I am writing today to let you know our next steps related to the allegations of domestic violence against former CU assistant football coach Joe Tumpkin, and how those were responded to internally. Athletic Director Rick George and coach Mike MacIntyre also offer their responses to our plans and the situation itself.
You may recall that on Feb. 3, I wrote about the university’s response to issues covered in Sports Illustrated article. I apologized to the alleged victim on behalf of the university and on behalf of head coach Mike MacIntyre and CU Athletic Director Rick George. We regret that we did not involve our Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) as soon as any of us learned of the allegation and that we did not reach out appropriately to her.
I have met with Valerie Simons, executive director of OIEC, and we are stepping up our educational efforts and processes going forward to ensure that in the future all of our employees, including the three of us, know to report anything of this nature, even when it involves someone not affiliated with the campus. You can expect to see communications soon about increased opportunities to become familiar with university policy in this area and where to report.
Since the early 2000s, we have made some key structural changes to more closely align athletics to the campus and provide accountability. Just some of those changes were:
- The finances of the athletics department and construction projects report on a dotted line to our Senior Vice Chancellor and CFO Kelly Fox for external review and oversight.
- We have placed an academic officer in athletics reporting directly to the provost to ensure that all academic offerings, credit and support are in line with our academic standards across the university.
- The senior fundraising officer for athletics reports to the head of Advancement on the campus to align the fundraising efforts across the campus.
- More recently, our office of Performance Improvement engaged with Rick George and his team to develop a full strategic plan, which includes metrics and accountability.
Recent events, however, demonstrate that more needs to be done. So, today I am making two changes to enhance our ability to respond to misconduct and to encourage effective reporting of misconduct through all relevant campus channels.
- First, we are designating Senior Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations and Senior Women’s Administrator Ceal Barry as the direct liaison from athletics for all sports and operations, including football, to the head of OIEC.
- Second, I have also directed OIEC and athletics to develop a plan to strengthen the collaboration and education between OIEC and athletics to provide regular training and guidance to the athletic director and the entire athletics staff.
Mike and Rick are working with me in strong support of these changes, and the three of us are all committed to moving ahead assertively, ensuring that all our campus protocols and policies are well understood and effectively carried out. Our university has come too far and accomplished too much in terms of instituting reforms to be deterred now.
You have my promise that, moving ahead, our commitment to improving in these areas will be steadfast and unwavering.
Philip P. DiStefano,