A Special Message from Chancellor Case
Office for Civil Rights, Title IX Compliance Review
Dear UAA Community,
Colleges and universities across the country are struggling with how to address the epidemic of sexual violence within their campus communities; many have not done right by their students. Though it is my responsibility to ensure UAA does the right thing when something does happen to one of our students, it will take all of us to foster and advance a culture of safety and respect on our campuses and in our communities.
Preventing sexual violence and harassment, as well as providing support for those impacted, deserves our full attention and remains a priority at UAA.
Though we’ve made progress, no university can claim it has fixed the problem. Earlier this morning you received a message from President Jim Johnsen announcing that the University of Alaska (UA) entered into a Voluntary Resolution Agreement (VRA) with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The VRA is the result of a 2014 Title IX compliance review of the UA system, including UAA. The review helped us identify shortcomings, such as timely resolution of some cases, consistent offerings of remedies and interim measures, and documentation errors.
We recognize that we’ve made mistakes. We have made, and will continue to make, improvements. The OCR asked us to re-review 10 cases from 2011 to 2015, and we’ve already accomplished what they have asked us to do in some of these cases.
The Title IX process is in place to help in the reporting and resolution of sexual misconduct complaints and to keep the institution accountable, but it also serves as a mechanism for education, outreach, awareness and support for all of us at UAA.
If you have experienced sexual harassment or assault, I urge you to report it, get help, tell someone. If you see something bad happening or about to happen, do something.
These issues are not easy to talk about; however, change only comes when we have the courage to confront the uncomfortable and ugly truth of sexual violence and misconduct.
I am committed to doing all we can to provide safe learning environments on all UAA campuses. We owe that to our students.