Today, the regents of the University of Colorado and President Bruce Benson received the final reports from the inquiry into the university’s response to former assistant coach Joe Tumpkin’s alleged domestic violence. Cozen O’Connor conducted the inquiry, and WilmerHale advised the regents and President Benson as they reached their conclusions. Both firms are nationally recognized for their knowledge of Title IX and related issues.
I wish to say again that I sincerely regret that I did not immediately contact the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) upon learning of the allegations of domestic violence. Rather than trying to determine for myself if her complaint fell within our jurisdiction, I should have contacted our campus experts, who would have made sure that she received an immediate response from the university. When they later learned of the allegations, our Office of Victims Assistance and OIEC offered her support and resources, and I apologize that didn’t happen as soon as it should have.
After reviewing the reports and better understanding where I erred, both in following policy and in demonstrating the type of leadership that the campus expects from me, I proposed to the regents and President Benson that they should suspend me for ten business days and donate my salary for that period to programs that support students and employees in the CU Boulder community who have been affected by domestic or dating violence. To lead the campus, I must insist the regents and President Benson hold me accountable in the same way that I must hold others accountable. I accept my responsibility to uphold the University of Colorado’s standards.
The regents and President Benson also agreed that Athletic Director Rick George and Coach Mike MacIntyre would make significant payments to support victims of domestic and dating violence. I agree that these payments are appropriate and send a strong message that we can and must oppose all forms of sexual violence, no matter when or where they occur.
I will return to the campus completely dedicated to our mission. We will reform policies, provide better training and raise awareness. I will work with leaders from faculty, students, staff, OIEC, and athletics to make CU Boulder a better, stronger campus.
In recent years, I have set high standards for this campus in the area of Title IX compliance, created the OIEC, and insisted that every member of the university community commit to our effort to end sexual misconduct and violence. As hard as it is to say, I did not live up to these standards, and I regret it. I am committed to making CU Boulder a campus where women, and everyone, feel valued, respected and safe.
Philip P. DiStefano,