Campus Climate Action Steps

From: Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., President
To: Holy Cross Campus Community
February 12, 2019

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

The work that we began last semester around sexual respect and conduct remains a priority, and I want to update you on the status of some of the items I announced over the past few months. I also want to keep you informed about the events of last week and the positive and productive discussions members of the Executive Team and I had with a group of students about campus climate issues, Title IX and the Professor Dustin matter.

There is a lot of information here and at the links, as my goal is to be both transparent and informative.

1. Planning Groups:

2. Campus Climate Website: This morning we launched a website which outlines the action steps the College is taking related to campus climate.

3. Next Update on Review of College’s Climate, Structures and Policies:

  • By March 1, I will be sending the college community the next update regarding the review of the College’s climate, structures and policies being undertaken by Phil Catanzano of Holland & Knight.
  • For reference, you may see my initial update here.

4. Sexual Misconduct Policy & Procedures

  • The review of the policy and procedures will begin later this month, and will be coordinated by a committee of faculty, students and administrators, working with an external expert. There will be many opportunities for community input during the process.
  • I will be working with Professor Miles Cahill, Speaker of the Faculty, to ensure that the work of the ad hoc committee established by the Academic Governance Council is included in this review.
  • Provost Freije will ask the AGC and the ad hoc committee to consider questions regarding interim measures to be put in place pending an investigation of a faculty member and sanctions that are appropriate for faculty members found responsible for violation of our sexual misconduct or discriminatory harassment policies. She outlined this step and and others in an email to faculty yesterday.
  • Members of the administration and student leaders are working together to consider ways to improve and simplify how the Sexual Misconduct Policy is presented online, and to educate the campus community about the process itself.

5. New Training:

  • This semester, all members of faculty and staff will be receiving in-person training on sexual and discriminatory harassment, maintaining professional boundaries and identifying potential grooming behavior. Training on these issues will also be offered to students.

6. Communication:

  • Members of the Executive Team continue to work with student leaders of the sit-in on issues of communication and disclosure regarding investigations, both ongoing and closed.
  • The administration will develop and post on the new website an FAQ based on questions received from student leaders of the sit-in.

7. Climate Survey: We will launch the campus climate surveys for students, faculty and staff just after our March break.

I am committed to moving these items forward with a sense of urgency. Throughout the semester, you can expect to hear regular updates as we continue the work to ensure Holy Cross lives up to the high expectations we all have for it.