Dear Faculty and Staff:
On December 20, 2021, the Old Dominion University Board of Visitors released the full report of Nixon Peabody LLP, which reviewed allegations concerning sexual misconduct that began in 2010 by former Visiting Professor Blake Bailey and the University's response to, and its subsequent public comments concerning, that misconduct. The report concluded that "although there may have been no clear violation of Title VII, Title IX, or any other applicable law or policy, best practices dictate that ODU should have done more to address the Bailey allegations at the time." As part of an on-going effort to honor the University's commitment to provide a safe and supportive environment for all individuals, two new initiatives are being launched as follows.
Campus Climate Survey: The Department of Human Resources, including the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, will conduct a comprehensive University-wide climate survey aimed at gauging awareness of available resources and protocols to address safety situations, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, discrimination, and workplace harassment. The survey, scheduled to be conducted this spring, will be included in the COACHE assessment administered to teaching and research faculty. This initiative replaces the suggestion made by former President John R. Broderick of appointing a task force. Members of the new Climate Study Committee include: September Sanderlin, as Committee Chair; Traci Daniels; Esther Dodge; Kate Hawkins, Ph.D.; David Shirley; and JaRenae Whitehead.
Sexual Harassment and Title IX Training: Starting next month, the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity will partner with the Office of Academic Affairs to launch a Sexual Harassment and Title IX training for teaching and research faculty, adjunct faculty, and graduate assistants. The training will emphasize the campus community's shared responsibility to prevent sexual harassment and sexual violence. Additional training for administrators and classified employees will be developed in the coming months.
The information identified in the survey, along with the mandatory training, will help us focus on key areas that need our attention to enhance our campus climate. I look forward to your engagement and participation in these proactive initiatives, which contribute to the betterment of our Monarch community!
Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.