In September, the College engaged the law firm of Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP to conduct a review of our handling of reports of sexual misconduct. Specifically, this review will examine our compliance with the legal obligations of Title IX, including a retrospective review of the College’s Title IX practices to identify any long-standing issues of non-compliance. The higher education practice group of the firm is leading the review and reporting to the College president and the Board of Trustees. The firm has a long history of working with institutions to improve how they handle reports of sexual misconduct.
Phase one and phase two of this external review have been completed. Phase one included a look at the policies put into place to respond to the change in federal regulations that went into effect in August 2020. Phase two involved a complete review of all the College’s Title IX case files.
Phase three has now begun and will include interviews with the College community, including employees, as well as current and former students.
The external review will provide a valuable resource to the College in strengthening and improving its Title IX practices.
In addition, the Task Force on Campus Culture continues its important work. The task force meets regularly, and members have been tasked with “examining our current programming and recommending additional work we can do to improve campus culture on consent and respect.” The task force’s charge is to compile recommendations that take into account best practices for student life and campus culture while reflecting the community values of the college’s Honor Code and the uniqueness of the Randolph College learning experience.
It is the College’s goal to take firm, decisive, and evidence-based measures to reduce incidents of assault and harassment, while continuing to provide a broad range of support services for our students, faculty, and staff, and cultivating a culture of respect for the Randolph College community. Currently, the task force is working on a lengthy set of recommendations that deal with issues ranging from education and training to messaging both on and off campus. The members are engaged in working to find ways to make the College’s processes clearer and more easily accessible, to outline more clearly what Title IX covers and what it does not, as well as what other avenues are available to students, and to rebuild trust within the community. The task force is also looking forward to seeing the Campus Climate Survey that will be undertaken. The plan is to have a set of recommendations—large and small, short-term and longer-term, practical and aspirational—to the president by late spring