The University of Colorado will increase the frequency of employees' training on discrimination and harassment policies under new recommendations made in the wake of the Boulder campus's botched handling of domestic violence allegations against a former football coach.

Chancellor Phil DiStefano accepted several recommendations from a committee formed last July to review the university's policies and his goals following the controversy surrounding Joe Tumpkin, a now-former assistant coach. His goals centered around "eliminating structural impediments to addressing sexual misconduct" and increasing campus collaboration.

The committee's report was announced late Thursday afternoon in the university's internal publication, CU Boulder Today.

DiStefano will implement the committee's recommendation that faculty and staff be required to complete training every three years, rather than five.

He also accepted a recommendation to have the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance report to Kelly Fox, the senior vice chancellor and chief financial officer who also chaired the committee.

Beyond that, DiStefano accepted a recommendation to strengthen partnerships between the equity office, campus human relations and faculty relations to increase faculty understanding and trust in the Title IX program, as well as a recommendation to create a central liaison role between the equity office and the senior women's administrator in athletics, Ceal Barry.


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"People spent a lot of time thinking and working hard to address some serious issues on a really important topic," Fox said. "... Already, a lot of progress has been made around the collaboration aspects of the report."

DiStefano did not accept a recommendation to elevate athletics and human resources to the chancellor's cabinet, which is his executive leadership team. He explained in a June memo to Fox that other avenues already existed for the departments to "continue our integration work."

The committee provided recommended revisions to the system's sexual misconduct policy, too, and their revisions are being reviewed by university stakeholders now. The revisions would require approval by each of the campuses' leaders and CU President Bruce Benson. DiStefano has since provided the full report to Benson.

In late 2016, Tumpkin's ex-girlfriend reported the alleged abuse to CU officials and later told police he assaulted her more than 100 times between February 2015 and November 2016. He has been charged with five counts of felony second-degree assault and three counts of misdemeanor third-degree assault, court records show. The Broomfield County case stalled last year as attorneys fought over how much access his defense team should have to the woman's cell phone records.

Apart from the criminal proceedings, the allegations against Tumpkin sparked an investigation into CU's handling of the case, particularly the fact that CU head coach Mike MacIntyre, Athletic Director Rick George and DiStefano failed to report the allegations upon learning of them from the woman.

After the investigation, DiStefano received a 10-day suspension, and MacIntyre and George were each ordered to make $100,000 contributions to domestic-violence support organizations. They split their donations among CU's Office of Victim Assistance, Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence and Gateway Domestic Violence Services.

CU officials on Thursday said they've already updated coaches' contracts to include specific language regarding the reporting of sexual misconduct and discrimination and instituted new training on policies for 290 student-athletes and more than 400 employees, including athletics staff, university leaders and other department staff.

Looking forward, the committee provided recommendations that need further review. Groups affected by the recommendations will study and potentially act on them under the direction of Fox, she said.

The recommendations include: the creation of advisory boards to the athletics department and the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, the creation of an informal structure of liaisons between departments and the equity office, the clarification of sanction policy, the exploration of increased in-person training by the equity office, and the exploration of improving campus conversation about upholding Title IX.

"Explore how to change the manner in which the campus talks about Title IX — less focus on compliance and more focus on building a community around 'It's the right thing to do,'" committee members wrote in the report.

"Those are recommendations that we need to spend more time with to have the best approach, but (DiStefano) is supportive of those and that work," Fox said.

DiStefano convened the committee a year ago with goals to elevate the visibility of the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, other professional campus services and the legal team; integrate the athletics department with the broader university community; clarify policies related to sexual misconduct; and ensure the central strategic relations and communications team directs internal and external communication strategies.

Cassa Niedringhaus: 303-473-1106, cniedringhaus@dailycamera.com, twitter.com/CassaMN