Three members of the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents have been appointed to a committee that will review the school’s handling of a sexual assault case involving Gophers football players.
The University announced Monday that board Chair Dean Johnson selected regents Thomas Anderson, Peggy Lucas and Steve Sviggum to oversee the internal review of the case. Anderson will be the committee’s chair.
“Allegations of sexual assault are serious and the Board of Regents is committed to ensuring student safety across all University campuses, as well as an appropriate process for all parties involved,” Johnson said in a Monday news release. “We believe it is good governance to review recent circumstances and to determine how we can improve processes for the betterment of our students.”
The committee held its first public meeting Thursday, where the University of Minnesota named two outside attorneys to assess the school's handling of the allegations made against the 10 football players. Former federal prosecutor John Marti and labor law specialist Jillian Kornblatt of Minneapolis' Dorsey and Whitney law firm will contribute to the oversight committee.
While a public report will be released, there is no timeline for its release, according to the news release.
In March, Johnson said regents would oversee a review of the school’s widely-criticized investigation of a September sexual misconduct case involving a student and several football players.
The school’s investigation and decision regarding the September sexual assault allegation resulted in the expulsion of four players and a one-year suspension from the school for one.
No criminal charges were filed against the players relating to the alleged sexual assault.
The review will be conducted by the University’s Office of the General Counsel. The University’s Chief Auditor will provide “advice and assistance” as needed.
In the news release, the University said it might also hire outside attorneys to assist the investigation.
The school’s handing of the case included “inconsistent statements and descriptions of the events … regarding the timing and basis for actions and decisions by the administration” that “appear inconsistent with the Regents commitment to addressing the issue of sexual assault on campus and protecting those who report sexual assault,” Johnson said in March.
The committee will:
-Review practices and policies regarding suspensions and discipline within Gophers athletics and how they relates to the Student Conduct Code and criminal justice process.
-Review standard and processes of the conduct code and how it relates and Title IX.
-Review practices and rules for communication during the conduct code process, especially with student athletes.
-Examine lessons learned from the December boycott by the Gophers football team and a conduct a review of how regents, coaches and administrators handled the situation.