University of Montana Reaches a Settlement on Policies Relating to Sexual Assault and Prevention

montana2The University of Montana has signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Eduction regarding the university’s policies to prevent and deal with issues of sexual assault and harassment on campus.

After a series of sexual assaults on campus and allegations that the university did not adequately respond to these incidents, the federal government launched an extensive investigation of the university’s handling of sexual assault complaints and on its policies, procedures,, training, and student education efforts regarding sexual assault and prevention.

Under the agreement the university agreed to:

  • Revise the its policies, procedures and investigative practices to provide a grievance procedure that ensures prompt and equitable resolution of sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations;
  • Adequately investigate and respond to allegations of retaliation by students who have alleged sexual assault;
  • Take sufficient effective action to fully eliminate a hostile environment based on sex, prevent its recurrence and address its effects;
  • Ensure that the individuals designated to coordinate its Title IX efforts receive adequate training and coordinate these efforts effectively;
  • Revise its notice of nondiscrimination to adequately inform students that sex discrimination is prohibited.
  • Implement or revise policies, provide training and change practices to improve its response to sexual assault, including combating gender bias;
  • Work with an independent monitor, community-based organizations and other stakeholders, to develop and implement the reforms described in the agreement and to evaluate the university’s Office of Public Safety’s success in effecting meaningful reform;
  • Demonstrate that its implementation of the agreement has eliminated a pattern or practice of constitutional violations and that it has put in place systems and oversight that will prevent patterns or practices of unconstitutional conduct from recurring; and
  • Develop procedures for gathering and analyzing data to assess the incidence and outcomes of reports of sexual assault.

Michael W. Corter, U.S. Attorney for Montana, stated, “Through these agreements, President Engstrom and the University of Montana staff have embraced change, not the status quo – they are problem solvers. They are to be commended for developing and implementing a plan to resolve safety issues at the university. The agreements entered into between the United States and the University of Montana, when fully implemented, will ensure that a safe living and learning environment will exist at the university where our children will be well educated, nurtured and where they will be allowed to achieve their full potential in a wholesome academic setting.”

Filed Under: NewsSexual Assault/Harassment


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply