Title IX Collaboration

Collaboration Translating to Action

In the summer of 2015 the ten PCHE presidents identified a number of strategic opportunities for the collective consortium.  One primary area was the focus developing and implementing a strategy that ‘demonstrates to the community that PCHE is effectively addressing alcohol abuse and sexual misconduct’.   Over the last several years, PCHE and its ten member institutions have sought numerous ways to leverage the collective efforts, resources, best practices and partnerships to tackle this area.  To date PCHE has collaboratively worked with law enforcement, support and advocacy organizations and leaders, the foundation community and the forensic nursing community to implement training, activities and partnerships.

PCHE Schools Contribute to Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s Campus Safety Report

A culmination of best practices demonstrated through the shared commitment outlined above was recognized by Attorney General Josh Shapiro and his team in regards to campus safety. Throughout this last academic year, a number of focus groups, panels and listening tours took place with several PCHE contributors and supporters participating including Katie Pope, Title IX Coordinator, University of Pittsburgh, Elizabeth Rosemeyer, Title IX Coordinator, Point Park University, Jan Necessary, Deputy District Attorney, City of Pittsburgh, Alison Hall, Executive Director, PAAR – Pittsburgh Action Against Rape and Karina Chavez, Executive Director, PCHE – Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education. Please read the published report and Attorney General Shapiro’s recommendations.

Below are a number of accomplishments that highlight the collective commitment of this region:

  • In May 2015 the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights holds a Title IX Training at University of Pittsburgh for the region. External stakeholders are invited to participate including members of the foundation community, key staff from the District Attorney’s office, city police sex assault detectives, victim advocacy leaders and forensic nursing leaders.
  • In June 2015 Key stakeholders across multiple sectors were assembled to author the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County PCHE Collaborative Partnership Document. All ten PCHE presidents signed and supported the implementation of this protocols document.
  • In Summer of 2015 PCHE’s Executive Director, Karina Chavez, began convening Title IX coordinators on a quarterly basis to review and coordinate policy, best practices and training.
  • In January  2016 Duquesne University, led by their Chief of Police, Tom Hart, hosted a Sexual Assault Investigator Training for Initial Responders for PCHE public safety officers and regional police officers. Over 110 first responders attended the training.
  • In January 2016 the first SA (Sexual Assault) Regional Steering Committee was assembled to coordinate and guide efforts in prevention, response and investigation of campus sexual assault. The SA Regional Steering Committee continues to meet quarterly to review ongoing priorities and assess progress.
  • In March 2016 the PCHE steering committee identifies priorities via survey and discussion to refer on to Title IX coordinators for implementation. In March 2016 Holly Hippensteel, Title IX Coordinator at Carnegie Mellon University, Elizabeth Rosemeyer, Title IX Coordinator at Point Park University and Katie Pope, Title IX Coordinator at University of Pittsburgh presented their Title IX colleagues an overview of various campus climate surveys, methodology, planning and open discussion.
  • In August 2016 our ten member institutions are sponsored an all-day Title IX Training hosted by Robert Morris University covering advanced Title IX topics such as Informal Resolutions, Disclosure of Information, current trends and Title IX law, Investigator vs. Panel hearing models and more.
  • In November 2016 PCHE schools partnered with FISA Foundation and Heinz Endowments to screen Audrie + Daisy and host a panel discussion.
  • In April 2017 over 100 staff from across all ten PCHE schools participated in a four day Green Dot bystander intervention program training. Each university will develop its own plan for implementing the model on their campuses beginning in school year 2017-18.  Additionally, there will be collaboration and peer learning across campuses in implementation and evaluation.  This is the first time an entire community, across multiple universities, has committed to collaborative adoption of this best practice prevention model.
  • In August 2017 Presidents of Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham, Community College of Allegheny County, Duquesne University, La Roche College, Point Park University, Robert Morris University and University of Pittsburgh all participated in a PA Says No More film project about campus sexual assault as a leadership issue.