University of Pittsburgh
March 29, 2016

Joint Statement from the University of Pittsburgh and Seamus Johnston

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh and Seamus Johnston have worked collaboratively to reach a settlement of the lawsuit Johnston filed against the University in 2013, asserting claims under Title IX and various state laws. As part of the University’s continued efforts to ensure that all students have an on-campus experience that is inclusive and respectful of students’ rights, including their gender identity, the University, through its newly-appointed associate vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, will establish a working group, which will include student leadership, to continue to study, evaluate, and make recommendations regarding the implementation of best practices for institutions of higher education vis-à-vis transgender individuals, particularly with respect to transgender individuals’ access to gender-specific spaces in accordance with their gender identity. The University also notes that, independent of the lawsuit, the University recently made available gender-neutral housing at Ruskin Hall on its Oakland campus, which represents taking leadership on gender-identity issues. Also representing the University’s leadership on these issues, the University’s website now provides that “[f]aculty, staff, and students are welcome to use … any restroom that corresponds to their gender identity.” 

The preceding information represents the joint statement of the parties to the lawsuit and will be the only comment on the settlement of this matter.