October 3, 2023

Letter to the UMW Community

The following message is from the Committee on Sexual Assault: 

Dear UMW Community,

As we begin another academic year, we feel it is important to update everyone on our efforts to evaluate and improve the university’s current policies and practices related to sexual violence. This is an extremely important initiative and a substantial amount of work has been done. In December 2014, former UMW President Richard Hurley created a task force of 22 faculty, staff, and students. This group was charged with the task of determining whether or not the university’s practices and policies meet or exceed best practice in the areas of preventing and responding to sexual assault on our campus. On March 15, 2016, that group submitted a final task force report to Mr. Hurley. The report can be viewed at President’s Task Force on Sexual Assault.

During the spring semester of 2017, a committee of eight faculty and staff reconvened to evaluate the status of each of the prior recommendations and to put forward an updated list of priorities. That group of individuals updated the original report and submitted a letter to President Troy Paino, summarizing their work. One of the recommendations of that group was to establish a long-standing committee that will meet periodically throughout the academic year to discuss current best practices for college campuses, continually assess our current services and policies, and identify priorities with an eye toward continuing to improve our approach to addressing sexual violence on our campus.

Over the past few months, some changes to the structure of the Office of Title IX have been made and a group of individuals has been formed, following the receipt of a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women. To help clarify the roles of the offices and committees on our campus doing work related to sexual assault, we have provided descriptions of each. 

Office of Title IX
– The Title IX Coordinator and the Office of Title IX are tasked with the coordination of UMW’s compliance efforts with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and related requirements and guidance (e.g., Dear Colleague Letters, VAWA, Clery Act, FERPA) to create a campus culture that supports a safe and respectful academic, working, and living environment.   

Committee on Sexual Assault (formerly the Sexual Assault Task Force) – The charge for this committee is to continually review the current best practices related to sexual assault on college campuses, to evaluate the current UMW practices and policies, and to update the list of priorities with an eye toward continuing to improve our prevention and intervention processes.

Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT) (expires September 2019) – The CCRT was created under the Office on Violence Against Women after the receipt of a grant from the Reduce Sexual Assault, Domestic and Dating Violence, and Stalking program. This grant is managed by the Office of Title IX. The team comprises key stakeholders from the surrounding community and throughout the campus, including students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community partners. The team is tasked with coordinating prevention and intervention efforts; facilitating communication between key campus departments and community partners; ensuring messages across efforts are consistent and reinforced; and ensuring the system’s response to victims/survivors is seamless, consistent, and supportive.  

Together, the Office of Title IX, Committee on Sexual Assault and CCRT, in partnership with the university community as a whole, will diligently work to continue to improve and expand the services provided on our campus.  


Tiffany Oldfield, J.D. (Title IX Coordinator)

Laura Wilson, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Committee on Sexual Assault)

The members of the long-standing committee will be:

Laura Wilson, Psychological Science (Committee Chair)

Terri Arthur, Human Resources

Mike Hall, Chief of Police

Sabrina Johnson, Human Resources

Marissa Miller, Associate Coordinator of Student Conduct and Coordinator for Prevention and Advocacy

Tiffany Oldfield, Office of Title IX

Melissa Palguta, Talley Center

Ray Tuttle, Director of Student Conduct and Responsibility