College releases reports of independent review in ReVille matter
REMARKS OF DOUGLAS A. SNYDER, CHAIRMAN, THE CITADEL BOARD OF VISITORS, IN CONJUNCTION WITH ANNOUNCEMENT OF RELEASE OF THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW TEAM’S REPORT
Today, The Citadel Board of Visitors is releasing two reports of the independent review of matters surrounding a 2007 complaint against Louis “Skip” ReVille, a summer camp counselor at the college in 2002.
The BOV directed the independent review team to:
Investigate and analyze The Citadel’s handling of allegations regarding ReVille’s conduct while a summer camp counselor in 2002.
Assess The Citadel’s policies and procedures regarding sexual abuse, sexual assault and misconduct as they existed in 2007 when the allegation was reported, and up to the present day.
Recommend improvements to our policies and procedures regarding the protection of children involved in Citadel-sponsored activities on and off campus, governance, oversight, training and compliance, and risk management policies and procedures.
The report emphasizes there was no effort to conceal what occurred in 2002, nor was there any intent to withhold information from other agencies. The independent reviewers have carefully examined how the college could have better responded, and we will improve procedures as a result of this process and the valuable input of the expert review team. It is reassuring to have independent, expert confirmation that college officials acted ethically and with a sense of propriety.
We, the members of The BOV, identified three criteria for this review: that it be independent, that it be comprehensive, and that the findings be released unedited to the public. I will present to you how these goals were met and the BOV’s initial response.
We are immediately releasing the reports to our campus community, our alumni and the general public. The complete reports will be available on the college’s website at 1:15 pm today.
The BOV will act swiftly on this input and direction from our outside experts, and will continue to address issues raised by the report. We will provide a formal progress update at our BOV’s June meeting.
The integrity of the desired independent review relies heavily on its independence. To maintain the integrity of the review process, the BOV retained attorney Joseph McCulloch to serve as Special Counsel on this matter. Mr. McCulloch selected Dr. Gary Margolis and Ann Franke, two nationally recognized experts in the area of higher education. Like Mr. McCulloch, neither Dr. Margolis, nor Ann Franke had any prior affiliation with The Citadel. No BOV member nor anyone affiliated with The Citadel had any influence on the findings or report of the independent reviewers.
We thank Mr. McCulloch, and the independent reviewers, for their hard work. We are impressed with the level of detail and extremely comprehensive nature of their reports.
The BOV commends Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa for his exemplary leadership since becoming president of The Citadel. We are fortunate that he will be guiding our college as we move forward with the initiatives he has already directed as well as those arising from the independent review. The BOV continues to have the utmost confidence in his professionalism, integrity and character. The Citadel has taken significant steps toward a cultural change to make the college safer:
Identified a team of staff members to address allegations of sexual abuse the college may receive instead of assigning the responsibility to one individual.
Hired a staff member to monitor compliance with college policies and regulations as well as those of the state and federal governments.
Conducted a campus-wide review of college activities, policies and procedures in order to enhance overall safety and improve the learning and working environment.
Created the position of sexual assault and response coordinator (now Cadet Advocacy Response and Education coordinator)
Additionally, The Citadel became the first college in the United States to require all faculty, staff, students, and adult residents to attend training from the internationally recognized Darkness to Light to better identify child sexual abuse and to take appropriate and immediate action.
We are determined to constantly improve how we operate as an institution of higher learning. And we hope this report and our ongoing efforts will serve as a model for other colleges and universities who may face similar challenges.
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the young people and families who were hurt by ReVille’s actions. Though ReVille is in prison, The Citadel family remains troubled that one of its alumni betrayed the principles for which the college stands.