Center for Public Integrity

College announces changes in sexual assault policies

The sexual assault expert hired by Reed College last year has submitted his resignation with the elite private college still embroiled in turmoil over its sexual assault policies, a set of disciplinary procedures that the college itself recently determined were partially out of compliance with federal law.

With Reed faculty joining their voices to a mounting student campaign for change, the college has already made changes in its polices to meet federal legal requirements. Kevin Myers, director of strategic communications for
Reed, said additional policy changes are on the way. Some of those changes were announced to students Wednesday.

The sometimes fierce debate on campus has caused clashes between students and administrators, provoked alumni, spurred graffiti and flyers on campus, and prompted guerilla theater in the college dining room. Though the college hired a sexual assault expert last year, in part to help navigate reforms underway since August 31, the expert, Pete Meagher, has told the college he is leaving May 31, with changes still pending.

Fifty-eight percent of Reed College students signed a petition urging policy reform, presented to the college president, board of trustees and faculty and student governments April 22. Faculty also submitted a petition, saying the college may be inadvertently harming sexual assault victims through its policies, and some student victims and advocates think Reed is violating federal law.

Byline: 
Rita Hibbard's picture

InvestigateWest featured in AP story on nonprofit investigative journalism

InvestigateWest's mission is to make sure investigative journalism continues, despite a cratering news industry that has seen massive layoffs among newspapers and other news organizations and budget cutbacks that have seriously curtailed the depth of coverage among remaining staff.

rita_hibbardwebAnd we continue to get recognized as among a small vanguard of media organizations leading the way toward an evolving future.

When national Associated Press business writer Andrew Vanacore wrote recently about whether investigative journalism can continue in nonprofit organizations as cutbacks occur in the for-profit model, he interviewed the big players in the independent scene - ProPublica based in New York, the Center for Investigative Reporting in California and the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C., and InvestigateWest in Seattle. The difference is that ProPublica has a newsroom budget of $10 million, most of it coming from the Sandler Foundation, backed by financiers Herbert and Marion Sandler. CPI and CIR are veterans of the nonprofit, investigative world, having done their good work for 20 years or more. InvestigateWest is an upstart, six months old, scrappy and working hard to earn its keep.

Andrew and I talked a few days before InvestigateWest reporter Robert McClure had a story featured on msnbc.com, which drew 400,000 pageviews during its time in the lead position on Jan. 12.