UM Curators Approve Changes to Sexual Assault Policy

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COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Board of Curators voted Thursday to amend parts of the rules and regulations related to Title IX enforcement. The approved changes include the implementation of every university employee to be a mandated reporter with the exception of health care workers, lawyers and others with confidential privileges.

All of the recommended changes come from UM System President Tim Wolfe. The recommendations are considered by Wolfe and the Sexual Assault and Mental Health Task Force to be "non-controversial" and just a start. They plan to implement more changes.

The task force said its objective is to create a safe and secure environment for students and employees on campuses.

The board also unanimously voted to give temporary delegation of authority to Wolfe regarding mental health and sexual assault issues. It allows him to make these changes within the next few months.

Curator John Phillips said Thursday he wanted to make any necessary changes Thursday. He said they are still looking for further changes in processes to protect the rights of those victimized.

"This is a work in process,we may only be a quarter of the way through, don't expect this to be a cure all," Phillips said.

Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs Deborah Noble-Triplett gave a presentation to the task force to update the process so far. 

"In order to be effective and exemplify best practice we note and understand we need to overcome fragmentations where they exist, this drives us to make an extraordinary effort to communicate effectively consistently and frequently as well as provide coordination across the system and within the individual campuses," Noble-Triplett said.

She said the next step is developing a resource, policy, and practice recommendations system that is wide and campus specific.

Phillips said the next step is taking broader issues to reduce sexual assault on campuses and the work will be ongoing.

The meeting continued Thursday night and into Friday morning. The curators will not meet again until October.