Before we get to the reconciliation, let’s have some truth:
UO’s VP for Student Affairs Robin Holmes was in the loop from the beginning on the March 2014 basketball rape allegations, and she was a strong defender of Mike Gottfredson’s efforts to hide the situation from the campus and give coach Dana Altman a chance to transfer the players off to some other unsuspecting school.
The story explaining how strategic communicators Rita Radostitz, Jennifer Winters and Tobin Klinger ghost-wrote Robin Holmes’ op-ed to the RG defending the secrecy is here. VP for Enrollment Roger Thompson was also on board. (Full disclosure: these documents came from the unredacted UO Presidential Archives.)
A few days before that, The RG had a report on Jennifer Freyd’s proposed sexual assault survey. The UO administration was not in favor of this. Not at all:
UO Vice President for Student Affairs Robin Holmes said in an email that she worried that the survey could produce “confirmation bias in the results,” alleging that some of Freyd’s questions seek to prove what Freyd thinks about the university’s sexual violence policies, which would skew the data.
Holmes wrote in an email to Freyd last week that she was concerned that the survey could be overwhelming to victims, who may become upset when answering detailed questions about their experience with sexual violence. She also worried that Freyd was focusing too much on the behavior of male, rather than female, perpetrators.
After the UO board paid Gottfredson $940K to leave town, things got a little better under Interim President Scott Coltrane. While Coltrane signed on to pay the AAU $85K for President Hunter Rawlings III’s politically motivated, intentionally crippled, and euphemistically labeled “campus climate survey”, after a lot of work Freyd was also able to get UO funding for her survey from Coltrane.
We’re still waiting for the AAU to post any results – even just the censored ones they’ve promised. Meanwhile, the results of Professor Freyd’s first wave came out in October 2014. They were a complete shock – to those who had their head in the sand. And Freyd has now released results from her second survey.
Diane Dietz’s RG report is here:
Female graduate students at the University of Oregon are significantly less likely than female undergraduates to be raped while in school, according to the latest “campus climate” survey.
While 13 percent of UO female undergraduate students surveyed reported they were raped, just 4 percent of female graduate students reported being raped.
That was among the more encouraging news in the survey results presented by UO psychology professor Jennifer Freyd on Monday at the 20th International Summit & Training on Violence, Abuse & Trauma in San Diego.
The survey also found that 38 percent of female graduate students reported that a faculty member harassed them with behaviors such as telling sexual jokes, making offensive remarks about a student’s appearance or being condescending to a female student because of her sex.
One in five University of Oregon undergraduate women say they’ve been raped, sexually assaulted or evaded some form of sexual intrusion since starting school in Eugene.
A survey released Monday by the university found that 27 percent of female UO students say they’ve endured at least one non-consensual sexual incident. Twenty percent say they’ve been victims of completed or attempted rape or other type of sexual victimization.
“These numbers are tragic,” said UO psychology professor Jennifer Freyd, the study’s lead researcher. “There is a huge cost in feeling unsafe. Women are bearing this cost all the time. It reduces the resources that they have for other activities.”
Meanwhile, from reading VP Robin Holmes’s enthusiastic comments in Around the 0 today, you’d almost think Freyd’s survey was her idea:
“This kind of survey information is critically important to our understanding of students’ experiences and their understanding of the services we have available to help them,” Holmes said. “We will continue to use climate surveys to assess our progress and make improvements, as part of our ongoing initiatives.”
Of course she’d say that. She’s got a new boss, and his agenda apparently does not involve hiding the extent of the campus sexual violence problem and covering up UO’s past desultory efforts to deal with it:
“I am grateful that Jennifer Freyd has done research to provide us with important insight into this pressing matter,” said UO President Michael H. Schill. “While the results do not surprise me and are not inconsistent with data from other universities, that does not mean that they are acceptable. To the contrary, any amount of sexual violence on campus is too much. I look forward to analyzing the data and working with our faculty, administrators and students to combat the problem.”
There are many takeaways from this story, but one of the more obvious is that you should never believe what Robin Holmes tells you. She let UO’s PR flacks publish an RG Op-Ed under her name, and she changes her story to suit whatever her boss wants her to say.