Fresno State announces additional resources for sexual misconduct cases


Fresno State President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval pictured in Jan. 2021. Jiménez-Sandoval announced Title IX updates and additional resources for victims of sexual misconduct on March 3, 2022. (Andrea Marin Contreras/The Collegian)

By Manuel Hernandez

In a campus-wide email sent this morning, Fresno State President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval announced the university’s plan to combat “harassment and sexual misconduct” within the community.

The email included a video message from Jiménez-Sandoval, acknowledging the backlash from the Fresno State community after the news broke of former Fresno State president and former CSU chancellor Joseph Castro’s handling of sexual misconduct cases regarding a former employee, Frank Lamas. 

“It pains me so deeply to see the suffering of our Bulldog family and greater valley community in light of recent, and very public, revelations surrounding former vice president of student affairs Frank Lamas,” Jiménez-Sandoval said in the video. 

The video also announced multiple Title IX updates, including a website for the Title IX task force that was announced on Feb. 8. 

The Title IX task force will partner with “consultants appointed by the CSU Trustees,” and will “provide guidance on implementing holistic responses to confronting sexual and gender-based harassment,” according to the website.

Jiménez-Sandoval announced that the task force will be chaired by Bernadette Muscat, dean of undergraduate studies, due to her scholarly education in victimology. Open forums will also be held by the task force for faculty, staff and students on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, March 16, for faculty
  • Wednesday, March 16, for staff
  • Thursday, March 24, for students

Jiménez-Sandoval also announced in the video that he approved the hirings of a second survivor advocate and a deputy coordinator of discrimination, retaliation and harassment to stop inappropriate behavior. He also said he approved the hire of a full-time deputy Title IX coordinator to better manage Title IX cases and investigations.

“Accountability will be expected for everyone,” Jiménez-Sandoval said.
Those who have experienced harassment or misconduct can contact Jamie Pontius-Hogan, director of Title IX and Clery Compliance, according to the task force website. It also provides resources to survivor advocacy services, the counseling center and the employee assistance program.