President Ronald Crutcher met with the University of Richmond Board of Trustees Friday morning to discuss plans to improve the way sexual assault is prevented and handled at the university. A member of the Board of Trustees issued the following statement in the afternoon.

Statement from Rector Patricia L. Rowland, W’77, GB’81

September 30, 2016

The Board of Trustees is deeply committed to the highest quality student experience and a safe campus community in which all members flourish. Combatting sexual assault, and all forms of sexual misconduct, is a high priority for the Board and for the institution as a whole, and the Board has been consistently engaged in the University’s prevention and response efforts. Like President Crutcher, we have been focusing intently on recent expressions of concern about sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence in our community and the pain it has caused students. We deeply regret this pain.

At the same time, we are grateful that all members of the University community—especially students—are showing strong leadership and contributing to a conversation about how the University can further strengthen its work in this area, including response and care for students who are victims of sexual violence. Standing against sexual misconduct and caring for victims of sexual violence is a responsibility we all share as Spiders. Members of our Student Development Committee had the opportunity yesterday to talk directly with student government leaders about this issue. Today, Dr. Crutcher provided an update to the Board about suggestions received from students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni. We look forward to the specific action steps that he will provide in his report to the University community prior to Fall Break and will continue to work closely with him to ensure that the University’s processes for dealing with allegations of sexual assault are as strong as they can be, that our care for victims is as compassionate as it can be, and that our campus is as safe as it can be. 

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