Feb. 22, 2017

Feb. 22, 2017: Policy and Procedure Review Committee on Sexual Misconduct

Creighton University President, the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ

I am grateful that on Monday, Feb. 13, while I was traveling on University business, a significant number of students joined Dr. Tanya Winegard’s listening session in the Skutt Student Center to share their comments and concerns. I have received and read a full report on the discussion. A summary of the comments is available here.

Too, on Friday, Feb. 17, I spent 90 minutes with the Creighton students who organized and attended a rally to voice their opinions on existing University policies. Their peaceful and impassioned approach to speaking out demonstrates among our students a willingness to be engaged in these important issues and a commitment to open and respectful dialogue.

Among the many topics and themes that emerged during the meeting and the rally are:

  • Consent
  • Amnesty
  • Abstinence
  • Jesuit values
  • Bystander intervention
  • Public Safety Officers’ campus presence
  • Education for students regarding sexual and relationship misconduct
  • Role of local police in investigations of sexual misconduct
  • And much more

Last week, I announced the formation of the Policy and Procedure Review Committee on Sexual Misconduct that will be charged with assessing Creighton’s policies regarding sexual and relationship misconduct and making recommendations regarding changes. The committee will begin by appreciating students’ remarks and other feedback, and proceed by reviewing campus policies, procedures, and programs.

Please allow me to emphasize that sexual misconduct is not permitted on this campus, and allegations will be investigated seriously, fairly, and with dignity. As the committee convenes, I will be clear in saying that its process of review and assessment must be objective and honest, and representative of who we are as Catholic and Jesuit. Existing policies and procedures – and resources for victims – are here

More specifically, the committee is to examine and evaluate the University’s existing policies, processes, and programming to address the issue of sexual misconduct, as well as assess campus and local resources for victims, and to send a summary and recommendations to me and my cabinet. The committee should consider the Catholic and Jesuit mission and identity of the University, best practices of Title IX and the Campus SaVE Act, institutional peer review, and if deemed necessary, external consultation. My sincere hope is that the committee can achieve this before the end of the semester.

Membership consists of faculty, staff, and students who offer broad campus representation as well as interest, experience, and expertise in related issues. Additionally, campus personnel working in associated areas will be available to serve as resources for the committee. 

I am pleased with the level of interest by members of our campus community, and the personal and professional investment in this very important topic. After a careful review of the list of individuals who self-nominated or were nominated by others, the following have accepted my offer to serve:

Chairs

  • Catherine Todero, PhD, RN, FAAN – College of Nursing, Dean
  • David Weber, JD – School of Law, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Faculty

  • Eileen Burke-Sullivan, STD – Vice Provost for Mission and Ministry, Associate Professor of Theology
  • Susan Calef, PhD – College of Arts and Sciences, Assistant Professor, Department of Theology, and Director, Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Barbara Harris, PhD – College of Arts and Sciences, Program Director, Department of Social Work
  • Erika Kirby, PhD – College of Arts and Sciences, Professor, Department of Communication Studies, and Faculty Council
  • Matthew Seevers, PhD – Heider College of Business, Chair, Department of Marketing and Management
  • Peter Stone – College of Arts and Sciences, Instructor, Analytical and Environmental Chemistry
  • Lt. Col. Jared Sutton – Creighton Army ROTC, Professor of Military Science

Staff

  • Shawn Cook, MPA – School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, Director of Student Affairs
  • Michael Kavan, PhD – School of Medicine, Associate Dean for Student Affairs
  • Brandy Menaugh, JD – Division of Athletics, Associate Athletic Director
  • Rebecca Murray, PhD – College of Arts and Sciences, Associate Dean for Social and Applied Sciences
  • Michael Reiner – Department of Public Safety, Chief
  • Nancy Schrage – Department of Human Resources, Senior Human Resource Generalist
  • Fallon Watts – Interdisciplinary EdD Program, Graduate School, Staff Advisory Council

Students

  • Rachel Marie Lee – School of Law, Third Year
  • Meg Maynard – College of Arts and Sciences, Senior
  • Nina Noronha – College of Arts and Sciences, Junior
  • Ed Nuñez – College of Arts and Sciences, Junior
  • Heather Thorson – School of Dentistry, Third Year
  • Matthew Tolliver – College of Nursing, Sophomore
  • Dhruti Tummalapalli – College of Arts and Sciences, Junior, and Executive Vice President, Creighton Students Union

As an added measure of Creighton’s commitment in this effort, I have recently asked the VIP Center to move forward as part of an application for a federal grant that would create a coalition of five area colleges and focus on a comprehensive, coordinated, community approach to issues of sexual violence, dating and domestic violence, and stalking. The VIP Center currently partners with the Women’s Center for Advancement on a CHI Violence Prevention Grant, helping to support prevention education efforts through the 2018-2019 academic year. 

Sincerely, 

Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ