ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Latest on an agreement between the U.S. Justice Department and University of New Mexico aimed at improving the school’s response to sexual assault complaints (all times local):
The University of New Mexico president says he’s sensitive to the reality that the school didn’t handle past sexual assault and harassment cases as well as it should have.
President Robert Frank told The Associated Press in an interview Monday that he and other school officials recognize some student victims are coping with “pain they woudn’t have had” if the school had better handled their cases in the past. He says the school is committed to reform.
Frank’s comments came as the university and U.S. Justice Department announced they signed an agreement to improve the school’s response to sexual harassment and assault complaints. The university also must provide training on the subject to all students.
Under the agreement, the school will report its progress in revising policies and improving investigations over a three-year period.
The U.S. Justice Department says it has reached an agreement with the University of New Mexico to improve how the school handles and investigates sexual harassment and assault cases.
The agreement comes six months after the Justice Department released an investigative report saying the school failed to comply with federal law in handling sexual assault and harrassment complaints.
Under the agreement federal officials say the school will provide training on sexual harassment and assault to students and faculty that clearly outlines where victims can turn for assistance with a complaint.
The U.S. Department of Education has scrutinized schools nationwide for failing to comply with laws designed to protect women on campus. But only the University of New Mexico and University of Montana have been targeted for investigation by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division over their handling of reports.