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Independent investigation into Niagara University Title IX procedures finds no violations


Tue, Feb 16th 2016 05:10 pm

Submitted by Niagara University

Niagara University announced today that an independent investigation into allegations of Title IX violations has concluded. The inquiry, conducted by the Buffalo law firm Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria LLP, found the university and its personnel fully complied with the law in all matters and provided support, counsel and resources where appropriate.

The investigation had been prompted by allegations made in an online student petition.

"Niagara University provided the investigation team unimpeded access to all of the information requested, including access to the relevant individuals, documents, files and electronic evidence," said Barry N. Covert, senior partner of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria. "After carefully reviewing all of the relevant information over a two-month period, our investigation team determined that the university fully investigated each of the sexual assault matters raised in the petition and its accompanying comments."

"The procedures for handling sexual assault cases at Niagara University and in connection with the university's programs or activities, including the strict confidentiality requirements, are carefully regulated by Title IX, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and New York state's 'Enough is Enough' legislation," Covert said. "Notably, those laws strictly prohibit the university from disclosing or discussing particular allegations or the individuals affected."

"The university's primary concern is always the safety and well-being of our students and the entire campus community," said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University. "We consider all student allegations and concerns seriously, and we remain committed to our Title IX obligations. We abide by and exceed guidelines presented by New York state's 'Enough is Enough' legislation and we will continue to work with our students and the campus community, as well as with our external partner agencies, to educate our community in an effort to provide a safe living, learning and working environment."

The university also announced that its dean of students, Carrie McLaughlin, who had been on administrative leave during the investigation, will not return to her previous position.

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