The Montana Board of Regents Commissioner of Higher Education says he?s going to review a series of news reports and emails concerning University of Montana administrators and how they?ve handled sexual assaults.
Over the weekend The Missoulian unveiled a series of UM administration emails it obtained after the paper, and the Wall Street Journal filed a Federal Freedom of Information request.
The emails raise questions about what university officials knew and how they handled alleged sex assaults.
?The commissioners? staff will review all of the information that was the subject of the news reports including all of the email communications. We will review the information in a timely fashion and the commissioner will advise the Board of Regents of his perspectives on it,? said Kevin McRae, the Associate Commissioner for Communications.
In one of the emails, Vice President Jim Foley questions whether a female student, who claimed she'd been raped, was in violation of the university code of conduct by speaking publicly about how the school was handling her report.
Monday, the first working day after the reports, Foley did not return phone calls for comment. It's an all too familiar scenario for the former editor of the Montana Kaimin, the university's student newspaper.
?The university spokesperson shouldn't be the most difficult person to reach on campus,? said Jayme Fraser.
The paper?s editorial board made the decision to address the problem. They called for Jim Foley's resignation in this editorial last month.
?Particularly in a climate when UM really has to know what it's talking about and really control its image, we felt it wasn't doing the university any good,? Fraser said.
Foley wrote back. He said the paper could do better. "...the watchdog never barks at one of its own family members," he said.
Then came a series the reports by the Missoulian showcasing emails and other communication between UM administrators including Foley.
?I wasn't really surprised to see some of the things he has said, he always in our work with him had a tendency to spin the news rather than provide factual info,? said Fraser.
She hopes attention to the issues from the Kaimin, the Missoulian and other media outlets will encourage change.
Jim Foley did not return calls for this story.