Letters

Men’s Ice Hockey Task Force

March 7, 2012

Message to Boston University Community

As you know from my February 23 announcement, I am convening a Task Force on Men’s Hockey which will examine the culture of our men’s ice hockey team and report back to me in the summer. I am writing to let you know that the formation of the Task Force is now complete, and you may find a list of members and read the charge to the Task Force below. You can also find further information on BU Today.

This Task Force will meet and consult with the full spectrum of our community and outside experts. They will commence their work immediately and report their findings during the summer. This way, we will have an opportunity to consider how we can implement recommendations before the next academic year begins.

I am especially grateful to Dr. Jonathan Cole, chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees, and University Provost Jean Morrison for taking on the important work of co-chairing this group.

Robert A. Brown
President

Charge to Men's Hockey Task Force

Thank you for agreeing to serve on the task force to review and assess the men's hockey program at Boston University. The task force will be co-chaired by Jonathan Cole, chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees, and University Provost and Chief Academic Officer Jean Morrison. Chief of Staff for the Office of the President, Doug Sears, will serve as staff. The full membership of the task force is included below.

The Boston University community expects that our student-athletes, as representatives of the University, will adhere to the same high standards to which we hold all members of our community and which reflect the mission and aspirations of our university.

Within the last three months, serious charges of sexual assault against female BU students have been brought against two members of the men's hockey team. Quite understandably, these charges have given rise to legitimate and serious questions about whether the hockey team's culture and climate have contributed in some way to the actions of the two individuals. The University must address these questions and, if deficiencies are identified, make appropriate and necessary changes.

Your charge is to review, as comprehensively as you are able, the culture and climate of the men's hockey program, and to offer the University a thoughtful and impartial assessment. The goal is to answer the question whether that culture and climate could have contributed to actions that, in turn, led to criminal charges. Your task is also to offer recommendations based on your assessment.

Your review and assessment should include consideration of:

  1. Academic Quality: Rigor, attendance, diligence, and performance in players' chosen fields of study. How does the academic engagement and performance of hockey players compare with that of other students and student-athletes?
  2. Student Life Issues: Interactions of members of the men's hockey team with other members of the student body, male and female, and with the broader University community. Do team members have the same expectations for engagement in student life as do other undergraduate students and student-athletes? Is their participation in community life similar to, or different from, that of other students and student-athletes? How does their engagement and conduct, individually and collectively as well as on and off campus, compare with that of average students and student-athletes?
  3. The disciplinary history of members of the men's hockey team. Does that history differ from the norm for other undergraduate students and student-athletes in our community?

I encourage you to reach out broadly to our faculty, staff, and students, including members of the team itself as well as to other student-athletes. Other members of the University community, including our alumni, may have valuable perspectives as well. The task force may also seek the advice of outside experts, as it deems necessary.

The work and the deliberations of the task force are strictly confidential. Although I anticipate that your report will be made public, I will decide how and when that will occur. Please refer any media inquiries to Doug Sears. You should feel free to consult the co-chairs if you have any questions or need further guidance in this regard.

I would like to receive your report in the summer so that we can consider your recommendations and implement needed changes as early as possible in the fall semester.

I appreciate your willingness to take on this important responsibility. Through your efforts, we will take whatever steps are necessary to restore the community's confidence in our men's ice hockey program and to ensure that the standards we set for our students in conduct and academic performance are consistent with our mission, core purposes and aspirations, and that those standards are consistently applied.

MEN'S HOCKEY TASK FORCE MEMBERS

CO-CHAIRS

Dr. Jonathan R. Cole
John Mitchell Mason Professor
Columbia University
Boston University Trustee

Dr. Jean Morrison
Boston University Provost and Chief Academic Officer

MEMBERS

Professor Amy Baltzell
Coordinator, Sport Psychology Specialization/Counseling Program
School of Education

Professor Sara Brown
Athletic Training Program
College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College

Professor William DeJong
School of Public Health

Mr. David E. Hollowell
Boston University Overseer

Dean Jeffrey Hutter
Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine

Professor Michael J. Lyons
Chair, Psychology Department
College of Arts & Sciences

Professor Elizabeth Mehren
Department of Journalism
College of Communication

Ms. Carla E. Meyer
Boston University Trustee

Ms. Francine Montemurro
Boston University Ombuds

Dean Maureen O'Rourke
School of Law

Mr. C. A. Lance Piccolo
Boston University Trustee

Ms. Kim A. Randall
Director of Equal Opportunity
Boston University

Mr. Richard D. Reidy
Boston University Trustee

Professor Emily Rothman
School of Public Health

STAFF

Dr. Doug Sears
Chief of Staff
Office of the President