In May, MHA, which specializes in campus safety, security, and regulatorycompliance, began an independent, thorough review of all of the College'ssexual misconduct policies and procedures. I also announced in May theformation of an internal Task Force on Sexual Misconduct, includingstudents, faculty, staff, and members of the Board of Managers. This taskforce, which began its work this summer, has been charged to look carefullyat how the College is implementing the existing and new regulations andlaws, and also to cultivate a culture that fosters greater mutual respect toensure that our campus is one in which every member of our community canthrive.I deeply appreciate and acknowledge the good, hard work that manycommunity members have already undertaken in this area, including taskforce members, Sexual Misconduct and Advisors Resource Team(SMARTeam) and Acquaintance Sexual Assault Prevention (ASAP) members,staff in the dean’s office, health services, public safety, and many otherindividual students, faculty, and staff. For the last several years, we havehad a part-time Title IX coordinator and have hired additional staff specifically to address this issue. We have expanded and improved trainingand consent workshops, regularly notified the community about availableresources, and made a number of other improvements. But there is still morework to be done to meet our common goals as an intellectual communitythat always sets and achieves the highest possible standards.MHA will return to campus this fall to meet with community members. Theywill provide additional recommendations in their final report. Based on theirinterim report and in consultation with our internal task force, I want to sharethe following specific actions to be implemented over the next severalmonths:
I have authorized—and this fall we will conduct—a national search for adedicated, fulltime Title IX coordinator, who will report directly to thePresident. The search committee will be formed when students andfaculty return, with a goal to have a coordinator in place by the end of the academic year.
In the meantime, I am pleased to announce that Patricia FlahertyFischette, who has worked in counseling and psychological services(CAPS) and with health services to provide counseling andprogrammatic support to students and the SMARTeam, has agreed totake a leave from CAPS to serve as the College’s interim Title IXcoordinator, effective immediately. Patricia will be responsible for all Title IX compliance, training, and programming and will reviewinvestigations. We are most fortunate she is able to step into thisimportant role this summer. Her background in law, counseling, and Title IX will serve us well as we begin implementing the MHA