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UMaine At Farmington Interim President Responds To Allegations That The School Mishandled Rape Cases

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University of Maine photo

Following a Bangor Daily News story that describes the mishandling of rape cases brought by two female students at the University of Maine Farmington, the school's interim president says changes are underway.

Eric Brown says that, as painful as the cases were to read about, they present an opportunity for the campus to take action, engage in conversation and hear from more students, “who may be emboldened by the stories that were told in the paper to come forward and tell us how the campus can better serve them.”

The Bangor Daily News account details how University committees decided that the two women had been sexually assaulted, but the findings were ultimately overturned, in one case by the college's then-president. Questions were asked about whether the procedures violated federal law.

Brown says UMF is looking for a new vice president for student affairs and a new mental health counselor. Both positions were already planned, but Brown says the school will be paying special attention to make sure those hired have expertise in sexual assault issues.

The interim president says a number of forums will be taking place over the next couple of weeks to bring together the campus community.

"If you think that you've been let down, tell us about that, and let us know, and let's excavate, and let's improve this and let's continue to focus and concentrate and commit to it," says Brown.