Dear Members of the Brown Community,
I am writing to share the findings of the first assessment of the progress toward implementing last year’s Sexual Assault Task Force (SATF) recommendations.
Last fall, I charged the Title IX Oversight and Advisory Board (Title IX OAB) to review and make recommendations concerning Brown University’s policies, programs and initiatives designed to address sexual and gender-based harassment, sexual violence, and relationship and interpersonal violence and stalking. The Title IX OAB is responsible for conducting a review every three years, beginning with the spring of 2016, of the progress Brown has made in implementing the recommendations of the 2014-15 Sexual Assault Task Force.
The assessment document reviews the significant changes to policies and processes in the 2015-2016 academic year, as well as the effects of the numerous Title IX-related changes on the Brown community. The report also includes specific recommendations related to the Title IX Office. I encourage all members of the Brown community to read this review. These findings and recommendations will be discussed in numerous faculty, staff and student meetings.
On Tuesday, October 18, the Title IX OAB review will be presented and discussed at the meeting of the Brown University Community Council (BUCC). The meeting takes place from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Kasper Multipurpose Room of the Stephen Robert Campus Center. I hope many of you will join this important and welcome discussion.
Offices across campus already have begun to address some of the recommendations highlighted in Title IX OAB document. The Division of Campus Life and Student Services is requesting financial support for a third SHARE Advocate to increase the number of confidential resources on campus, as well as provide broader outreach and educational support. The Faculty Executive Committee has started a conversation about whether or not all faculty should be designated as “responsible employees” (required to report knowledge of instances of sexual misconduct). In addition, we have made some adjustments to the University “Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Violence, Relationship and Interpersonal Violence and Stalking Policy,” including refining the description of consent and addressing procedural issues to ensure equity to all.
In addition to the Title IX OAB review, there are two other reports related to issues of Title IX that contain information and data about complaints and disposition of reports.
- The Department of Public Safety on October 1 released its Annual Security Report in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act).
- On October 11, the Title IX Office issued the first Annual Outcome Report 2015-2016, which includes information on sexual misconduct data involving students. This report stems from a recommendation in the SATF Final Report.
I want to thank Dr. Michelle Cyr for her service as chair last year, the members of the Title IX Oversight and Advisory Board for their commitment, care, and respect for this work, and Professor Laurel Bestock for stepping into the chair role this year. I also extend deep appreciation to the many dedicated students, faculty, and staff who continue to contribute to Brown’s commitment to this critical work.
Christina H. Paxson
Professor of Economics and Public Policy