Statement on Settlement of John Doe Lawsuit

The case of John Doe v. Washington and Lee University pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia has been settled confidentially to the mutual satisfaction of both parties, and John Doe is dismissing the lawsuit with prejudice.

Throughout these proceedings, the University has maintained that its officials adhered to its policies and procedures and did not conduct a gender-biased investigation or process with respect to the complaint against John Doe. After extensive discovery, the parties acknowledge that Lauren Kozak, the University’s Title IX coordinator who also served as one of the investigators for the allegations against John Doe, discharged her obligations professionally at all times in this matter and did nothing to the prejudice of John Doe, either by her statements or actions. Further, the parties acknowledge that evidence was produced in discovery supporting the conclusion that Ms. Kozak was not present for, and did not make a presentation at, a meeting held on October 5, 2014, as alleged in the federal complaint.

Washington and Lee University is committed to providing fair and equitable policies and procedures for all students in the context of Title IX and federal regulations and guidance.  The University has at all times during the litigation contended that its policies and procedures are consistent with best practices for higher education institutions. We are pleased that this matter has been resolved in a manner that affirms our commitment to provide a safe and respectful community for our faculty, staff, and students. As we pursue our goal of creating and sustaining a community based on trust and mutual respect, we continue to review and refine our policies and procedures as necessary.

Leanne Shank, General Counsel
Washington and Lee University
February 3, 2016

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