Title IX Systemwide Meeting

Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White
Chancellor, California State University
Title IX Systemwide Meeting
Long Beach, CA
February 10, 2015

Thank you all for being here… and thank you for addressing a question of critical importance:

How do we break silos, work as teams and build the necessary trust to minimize sexual violence - while taking immediate and correct actions when sexual violence does occur?

It is a testament to each of your campuses that your entire team is here - representing student affairs, student conduct, human resources, public safety and campus counsel.

I would especially like to acknowledge the Title IX coordinators here today. I know your responsibilities can be very demanding. In the midst of those demands, know this: We could not live up to our educational mission if not for your efforts.

Learning simply cannot take place in an environment of fear. It is essential that our universities are safe places for students, faculty and staff to learn, teach and work.

During the State of the CSU, I spoke about the power of our community to prepare students for graduation and a lifetime of success.

But it is when the worst happens that our community is tested the most. It is in those dark moments - when one member of our community is victimized by another - that we must be at our best. When on is victimized, we are all diminished.

That means seeking the best from every person involved:

  • those who care for, advocate for, and protect the victim from further harm,
  • those who guide the victim through the process of making a formal report,
  • those who handle the investigation,
  • those who provide a fair process for both sides,
  • those who discipline the aggressor,
  • and, those who educate and inform the broader campus community.

And we must acknowledge that a victim may reach out to any member of our campus community, and that each and every one of us must be prepared to take the appropriate first steps.

This is where the Title IX coordinator acts as colleague, mentor, trainer, enforcer. You have the responsibility of innovating practices to reduce the incidences of sexual violence, and preparing the community to support victims when violence does occur.

But, know that you do not stand alone.

Your campus teams stand as a primary line of expertise and support. Within this team, communication is an essential. And the Title IX coordinator is the hub of that system of communication.

The CSU is also broadening the network of support for your campus teams. This meeting - with its focus on best practices and the review of actual cases - is an important piece of our continuing efforts… as are the policies and guidance we've developed collaboratively as a system.

And we will draw on the expert guidance of Pamela Thomason as the university's first-ever systemwide Title IX Compliance Officer… just as Pamela will draw on the expertise and support of the Chancellor's Office team here today,  including Dawn Theodora, Ray Murillo and Sabrina Sanders.

Moreover, she will draw on the experience and expertise of all of you.

So thank you for the important work you do on behalf of students, faculty, staff and guests of the CSU.

Thank you for acting as a community.