Brown to refine disciplinary processes following court decision in John Doe case

Brown University plans to refine disciplinary processes following the court decision in a John Doe case.
Brown University plans to refine disciplinary processes following the court decision in a John Doe case. | Courtesy of Shutterstock
Following a legal decision that vacated Brown University’s finding in a disciplinary process related to sexual misconduct, the university recently issued a statement detailing how it plans to further refine its processes.
“The implementation of the policy and several other programmatic measures to address issues of gender-based harassment and sexual violence reflected Brown’s commitment to achieving a safe and welcoming environment for all members of the campus community and to ensuring fairness and impartiality for all parties in the investigation and disposition of reports,” a Brown University representative said in the statement. “Given both the complexity of resolving complaints of sexual misconduct and changes in the legal and regulatory environment, we expected that our policies and procedures would be refined and strengthened over time.”
The case, John Doe v. Brown University, stems from a disciplinary process conducted in spring 2016. Chief Judge William Smith of the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island found that the university’s procedures during the process were improperly applied and that Doe is entitled to a new hearing.
“This case provided an opportunity to re-examine elements of our policy and procedures,” the Brown representative said. “While the court found no indication of gender bias at Brown, the court’s review of this matter and subsequent ruling has provided guidance for improving upon our commitment to fairness in our procedures. We have begun to take action to address areas where -- during the course of the trial this summer -- the court identified procedures that could be strengthened. We have made other adjustments based on our first year of operation under the new policy and procedures.”

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