College Seeks Independent Title IX Audit
Dear Members of the Kenyon Community,
As I expressed yesterday, we as a community and as an institution must create an environment where every student has the right to pursue their education, growth and development without obstacles created by sexual assault and where each student is assured a fair and equitable process for a resolution.
We have confidence in the Title IX policy and procedures that were put in place on July 1, 2015, and developed with input from all corners of the campus community, with the help of legal counsel and experts in the field and with the approval of the Campus Senate, the faculty and the Kenyon College Board of Trustees. Notwithstanding this, over the past two days, some have raised serious questions about our policies and practices, and I believe that the best way to respond is with an honest, independent and thorough assessment. To accomplish this, Kenyon will engage an independent firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of the College’s Title IX policy, procedures and outcomes. Findings and recommendations from this review will be shared with the community at the conclusion of the process.
This audit will encompass a comprehensive review and analysis of our approach to our Title IX and Violence Against Women’s Act policy (kenyon.edu/title-ix-policy). The independent audit will gather feedback from all campus constituencies, evaluate our policies and procedures for handling cases, review our prevention, training and education efforts, and examine cases and related data. Direct input and feedback from all members of the campus community, including students, will be collected. Although this audit will confidentially review case files, such an audit cannot be a reinvestigation and existing decisions will not be overturned. I also want to emphasize that the privacy of everyone involved will be carefully maintained.
While we do have confidence in our policies and procedures, our review and refinement of the policy and procedures is never done. Work on engaging a firm and designing a process is beginning immediately. I will update the campus community on progress soon.
The safety, health and wellness of our students is my paramount concern, and I encourage anyone who has suffered from sexual violence to reach out to our Office for Civil Rights staff, our Health and Counseling Center and our Sexual Misconduct Advisors.
Sean Decatur, President