Important Message From President Johnson
Dear Concordia-Chicago Community:
About three months ago, I wrote to you regarding the proactive steps that the University was undertaking in response to reported misconduct by the University’s former Head Baseball Coach (view previous letter). Among those initiatives was my authorization of an independent investigation into the matter which has now concluded.
When we were first made aware of suspected sexual misconduct on the part of our former Head Baseball Coach in 2010, I believe we made the appropriate decisions in the best interests of our community. Among other things, the former Coach was terminated by the University in September of 2010 after an internal review revealed that he had engaged in physical and other sexual misconduct that did not involve minors.
During the fall of 2012, the University was informed of an arrest involving the former Head Baseball Coach, who allegedly had engaged in sexual misconduct with a high school aged minor who was not (and is not) a Concordia-Chicago student. With a heightened concern for the well-being of the University and its surrounding communities after learning of the 2012 arrest, I authorized a supplemental independent investigation of the original allegations that surfaced in 2010 and of our response to them; of the scope of the former Head Baseball Coach’s misconduct during his time at the University; and to determine whether any further actions would be appropriate. Our insistence on discovering any further information related to the issue is grounded in our commitment to doing what is in the best interests of our students, the University, and the community. To ensure an independent, thorough investigation, Concordia-Chicago retained the services of former Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Collins, of the Chicago office of Perkins Coie LLP, to conduct the investigation without preconditions.
Recently, Mr. Collins completed his investigation and briefed University officials on the results and on his conclusions. Due to the sensitive nature of the investigation, and given the extreme concern that numerous witnesses expressed about preserving strict confidentiality, there are limited details that I am able to share.
The scope and breadth of the investigation was significant, particularly considering the inherent constraints in conducting the process on an expedited basis and without any formal legal powers. Mr. Collins’ investigation included the following:
- Mr. Collins and his team began their work on October 24, 2012 and spent approximately 12 weeks and approximately 520 hours on the investigation.
- The investigative team interviewed more than 70 witnesses, including the former Coach himself, as well as former and current student-athletes, former and current Concordia-Chicago employees and staff members, parents, community members, and others. There are another 12 individuals who declined to be interviewed or who did not respond to communications from Mr. Collins and his team.
- Investigators also reviewed more than 45 GB of data in addition to hard-copy and electronic documents totaling in the thousands of pages.
- Concordia-Chicago administrators, staff, coaches, and many student-athletes provided their full cooperation in the investigation by providing requested documents and other information and by speaking with investigators.
I am confident in the approach, process, and integrity of Mr. Collins and his team. Although they were unable to speak with reluctant witnesses or compel others who did not wish to participate to come forward, I assure you that the investigation was independent and thorough.
Of particular importance, I wanted to let you know that the University has not identified any minors involved in the suspected sexual misconduct with the former Head Baseball Coach during his time at Concordia-Chicago.
Although Mr. Collins’ investigation is now complete, we will continue to cooperate with law enforcement authorities should additional information be revealed or other witnesses come forward. We will also continue the process of ensuring that all of our policies and procedures are in line with our values.
We remain committed to the safety of our campus and surrounding communities. I believe we are stronger now as a result of the actions that we have taken, and we will continue to seek ways to strengthen our community and promote our core values.
John F. Johnson