Oct. 8, 2019
Dear Members of the Campus Community,
As you all know, over the last 15 months I have encouraged members of our community to come forward with any information related to sexual harassment or assault at Holy Cross, and I have committed that the College will look into each and every report and into any recurring, interconnected, or environmental issues. That work is underway and ongoing. I am writing about one specific reported concern today.
You may have seen an article published by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette over the weekend in which an alumna reported that she had discussed a concern with her class dean and alleges that the College’s response at the time and subsequently may not have been appropriate. Her class dean is currently our provost, Margaret Freije.
The College will launch a thorough and impartial investigation into this report. The focus of the investigation will be on what was communicated to Provost Freije, and whether she has acted appropriately and responsibly in light of any claims that may have been communicated to her. Provost Freije has made it very clear to me that she welcomes this investigation and supports my sharing this information with you.
At my request, the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees will retain an expert, who has not previously worked with the College, to conduct the investigation and to report directly to the Executive Committee of the Board.
Provost Freije has asked that someone else be charged with day-to-day oversight of the work of the deans as this investigation proceeds so that the academic work of the College may continue without distraction. I appreciate and support her decision. I have appointed Loren Cass to serve as acting Dean of the College, effective October 15. During this period Provost Freije will continue to oversee admissions and financial aid, strategic initiatives, and other administrative offices and functions, and continue as a member of the Executive Team.
This investigation, and all investigations we undertake, can only be effective and credible if we follow established processes and continue to extend our respect to those who have come forward and all who participate in matters related to misconduct. We must continue to let the processes play out. In the meantime, the important work of the College and educating our students must remain our focus and continue unabated.
I understand that you will have many concerns about how we as a campus move through this period, and I will do my best to answer them. I invite you to join me at an open meeting at 12:00 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, October 9 in The Hub. I will also address the community on Monday, October 21. I will send more information about that address in the days to come.
Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J.