University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
Title "Chronicle of Higher Education, Title IX Tracker:University of Montana at Missoula "
Date Dec 27, 2018
Author Chronicle of Higher Education
External Link https://projects.chronicle.com/titleix/campus/University-of-Montana-at-Missoula/
Abstract Collects documents from Department of Education OCR Title IX investigation. Campus Context: "Sexual assault gained attention on the campus after reports in the fall of 2011 that two female students had been sexually assaulted, allegedly by football players. The university hired a former state Supreme Court justice to investigate, and the following spring, after she found that the university “appears to have a gap in reporting sexual assaults,” the university system's Board of Regents announced an investigation of several further reports, and the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education began formal reviews.
Under public scrutiny for how it handled sexual-assault allegations involving athletes, the university fired its football coach and athletic director in early 2012. A few months later, the institution announced that an administrator who had drawn controversy for an email asking if a female student could have violated the university’s student-conduct code by speaking out about being raped would step down.
The institution has affirmed its commitment to victims of sexual assault, collected resources online, held forums on preventing sexual assault, and introduced a mandatory online training program for students (before such training became a federal requirement) on the definitions of sexual assault and consent, as well as tips on bystander intervention and resources for victims.
“I want this university to emerge as an institution that recognized a problem and came out as a national leader in addressing that problem,” the university’s president, Royce C. Engstrom, said as the federal investigation was resolved in 2013. “We are on our way.”
A book by Jon Krakauer in April 2015 detailed the circumstances surrounding several alleged sexual assaults in Missoula from 2010 to 2012 and chronicled the many failings of local law-enforcement officials in investigating and prosecuting the cases. It focused more on public officials than on administrators, but the author noted how universities are “so willing to abandon the welfare of their students to protect their brand” and to abuse federal student privacy law to avoid accountability.
The state of Montana paid $245,000 in February 2016 to settle claims by a former football player who was criminally charged with rape but acquitted in 2013. He argued (and had reportedly drafted a lawsuit alleging) that the university mishandled its investigation, predetermining his guilt and recommending his expulsion, though after an appeal to the state’s commissioner of higher education, the player was not expelled. State officials believe the university acted appropriately but chose not to re-open the high-profile case, a lawyer told the Associated Press."
Source Chronicle of Higher Education


This Resource Relates To
case Department of Education OCR Title IX Investigation of University of Montana-Missoula (ED-MT-0001)

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