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A law firm hired to do a Title IX assessment across all 23 CSU campuses is holding open forums at Cal Poly this week to gain input from students, faculty and staff.

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in any academic environment that receives federal funding and requires schools to implement procedures for sexual misconduct complaints.

The assessment launched after the Title IX scandal of former Chancellor Joseph Castro, who resigned in February 2022. The review will be conducted by Cozen O’Connor a law firm with practices in litigation, business law and government relations.

Members of the law firm’s Institutional Response Group, Devon Riley and Maureen Holland, will be visiting Cal Poly’s campus to meet with people who directly work with Title IX and Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation (DHR) policy. They will also meet with students, faculty and staff to learn from their individual perspectives on the current practice of Title IX and DHR policies. 

Faculty and staff are invited to an open forum with Riley and Holland on Jan. 18 at 3:10 p.m. Another open forum designed for students will be conducted on Jan. 19 at 4:45 p.m.

Along with the in-person visit, the Cozen O’Connor team created an anonymous and confidential survey unique to the Cal Poly campus community. Confidential feedback for the Cozen assessment team can be achieved by emailing CalStateReview@Cozen.com

President Jeffrey Armstrong along with other CSU administrators sent out emails and documents about the upcoming review. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in the review by providing input on the systemwide Title IX and DHR policies and procedures.

The firm has visited 20 out of 23 universities in the CSU system so far. In February and March they will deliver a written report to each university president with an overview of the visit, strengths within the university and areas that need improvement.

Following Cozen O’Connor’s feedback, each university president is expected to create a working group including a student, faculty and staff member charged with implementing the recommendations made by the Cozen team.

In the spring, the firm will finalize their assessment and report to the CSU Board of Trustees at an open session in mid-2023 and will recommend systemic improvements for the CSU system.