Panicked UO communicators spew nonsense in basketball allegation response

8/3/2017 update: No charges filed against former Dana Altman player

Dylan Darling has the latest in the RG here:

Police at a small college in Wyoming have closed a sexual assault case involving a member of the University of Oregon’s Final Four basketball team and no charges will be filed. …

Presumably this means the UOPD and NWCCDPD police reports will soon be released.

6/22/2017 update: And don’t get me started on their grammar. I’ve made a few notes on the response below, the official version is posted on Around the O:

The university issued the following statement June 22:

Recent media coverage of an allegation of sexual assault by a former member of the UO’s basketball program has created some questions about the university’s response. The University of Oregon takes very seriously any allegation of sexual assault or misconduct regardless of whether [or not] it involves a student athlete.

In most cases involving accusation[s] of sexual assault, it is impossible [perhaps you mean to claim it is illegal?] and inappropriate to publicly disclose details to protect the rights of victims [and yet police departments and prosecutors do this all the time by using pseudonyms – see for example the Jane Doe documents for the last basketball rape allegations] and those who report violations under Title IX, to comply with federal student privacy laws [say, don’t athletes have to sign the FERPA release?], and to provide those accused with appropriate due process. [Uh, so then why did the UOPD (eventually) release the police report to the Emerald? See it here.]

This was a scenario [scenario is the word when you’re play-acting crises and responses, not when you’re responding to an actual event] that stemmed from a law enforcement inquiry by the Northern Wyoming Community College [District] police.UO police have no jurisdiction in Wyoming, [thanks, good to know] and it would be inappropriate for the UO to provide details on an inquiry led by another law enforcement agency. [Even if doing so might protect UO students? Did the UOPD ask the NWCCDPD if they cared?]

The UO Police Department was contacted in the fall of 2016 to assist the NWCCD police in an interview with Kavell Bigby-Williams. UO athletics assisted UOPD in contacting Bigby-Williams, who declined to be interviewed through his attorney. [It’s OK, we know what you were trying to say here.] That information was provided to the NWCCD Police Department. 

Information detailing allegations was not shared with the coaching staff to protect [the] integrity of the inquiry. [We can understand why the UOPD wouldn’t trust Dana Altman, but why wasn’t it shared with AD Rob Mullens and President Mike Schill? Does the UOPD not trust them either?] The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics’ only role was to provide contact information for the player and to coordinate with the university’s Title IX coordinator. [What does coordinate mean here? Was a Title IX investigation started?]

University processes, then as now, involve communication between campus police, the Title IX office and athletics administration to determine whether there is a risk to the campus community that requires immediate action. In September 2016, there was insufficient information to warrant interim action. Since September, UOPD has received no further information or requests for assistance from the NWCCD police suggesting the inquiry had advanced in any way. [Did they ask? And did any new information develop? Was anyone alerted to look for it?]

6/22/2017 update: Dana Altman brings UO more of that national publicity money just can’t buy

Now in the Washington Post here:

Kavell Bigby-Williams played one season for the Oregon men’s basketball team, helping the Ducks to the Final Four in 2016-17. For the entirety of that season, he was being investigated for sexual assault by police in Wyoming for an incident that took place in September near Gillette College, the junior college from which Bigby-Williams transferred to Oregon.

According to a report by the Emerald’s Kenny Jacoby, a woman accused Bigby-Williams of sexually assaulting her at an apartment near the Gillette College campus sometime between 10 p.m. on Sept. 17 and 3 a.m. on Sept. 18, about a week before fall classes began at Oregon. The Northern Wyoming Community College District (NWCCD) campus police then began its investigation, which according to Jacoby remains open, though NWCCD police refused to comment about it. Bigby-Williams has since announced his intention to transfer to Louisiana State.

It remains unclear whether Ducks Coach Dana Altman, Athletic Director Rob Mullens or other school officials were aware of the specifics of the investigation. …

For the nostalgic, here’s video of Duck Coach Dana Altman, AD Rob Mullens, and former President Mike Gottfredson pretending they didn’t know anything about the previous allegations:

6/21/2017: New Duck basketball sex assault allegations

Reporter Kenny Jacoby has the latest in the Emerald, here:

Former Oregon forward Kavell Bigby-Williams played the 2016-17 men’s basketball season while under criminal investigation for an alleged sexual assault, the Emerald has learned.

… UO President Michael Schill did not know about the sexual assault allegation involving Bigby-Williams and declined to share his thoughts on it.

“I don’t have any awareness of that,” Schill said. “In any event, I can’t comment on an individual student. What if I was asked by another reporter about you being obnoxious? Would you want me to tell them that?”

… Bigby-Williams played 37 games for Oregon this season, averaging 9.8 minutes and 3.0 points. He played increased minutes off the bench during the Ducks’ run to the NCAA Tournament Final Four, after center Chris Boucher went down with an injury.

He recently asked for and was granted a release to explore a transfer to another school. On June 20, Bigby-Williams committed to transfer to LSU.

For the record I’ve had many conversations with Kenny Jacoby, and I’ve always found him to be polite, smart, calm, well-informed, and curious. I hope my saying that is not a FERPA violation, because I doubt that Emerald reporters sign the same release form that Dana Altman’s student-athletes must sign, before they can get their scholarships and play ball:

University fires coach & brings in Brenda Tracy to talk to the jocks about rape

7/7/2016 update:  At some point you know the Ducks are going to have to do the same. It’s inevitable. Meanwhile CNN has the story on Baylor here. Of course it’s not just the athletes – see Lindo et al.:

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6/24/2016 update: Riley’s footballers hear from Brenda Tracy, OSU rape survivor, while Helfrich’s team hears from Tom Hart about Egyptian prostitutes on Harleys

A guest blogger forwards the following:

Brenda Tracy met with Mike Riley and the Nebraska football team this week.  She’s getting some nice national attention. I looked it up. Lincoln, Nebraska is a 1600 mile trip. Autzen Stadium is about 40 miles away.

Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/06/23/i-hated-this-man-more-than-my-rapists-woman-confronts-football-coach-18-years-after-alleged-gang-rape/

USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/bigten/2016/06/22/rape-survivor-brenda-tracy-meets-nebraska-coach-mike-riley-oregon-state/86270018/

Said Riley in a statement released Wednesday night: “As part of our ongoing educational efforts, I invited Brenda Tracy to Lincoln, to share her experiences with the young men in our program.  Brenda has suffered immeasurable pain and has shown the strength and willingness to share her story. Her story today was powerful and I know that it left an indelible imprint on our student-athletes, staff and myself.”

Riley also expressed “sincere gratitude” for Tracy’s willingness to come to campus and meet with him.

“This has been an important day for me and for our football program and we must keep the focus on the victims, and on preventing inexcusable acts in the future,” Riley said.

Tracy is the survivor of a sexual assault by two Oregon State football players and two others, 16 years ago. She went public after newspapers broke the story of the alleged UO basketball player gang rape of Jane Doe. John Canzano published Ms Tracy’s horrible and courageous story in the Oregonian, here, Kurt Krueger, the chair of the UO Senate’s Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, invited her to speak at UO. Here is her story, which must be heard:

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Meanwhile, here’s some information on how the Ducks have been handling sexual assault prevention training

6/6/2015 update: Prostitutes from Russian motorcycle-mob strip clubs lead Duck athletes astray?

Before you page down and watch the video of UO Basketball coach Dana Altman do the duck and weave with reporters about alleged gang rape by his basketball players, and check out Tom Hart’s powerpoint presentation telling football players to watch out for Russian prostitutes hired by Egyptian motorcycle gangs, please watch some of the Brenda Tracy video.

 

8/22/2014 update: Sure enough, this presentation on how football players can avoid getting assaulted, and advertised as “Sexual Assault Awareness” was one of the few things the Duck AD could point to as examples of “Sexual Education” they provide their athletes. Note that the athletic department’s Katie Harbert – who was also the instructor of record for the Ducks athlete-only sham FHS 199 course – began collecting these documents a full month before the rest of the campus learned of the basketball rape allegations:

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8/21/2014: Updated below with redactions from Gottfredson’s Sexual Assault Review Panel of the doc showing the “Team Rule” to call Tom Hart’s *personal* phone if in trouble with police.

8/20/2014: At his May 9th press conference a question from a UO student (whom the Ducks had tried to keep out) revealed that Dana Altman was very confused about what sort of sexual assault prevention training his athletes had received:

Now we know a little more. The athletics department is worried that it’s their players – and their coaches, and NCAA eligibility – that might be the victims of sexual assaults from predatory prostitutes, controlled by Russian/Egyptian motorcycle gangs. Or at least that seems to be the warning in this bizarre powerpoint from Tom Hart, hired in 2011 as Director of Duck Security and Facebook Monitoring (contract here).

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Hart is still on Rob Mullens’s payroll, as “Professional Development Coordinator”:

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This and some other fascinating documents from the athletic department – more revealing than anything Mullens has ever showed the IAC without me first filing a petition with the DOJ – were posted yesterday on the Gottfredson SARP website:

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Today, less than 24 hours later, the good stuff has been taken down and replaced by a sanitized set of links:

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But don’t worry, we archived it:

Athletics

Athletics Documents Overview
President’s Panel – Part 1
President’s Panel – Part 2
President’s Panel – Part 3
President’s Panel – Part 4

I’ll try to dig through these as I have time, but I immediately see the student-athlete conduct handbook, numbers on GPA and SAT scores for special admits by team, data on majors, and a statement that seems to back off previous claims from the AD that the Senate was to blame for canceling the FHS 199 class , and thereby preventing them from educating their players about sexual assault and harassment.

Update: Even Winston Smith would be confused. Now the SARP has reposted the Hart powerpoint – “with personal phone numbers removed”:

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So Hart is using a personal phone to take calls from athletes in trouble with the cops? I hope he’s keeping Jim O’Fallon, Jody Sykes, and the NCAA in the loop on that idea.

PAC-12 presidents approve spineless “Altman-Austin Rule”

Updated: On March 11 the PAC-12 university presidents met to approve the spineless “Altman-Austin Rule”, which would *not* have stopped Dana Altman from bringing Brandon Austin to UO. It does *not* ban efforts like those by UO lawyer Doug Park to settle with Austin on terms that would have allowed UO to quietly pass him off to the next unsuspecting college. It just means Park would have had to offer Austin a lower penalty in order to accomplish that goal.

Here’s the 5/16/2014 story on Austin at Providence. The university’s disciplinary board had voted to ban him from campus for a year,

“But a vice president at the private Catholic college who reviewed Austin’s case overturned the decision on Dec. 23, allowing the freshman recruit to stay in school and continue to practice with the team.”

Which is exactly the sort of thing that will now happen in the PAC-12. Coaches will lobby to keep the penalties for their troublesome players below the PAC-12 cut-off so that they’ll transfer rather than sue. University administrators will comply, knowing that’s the easiest way to get rid of the player.

The lawsuits from Brandon Austin, Dominic Artis, and Damyean Dotson  against Mike Gottfredson et al. are here. Here’s the email from Austin’s lawyer (paid by the UO students through ASUO) to current UO Associate GC Doug Park (paid by the UO students through the general fund), discussing his offer to give Austin the clean transcript he needs to transfer and keep playing:

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2 more Dana Altman recruits sue Gottfredson & Holmes for due process violations

3/15/2016: Duck Athletics brings still more invaluable publicity and goodwill for UO. Who defines our “national brand”? Brandon Austin. From Google search trends:

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Camilla Mortensen has the latest lawsuit story in the Eugene Weekly. Also see Andrew Greif in the Oregonian and Jack Moran in the RG.

The $20M complaint from Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson’s lawyers Alex Spiro of NYC and Brian Michaels of Eugene is here. Artis and Dotson’s state complaint is basically a cut-and-paste of Austin’s federal complaint here, which was filed by Marianne Duggan of Eugene and preeminent sperm lawyer Alan C. Milstein of Moorestown, New Jersey back in October.

I’m no law professor, but if attorney Alex Spiro (Harvard Law) had passed this in as his final paper, I’d report him to UO’s student conduct office for plagiarism and urge Sandy Weintraub and Robin Holmes to expel him – after a thorough hearing and appeal, of course.

John Canzano has an opinion piece in the Oregonian: Canzano: Lawsuit not fair to Oregon Ducks, but ends up a strong NCAA play:

Did Altman support the dismissals of the players? Did Gottfredson ask for Altman’s resignation somewhere in the process and get push back from key boosters? Were the players a sacrifice that was made to appease the protesters picketing the university president’s office? And why didn’t Oregon just do what every other reputable university might do — suspend the players pending the outcome of the investigation instead of initially standing with them, then after the NCAA Tournament, dismissing them?

Quite the difference from his Jan 8 2015 column: Canzano: Every day Oregon stands with Dana Altman is another step into the muck:

Best case scenario, he turned his back on three innocent players who were under investigation for sex assault. Worst case, he knowingly recruited a player who was under investigation for a sex assault, then lied for months about what he knew and undermined campus safety while trying to save himself.

This is your basketball coach, Oregon. One who should have been fired months ago.

… The lawsuit [he means the one from the survivor Jane Doe, with whom UO settled for $800K], zeroes in on the exact problem. It alleges that the university took steps to protect itself and to guard its coach, while accepting the survivor as collateral damage. Given that federal law mandates that Oregon should have handled this with urgency and alacrity the actions at UO are troubling.

Among the shocking allegations in the lawsuit? UO refused to provide the players with unredacted documents. Say it ain’t so!

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As with Austin’s, this complaint makes many other serious allegations of violations of due process rights by VPSA Robin Holmes and her assistants Sandy Weintraub and Chicora Martin and the feckless Mike Gottfredson.

Where were these people getting their legal advice? From Randy Geller, formerly UO General Counsel, now “of counsel at Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick, and/or his Assistant GC Doug Park, who is still employed by UO as associate GC for $200k+.

Here’s UO Strategic Communicator Tobin Klinger’s improbable explanation for why Geller “retired” – announced in the midst of the events described in the lawsuit, and the day before sports reporters unexpectedly broke the story of the basketball rape allegations:

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Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson’s prayer:

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1/26/2016: Duck lawyers respond to Brandon Austin’s due process lawsuit. Park gave Austin a clean transcript.

Continue reading

More students punished for sexual assault are winning in court

11/5/2015:

Jake New has the analysis in InsideHigherEd. The start:

Last week, Brandon Austin, a former college basketball player, filed a lawsuit against the University of Oregon for $7.5 million, arguing that administrators there violated his rights when they suspended him over his alleged involvement in a gang rape.

Austin was able to transfer to a community college and play basketball there last season, but has since left to (so far, unsuccessfully) pursue a professional basketball career. In the lawsuit, Austin claims that the punishment caused him emotional distress and lessened his chances of one day playing in the National Basketball Association. His case joins more than 50 other pending lawsuits filed by men who say they were unfairly kicked off campus after being accused of sexual assault.

If filed last year, Austin’s lawsuit would have seemed like a long shot, especially as the athlete had been accused of sexual assault at another institution before he enrolled at Oregon. But accused students suing the institutions that suspended or expelled them are now increasingly winning those lawsuits, including at least four cases in the last four months. …

10/30/2015 Klinger: Unfortunate that Mr. Austin has decided to defend his rights

Kyle Wizner has the latest in the Daily Emerald. UO Duck Advocate Tobin Klinger:

“It is unfortunate that Mr. Austin has decided to pursue this type of lawsuit, and we intend to vigorously defend the university. We’re confident Mr. Austin was afforded fair and consistent due process that fully complied with the university’s legal obligations. We cannot provide further comment because this is pending litigation,”

Of course if UO was trying to nail a professor, archivist, counseling psychologist, or cop, or just destroy their reputation, Klinger would be happy to provide a lot more comment. Or even hold a news conference or two, if he thought it would help his boss:

10/29/2015: Brandon Austin sues UO, Mike Gottfredson, Robin Holmes, etc. for $7.5M

Not exactly a surprise. Tyson Alger in the Oregonian. A snippet:

Former Oregon men’s basketball player Brandon Austin is seeking $7.5 million in damages in a lawsuit against the University of Oregon, former president Michael R. Gottfredson and three others.

The 18-page lawsuit, filed Thursday in Lane County Circuit Court, alleges that the university, the former president, UO director of Student Conduct & Community Standards Sandy Weintraub, assistant dean of students Chicora Martin and vice president of student life Robin Holmes, violated Austin’s rights by unfairly suspending him and not providing due process, among other things.

In the suit, Austin claims personal and professional harm, emotional distress, a lesser chance of playing in the NBA, and loss of future income following his dismissal from the university in June 2014 following a sexual assault allegation against him and two teammates in the spring of 2014. The suit, filed by attorneys Alan C. Milstein of New Jersey and Marianne Dugan of Eugene, claims Austin “committed no sexual assault.”

Charges were never filed against Austin and teammates Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson. All three players were dismissed from the university and barred from campus for at least four years, and up to 10, in June 2014.

The alleged sexual assault took place in the early hours of March 9, 2014, as players and students celebrated the Ducks’ victory against No. 3 Arizona in the regular-season finale. Five weeks later, in April, the Lane Country District Attorney declined to charge Austin, Dotson and Artis, citing “conflicting statements and actions by the victim” while acknowledging that the Eugene Police Department’s investigation revealed there was nonetheless “no doubt the incidents occurred.” …

Brandon Austin’s full complaint is here. What did former UO General Counsel Randy Geller and his Associate GC Doug Park know, and when did they know it? I have the feeling we’re going to find out:

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“Refused to provide unredacted reports?” I’m shocked that Mr. Austin would claim that UO would do this. Shocked.

Brandon Austin’s attorney’s are local lawyer Marianne Dugan and NJ lawyer Alan C. Milstein, a noted expert on the sperm donor industry. Really.

His favorite words are “preeminent”, “prominent”, and “prestigious:

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Ms Dugan’s website is here:

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Jennifer Morlok resigns over retaliation, calls out President Schill

Update: The Chronicle’s report is here:

… In a written statement to The Chronicle, Oregon’s vice president for student life, Robin Holmes, said that the university “was committed to providing Ms. Morlok with a supportive work environment,” but that she had chosen not to accept offers of “alternative workplace scenarios.” Ms. Holmes went on to write that the university was “fundamentally opposed to anything that can be construed as workplace retaliation against those who air critical views or opinions.”

UO is fundamentally opposed to retaliation? Come on, retaliation has been part of the Oregon Way for years. Joe Wade ($600K), Jean Stockard ($600K), James Cleavenger ($750K so far), etc., etc.

Thanks to the UO Senate and the UAUO faculty union we do now have an academic freedom policy that says the administration can’t retaliate on the basis of speech criticizing the administration, but Randy Geller, Doug Park, Scott Coltrane, Mike Gottfredson, Doug Blandy, and Tim Gleason fought that for years, and it’s still to be seen if our new administration will enforce it.

I wonder who wrote that statement for Robin Holmes? Jennifer Winters and Rita Radostitz again, as with Holmes’s basketball rape allegations op-ed for the RG? Those emails are from the Presidential Archives release. Speaking of retaliation, Doug Park and Doug Blandy tried to use that release to fire me, and UO did use it to fire Archivist James Fox.

11/2/2015: Ms Morlok was Jane Doe’s counselor at UO. Her decision to fight General Counsel Doug Park’s efforts to get her client’s counseling records has led or will lead to improvements in state and federal law and UO policy. UO needs more people like her. She’s a hero.

But the UO administration has treated her like a pariah. She took it for a year, at great personal cost. Now she has resigned, after a year of retaliation from UO. It’s heartbreaking. We can’t afford to lose people like this.

As for people we can afford to lose – Doug Park, Sam Hill, Shelley Kerr, Robin Holmes – the people who made the decision to get Jane Doe’s records, and who led UO into more than a year of expensive national embarrassment? (Legal costs and Jane Doe settlement alone ~$1.6M). They are still here, still making decisions, still collecting their paychecks, still due for their next raises.

The final straw?

I was cautiously hopeful when President Schill stated, “I will not tolerate the victimization of any member of our community. Period.” (President Michael Schill 2015)   But then President Schill stated, “I do not believe any of our coaches, administrators, or other University personnel acted wrongfully, nor do I believe that any one of them failed to live up to the high moral standards that we value and that they embody in their work every day.” Mr. Schill did not speak to me or my colleague about our concerns and it appeared that there was no consideration on his part that wrong may have occurred and that ethics may have been violated. I am thankful that the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners looks at all the evidence and does not carry blind loyalty and PR concerns as does a University. Mr. Schill, your statement claiming no wrong doing without even speaking to the ones who brought the concern up in the first place deflated hope by many that accountability and consequences would come to those who did wrong in leadership positions- causing harm along the way.

Her letter in full:

November 1st, 2015

Dear President Schill, UCTC Colleagues and Others Whom This Concerns,

This letter is to inform you that, effective immediately, I resign from the position of Case Manager/Senior Staff Therapist and External Resource Coordinator with the University of Oregon Counseling and Testing Center (UCTC).

After a year of retaliation because I spoke up for a client of mine, with regard to the unethical actions of my superiors, I can no longer manage the emotional strain and professional toll I have paid for speaking the truth. I have had to seek my own therapeutic support along this tough journey, and it is recommended that I take care of my own psychological and physical well-being.

I was hoping change would occur where I would no longer have to endure retaliation. However, even after the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners issued a notice of proposed disciplinary action finding that the Director of the Counseling Center had engaged in unethical behavior with regard to disclosing confidential client files, the University has taken no supportive actions to make sure I am safe and treated with the full professional support I need in order to do my job. The direct lack of concern for my client’s well-being by leadership at both the Counseling Center and elsewhere in the University has been astonishing to say the least.

With all this considered, I am no longer able to continue to pay the price for others’ wrong actions.  I am no longer willing to be treated as though I am an enemy of the very counseling services I enjoyed providing to students- or an enemy of the very University I received my degree from- where I had hoped my two sons would attend. It is wrong to treat employees who share problems with the system as though they are the problem. It takes more loyalty to speak up to the University and one’s superiors about a wrong they may be doing than it does to participate in the wrong behavior that ultimately will hurt the University as a whole. As George Orwell stated, “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

As a clinician and a member of the Interpersonal Violence Team and the Mandated Risk Assessment Team, I have truly enjoyed the opportunity I have had to assist students in connecting to services and resources in their time of need.  Being able to accomplish this in numbers above the national average has been a fantastic accomplishment and a deep enjoyment for me. 

I am disheartened that, because of the ill treatment I have endured after speaking up regarding confidential records being disclosed unethically by the Director of the UCTC (as evidenced by the September notice by the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners) I am forced to resign.  I am sad to have to leave a job I have otherwise greatly enjoyed, where I was able to support students in their own struggles.  Working with students has been a pleasure and an honor for me.  The positive feedback from students has kept me going through the difficult times and will continue to be an inspiration to me.

I am not able to sit any longer and be the token of other’s revenge. I am disgusted and disappointed that such behavior exists at my beloved alma mater, but in particular at the Counseling Center itself. The Counseling Center is supposed to represent a safe place for students to come and it is supposed to be a place supporting the mental health of the clients coming in for services. It should never be about the loyalty to the “business” of the University, or to commit unethical behavior with supervisors utilizing their positions of power to evade proper accountability and consequences. I am still in shock that a State regulatory board, which fully investigated and found unethical behavior to have happened by leadership at the Counseling Center, is more likely to enact consequences than the very place of higher education where the wrongful behavior occurred.  I was cautiously hopeful when President Schill stated, “I will not tolerate the victimization of any member of our community. Period.” (President Michael Schill 2015)   But then President Schill stated, “I do not believe any of our coaches, administrators, or other University personnel acted wrongfully, nor do I believe that any one of them failed to live up to the high moral standards that we value and that they embody in their work every day.” Mr. Schill did not speak to me or my colleague about our concerns and it appeared that there was no consideration on his part that wrong may have occurred and that ethics may have been violated. I am thankful that the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners looks at all the evidence and does not carry blind loyalty and PR concerns as does a University. Mr. Schill, your statement claiming no wrong doing without even speaking to the ones who brought the concern up in the first place deflated hope by many that accountability and consequences would come to those who did wrong in leadership positions- causing harm along the way. After all, if the President of the University is confident these leaders have done no wrong then why would they be worried about consequences and why should they stop retaliating against myself or my colleague? A system of no accountability is certainly not going to learn from its mistakes and it perpetuates a cycle of the same unethical and problematic leaders repeating harmful history. As Abraham Lincoln stated, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

I have offered my assistance to help make positive changes on our campus but I have been removed from the ability to do so, having duties taken away from me. I have been “sidelined.” At the very moment that a concerned employee (whistleblower) can help fix the problem the leadership does everything in its power to make sure the whistleblower does not have the chance to be a part of any positive change. Despite this, I continue to believe that speaking up makes change for the better possible. Even while being sidelined, advocating for better policies on confidentiality for our students seems to have had an affect toward better care for students nationwide. It is accurate that the truth will set one free and I choose to stay with the truth. As Malcolm X stated, “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.”

I am encouraged that strong policies are being enacted to further protect students’ confidential records by our legislators. This has been the force needed to make sure Universities are honoring the difference of when a student actually becomes a patient/client with rights to appropriate medical treatment following State standards and ethics. It is important for the University and federal government to adopt the strongest confidentiality policies possible so the line between student and patient does not get blurred.  Although I am disappointed in the dishonorable treatment of myself and my colleague who also spoke up, I am encouraged by the greater change that is happening on campuses nationwide from those courageous enough to disclose the problems that are occurring.

I wish the best to the University and its students and to those I leave behind who are trying to stand for moral and ethical leadership. I have been honored to be a part of positive change for our campus and our students.  I am sad to leave but I hope that those who come after me will take a stand for better treatment of whistleblowers at the University of Oregon and campuses nationwide as well as for students who are seeking clinical treatment services during very vulnerable times in their lives. They – not us — are our priority.  I will continue to stand for, and promote, positive changes on campuses and in our community. I hope you will also.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best: “Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

With Kindest Regards, Jennifer Morlok

I like the quotes. Our history is full of people who fought for justice and truth, and paid the price. We return their sacrifice with fame and honors. Their words inspire others to fight, and they also console them, when they get stomped on.

Ms Morlok has already filed a tort-claim notice against UO. More here.

Just this spring UO Human Resources gave Jennifer Morlok and Karen Stokes its highest award for their actions in reporting Doug Park’s counseling records seizure.

Doug Park brings still more embarassment to UO

10/24/2015 update: From the Ornstein stories in the Chronicle and ProPublica:

“I don’t blame the University of Oregon for a rape,” she said. “It’s not their fault. I blame them for how they responded to it. I found out months later that every single meeting I had with a therapist, she took detailed notes on, and the University of Oregon had read these notes before I had even seen them.”

And now there’s a Slate op-ed about the reports, here

Viewing medical records for medical reasons could help a university protect a student at risk of harm. But the University of Oregon’s meddling into Hanson’s private account of her rape would have only helped the university protect itself. The value of therapy lies in the patient’s expectation of confidentiality; if a student thinks her private exchanges with a doctor could resurface in the office of a university administrator, helping her heal will be much harder. A therapist’s office can be one of the only safe spaces available to a rape survivor on a college campus. Exploiting that trust to try to avoid paying a legal settlement is a cynical maneuver that can only exacerbate an already-low rape reporting rate.

The Jane Doe records seizure happened on Doug Park and Sam Hill’s watch. The Hanson incident apparently took place while Randy Geller was GC. I think the correct phrase here is “institutional betrayal”.

10/23/2015: Chronicle and ProPublica report on UO counseling record confidentiality

Reporting by Charles Ornstein, here. He picks up on the report first made in the Eugene Weekly in May by Camilla Mortensen, below. (Without citing her – wow is that bad form.)

Ornstein gets Doug Park to offer a complete and utter apology for the UO General Counsel Office’s behavior in these two cases:

Continue reading

Can the UO Senate save the General Counsel’s office from itself?

10/1/2015 update: The Senate website includes a proposal for a new UO policy on keeping student counseling records private. This presumably comes from the committee that interim Provost Frances Bronet appointed last spring, after she’d ordered the GC to return Jane Doe’s files: http://senate.uoregon.edu/sites/senate.uoregon.edu/files/Appendix%20B%20-%20Recommendation%20for%20the%20University%20of%20Oregon%27s%20policy%20on%20the%20confidentiality%20of%20health%20care%20and%20survivors%20services%20information.pdf

9/30/2015:  Students who have been sexually assaulted often seek out mental health counseling. It’s hard to imagine anything more obviously confidential than the resulting treatment records.

But while Jane Doe, the survivor of an alleged gang rape by 3 Duck basketball players, was in negotiations with the university’s lawyers over a settlement, Interim General Counsel Doug Park and Associate GC Sam Hill asked UO counseling center Director Shelly Kerr to give them Doe’s records.

Kerr turned them over to the GC’s office, which took them out of the sealed envelopes, scanned them into pdfs, and resealed them. Without looking at them for ammo to use in the negotiations with Jane Doe’s lawyers – honest.

As it happens the Oregon board that licenses psychologists has a thing about confidentiality, Shelly Kerr is licensed, and now the board wants to fine her $5K. Seems cheap, but UO’s General Counsel wants to fight it, because if they don’t it’s obvious that they screwed up by telling Kerr to give them the records. As if everyone in the state doesn’t already understand what a train wreck UO’s General Counsel’s office is, thanks to the Oregonian’s editorial page, and the latest allegations about their involvement in the UOPD whistleblowing retaliation.

Someone needs to save UO from this self-inflicted damage. And it looks like it’s going to be the UO Senate, which has now posted an exhaustive report on the issues, here: http://senate.uoregon.edu/content/confidentiality-students-counseling-records

Will the UO administration really let the GC’s office fight this to the bitter end, as it fought the Senate’s “Not in Our Name” efforts to drop the countersuit against Jane Doe?

UO Counseling Director Shelly Kerr fined $5K for giving Jane Doe records to Doug Park’s GC office

That’s the report from a normally well informed source. (Now confirmed, see below for the report).

Today the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners imposed a $5,000 fine on Dr. Shelly Kerr, Director of the University of Oregon Counseling and Testing Center, for actions relating to the transfer of counseling records to the Office of General Counsel.  The Board also ordered her to undergo additional ethical training.  (The Board dismissed charges against VP Robin Holmes and Brooks Morse, Associate Director Training Director, and Joseph DeWitz, Assistant Director and Clinical Director.)

Dr. Kerr’s license record is here: http://obpe.alcsoftware.com/licdetail.php?id=1500, and the Board’s report is here. The latest I have on the retaliation lawsuit by Karen Stokes and Jennifer Morlock, who filed the complaint with the Board, is here. UO strategic communicator Tobin Klinger’s response to that one is here.

Stokes and Morlock also filed a Oregon Bar ethics complaint against Interim General Counsel Doug Park and his Associate GC Samantha Hill. The bar initially dismissed it but they’ve appealed, and presumably this will make it more difficult for the Bar’s Ethics Committee to look the other way:

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UO’s Tobin Klinger in denial about Jane Doe’s confidential counseling records

8/21/2015: Diane Dietz of the RG has more, here:

UO psychology professor Jennifer Freyd, who pushed to make the UO counseling center records private, said she was “very, very pleased” with the Education Department’s guidance.

“They’ve gone a long way to clarifying the situation,” Freyd said Thursday. “The only way people are going to be able to get help for psychological suffering is if they feel that their information is going to be private. That’s at the heart of therapy.”

UO spokesman Tobin Klinger issued a statement saying: “The guidance itself is quite helpful and serves to clarify best practices in highly sensitive and complicated situations, because obviously basic common sense and decency have no effect on the UO’s General Counsel’s office.”

OK, I totally made up the last part of that Klinger quote, but it’s what everyone is thinking, and the RG editorial board is not afraid to say it:

The University of Oregon shouldn’t need a six-page letter from the U.S. Department of Education to tell it to respect the privacy of students’ medical and counseling records. But the department’s letter clarifies what ought to be a matter of common sense: Universities provide health services to promote their students’ physical and mental well-being, but students will avoid those services if they have reason to believe their medical records might somehow be used against them. …

8/20/2015: Rich Read has the latest trust-destroying quote from UO’s chief strategic communicator Tobin Klinger, in the Oregonian here:

A federal official advised universities this week to not share a student’s medical records without written consent, contradicting the University of Oregon’s release of an alleged gang-rape victim’s therapy records to the school’s lawyers.

The six-page draft letter from Kathleen Styles, the U.S. Education Department’s chief privacy officer, was issued this week after repeated inquiries by The Oregonian/Oregonlive and members of Oregon’s congressional delegation.

In effect, the letter steamrolls a UO Counseling Center confidentiality policy weakened in March by center director Shelly Kerr, clinical director Joseph DeWitz and university lawyer Samantha Hill. The Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners is investigating four UO psychologists, including the two center managers, after Kerr secretly gave the woman’s records to university attorneys in December without seeking her permission or notifying her therapist, Jennifer Morlok.

… But Tobin Klinger, UO senior director of public affairs communications, said the letter reinforced the UO’s policies.

“It is also completely consistent with how the university has always operated,” Klinger said Thursday in an emailed statement.

Asked whether Styles’ letter contradicted UO Counseling Center’s confidentiality policy, and whether the letter might support Morlok’s Bar and Psychology Board complaints, Klinger said: “If those reviewing the approach taken by the university choose to apply the guidance, it will undoubtedly help to validate the actions that were taken.”

The letter of guidance interprets federal laws and regulations in a way that appears to give new impetus to an appeal filed recently by Morlok with the Oregon State Bar. The lawyers’ professional organization dismissed complaints she lodged against UO attorneys Hill and Douglas Park.

Meanwhile Klinger’s new boss Kyle Henley is on his way from Colorado, but UO is still sitting on his job search materials. From what I can tell there was no public job announcement. For the VP for Communications? Not exactly the way to rebuild trust:

Subject: pub rec request VP for Communications info
Date: August 12, 2015 at 10:53:55 AM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Greg Stripp <stripp@uoregon.edu>

Dear Ms Thornton:

This is a public records request for the following documents relevant to the recent hire of a new VP for Communications

1) Job announcement
2) resumes and cover letters for finalists
3) Search committee members

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest. I’m ccing Greg Stripp as he should have these document easily at hand.

8/19/2015: US Dept of Ed moves to close Doug Park’s counseling confidentiality loophole

Some good consequences from the March 2014 basketball rape allegations, and more evidence for why the truth about UO’s extraordinary efforts to hide these allegations from the public and its bungled efforts to deal with them needs to be revealed before UO can put this behind us.

Credit for this proposed change in FERPA should go to UO Professors Jennifer Freyd and Carol Stabile and a gang of other UO faculty, students, OA’s, and staff who used the newspapers, a change.org petition, and a UO Senate resolution to publicize how the UO General Counsel’s office and VP for Student Affairs Robin Holmes had seized Jane Doe’s confidential records from her counselor at the UO Counseling center. Oregonian editorial here. RG editorial and Freyd Op-Ed here.

Meanwhile the OA’s who first reported that the UO GC had taken the records have filed a tort claim against UO alleging that UO has retaliated against them for whistleblowing. And UO AVP for Collaboration Chuck Triplett has been using the fact that the Senate resolution required a temporary suspension of the rules to argue that the Senate is out of control and can’t be trusted with shared governance. Not a smart place to pick a fight, Chuck.

The Chronicle’s story here omits the remarkably difficult and successful effort that led to this proposed policy change:

Student medical records should stay private with only a few, specific exceptions in cases where colleges that are sued need the information to defend themselves, according to draft guidance provided to colleges on Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education.

… Student-privacy protections became a hot-button national issue this year after a University of Oregon student who said she had been raped by three basketball players sued the university, claiming it violated her civil rights when university lawyers pulled her therapy records from a campus counseling center. That case has since been settled.

… After the Oregon case was publicized, mental-health supporters and women’s advocates expressed outrage online and demanded clarification about what the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, known as Ferpa, allows colleges to do with students’ medical records. Ferpa is a federal law that provides privacy protections for student records, and colleges that violate it could lose their eligibility for federal student aid. It also provides assurance of confidentiality to students seeking support after a traumatic event.

“We want to set the expectation that, with respect to litigation between institutions of higher education and students, institutions generally should not share student medical records with school attorneys or courts, without a court order or written consent,” Ms. Styles wrote.

… Nothing in the Education Department’s new guidance indicated that Oregon officials overstepped their authority in accessing the woman’s counseling records. However, its caution that colleges should pull such records only “in the rarest of circumstances,” such as when campus safety is threatened, raises questions about whether such a move was necessary. …

Jane Doe’s therapist and Shelly Kerr’s assistant will sue UO over retaliation

[See below for email update]

Morlok and Stokes deserve enormous respect for telling the truth about the UO General Counsel’s efforts to seize Jane Doe’s confidential counseling records. That revelation let to changes in Oregon law and may lead to changes in federal law as well. And now it seems that UO has retaliated against them.

Rich Read has the story in the Oregonian, here:

A University of Oregon therapist who counseled a woman allegedly gang-raped by three Ducks basketball players has filed a claim with a former colleague accusing the school of unlawful employment practices and violating their First Amendment rights.

In the tort-claim notice sent to the university Tuesday, senior staff therapist Jennifer Morlok and former UO Counseling Center staff member Karen Stokes accuse the school of discriminating and retaliating against them and wrongfully terminating Stokes.

Morlok and Stokes accuse UO Counseling Center managers of undermining their work, ignoring them to the detriment of patients and violating Stokes’ disability rights. The claim serves notice that they will seek damages in a forthcoming lawsuit, likely to be filed in federal court. …

President Schill has said he wants to put the alleged basketball rape and Gottfredson and Coltrane’ response to it behind us. But it seems like there’s a lot more truth that needs to come out first.

The job ad Shelly Kerr posted for a replacement for Karen Stokes is here. Here’s the email that triggered the trouble, and the tort claim notice to UO:

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President Schill’s Q&A with Emerald reporter Kenny Jacoby

8/5/2015: Full interview in the Daily Emerald, here. An excerpt:

Jacoby: You mentioned [in your statement] that you didn’t think any university personnel acted wrongfully. Was the decision to recruit Brandon Austin, who was suspended at a different university for sexual misconduct, a mistake?

Schill: The reason for the settlement was to close the chapter and to move forward. Nothing I say about that matter is going to change anything.

Jacoby: Was the University’s decision to countersue the victim wrong?

Schill: Ditto.

Jacoby: What about accessing Jane Doe’s therapy records?

Schill: Ditto.

Jacoby: Would you have handled the case differently if you were president at the time it happened?

Schill: It’s always easy to second-guess. Ditto.

It’s beginning to look like we’ll still be dealing with this athletic scandal when the next one hits.

But at least he’s talking. Frohnmayer was the last UO president who would regularly answer questions from student reporters. Gottfredson did it once, but got pissy and went back down the bunker when the reporter asked why Dave Hubin was charging student reporters to see public records about their university.

8/4/2014: RG editors call for President Schill to release the records, build some trust. Editorial here:

… If Schill truly wants the university to move past this incident, he should order the release of all records pertaining to the case. If he’s right, those records should support the school’s hard-to-believe claim, for example, that head coach Dana Altman did not know Austin was being investigated for an alleged sexual assault when the athlete transferred from Providence to play for the Ducks. If Schill is right, they should also support the university’s equally hard-to-believe contention that and Athletic Director Rob Mullens did not know the identities of the accused players before the Ducks played in the NCAA Tournament. There are numerous other questions, as well, that the settlement fails to answer for Oregonians who rightly hold the state’s flagship university accountable for its handling of this case.

A decision to make the requested records public could help Schill persuade the university community and others to “move forward” in the aftermath of the case. It would also set a heartening tone of transparency for a new UO president, one that would be a marked departure from the secrecy that has become the disturbing norm at the university for too many years. Schill’s decision to release the settlement document was a good start. Now, he should take the next step.

The university — and the community and state in which it is located — are ready, even eager, to “move forward.” But first they need and deserved the information that allows them to do so in confidence.

Yes. People want to move on because they understand how destructive this has been to UO and they want that over. But they also see this as a powerful event that focused attention and clarified the need for changes in policies and behaviors and beliefs.

I learned so much about what really happens on campus to young women, as a result of conversations sparked by the press coverage – coverage that the UO administration did its best to stop. 

There’s a reason truth comes before reconciliation. Efforts to understand how this event happened, and how UO botched its response, should not end. If nothing else we need to know what went wrong so we do better in the future. As a practical example, what will happen when the next similar incident happens? Will the campus be told, or will we have to learn about it from sports reporters again? 

I don’t think UO can put this behind us while our official response still looks like this:

Update: Ducks, Dana Altman settle basketball rape claim for $940K

Email from loyal UO Matters reader Tobin Klinger:

On TuesdayAug 4, 2015, at 1:19 PM, Tobin Klinger <tklinger@uoregon.edu> wrote:

Bill,

I noticed that you posted President Schill’s letter to campus regarding the settlement agreement. Thank you for helping share the information. 

However, you should know that the settlement will, in fact, be completely covered by the university’s insurance coverage. No funds of the UO Foundation will be involved.

The Register Guard has published this story which may be a helpful reference.

http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/33366922-75/the-university-of-oregon-settles-high-profile-rape-lawsuit.html.csp

Thanks

Tobin

That’s good news about the Foundation money. The Diane Dietz story that Klinger points out is indeed helpful and informative, complete with a timeline. The settlement is for $800K plus a four year full-ride scholarship. Let’s call it $940K, or 1 Gott. The settlement agreement with UO is here. In addition to the money, UO agrees to ask a few more questions about Dana Altman’s future transfer players:

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Klinger also reports there is no separate settlement with Altman:

From: Tobin Klinger <tklinger@uoregon.edu>
Subject: Re: Post
Date: August 4, 2015 at 2:53:46 PM PDT

Bill,

There is no settlement with Dana.

Thanks

Tobin

Update: Letter from President Schill:

Continue reading

President Schill makes yet another sensible decision

It’s a bit early to say that he’s broken the curse of Johnson Hall, but what with the General Counsel’s reorganization, the 5 searches for deans and a new VP for Research, the JH staff reorganization, and now the restart of the problematic search for an Assistant VP for Sexual Assault [sic] announced below, it is starting to look like a possibility. Back on April 2nd I posted this:

Both the Senate Force and Gottfredson/Coltrane’s hand-picked “Independent Review Panel” proposed an independent administrator who could take responsibility for sexual assault prevention and response away from the manipulative VP Robin Holmes and UO’s incompetent Director of Affirmative Action, Penny Daugherty. Those recommendations are here:

Senate Task Force on Sexual Violence Prevention: Website and Final Report.

Gottfredson and Coltrane’s handpicked “independent” review panel. Website and Final Report.

Apparently Coltrane and Bronet did not consult with either group, and let Robin Holmes write the rather unfortunate job title and the job description. The new AVP will be under Holmes’s thumb, and unlikely to challenge her mistakes and obfuscations.

Today President Schill restarted the search. Less offensive title, strong preference for someone with a JD, direct report to the president (another to Robin Holmes, alas) and our famously incompetent Title IX investigator Penny Daugherty will report to whomever is hired. Letter to the faculty below, job ad here:

Revised Posting

Title:  Associate Vice President & Title IX Coordinator (AVP/TIXC)
Department:  Office of the Vice President for Student Life and Office of the President
FTE:  1.0 (full-time)
Appointment Type:  Officer of Administration
Reports to:  Vice President for Student Life and President
Salary range: $105,000-130,000 annually, plus an excellent benefits package
Duration:  12 months, renewable annually
Closing Date:  Search will remain open until filled; application review begins August 17, 2015
Start Date:  negotiable

General Statement of Duties

The Associate Vice President & Title IX Coordinator (AVP/TIXC) reports to the Vice President for Student Life and to the President.    The person in this position will be the senior administrator responsible for coordinating effective campus-wide efforts in compliance with Title IX, including responsibility for overseeing a comprehensive campus-wide strategic plan to reduce sexual assault in all forms, providing supervision of deputy Title IX officers and any Title IX investigations, and for ensuring institutional accountability in effectively responding to reported concerns and complaints.

The AVP/TIXC will supervise the Title IX-related work of the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Complaint Investigation who has primary responsibility for overseeing the investigation and resolution of Title IX reports and complaints, and the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics, who has primary responsibility for overseeing gender equity in athletics. Working across multiple portfolios, the AVP/TIXC will have the authority and expectation to guide efforts and direct staff in order to achieve the University’s objective of reducing or eliminating sexual harassment and sexual violence on campus.

The AVP/TIXC coordinates the Sexual Assault Advisory Council, is the lead administrator for the President’s Title IX Advisory Committee, and is expected to cultivate and maintain strong working relationships with key personnel in all areas of the university, including but not limited to the deputy Title IX coordinators, the Associate Dean of Students/Executive Director for Prevention and Response, and staff in the Office of Affirmative Action, Student Conduct and Community Standards, Dean of Students Office, University Health and Counseling Centers, UOPD and the Office of the General Counsel.

Description of Duties

Leadership:

Coordinate and assess the new Ducks Do Something Initiative designed to fight sexual violence on campus.

With broad collaboration and input, create a comprehensive strategic plan that will guide the university’s efforts to reduce sexual harassment, including sexual assault, stalking, intimate partner and relationship violence, and sex-based bullying (hereafter sexual harassment), in all forms.

Advise the vice president and president on policy and organizational issues regarding all forms of sexual harassment. Assist in establishing priorities and agendas, research issues of importance and sensitivity, and produce briefing materials and information on sexual harassment issues which require the vice president’s or president’s attention.

Serve as the point of contact for coordinating the university’s Title IX efforts and response to all forms of sexual harassment.

Facilitate resolution of problems that cross organizational boundaries; encourage cooperative planning and action, as necessary.

Identify, evaluate, and address systemic sexual harassment issues on campus.  Gather appropriate information and data and develop responsive policy and action recommendations.

Coordinate and monitor special initiatives as determined by the vice president and/or president and ensure timely and successful completion.

Coordination, Communication & Assessment

Responsible for leading the university’s overall strategic planning efforts to reduce, prevent and respond to sexual harassment.

Interact with administrators, faculty, administrative and classified staff to facilitate effective communication between and among administrative, academic and other campus constituencies.

Provide information to staff, faculty, students and members of the community regarding sexual harassment issues as they pertain to applicable rules, laws, policies and procedures.

Ensure alignment and effectiveness of outward and inward facing materials that communicate the university’s sexual assault prevention resources, and response and compliance efforts.

In consultation with other university offices, provide leadership in the development and implementation of ongoing campus-wide climate surveys and other assessment tools to measure the university community’s overall understanding of sexual harassment and gender-based issues and trends.

Lead assessment and reporting efforts regarding campus sexual harassment in order to ensure the campus is aware of prevalence, effectiveness of interventions and programs and trends regarding sexual harassment.

Response to Reported Concerns

Work across multiple portfolios to ensure that the university’s response to all forms of sexual harassment is effective, fair, timely and thorough, and follows all legal and ethical mandates.

Assist in responding to inquiries and complaints from students, parents and other constituencies; determine appropriate course of action; may gather background information for others to make decisions.

Supervise Title IX investigations by working closely with the Deputy Title IX officers and others to ensure effectiveness, responsiveness and compliance with all state and federal regulations regarding sexual harassment/sexual misconduct/gender violence.

Provide case management of complex, high risk issues, and serve as the point of contact when such events occur.

Other Duties

Supervise the Title IX-related work of the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Complaint Investigation and the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics, plus one administrative support position

Responsible for annual reporting of efforts to reduce sexual harassment

Other duties as assigned

The finalist for this position is required to complete a criminal background check.

Required Qualifications

Master’s, JD, or other advanced degree.

Previous experience as a Title IX or deputy Title IX officer or significant experience working directly on Title IX-related issues for a university, or as a civil rights attorney who has worked on matters concerning Title IX and/or issues of sexual harassment.  Demonstrated knowledge of and ability to interpret federal and state non-discrimination laws and regulations, including Title IX, sexual harassment and other applicable laws and regulations is required as is experience in complaint resolution, investigations and grievances.

Knowledge of sexual harassment/sexual violence grievance procedures in a higher education setting.

Minimum of 5 years of executive, administrative, legal, or management experience.

Ability to work with time-sensitive matters and meet strict deadlines.

Exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively and interact effectively with an organization’s leadership, faculty, staff, students and community/government agencies.

Outstanding written and verbal communication skills and the ability to present to small and large groups.

Strong analytical and critical thinking skills and ability to analyze, summarize, and effectively present data.

Demonstrated leadership, organizational, and management skills and the ability to prioritize multiple projects.

Ability to manage multiple, on-going and issues, complaints and incidents.

Demonstrated experience with and/or commitment to working effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds, in support of an inclusive and welcoming environment.

Preferred Experience & Education:

A JD degree is strongly preferred.

Experience in a higher education or regulatory compliance setting.

Experience facilitating and evaluating professional development opportunities focused on sexual misconduct/sexual violence.

Experience investigating and resolving complaints alleging sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual assault or sexual violence.

Knowledge of assessment practices involving evaluation of outcomes-based measures and campus climate surveys.

President Schill’s 7/20/2015 letter:

Colleagues,

The university remains focused on the safety of our students and is committed to ending sexual violence on campus. The search for an individual to lead the university’s efforts in this critical area has been an important topic on campus for some time and we have benefited both from the suggestions and robust discussion that ensued.

Today we are relaunching the search with a fortified job description designed to increase autonomy and strengthen the chosen candidate’s ability to coordinate efforts. The position has been elevated and will be titled Associate Vice President and Title IX Coordinator, with an important increase in desired qualifications and compensation.

This individual will be responsible for coordinating effective campus-wide efforts in compliance with Title IX and overseeing a comprehensive campus-wide strategic plan to reduce sexual violence in all forms. The updated position description is available here. We fully believe that the enhancements that have been made will attract a pool of candidates that will help us achieve our common goals in dealing with this critical issue.

The ideal candidate will need strong experience in working across portfolios to bring together the campus community to focus on shifting the culture, while being a model for responsiveness to the needs of survivors. To assist us in finding the best possible individual for this role, we will engage a search firm with expertise in recruiting in this highly competitive field.

With joint accountability to the president and the vice president of student life, the new position marks the beginning of a new approach to an issue that has challenged college campuses across the country. It is a critical hire as we develop a comprehensive approach based in best practices and thorough assessment of our programs and services.

There is nothing more important than the safety of the students we serve. We have excellent programs that are making a significant difference right now, but we must do more. That starts with leadership and providing the additional resources to end sexual violence on our campus.

Together, we can make significant progress on this issue. We owe it to our students and their families.

Sincerely, Michael H. Schill, President

Robin H. Holmes, Vice President for Student Life

Story on Jane Doe’s lawyers John Clune and Baine Kerr

Long, very interesting story on the attorneys who are representing the survivor of the alleged basketball gang rape, and the effects their cases have had on campus culture and policy, in the WaPo here:

The phone calls come in waves, sometimes one or two a week, sometimes eight or 10. Women, mostly college students, call from across the country to a law firm in this city on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains.

Their stories vary, but usually share similarities: a rape, an indifferent police officer, a fumbled response by the school.

They’re either calling for John Clune, the lawyer who helped rape accusers take on star athletes Kobe Bryant, Johan Santana and Jameis Winston; or they’re calling for his coworker, Baine Kerr, whose landmark lawsuits on behalf of women who said athletes raped them at the University of Colorado and Arizona State ended with massive settlements.

Clune and Kerr are widely recognized as the best lawyers in the country for victims of sex crimes at colleges, with an expertise in high-profile cases involving athletes. They currently represent women suing Florida State University, the University of Oregon, and the University of Tulsa — all asserting the schools are financially liable for sex crimes committed by athletes — and are also suing Winston, the former Florida State star and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, on behalf of his accuser.

Over the past 15 years, these two lawyers — and a troubling number of athletes — have played starring roles in cases that have triggered a seismic change in how American colleges handle reports of sex crimes. …

University ignores sunk costs, cancels intentionally crippled AAU rape survey

6/15/2015 update:  That would be UC-Boulder. The Chronicle has the report here.

5/27/2015 update: Asking Too Much, or Not Enough?

Jake New has the latest in InsideHigherEd, here:

… The questions asked students if they had ever experienced a number of specific sexual activities without their consent, describing those actions with words and phrases such as “oral sex” and “penetration,” and defining the terms using definitions such as “when a person puts a penis, finger or object inside someone else’s vagina or anus.”

… At Penn, some students also complained that they didn’t realize the survey was about sexual assault, as it was referred to as a “climate survey,” as these kinds of surveys commonly are. Thinking the survey was about climate change, the students claimed, they deleted the email. The university declined to comment on the complaints, and said it does not plan on releasing its response rate until the fall. Harvard had a response rate of 52 percent, thanks in part to a large ad campaign on campus, including a video message from Harvard graduate Conan O’Brien.

I still think John Bonine’s Chronicle op-ed (below) is the most serious critique, because it points out that the AAU will hide the college identifiers that would allow researchers to figure out what policies are most effective at reducing sexual assaults. And the new report points to a new problem along those lines. The AAU has allowed campuses to use wildly different strategies to encourage students to complete the survey, and the resulting differences in response rates and who responds will further complicate any such efforts.

4/17/2015 update: VP Robin Holmes kicks off intentionally crippled $87K AAU rape survey
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