December 20, 2017
A Message from Chancellor Gallagher
Dear University Community:
As some of you may be aware, a recent blog post in Ms. Magazine alleges incidents of sexual harassment and discrimination that occurred more than 10 years ago in our Department of Communication within our School of Arts and Sciences. In light of the questions this post has raised—and the seriousness of the issue at hand—I want to take this opportunity to clearly affirm where we stand as a University and how we are responding to these allegations.
First and foremost: Our top priority and concern is the safety, security and well-being of our students and our employees. Discrimination and harassment of any kind are wholly unacceptable and run contrary to our academic mission and our values as an institution. We are working to ensure that the current culture within our Department of Communication is free from discrimination and harassment. Our Title IX Office is leading a full investigation to assess the department’s present culture and practices. In addition, we will be initiating an external review of previous claims related to the department that date back more than a decade.
Pitt is committed to promoting an environment free from discrimination and harassment. Our Office of Diversity and Inclusion supports this work and is home to our Title IX Office, which is dedicated to fostering a campus culture free from sexual harassment and discrimination. Any Pitt community member with concerns or questions related to sexual misconduct on campus should contact our Title IX Office at 412-648-7860, firstname.lastname@example.org.
By working together, we can ensure that our University is free from sexual misconduct, harassment and discrimination.
September 7, 2017
A message from the Title IX Coordinator:
The Title IX Office at Pitt wants to remind the community that our commitment to the letter and the spirit of Title IX remains unchanged. We will continue to work every day to improve our efforts to serve both complainants and respondents. Politics won’t change the reality that 1 in 4 college age women, and 1 in 11 college age men will experience sexual misconduct. These numbers are unacceptable to all reasonable people.
Beyond the guidance and policy we implement are the people whose experiences are improved by the effective application of Title IX. We are seeing a generation of students who better understand prevention, consent, and safety as essential parts of the educational experience. And we have more work to do. We are committed to providing an educational and employment environment free from discrimination or harassment. This has been the intent of Title IX since its passage in 1972.
Since 2011, debate has gone on about governmental guidance and the meaning of Title IX. What is not debatable, however, is the value of the change brought about by our increased focus on sexual misconduct in the educational environment. The awareness, education, and services brought forth to address sexual misconduct in education have started to improve a long time problem: how does someone continue studying, working, and being productive when exposed to sexual misconduct? While we can analyze and seek to continuously improve our current systems, those systems are significantly improved from just 6 years ago. We will continue to support and serve the entire University community, including all the men and women who come forward to seek relief from sexual misconduct, and all those working to improve the climate at Pitt.
I encourage you to contact our office and explore our website to learn more. There are numerous events planned for this year to bring awareness to these issues. Please visit on our events page for ongoing updates.
The Title IX Office remains here to serve the Pitt community.
Title IX protects all members of the University community: students, staff and faculty from sexual or gender based misconduct, including discrimination, harassment, and assault.
If you are dealing with sexual harassment or misconduct, here's how we can help:
- Resources: If you need information on counseling, health, or related services, our staff can provide warm referrals to both on- and off-campus providers.
- Interim Measures: If you need a change in your housing assignment, a No-Contact Order with another Pitt affiliate, or other accommodations related to your Title IX concern, we an assist with those processes.
- Reporting: If you want to file a formal complaint with the University or the Pitt Police, our office can walk you through the options available and provide contacts with appropriate offices.
In addition to these services, the Title IX Office provides training and education on consent, sexual harassment and sexual assault prevention, and reporting responsibilities, along with a variety of specialized trainings. Please visit the Education & Training page of this site for more information.