Report details ‘serious deficiencies’ at Roxbury Community College
The security policies at Roxbury Community College will be strengthened and ethics and security training of faculty and staff will be improved after a report confirmed “serious deficiencies” at the school that led to an inability to properly respond to crimes on campus, including sexual assaults.
Failures by school administrators over the handling of allegations of sexual assaults on campus were detailed in a report released Wednesday. The report by lawyers at the Boston firm Goodwin Proctor was requested by the college’s Board of Trustees after former president Terrence Gomes stepped down this past summer amid state and federal investigations.
Former U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Wayne Budd led the pro bono investigation that included 3,000 hours of work, 55 interviews and a review of more than 100,000 documents.
“Counsel also finds that there were serious deficiencies in RCC’s controls, policies, training and organization that left the college ill-equipped to properly respond to incidents of crime – including allegations of sexual assault – on campus,” lawyers wrote in the report.
The report criticized the school and its administrators for lacking the knowledge of their obligations under federal laws to investigate, report and take corrective action in response to allegations of sexual assault.
Also detailed in the report, which is available on the school’s website, is that evidence showed that the school may have awarded financial aid to a student in exchange for her silence over allegations of sexual assault by a professor.
Kathy Taylor, the board’s chair, said that the school is already in the process of implementing changes recommending in the report.
She highlighted that three-quarters of the board’s membership was appointed within the last few months and that the college is searching for a new president.
School officials said they have engaged the services of a campus safety company, improving training of staff and faculty to respond and report to sexual assaults and created a senior position to ensure compliance with federal laws requiring reporting of certain crimes.
“One of the major goals of this board is to restore credibility to Roxbury Community College through accountability and transparency and that starts today with these findings,” Taylor said.
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