support SJSU student, faculty, staff, and alumni entrepreneurs with real-world connections, mentorship, and access to funding.
UPD Outreach: In the continued effort to accomplish a shared vision and common goals for the University Police Department (UPD) and the SJSU community, UPD created an open space for “Conversations with Police and the SJSU Community!" in the Martin Luther King Jr. Library. These conversations focus on allowing the UPD and university community to come together every month and identify sustainable solutions to enhance community safety while building wholesome, healthy relationships.
RSCA Programming: The Office of Research launched two new RSCA forums: RSCA Cafés and Student RSCA Forums. Both aim to create new avenues for faculty and students to engage in multidisciplinary RSCA.
Saying Thank You: This month, we will host a series of press conferences with elected ofﬁcials to celebrate the support for signature programs in wildﬁre science, Moss Landing, and other community projects.
Title IX Office Move: The Title IX Office has moved to the first floor of Clark Hall in a space that will enable more education and training programs.
Employee Supports: University Personnel hosted SJSU Together, the benefits fair, and town halls to better support our employees.
East Side Promise Partnership: We hosted the Spartan East Side Promise Scholarship Reception on September 28th where 23 students who graduated from an East Side Union High School District school were recognized with scholarships presented by the East Side Education Foundation.
New Student and Family Programs led our new Student Convocation serving over 1,000 students and families.
SJSU Cares has provided food assistance to 2,308 students in 7,540 visits to the Spartan Food Pantry.
The Veterans Resource Center led San Jose State to rise in the rankings among universities serving military-connected students, placing at #7 in the West.
Congratulations and thank you to everyone here and in our community for all of the great work you do.
As you can see we’ve accomplished a lot this semester with much work still to be done. I have every confidence that as a Spartan Community, we will continue to meet the challenges ahead and continue to support each other as a community. Thank you to everyone who works hard to make these things happen. Each and every one of you contributes to our mission and we cannot do it without you.
Thank you and take care,