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NEW: Brown’s Interim Report on Sexual Assault Calls Campus Norms and Culture “Unacceptable”

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Brown University has released its Interim Report from the Task Force on Sexual Assault, which was convened in the fall of 2014, with a final report expected in March 2015.

Read Report HERE

The interim report issues recommendations for "immediate action," which include: Clarifying Information; Clarifying and Reducing Timelines; Reducing the Traumatic Nature of University Process Sanctioning, Separation and Appeals; Timely Warnings and Transparency Regarding Incidents of Sexual Violence; Campus Climate Surveys; Training, Education and Awareness Programs, and Graduate and Medical Student Concerns.

The goal of the report from the Task Force is stated in the preface.

"The goal of our Interim Report, and our Final Report which will follow in March 2015, is therefore crystal clear: the current norms and culture of the Brown University campus are not acceptable, and as a community we must seek in word and deed to fundamentally change that culture in order to ensure that the Brown campus is a safe and welcoming place to learn, teach, conduct research, work, and live for all members of the community."

Paxon Addresses Community

Brown University President Christina Paxson issued a letter to the Brown community on Wednesday regarding the report.  

Members of the Brown Community,

I am writing to share the Interim Report of The Task Force on Sexual Assault, which began its work this fall, and will continue through the spring semester to produce a final report in March 2015. The Interim Report includes a summary of the Task Force’s work to date, themes of common concern and priorities gathered from extensive outreach they conducted this semester, and an overview of the substantial research that has informed their efforts.

Perhaps most important, the Interim Report recommends that the University take a number of steps in the near term, before the final report is delivered, to strengthen our policies, practices and procedures for preventing and responding to sexual assault and sexual violence on our campus. I anticipate that a number of the recommendations can be acted upon quickly, even before the start of the spring semester. In the coming days, my staff and I will conduct a careful review of the recommendations and develop plans to modify our policies and practices in response to the Interim Report. These plans will be informed by comments on the Interim Report that are received in the next few weeks from members of the community. I will write again before the start of the spring semester to tell you which recommendations will be adopted and which will require further discussion with the community and/or relevant governing bodies such as the Faculty Executive Committee and Medical Faculty Executive Committee.

On behalf of the entire community, I extend deep appreciation to co-chairs Russell Carey and Dr. Michelle Cyr, the entire Task Force, and to members of the community who shared their stories, input and feedback. This is challenging work on a topic that is deeply troubling on a number of levels. It is only through the disciplined, direct and data-driven approach that the Task Force has demonstrated that we can expect to achieve the change in our culture that our community expects and deserves.

I encourage members of the Brown community to offer feedback on the Interim Report by writing directly to the Task Force at [email protected]. Individuals more comfortable offering comments to me directly can send a confidential email to [email protected]. Please let me know if the comments and suggestions can be shared with the Task Force as part of their work. This is important work, and I look forward to continued progress in the spring.


Christina Paxson


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