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University Of Missouri System Expected To Change Sexual Misconduct Policy

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Later this week, the University of Missouri Board of Curators will vote on a plan to change the way sexual assault and harassment complaints are handled.

But some faculty members say the process is moving forward a little too quickly.

University of Missouri system President Tim Wolfe is proposing a change that would require schools to investigate sexual harassment or discrimination cases within 60 days.

The proposal before the curators also would widen which employees must report harassment to the administration and change the hearing process.

The action comes as Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla was listed as one of 79 universities that are being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.

The University of Missouri's athletics department also has been involved in controversy. Former running back Derrick Washington was sentenced to five years in prison in 2011 for sexually assaulting a former athletic department tutor.

Credit Courtesty of the University of Missouri System
University of Missouri system President Tim Wolfe proposes changes to the way sexual misconduct is investigated on campuses.

It was later revealed that others had made assault allegations against him before he was charged.

Faculty council chairman Craig Roberts says faculty members will not oppose the new rules, but would have liked more time to review them and offer input.

“It’s just unsettling to see collective rules of this degree of importance, these critical collective rules, move forward with only minimal discussion,” he says.

Roberts says while some faculty members are uneasy with the process, they feel so strongly about student safety that they will not try to block the changes.

The curators meet Thursday and Friday on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus.

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