A report issued today by University of Colorado at Boulder Title IX consultant Nancy Hogshead-Makar says CU-Boulder is making progress on integrating policies, training personnel and addressing sexual harassment and sexual assault issues on campus, but could benefit from consolidating policies into a single master policy on discrimination and harassment and working to prevent gender violence.
The report also says the university could benefit from clarifying and refining its pregnancy and parenting policies for students, implementing the recommendations in a report by a campus committee -- the Sexual Assault-Sexual Harassment (SASH) Task Force's Gender Violence Prevention Plan -- and continuing to work with student, faculty and staff groups, as well as other CU offices, to create targeted prevention efforts to end discrimination, harassment and sexual violence on campus.
"I believe the University of Colorado at Boulder is making steady, and in some cases, remarkable progress on Title IX issues and ensuring the safety of its campus," said Hogshead-Makar. "Based on that progress, my report encourages the university to further integrate its efforts in the campus community, with benefits and responsibilities for every sector of the campus."
CU-Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano lauded Hogshead-Makar's report and her efforts, noting that since CU had announced her hiring in April 2008, she had "reviewed every CU-Boulder policy touching on gender discrimination, sexual harassment and campus efforts to promote the health and safety of its students, reviewed more than 1,000 pages of documents, met with more than 70 students and campus officials, including me, and spent many hours drafting new policy language and making key recommendations."
"This was a substantive undertaking," said DiStefano. "Taken alongside our campus's existing efforts and the hard work of campus organizations such as SASH, I believe CU-Boulder has taken meaningful and lasting steps to make the campus a welcoming and responsible environment for the students who live and study here."
Hogshead-Makar was retained by CU-Boulder as a condition of the settlement of a lawsuit lodged by two women against the University of Colorado in 2005, claiming the university had fostered a climate hostile toward women based on the conduct of male student-athletes and recruits toward them.
The University of Colorado settled that lawsuit in December 2007.
"Today, I would not hesitate to recommend to any young woman that she enroll at the University of Colorado at Boulder," said Hogshead-Makar. "CU's efforts at educating and informing its campus on issues of safety, sexual assault, discrimination have been extensive, and in my interviews here I found dozens of dedicated CU staff and administrators devoted to gender equality and a better environment for women."
The Title IX report is available on CU's Web site at www.colorado.edu/news.