State lawmakers posed tough questions for LSU’s leader yesterday on why two athletic department employees were suspended, and not fired, after they failed to properly report sexual abuse allegations against two football players. Alleged victims of the student-athletes came forward at the meeting to detail their abuse to legislators.
Interim LSU President Thomas Galligan appeared before the state Senate Select Committee on Women and Children, along with other state higher education leaders, to review allegations and instances of sexual misconduct at state colleges and universities. LSU’s mishandling of abuse and assault allegations was the focus of an investigation from an outside law firm the university hired. The findings were made public Friday, when Galligan announced that two employees were suspended without pay for 30 and 21 days, respectively. Galligan said a lack of existing policy on punishment for Title IX violations, limited the actions he could take.
Leaders of other university leaders reviewed their Title IX policies with lawmakers. Louisiana Community and Technical College System President Dr. Monty Sullivan said each of its 12 campuses has Title IX coordinators, with deputy coordinators at larger schools with athletic departments. The University of Louisiana System, comprised of nine schools, has a compliance officer on each campus with multiple employees, according to President Dr. Jim Henderson.
By comparison, the investigation showed LSU had just one Title IX coordinator for all of its campuses, which have a combined enrollment of more than 50,000 students.