Many of Brown's current policies and procedures in the area of gender violence, harassment and sexual misconduct were informed by the work of a Brown University Task Force on Sexual Assault.

Brown President Christina Paxson established the task force at the end of the 2013-14 academic year.

The 23-member task force of students, faculty and staff began its work in the fall of 2014 and ultimately drafted a proposed policy on sexual and gender-based violence and harassment that defined prohibited conduct and provided clear procedures for reporting, investigating, considering and resolving allegations of prohibited conduct.

The task force also report highlighted several recommendations for initiatives that included raising awareness about issues of sexual violence, centralizing prevention and enforcement efforts in one office, training investigators, and increasing education, among other initiatives. This followed a set of interim recommendations that Brown President Christina Paxson accepted for implementation before submission of the final report.

These included clarifying information available online about policies and support services, taking steps to improve the hearing process to make it less traumatic, adopting a trained-investigator model for cases of alleged sexual misconduct between students, limiting the appeals process to within 30 days, updating the rights and responsibilities for students filing a complaint or responding to a complaint, and a number of other measures, including those relating to sanctioning, separation, and appeals.

In May 2015, President Christina Paxson announced that the University would move forward on all recommendations outlined by the University's Sexual Assault Task Force in the executive summary of its April 2015 final report. The work of the task force concluded at that time, though an oversight board was formed to ensure progress on the approved recommendations.

The 2014 Task Force on Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault Task Force Members

  • Michele Cyr, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for Biology and Medicine, Co-Chair 
  • Russell Carey, Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy, Co-Chair 
  • Lindsay Orchowski, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior 
  • James Valles, Professor of Physics 
  • Gretchen Schultz, Professor of French Studies 
  • Jason Sello, Associate Professor of Chemistry 
  • Kirstin Boswell-Ford, Associate University Chaplain 
  • Mary Grace Almandrez, Director of the Brown Center for Students of Color  
  • Jack Hayes, Director of Athletics and Recreation 
  • Liza Cariaga-Lo, Vice President for Academic Development, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Carolan Norris, Associate Director of Athletics
  • Gail Cohee, Director the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center and Assistant Dean of the College
  • Bita Shooshani, former coordinator of sexual assault prevention and advocacy and current Psychotherapist at Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Lauren Stewart '15 
  • Katherine Byron '15 
  • Justice Gaines '16 
  • Yvonne Yu '14.5 
  • Sara Matthiesen ‘GS, American Studies
  • Brooke Lamperd ‘GS, History
  • Erin Wu MD’17

Staff to the Task Force 

  • Francie Mantak, Director of Health Promotion 
  • Michael Grabo, Associate Counsel, Office of the Vice President & General Counsel