LSU Interim President asks for patience while independent law firm investigates Title IX allegations

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Updated: Dec. 4, 2020 at 5:29 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - LSU Interim President Tom Galligan asked for patience from community members as a law firm hired by the university investigates whether it mishandled sexual abuse claims.

RELATED: LSU hires law firm to review policies after investigative report claims university mishandled sexual misconduct complaints against students, top athletes

Galligan said that could come as early as February.

According to several USA Today articles, LSU reportedly ignored several sexual assault allegations against student-athletes. Since the articles were released, several other women have come forward saying the university mishandled their complaints as well.

RELATED: LSU defends decision to redact names from police report accusing Derrius Guice of sexual misconduct

“These are important issues and we must get it right,” Galligan said as he addressed the Board of Supervisors Friday. “That means we have to give Husch Blackwell the time they need to conduct a comprehensive investigation and when they have we will not hesitate to take swift and appropriate action if the findings show indifference or mishandling on the part of anyone at LSU.”

For the first time since the investigation was announced, a partner with the Texas-based firm hired by LSU to investigate these allegations spoke publicly. Scott Schneider, a Louisiana native who also has a student at LSU, outlined the investigation, saying his team of attorneys is currently looking back through a number of cases that involved sexual violence.

RELATED: LSU students protest, call for action in light of sexual misconduct allegations

“We are working with general counsel to start a paper review of how those cases were handled,” Schneider said. “After that paper review is done, it’s our intention to come on campus and start doing interviews.”

Schneider said those on-campus interviews could start as soon as next week.

Once the investigation is wrapped up, Schneider said his team will then move to figuring out how LSU can change its Title IX program to try and prevent any future failures.

“There are what are best practices and then matching best practices with what the resources of the university are so that we get an effective program,” he said. “Our work there will be baselining what other peer institutions have done in this space. What are some best practices that we know about and the really critical part of our work in this regard is going out and meeting with stakeholders.”

While the investigation is ongoing, Galligan said his office is working on making changes, specifically highlighting efforts made to work with STAR (Sexual Trauma and Response) on immediate solutions. He noted an email address was recently set up where students and faculty could email feedback, suggestions, failures, or other comments about the Title IX office at the university. Those emails go directly to the president’s office where an LSU official said someone is designated with addressing those concerns.

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