On July 14 I shared with you the report and recommendations of the independent Title IX Working Group that I appointed to review the College’s policies and practices regarding sexual misconduct and sexual assault. Thank you to everyone who reviewed the report and shared their thoughts regarding its contents.
After studying the report and the sixty-seven comments that were submitted, I am writing now to say that St. Olaf will swiftly implement the thoughtful, comprehensive, and measured recommendations of the report.
As we begin to implement these recommendations, we may identify slightly different paths than the Working Group did to achieve the goal of one or more of the recommendations, but we are absolutely committed to achieving the purpose and intent of every recommendation. To ensure that happens, I have consulted and will continue to consult along the way with Regent Tim Maudlin, who led the Working Group and who chairs the Board’s Audit Committee. The Audit Committee’s Charter includes overseeing the College’s process for monitoring compliance with laws and regulations. We will be completely transparent about the implementation process: you can follow our progress in implementation in real time by checking for updates on the Title IX page of the College’s website beginning August 1.
Ongoing oversight and engagement by the Board of Regents will also occur through regular reporting by the Title IX Coordinator to the Board’s Community Life Committee. The President of our Student Government Association this coming academic year served on the Working Group, which provides a well-lit path for ongoing student engagement with the implementation process.
It is important to affirm that even after the recommendations have been implemented, our policies and practices regarding Title IX will continue to evolve. St. Olaf is a learning organization committed to continuous improvement.
I want to express my heartfelt thanks to the members of the Title IX Working Group for the commitment and diligence they brought to this task, for the care they display throughout their report for the welfare of our students, and for the research-based and reasoned approach they took to a difficult and emotionally fraught topic.
There is no place for sexual misconduct or sexual assault at St. Olaf College. We are determined to prevent them from occurring, to stop them if they do occur, and to ameliorate their effects. Thank you for reading this message, and thank you for your care for our college.
David R. Anderson ’74
St. Olaf College