Improving awareness and processes to ensure a safe, secure campus
Protecting every member of our campus community by establishing and maintaining a safe, secure environment is a foundational requirement for our college. To do that we must continuously look for ways to improve and reduce risks of violence, sexual misconduct and harassment on campus. As leaders, we all have a role in preventing such issues and protecting the safety of every other member. The Board of Visitors and our campus leadership team understand this vital function. To that end, we are sharing the results of an independent investigation conducted at our Board’s request following the 2018 arrest of Lt. Col. Kenneth Boes, a college Teach, Advise and Coach (TAC) officer.
First, it is important that you know that immediately after becoming aware of the allegations against Lt. Col. Boes, college officials contacted the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, provided them all the information we had and continued to cooperate with them as they progressed with their investigation. Since that process concluded, the individual who made these allegations has initiated civil litigation against The Citadel.
In addition, The Citadel Board of Visitors hired Cozen O’Connor, an independent firm with expertise in Title IX investigations, to review the college’s actions and make recommendations for improvements. Once the college received the report, a campus-wide team representing interlocking areas of expertise developed a series of initiatives to address areas requiring improvement.
An important part of setting the tone and making our campus safer is discussing areas that we must improve. With that in mind, we are sharing the entire Cozen report redacted only as required by privacy laws, along with a matrix showing our progress in addressing areas for improvement. Among the many actions recommended in the report, The Citadel has:
- Developed new policies and procedures to prevent unprofessional relationships, encourage reporting, and ensure appropriate protection of those who report.
- Created and initiated new training for members of our campus community, and we will maintain focus on bystander intervention training for our cadets.
- Improved our Cadet Accountability training to improve fidelity and responsibility.
The Citadel is an organization dedicated to teaching and learning. Mentorship is an integral part of the college experience, at The Citadel and elsewhere. We must never stop seeking ways to improve how we educate our cadets and the ways that we protect them. We are committed to preserving and fostering the mentoring relationship between faculty and cadets while recognizing and enforcing appropriate boundaries. A critical, objective analysis is an essential tool in this process, and we will continue working on the improvements identified in the Cozen report. I encourage you to review the progress we’ve made so far and share your ideas for making our campus a safe environment for all. It is my intent to make sure that protecting our campus community plays a prominent role in our culture, so expect this issue to be an area of ongoing dialogue.
As we teach in our bystander intervention training, please “step up and say something” if you see or experience sexual discrimination, harassment or violence. To report such concerns call Public Safety (843) 953-5114, call the abuse compliance hotline at (855) 280-8357 or contact team members who are here to help through the college’s Title IX web page.
Gen. Glenn Walters, USMC (ret.)