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Spelman College

President's Letter to the Community

Title IX Update

May 4, 2016

Dear Spelmanites,

Yesterday, many of you read on social media a disturbing account of sexual violence against a Spelman woman. I know that members of our Spelman community join me in expressing heartbreak and outrage over the incidents and experiences recounted on Twitter. Because the Twitter account is anonymous, I tweeted an invitation to @RapedAtSpelman to reach out to me personally so I, and the College, can provide full assistance and support. We continue to follow leads to identify the victim to offer our help and services. 

Sexual violence of any kind is destructive to our students, our academic environment and our sense of social justice. There have been questions in social media about Spelman’s responses to reports of sexual assaults. I provide you now with an update on Spelman’s Title IX programs:     

  1. The College has been at work actively building a larger Title IX team. 
    • A new dean of students, Dr. Fran'Cee Brown-McClure, has been hired and the search for a new Title IX and compliance director has been completed. Dr. Brown-McClure has years of experience working on Title IX issues and has joined Spelman from Stanford University, where she most recently served as associate dean of residential education. Dr. Terri Reed will continue to serve as the interim Title IX and compliance director until the new director arrives.  
    • We plan to hire additional staff to advocate for victims/survivors. Our expectation is that this person will be in place for the next academic year.
  2. A faculty advisory committee and a student commission on sexual violence have been established to provide input on a range of issues. The faculty advisory committee has begun their work and at the top of their list is finalizing a climate survey for dissemination early in the fall. The student commission has met several times and is finalizing a proposal for a 2016-2017 calendar of activities around issues of safety, prevention, training and victims' services.
  3. The College is in the midst of an in-depth review of all Spelman's policies, practices and training materials related to all reports of sexual violence.
  4. All materials and communications will continue to make it unambiguously clear that "blaming the victim is unacceptable."

My first priority as Spelman’s president is to continue ensuring that Spelman and the Atlanta University Center offer a safe, supportive environment for all students. Please know that we are working together to foster a culture and climate that assure fair, swift and consistent adjudication of reported cases of sexual violence. 
I encourage and welcome your help and voices in this cause. Together, we can make a difference, as many of you did yesterday in your peaceful campus demonstrations at Spelman and Morehouse. I urge you to continue to express your opposition to sexual violence and I stand with you in your efforts to call attention to areas that need to be addressed and improved. 
The involvement and dedication of the entire Spelman and AUC community is essential for making transformational change. I encourage anyone who has experienced sexual violence or has information about a sexual assault to immediately report this information to law enforcement and the Spelman College Office of Public Safety or Title IX Office. We will fully investigate all reports to us and will provide the appropriate support and services. The following phone numbers are available to you to report an incident of sexual assault or sexual violence. 

Spelman Sexual Assault Hotline
(24-hour anonymous line)

Spelman Title IX Office
As our work together continues, please feel free to reach out to me and other members of the College leadership with any questions or concerns you may have. We are here for you, we are listening, and we look forward to hearing from you. 


Mary Schmidt Campbell
Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D.
Spelman College
350 Spelman Lane, SW
Atlanta, GA 30314-4399