First Advisor

Christine Cress

Date of Publication

Spring 6-12-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Postsecondary Education


Educational Leadership and Policy


College students -- Crimes against, Universities and colleges -- Administration, Student affairs administrators -- Attitudes, Restorative justice, Sex crimes -- Investigation, College discipline



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 255 pages)


Approximately one in four women experience sexual violence in college. Public institutions of higher education identify professionals specifically responsible for Title IX compliance, campus grievance processes, and survivor advocacy. Success in these roles depends upon a variety of institutional, legal, and procedural factors, and the ability to balance compliance, accountability, transparency, confidentiality, and care for students in pursuit of institutional justice. However, the literature has failed to acknowledge the complexities and individual cost of serving in these contentious roles. Moreover, facets of organizational culture can hinder grievance professionals' efficacy in fulfilling their duties, facilitating consistent and fair resolutions, and ensuring just outcomes. This exploratory, qualitative study sought to fill the literature gap and add insight into the experiences and perspectives of student conduct, Title IX, and advocacy professionals at multiple public institutions by seeking to understand individual actions, values, and responses in light of organizational structures, institutional policies, leadership, grievance models, and power dynamics. Data indicated that professionals involved in campus grievance endure severe emotional strain in their efforts to facilitate justice, especially if their own values and principles are misaligned with those of institutional leaders, policies, grievance processes, or outcomes. Moreover, the findings suggest that such misalignment diminishes professional efficacy, which increases stress, fatigue, and leads to burnout, thereby decreasing the likelihood of realizing justice. Recommendations include revisions to graduate education, reimagined compelled disclosure policies, the need for employee support programs, and a call for further accountability of institutional leaders. Finally, an alternative paradigm is explicated for moral and justice-centered resolutions of campus sexual assault.

Persistent Identifier