SALEM, Va. – Change is coming to Roanoke College as the result of a Title IX investigation.
On Tuesday, the college announced that both Dean of Students Bian Chisom and interim head baseball coach Cam Cassady are no longer with the school. Chisom has resigned, while Cassady is simply no longer with Roanoke College.
Roanoke College leaders announced earlier this year they would open an investigation into concerns alleging misconduct by the school’s former Title IX Coordinator.
President Michael Maxey said the independent third-party investigator, Karen Michael Esq., submitted the final investigative report in late October.
While the report stated that Roanoke College’s Title IX written policy itself meets legal standards, aspects of its implementation did not meet the College’s expectations or standards for the treatment of its students.
Below are the actions outlined below are based on a thorough review of the investigator’s report and final recommendations from the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Roanoke College:
- Roanoke College will hire a new Dean of Students. Brian Chisom, the current dean, has resigned and Associate Dean and Director of Campus Safety Tom Rambo is now interim Dean of Students. He’ll remain in that role until a new dean is hired.
- Cam Cassady, the school’s interim head baseball coach is no longer with Roanoke College and a new coach will be hired.
- Aaron Fetrow will remain as interim Title IX coordinator until a Title IX coordinator is named.
- Roanoke College will hire a dedicated victim advocate, someone who focuses on all matters of victim advocacy and discrimination at the college. The school said its goal is to have the position filled sometime next year.
- Roanoke College will use a third-party to conduct regular campus climate surveys every three years, beginning next spring. Part of those surveys will include benchmarks for improvement year after year.
- The college will look to improve its relationship with SARA (Sexual Assault Response and Awareness). The investigation found that Roanoke College was not utilizing this resource to the extent possible.
- Create easy, supportive and accessible ways for students, faculty and staff to report harassment, assault and similar issues, regardless of the outcome of any investigation involving responsibility (as required by Title IX.)
- Work to allow complainants the option of giving their grievance to either a man or woman for the initial report.
- Provide greater visibility for the training offered and held for students, faculty and staff in order to help them understand Title IX and related issues.
- Ensure that all investigators, advocates, and adjudicators are fully trained and qualified.
- Regularly review our Title IX processes. We will not assume because something is legally compliant that it is working for our students.
- Hold open meetings for faculty, staff and students regarding Roanoke College’s Title IX processes and procedures. We will work to determine ways in which Roanoke College students, faculty and staff can ask anonymous questions regarding the matters that Title IX covers. An all-campus information session will be held early in the Spring 2021 semester.
- Form an alumni advisory group of professionals in fields related to Title IX issues (attorneys, social workers, counselors, Title IX advocates, etc.) for the College to use as a consultative sounding board.
- Distribute a formal Title IX report from the College to the broader Roanoke College community every three years.