Staff at Towson University’s Office of Student Conduct & Civility Education used an outdated workflow for conducting case management at their university. The system in place was not user-friendly and did not provide a clear process for handling and sharing case information with other campus departments. The school was also seeking a way to streamline its Title IX reporting process since its homegrown submission database was creating additional work for the staff.
“Advocate has given us the ability to transfer information from Title IX to Student Conduct and vice versa. That open communication line is very nice."
Director of Student Conduct
Six years ago, Towson University’s Office of Student Conduct & Civility Education was using a competitor’s software to conduct the case management process. The system in place was hard to navigate and did not present a clear workflow for case management. The database was very limited since it only housed records for students with cases as opposed to providing a comprehensive list of the student population. It also did not share information with other school databases, which made sharing student information very challenging.
The office staff were also interested in upgrading their homegrown system for handling Title IX cases. Submissions were tracked in Excel and had to be re-entered into their database. The process was inconvenient for the staff member reporting the incident, and the system in place was not widely known by students.
The Office of Student Conduct implemented Advocate in 2010 with the goal to improve its case management process. The new workflow helped the staff conduct case management more effectively, from the initial submission of the case through generating letters, booking meetings, and managing sanctions and appeals.
The office also partnered with Symplicity to set up and customize the Title IX module. With over 200 cases coming in per year, staff members leveraged Advocate to capture all details of case management – from capturing complainant and respondent actions on cases to scheduling meetings and sending letters, outcomes, and tamper-proof audit trails. The system also allowed for a streamlined communication between the Title IX and the Student Conduct offices. Staff in both offices could easily access student records online and conduct disciplinary actions directly in the platform.
Since launching Advocate, Towson University’s Office of Student Conduct has experienced an increase in productivity at administering case management. The system has significantly reduced the amount of paperwork and time required to conduct actions on a case and has allowed for more seamless communication between staff members and students. Staff members no longer have to individually scan, sign, and send letters to students, since these are now automated through Advocate.
Other campus departments also benefit from the ability to access students’ records and address any issues brought by the Student Conduct Office. If a reported incident involves more than one department, any staff member with access to Advocate can access the student’s record and manage all communications from their online case file.
“The customer service is always good. Every time I call, I get someone who is willing to help me, or is willing to find out the answer."