Outcome of Title IX Investigation

May 9, 2019
Outcome of Title IX Investigation

Dear Members of the FAS Community,
 
I am writing to inform you that the Title IX investigation into allegations concerning Jorge Dominguez is now complete. The Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR) conducted a thorough and careful review of all formal allegations made against Dominguez, and concluded that he engaged in unwelcome sexual conduct toward several individuals, on multiple occasions over a period spanning nearly four decades.
 
The responsibility for determining appropriate sanctions for documented Title IX policy violations rests with the School of the respondent, which in this case is the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). A principle that informs those determinations is that sanctions should be proportionate to the seriousness of the violations. The ODR findings reveal a longstanding pattern of behavior that, at several points, violated policies designed to ensure a safe and non-discriminatory educational and work environment. I am appalled by the Report’s findings and heartbroken for those who had to endure the behaviors described. Subjecting anyone in our community to unwanted conduct of a sexual nature is unacceptable. Sexual harassment constitutes a form of discrimination that is both personally damaging for those who experience it and is an assault on our faculty’s fundamental commitments to equity and academic excellence. With these considerations in mind, I have determined that sanctions for Dominguez will include the following:

In Title IX matters, there is always a tension between the privacy of the impacted parties and the needs of the broader community.  With this investigation now concluded, I share the findings and sanctions in this specific case, because I believe that doing so is vital for the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff. Following our policies and procedures has resulted in a set of sanctions that, in effect, removes Jorge Dominguez from our community. This has, in turn, created an obligation for our community to be informed of the removal.
 
I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge those who came forward and participated in the investigative process, as well as those who provided support to them. I am grateful for your courage and perseverance. I also want to express my appreciation for the affirmative steps taken by the Government Department to better understand the concerns being expressed within their community and to engage their faculty, students, and staff in defining interventions to strengthen their culture. I applaud these efforts, and the positive changes they have already begun to enable. We all share responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of this community. Working together, we can build the community we aspire to be, one characterized by dignity and mutual respect, that enables us all to thrive and realize our full potential. 
 
Sincerely yours,
 
Claudine Gay
Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

I remind all members of our community that if you witness or experience sexual or gender-based harassment, there are many resources available, including the FAS Title IX Coordinators, the University Title IX Office, the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and ResponseHarvard University Counseling and Mental Health Services, the Harvard Chaplains, and the Employee Assistance Program.

 

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See also: Department News