Columbia, MO -- The Chancellor of the University of Missouri has issued a response to the report issued by the law firm Dowd Bennett regarding how the University handled a sexual assault allegation by a former student-athlete who later committed suicide.
R. Bowen Loftin says he accepts the findings which conclude that, though there was no intentional mishandling of the allegation by then-Missouri swimmer Sasha Menu Courey, the University did not follow proper Title IX guidelines in reporting the alleged assault to the campus Title IX coordinator.
Title IX guidelines were established by the Office of Civil Rights to advise agencies receiving federal funding how to protect against gender discrimination. The Dowd Bennett report also concluded that the University had not done enough to educate the staff on legal responsibilities as it relates to Title IX compliance.
Loftin says the safety, security and health of the students are the most important priorities. The Chancellor also expressed his sympathy to the family and friends of Menu Courey saying "Although nothing will bring her back, we can move forward and honor her memory by making sure that MU is accountable and responsible.
Loftin says the University is implementing the plan put forth by President Timothy Wolfe who has directed all four campuses to conduct a comprehensive review of all sexual assault and mental health resources available to students, staff and faculty and then to re-educate them about those resources.
In addition, each campus was tasked with reviewing all policies, procedures and training as it relates to sexual assault and mental health. He says that they are also examining the Office of Student Conduct and how cases involving sexual assault are addressed.
Athletic Director Mike Alden has also created a task force to examine how his department handles student incidents and concerns.]]>