Update on College's Review of Culture, Structure and Procedures

From: Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., President
To: Members of the Campus Community
November 14, 2018

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

At the start of this semester I told you we had engaged Phil Catanzano, senior counsel at Holland & Knight, to undertake a review of the culture, structure and procedures at the College to prevent future sexual misconduct. I would like to update you on the findings thus far in this ongoing review and how we are addressing those findings.  

I met with Mr. Catanzano again last week and he walked me through the conversations he has had with faculty and staff, what he has heard and learned, and his recommendations on some important next steps that we can pursue right now. Many of you have already engaged in the review. I am grateful to you for your participation and your candor. We undertook this process to identify and address systemic issues or situations that create opportunities for individuals to engage in sexual misconduct, and its success is dependent on your participation. 

In the attached document (PDF) you will find a summary of Mr. Catanzano’s findings and recommendations and how the College is responding to them.  The attached document (PDF) also contains information about other related work the College is doing, which I hope you will find helpful and informative.  I will continue to provide periodic updates on the Holland & Knight review and, at its conclusion, I will share with the campus community a summary report with timelines for resulting actions and status on actions already taken.

We do have other challenges facing our community today, many of which fall outside of the specific scope of the Holland & Knight review. We have seen troubling incidents of bias within our community this semester, which must be addressed. We have heard a call for better and more effective communication and greater transparency, which we will address. This does not mean that we will necessarily be able to share more details of every situation, but we recognize the need to do a better job of keeping you updated, explaining the criteria that inform decisions, and providing opportunities for discussion and feedback.

We all need to engage in discussions about our culture, the issues facing our campus and the nation, and how we communicate with each other. We need to work together to build the community of respect and inclusion which our mission and our values demand of us.  I recognize that many members of our community have been doing this work for a long time. It is difficult and challenging, and I thank you. 

As you know, this Friday, November 16, we will be taking a very important step toward building the inclusive and respectful community we all desire here at Holy Cross. I appreciate the many suggestions that we have received for moving our community forward. The ENGAGE Summit is the result of those suggestions and has been shepherded by a group of dedicated students, faculty and staff. The goal is to engage our entire community in learning and brainstorming ways to move forward and better support each other. I know many of you have been involved already and many more are planning sessions for the Summit, and I am grateful for your efforts and engagement. I urge all of you to participate on Friday afternoon. Please watch for an upcoming email from ENGAGE Summit with more information and a detailed schedule.

This community is extraordinary, but in order to attain our vision we must not only identify the areas where we need to do better; we must actually do better. I believe that working together we can. Please join me.