State Auditor Finds CSU Fails to Adequately Address Sex Harassment Claims

Another audit — this time, from the State of California — has found systemic failures in addressing allegations of sexual misconduct at California State University schools.

The state auditor examined 40 cases of alleged sexual harassment or discrimination by CSU employees between 2016 and 2022. In part because of a lack of guidelines, “campuses did not document clear rationales for closing 11 of the cases” after an initial assessment, the auditor said.

Investigations that did move forward were often conducted improperly.

“In fact, seven of the 21 investigations we reviewed contained deficiencies that caused us to question the campuses’ determinations that sexual harassment had not occurred,” according to the auditor. 

And when investigations led to positive findings of misconduct, recommended corrective actions and discipline were often too lenient or not implemented at all. Consequently, some employees went on to victimize other students or colleagues down the line. 

Additionally, the review flagged poor data collection and record keeping by the chancellor's office, which affected the outcome of some cases.

“The problems and inconsistencies we found during this audit warrant system-wide changes at CSU. In particular, the Chancellor’s Office must take a more active approach to overseeing campuses’ efforts to prevent and address sexual harassment,” said State Auditor Grant Parks in a letter to the Legislature.

His findings follow similar conclusions from a yearlong investigation into CSU’s Title IX practices, which was commissioned by the board of trustees.  

Read a summary of the state auditor’s findings here.  


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