Comprehensive Investigation Oversight Committee

Introduction

The Comprehensive Investigation Oversight Committee (“CIOC”), consisting of representatives of the Board of Trustees, faculty and administration, will maintain this webpage to provide background, updates and contact information related to the investigation.

Background

In 2018, allegations of faculty sexual misconduct were reported at Holy Cross. In response, the College examined and took steps to address the culture, structures and procedures that may have allowed misconduct to occur, strengthened the College’s sexual misconduct policy, provided boundary training for faculty and staff who engage with students and encouraged reporting of any prior instances of misconduct. Nevertheless, members of the community believed that there was value to be gained by authorizing a comprehensive investigation that might provide the College with additional information.

In May 2021, the Board of Trustees approved a Comprehensive Investigation into Faculty Sexual Misconduct. The purpose of this additional investigation is to recommend evidence-based actions to improve culture, restore trust, acknowledge accountability and decrease student vulnerability as related to faculty sexual misconduct. This new investigation will be overseen by a Comprehensive Investigation Oversight Committee (“CIOC”) consisting of two representatives from each of the Board of Trustees, faculty and administration.

The trustees, administration, faculty and staff of the College agree that the safety of our students is of fundamental importance at Holy Cross. We hope that this additional investigation will help us to further improve protections for students, address cultural concerns, rebuild trust and allow the community to move forward together.

Communications

Board of Trustees Letter to Faculty and Staff - May 18, 2021 (PDF)

CIOC Membership - October 20, 2021

Investigation Launch- February 3, 2022

Scope of the Investigation

Scope document (PDF)

Committee Members

  • Nancy E. Andrews Ph.D, Associate Professor, Classics; Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies
  • Nancy R. Baldiga CPA, Professor, Economics and Accounting
  • J. Christopher Collins, Esq. ’80, Member of the Board of Trustees; Of Counsel, Mirick O’Connell
  • Michele C. Murray Ph.D, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
  • Donna Murphy O’Brien ’77, Member of the Board of Trustees; President, Strategic Visions in Healthcare
  • Daniel P. Ricciardi ’06, Associate Vice President for Investments and Institutional Resources

Advised by attorney Michael E. Baughman of Troutman Pepper.

Contact Information

To contact the Committee, please email CIOC@holycross.edu.

The CIOC welcomes input from the community and takes very seriously all information we receive. Any information provided to the Committee will be shared with the investigative team, whom the College has retained to conduct the investigation. Contact information for the investigative team is below. Additionally, to assure that the College can respond appropriately the CIOC will share any allegations of sexual misconduct with the Office of Title IX and Equal Opportunity. Derek Debobes, Director of Title IX and Equal Opportunity, may be reached directly by email or telephone at ddebobes@holycross.edu (508-793-3336).

The College seeks to empower all members of its community to speak with Ms. Smith and Ms. Gomez if they wish to do so, and it will place no restrictions on the ability of community members to share information with the investigators.  If you have any questions about these issues, we encourage you to raise them with the investigators.

Investigative Team

The investigation will be conducted by Gina Maisto Smith and Leslie Gomez of Cozen O’Connor in Philadelphia. Ms. Smith and Ms. Gomez serve as the chair and vice-chair, respectively, of Cozen O’Connor’s Institutional Response Group, the nation’s first practice dedicated to improving institutional responses to sexual and gender-based harassment and violence, child abuse, other forms of discrimination and harassment, workplace misconduct and criminal conduct.

You may reach the investigation team by email or telephone at gmsmith@cozen.com / (215)-665-5540 or lgomez@cozen.com / (215)-665-5546.

Campus Visit

Ms. Leslie Gomez, one of the lead investigators from the Cozen O'Connor team, will visit campus on April 7th and 8th. Open listening sessions will be held as follows: 

Students
Thursday, April 7th - 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in Hogan 406(7)

Faculty/Staff
Thursday, April 7th - 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. in Hogan 401

Friday, April 8th - 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. in Hogan 401

Wednesday, April 13 - 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ZOOM (link provided via email invitation)