A message from Citadel President Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa
Members of The Citadel Family:
I want to provide you with an update on the steps The Citadel is taking to address the 2002 incident that came to our attention in 2007 and the changes that have occurred on campus in the last several years. It is important that you have the facts and that you are fully aware of how The Citadel is responding.
First and foremost, we are profoundly saddened by what has occurred. We extend our deepest sympathy to the young men and their families.
We take the allegations that have been made very seriously and are complying in every way with all authorities involved in the criminal investigations. On Nov. 14 the college released a packet of several hundred documents related to the ReVille matter, and, on Nov. 30, we released an additional 47 pages of emails concerning this matter.
For the last five years, The Citadel has taken aggressive and continuous steps to enhance our campus culture. We began that process with the administration of a sexual assault and sexual harassment survey of the entire Corps of Cadets. The results were published and used by the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Council and The Krause Center as the basis of a year-long Values and Respect Program. This program evolved into the current Leadership Education Program that focuses on character development to promote the creation of a safe and healthy campus and learning environment. We created a full-time Cadet Advocacy, Response, and Education position. We also closed Citadel-sponsored camps and completely revised the policy for children on campus.
As has already been shared publicly, South Carolina’s State Law Enforcement Division and Attorney General are each investigating these matters. SLED began its investigation on campus this week. While we initially considered hiring a consulting group to conduct a separate review, we felt that it was more important to ensure complete transparency and independence by asking the S.C. Attorney General to conduct this review. The Attorney General’s office has stated that its review will begin upon the completion of the SLED investigation. We are also working with the U.S. Department of Education as they conduct an off-site program review concerning the requirements under the Clery Act, which requires annual reporting of campus violence, including sexual misconduct. We have submitted that report routinely.
We all want answers, but we must give these investigators time to conduct their work. When the findings are in, the college is committed to taking whatever actions are necessary to emerge as a stronger institution.
As we await the reports of the independent investigations, we are initiating a review of Citadel policies and programs that involve minors to ensure that they meet the appropriate professional standards and are consistent with best practices in the higher education community. Also, we will look at establishing new partnerships with external organizations that may be able to assist us in this process.
Let me take this opportunity to remind everyone on campus to notify Citadel Public Safety if you are aware of any activities that should be reported. We are all responsible for maintaining the safety of our campus, which is one of our highest priorities.
Throughout this process, we are committed to being transparent and forthcoming, and as part of that commitment I will keep the campus community updated periodically on all of these matters. We have posted all the documents that have been released to the media on our website. They are available at: http://www.citadel.edu/root/public-documents.
We will also provide the means for you to share comments and suggestions (anonymously if you wish) which I encourage you to use if you have any other thoughts for strengthening our institution. The link is: http://www.citadel.edu/root/confidential-comments
I will be meeting with Faculty Council, Staff Council and the Academic Board early next semester. We will also hold our regular Town Hall meeting Feb. 7 where I will respond to questions.
The Citadel has so very much to be proud of and so much to be thankful for as an institution. Because of the hard work of everyone on campus, the standing of The Citadel has never been better. U.S. News and World Report ranked The Citadel the top public college in the South. We continue to set admissions records because high school students and their families recognize the quality of our academic and leadership experience and believe in what we’re trying to accomplish.
Foremost among our strengths are the students, faculty, staff and alumni that constitute our extended Citadel family. We need you more than ever to assist us through this difficult time and to make The Citadel an even stronger institution. I know we can count on you! It is a real honor for me to be a part of The Citadel family. Thank you for all you do to serve this great institution.
John W. Rosa
Lieutenant General, USAF (Retired)