Dear Santa Clara University Community,
As we continue on our path to a healthy and safe campus reopening this fall, I want to share an update on events that occurred last year. At that time, an incident occurred with a member of our faculty, her family, and four Campus Safety Services (CSS) officers. Reports of this incident—which led to an official University investigation—shook our community, and left all involved feeling deeply harmed. The CSS officers involved agreed to administrative leave while the incident was investigated.
The incident was adjudicated in accordance with the University’s Interim Policy on Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct, which was previously developed and approved through a collaborative process involving students, staff and faculty. At the direction of the Director of Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator, an investigation was conducted by an independent investigator and a hearing was held before an Equity Hearing Panel of SCU faculty and staff. The Panel’s findings have been shared with the parties.
The resolution process is confidential. However, the parties have requested disclosures about the outcome, and so I share the following:
- The Equity Hearing Panel found “no evidence that any of [the Campus Safety officers] acted with, or were motivated in their actions by, racial animus or bias toward” the faculty member or her family. Those conclusions are consistent with the findings of the independent investigation, the Panel stated.
- The Panel found that three of the officers had an interaction with the faculty member and her family at their home that was “misdirected and unnecessary,” and “violated University Policy (Campus Safety Policy Manual 413.4) by their actions.”
The resolution process has concluded, and I ask that we all respect the results of the process, as we welcome back to campus the CSS officers who have been on administrative leave and our faculty member and her family, all of whom are valued members of our Bronco community. I ask that we also respect the privacy of all parties involved, as this has been a particularly difficult time for them.
Separately, in the coming days, you will be receiving an update from Vice Provost for Student Life Jeanne Rosenberger. It will describe work well underway on many of the recommendations identified in the separate CSS audit performed by Ret. Judge LaDoris Cordell, including reimagining the department and the policies and procedures that guide the work of CSS.
As we move forward, let us be guided by the fundamental values woven into all we do as a university in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition, and our expressed values of community and diversity.
Lisa A. Kloppenberg