Next Steps for Company Picked for Operational Audit of Title IX and Discrimination Cases
By: Maria Giovanna Jumper
In the October 12 issue, The Delphian reported in the article “Even as the University Increases Awareness of Diversity and Inclusion, Some Students Use Social Media to Share Incidents of Discrimination,” that students have been expressing their frustration with incidents of racism and discrimination they have experienced on campus. One student, Ja’Various Rogers, class of 2021, shared his experiences with The Delphian and his feeling of being silenced about racist comments and actions he saw on campus.
Around the same time, the university announced the need for an audit after hearing complaints from many students. On October 23 a university-wide email was sent from James Perrino, the executive vice president of finance and administration, stating that an external firm was chosen for the complaint process audit. Perrino wrote, “We are pleased to update you that Baker Tilly US, LLP, a nationally recognized higher education accounting and advisory firm, has been selected.”
Additionally the email informed the Adelphi community that the audit would commence October 26, 2020. Baker Tilly US, LLP, will review “the processes and procedures for handling complaints in academic, administrative and student life matters, such as dining, housing, academic support, student counseling, public safety, student financial services, alleged violations of the Code of Conduct, and allegations of sexual misconduct, discrimination and bias, including those which fall under Title IX,” according to Perrino.
In the same email, he added,“The firm will review the University’s policies and procedures and offer us insight and advice on whether there are areas that could be improved.”
Additionally, the auditing firm will be speaking with groups of staff and students to use their input in their recommendations to the university.
In a recent interview with The Delphian, Perrino stated, “Baker Tilly has been making good progress thus far. They have been gathering information on policies and procedures and have done numerous interviews and meetings with members of the community. I would characterize their work as about 50 percent complete at this point.”
Additionally, Perrino said that they should receive some preliminary recommendations in the next two weeks and a full in-depth report by the end of this semester. Although the Baker Tilly firm have not reported anything at this point, they have told Perrino that they have received useful input from students and staff.
Perrino added that he and Sentwali Bakari, vice president of Student Affairs and dean of students, have met with a number of student organizations on campus to talk about the review.
“We have generally heard support for the review,” he said. “As part of the review Baker Tilly will be doing meetings with both students and faculty to hear any of their concerns directly.”