Briefly Stated: Report diagnoses causes of sexual assault mishandling at UAF
Kyrie Long / Sun Star
A report released by University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen identified the causes of UAF’s failure to comply with Title IX regulations as the results of the policies of the previous dean of students, deficient understanding of previous information regarding Title IX and lack of administrative oversight. Jeffrey M. Feldman and Kristin Anger, two attorneys employed by Summit Law Group, compiled the “Public Report on Administrative Response to UAF Title IX Issues,” which was released on April 22.
The review was conducted following issues with Title IX compliance within the UAF infrastructure. Of 18 witnesses gathered by investigators to be interviewed regarding UAF policy and conduct, former UAF Dean of Students Don Foley is the only one who declined an interview. Foley retired in May 2015, before the Board of Regents and Johnsen commissioned the independent report.
Following the release of the report, Interim Chancellor Mike Powers emailed students regarding results.
“There were no surprises in the review. It reiterates what we already knew and what I shared with you back in October: For a period of time, we failed to follow our own student discipline policies for the most serious violations of the student code of conduct, including sexual assault,” Powers’ email stated.
While Powers recognized marked changes, including the Title IX training offered to students and employees alike. However, there is still work to be done in order to improve Title IX compliance campus-wide, he said.
Compliance to Title IX, a law that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual identity, has been an ongoing issue on college campuses. Following a 2011 letter regarding Title IX released by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, policy and procedure changes were outlined to help universities reach Title IX compliance.