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LSU appoints interim head of new Title IX office after Husch Blackwell report

3 years 4 months 1 week ago Monday, March 15 2021 Mar 15, 2021 March 15, 2021 4:01 PM March 15, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - LSU appointed a temporary head of its newly-formed Title IX office as the university moves to address a third-party report detailing its failures in reporting sexual misconduct. 

On Monday, LSU introduced Jane Cassidy as interim vice president of the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX. She previously served as senior vice provost of LSU's Office of Academic Affairs. 

In a statement to the LSU community, Cassidy said her immediate concerns included filling out the staff of the new office and reviewing the reporting process for victims.

You can read her full statement below. 

On our best days, LSU is a place where students come to live and learn in a safe and welcoming environment. Yet we have heard brave and painful testimonies of students who became victims and lost faith in our university to protect them. This is unacceptable. We now know with great clarity that our system to protect one another from sexual harassment and violence has failed, and we must act expeditiously to remediate the problem.As part of Interim President Galligan’s plan to change our culture and provide LSU students with a safe and welcoming learning environment, he has asked me to serve as the Interim Vice President for the newly created Office of Civil Rights & Title IX. I have had unique and unconventional preparation to take on this challenge. My career as a music educator, first in public schools and then as a tenured faculty member, along with my research in music therapy for critically premature infants, shaped my beliefs in a team approach to problem solving, caring for the vulnerable, and education with outcomes assessment and accountability. My most recent responsibilities in central administration as Senior Vice Provost have provided me with insight into LSU’s organizational structure, an understanding of university policies and procedures, familiarity with human resource management, and invaluable connections with colleagues across campus who are dedicated to a safe and welcoming environment. I come prepared to partner with stakeholders who will help advise and guide our work.We know we have a lot of work to do, and the Interim President has been clear that change must happen swiftly. We will use the recommendations provided in the Husch Blackwell report as the foundation of a path toward effective, efficient, and equitable infrastructure and policies. The most immediate concerns will be for those recommendations that will have the greatest impact on the safety and wellbeing of our community. We will immediately move to increase the staff in the Title IX office in order to handle cases in a timely and compassionate manner. Additionally, today we will start to review all aspects of reporting, which will result in guidelines for the campus that will be explicit, broadly disseminated, outline reporting protocols required of all campus constituents, and provide clear sanctions for those who are responsible for sexual misconduct and those who are not compliant with reporting. Together with our partners at STAR, we will build training and education programs that will make a difference.We are committed to addressing each one of the recommendations in the report, and to be inclusive and transparent in our work.

-To my colleagues and fellow employees: you are obligated to report any suspected cases of sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, or sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator, no exceptions.

-To students: If you are in danger, call 911 immediately. If you want to report a sexual assault or any form of sexual misconduct, call LSU’s Title IX Coordinator at 225-578-3918 or file a report by clicking here.

I am honored to serve our students, faculty, and staff in this capacity, and I look forward to working together to make our university safer and stronger. Your partner in change,
Jane Cassidy

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