Friday, November 17, 2017

Dear University Community:
 
Sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination and domestic violence are all grave matters that impact our entire University community. I, along with my administration, continue to manage these matters as a top priority. The Title IX Office is charged with the responsibility of fostering a culture that respects and values the dignity and existence of every person who makes up our amazing University community.
 
Over the course of several months, the University has thoroughly assessed our Title IX policies and processes, and the University’s response to reports of sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination and domestic violence.  This assessment was a solution-driven response to the feedback and inquiries received from numerous students and other members of the University community who have participated in the Title IX process in some manner.
 
The voices of the students and members of the Howard community who provided feedback were heard and valued. As a result, the Title IX Office has worked diligently to enhance its policy so as to improve the process of offering much-needed support to victims of all forms of sexual and gender-based misconduct; better protect the rights of both complainants and respondents during investigations; and provide a better outline of the procedures and the resources available for anyone involved with the Title IX process in any capacity. 
 
The resulting policy is now being implemented as an Interim Title IX Policy on Prohibited Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Violence and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence.
 
Though the Title IX Office has enhanced the updated Title IX policy efficiently, their objective in designating the revised policy as an interim policy is to allow an opportunity to seek and obtain input from all members of the campus community before implementing a final policy. The interim policy will be in effect for the next six months. During this time, the University will solicit input from students, faculty, staff and other members of our community.
 
All members of the University community will have an opportunity to provide input via three different avenues – an anonymous survey, Town Hall meetings and focus groups.
 
1. All members of the University community will have an opportunity to respond to a confidential survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TX9DWKW.  This survey does not require that you provide a name, student ID number or any other identifying or contact information.  The survey does, however, ask you to please identify whether you are a student, faculty member, staff member or another member of the University community.
 
2. The Title IX Office is in the process of scheduling several Town Hall meetings that will provide an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to discuss the interim policy with the administrators who are responsible for implementing it.  We will share information about the Town Hall meetings once finalized.
 
3. The Title IX Office will work with student leaders to organize focus groups that will provide an opportunity for smaller groups of students to offer more in-depth feedback on key areas of the policy.
 
For more information about the Interim Title IX Policy and the University’s Title IX office, visithttp://www2.howard.edu/title-ix/home.
 
The time is now to ensure that the University provides an environment that is free from all forms of sexual and gender-based harassment and discrimination, and I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to achieve that goal.
 
Excellence in Truth and Service,
 
Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA
President