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Case Name Department of Education Office for Civil Rights Title IX Sexual Assault Investigation of Princeton University ED-PA-0010
Docket / Court 02-11-2025 ( No Court )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Education
Case Summary
During the academic years of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, three students at Princeton University alleged that the University failed to provide a prompt and equitable response to complaints of sexual harassment, including sexual assault/violence, as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 197 ... read more >
During the academic years of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, three students at Princeton University alleged that the University failed to provide a prompt and equitable response to complaints of sexual harassment, including sexual assault/violence, as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

In response to the complaints, U.S. Department of Education's New York Office for Civil Rights (OCR) opened an investigation.

OCR determined that University's prior grievance procedures failed to comply with the requirements of Title IX. These procedures did not provide adequate notice to students and employees of the University’s sexual harassment, including sexual assault/violence, policies, and procedures, as these documents each contained incomplete information. Also, the prior policies and procedures did not provide for an adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation, as appeal rights were provided only for the accused student, not the complainant.

As the students alleged, the University failed to provide a prompt and equitable response to complaints of sexual harassment. OCR further discovered that for one of the students, the University allowed for the continuation of a hostile environment that limited and denied her access to the education.

On November 5, 2014, the University entered into a Resolution Agreement to ensure compliance with Title IX as it applies to sexual harassment and violence.

The Agreement ended the investigation. The University has now implemented new policies and procedures that correct many of the deficiencies identified in OCR’s investigation. These include providing reasonable and appropriate interim measures during the investigative period designed to preserve the complainant’s educational experience and the safety of all parties and the broader University community. In addition, the University issued a policy statement that interim measures would not disproportionately impact the complainant.

Princeton also agreed to take numerous steps to ensure that these changed policies are effective in creating a campus environment in which students feel comfortable and safe reporting incidents of sexual assault and violence. For instance, the school has committed to take campus safety seriously, respond to complaints promptly, improve communication and coordination with local law enforcement agencies.

The University agreed to provide a report to OCR of the steps taken with
respect to the committee recommendations such as training for each year until 2017.

Ginny Lee - 02/14/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitoring
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Required disclosure
Training
Defendant-type
College/University
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Out-of-court
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.
Defendant(s) Princeton University
Princeton University
Plaintiff Description The complainants were three students at the University. Each student filed an internal complaint with the University alleging they were sexually assaulted by another student at the University. The complainants alleged the resolution of these complaints was neither prompt nor equitable.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2015 - 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Dear Colleague Letter: Athletic Activities Counted for Title IX Compliance
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html
Date: Sep. 17, 2008
By: United States Department of Education—Office of Civil Rights (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Resolution Agreement
ED-PA-0010-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 10/12/2014
Resolution Letter
ED-PA-0010-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/05/2014
Plaintiff's Lawyers Blanchard, Timothy C.J. (New York)
ED-PA-0010-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Suryanarayan, Sankar (New Jersey)
ED-PA-0010-0001

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