Title IX Roles and Team

Roles

There are many roles within the process for responding to incidents of sex or gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct. The following are brief descriptions of the roles involved who work with the Title IX Coordinator to ensure prompt, thorough, impartial, and fair response.

Select a title below to learn a little more about that role and the part they play in our process.

The Title IX Coordinator oversees implementation of the University's Policy on Nondiscrimination Based on Sex or Gender, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct for all students, employees, and third-parties. The Title IX Coordinator has the primary responsibility for coordinating the University's efforts related to the intake, investigation, resolution, and implementation of supportive measures to stop, remediate, and prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation prohibited under this policy.

Deputy Title IX Coordinator(s) provide support to the Title IX Coordinator with the efforts related to intake of reports and implementation of supportive measures to stop, remediate, and prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation prohibited under this policy. Deputy Title IX Coordinator(s) also assist with prevention and educational measures to the campus community.

Investigators are University staff trained to gather facts about an alleged violation of sex or gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct. Investigators conduct interviews and collect and synthesize evidence, compiling this information into an investigation report and file of directly related evidence. Investigators are not the decision-makers in the process and have no part in the deliberation or determination of responsibility of violation of policy. Investigators receive annual training on topics specific to investigation and interview skills and topics related to sex and gender discrimination in order to conduct investigations impartially and safely for the parties.

Hearing Panelists/Decision-makers are University staff who have the decision-making and sanctioning authority within the University's formal grievance process. Panelists are trained to analyze evidence and assess credibility  of the parties and use a preponderance of the evidence to make responsibility of violation of policy determinations. Hearing Panelists also make sanctioning decision in the event an alleged person is found responsible of violating this policy. Panelists receive annual training on specific topics to credibility assessments, analyzing evidence, relevancy assessments, and conducting hearings. Hearing Panelists are never the same persons as the Investigators or Appeals Panelists in the same matter.

Appeals Panelists are University staff who have the decision-making authority to determine if an appeals request meets the merits for grounds of appeal and what course of action will take place to cure any granted appeals. Appeals Panelists receive annual training on specific topics to reviewing evidence, the rubrics for determining merit, and the procedures and processes within the policy available for recourse of a matter. Appeals Panelists are never the same persons as the Investigators or Hearing Panelists in the same matter.

When a complainant and/or respondent do not select an advisor of their choice, the University will provide an Advisor for the party(ies). An advisor may be present at any meeting or proceeding as part of the grievance process at the discretion of the party (e.g., investigation interviews). An advisor must be present for the purposes of the question-asking ("cross-examination") at the hearing and cannot be dismissed or refused by a complainant or respondent if they do not have an advisor of their choice present. University provided advisors are trained in the USF policy and procedures and will have training on the relevancy and types of questions for cross-examination. Advisors may not speak on behalf of a party when answering questions, but may consult and support throughout any meeting or proceeding. University provided advisors are never the same persons as the Investigators, Hearing Panelists, or Appeals Panelists in the same matter.

All employees of the University of San Francisco (including student employees such as Resident Advisors), with the exception of those who are designated as Confidential Resources, are Mandatory Reporters and must promptly share with the Title IX Coordinator all known details, including names, of a report made to them in the course of their employment.

A confidential resource is a person, or office, that will not generate any report regarding sex or gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct to the Title IX Office when disclosed by a student, employee, or third-party unless specifically requested to do so by that person. At USF the following are confidential resources:

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), and
  • Ordained Clergy acting as a faith advisor are confidential resources.

CAPS staff and Clergy members will maintain confidentiality when acting under the scope of their licensure, professional ethics, and/or professional credentials, except in extreme cases of immediacy of threat or danger, or abuse of a minor/elder/person with a disability, or when to disclose by law or court order.

Staff

Title IX Coordinator: Jess Varga

Jess Varga started at USF in January 2019. Having worked in higher education for over 15 years, Jess has experience at public and private institutions, having worked in many areas of Student Life including: first year orientations, family programs, clubs and organizations, student conduct, Title IX, peer education, leadership, housing, and residential life. Jess has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration and Sociology from Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, and a Master of Arts in Leadership and Management from York St. John University in York, England. Jess is a native Californian (from Los Angeles) but has lived and worked in Oregon, England, Florida, and Washington State. Jess lives in the East Bay with her dog, Topper, and enjoys movies, cross-stitching, baking, anything about Paris, anything about the British Royal Family, tea, sushi, and spending time with family and friends.