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Jan. 30, 2014 Volume 35, No. 17

President Wolfe asks curators for independent investigation

At an early afternoon press conference Wednesday, University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe said he would ask the Board of Curators at its public session this week at MU to hire an independent group to examine how the four campuses respond to student allegations of sexual assault and student mental health issues.

“The independent counsel will have full rein to ask any questions of anybody,” Wolfe said.

The recommendation, first announced by Wolfe Jan. 26 in a statement, comes on the heels of an ESPN investigation on “Outside the Lines,” published online Jan. 24 and aired on Jan. 26, on former Missouri freshman swimmer Sasha Menu Courey.

The story reported that Courey alleged she was sexually assaulted in 2010. Courey never filed a police report, and she committed suicide in June 2011. 

The criminal case has been turned over to the Columbia Police Department because the alleged assault happened off campus.

Wolfe said he will be meeting with the four campus chancellors later this week to talk about campus policies. Improving the safety of students is an ongoing commitment of the four campuses, he said. 

“We are going to examine the full extent of what happened,” Wolfe said, referencing the Courey case. “I believe we can learn from this. We will be better for it.”

Wolfe said the Courey case hits close to home for him because his daughter is a university freshman and a student-athlete. 

“Most important is the safety of our students,” he said.

UPDATE: The Board of Curators on Wednesday approved the hiring of outside independent counsel, which will report back to the curators by April 11, according to a news release.