Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Report 2020-2021

Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Report
Investigations/Adjudications and Informal Resolution Process

Princeton University is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming educational and working environment for all members of its community.  Consistent with these values and applicable law, including Title IX, the Clery Act, and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, the University maintains a comprehensive program designed to protect members of the University community from discrimination on the basis of sex, which includes sexual misconduct such as sexual harassment and sexual assault, stalking, and domestic/dating violence.

Prevention Efforts

As part of this program, the University offers multiple education and prevention initiatives for the campus community.

Resources and Reporting

The University offers many options to individuals who have experienced or witnessed an alleged incident of sexual misconduct, including (a) consultation with confidential resources or other support organizations and/or (b) filing an internal and/or criminal complaint. 

In addition to the investigations/adjudications and informal resolutions described herein, between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 (“2020-2021 academic year”), the Office of Gender Equity and Title IX Administration provided support and resources—including referrals to confidential resources, information regarding how to obtain supportive measures (including academic support, housing changes, No Contact and No Communication Orders), and information regarding the disciplinary process, the informal resolution process, and law enforcement—to approximately 75 undergraduate and graduate students and to approximately 15 faculty/staff members who may have experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct.[2] 

Investigations and Disciplinary Procedures

The University is committed to providing a prompt and impartial investigation of alleged violations of the Title IX Sexual Harassment policy and/or the University Sexual Misconduct policy.  Allegations of sexual misconduct are investigated and adjudicated according to the policies set forth in the Title IX Sexual Harassment policy and the University Sexual Misconduct policy.  During the disciplinary process, both parties (complainant and respondent) have equivalent rights, including the opportunity to present evidence, to review and respond to evidence collected during an investigation, to be accompanied by an adviser of their choice, and to appeal.  The University concurrently provides both parties with written notification of the outcome of the process and any appeal.

2020-2021 Academic Year

This report presents information about reports of sexual misconduct that were investigated/adjudicated through a formal disciplinary process or resolved through the informal resolution process during the 2020-2021 academic year.[3]  While intended to be informative, this report has inherent limitations, in that the privacy of the individuals involved must be protected, which necessarily limits the detail that can be provided regarding each particular case.

The data in this section refer to violations of University policy for which respondents were formally found responsible following an investigation/adjudication or which were resolved via the informal resolution process; they do not refer to crimes.[4]  For this and other reasons, it should not be expected that the data in this report align with the Clery Act data provided by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for reported crimes.

In addition, the University recognizes that the majority of incidents of sexual misconduct are not reported to non-confidential University resources.[5]  Thus, the data contained in this report are not intended to reflect all incidents of sexual misconduct.  In addition, this report is not intended to reflect matters that were reported to the University’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Advising, Resources, and Education (SHARE) office, which is a confidential resource that offers support and advocacy services and provides information about the roles and reporting obligations of other offices at the University in order to empower individuals to make informed decisions about their options.

Formal Grievance Process

During the 2020-2021 academic year, two cases were adjudicated through formal University disciplinary processes, in which two respondents (one student and one employee) were found responsible for violating University policy and received appropriate sanctions.[6] [7]  Appeals were submitted in both cases; outcomes were ultimately upheld by the appropriate appellate bodies.[8]

This annual report typically provides additional information about the cases that were investigated/adjudicated.  However, given the low numbers of cases, to protect the privacy of the parties, this report does not include additional details; however, additional information regarding these cases will be included in the 2021-2022 annual report.

Informal Resolution Process

During the 2020-2021 academic year, four cases were resolved via the informal resolution process.

The informal resolution process is a voluntary, remedies-based process designed to provide members of the University community with an option to resolve certain disputes with other members of the University community in a forum that is separate and distinct from the University’s formal grievance processes under the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy or the University Sexual Misconduct Policy.  Under this process, there is disciplinary action taken against a respondent, and the resolution does not appear on the respondent’s disciplinary record.  Additional information about the informal resolution process is available on the sexual misconduct investigations website.


[1] Note that Princeton University policies related to sexual misconduct were revised in August of 2020 in accordance with new federal regulations.  This report therefore contains information about matters that both pre-date and post-date these policy changes.

[2] In these situations, the potential complainants either opted not to pursue a disciplinary investigation, or not enough information was available for the University to conduct a disciplinary investigation.  See section X(2) of the Title IX Sexual Harassment policy and section IX(2) of the University Sexual Misconduct policy for more information regarding the University’s responsibility to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct.

[3] See here for information regarding previous academic years.  Note that due to the coronavirus, part of the 2020-2021 academic year was conducted remotely.

[4] State and federal laws also address conduct that may meet the University’s definitions of prohibited conduct, and criminal prosecution may take place independently of any disciplinary action instituted by the University. 

[5] For more information regarding the prevalence of sexual misconduct at Princeton University, see the results of the We Speak:  Attitudes on Sexual Misconduct at Princeton Surveys.

[6] In cases in which respondents were found not responsible for sexual misconduct, the investigatory/adjudicatory panel, using the preponderance of the evidence standard, found insufficient information to substantiate the particular charge. 

[7] Sanctions imposed for violations of University policy are based on the particular facts and circumstances relating to the violation, including the nature of the violation, the seriousness of the violation, and the respondent’s previous disciplinary history (if any).  Sanctions for students can include a dean’s warning, disciplinary probation, suspension (with or without conditions), withholding of a degree, or expulsion.  Sanctions for faculty can include an oral or written warning, probation, probation with conditions, suspension, suspension with conditions, or dismissal, and for staff members may include a letter of concern, warning letter, probation, suspension, or termination.  Additional information regarding sanctions is available in Appendix C of the Title IX Sexual Harassment policy and Appendix C of the University Sexual Misconduct policy and on the sexual misconduct investigations website.  In addition to the sanction, respondents found responsible for violations are required to complete the Community Integrity Program (“CIP”).  CIP is a time-limited, individualized psychoeducational curriculum administered by a clinical psychologist.  It serves to assist individuals in exploring harmful attitudes and behaviors, with an aim to empower individuals to actively contribute to a healthier and safer campus community.

[8] In one of the cases, in a first appeal, the appellate body remanded aspects of the case to the investigatory/adjudicatory panel for reconsideration, which resulted in a revised outcome; this outcome was then upheld in a second appeal.