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Moody

Statement from Dr. Perry and Dr. Jobe

10.20.2020

Steps being taken related to Title IX office allegations

Dear Moody Family,

After much prayerful dialogue and a review of allegations brought to our attention concerning Moody Bible Institute’s Title IX office and process, we are sharing the steps we are taking to help ensure a safe and healthy environment for our students:

  1. We will engage an independent, third-party firm with specific Title IX expertise to conduct a thorough review of our Title IX office and processes, as well as investigate the allegations made in conjunction with the online petition, and assess whether Moody responded and handled these matters appropriately. We are interviewing potential firms this week and plan to begin the investigation as soon as possible. We will share the name of this firm once selected.
  2. It is important that we, as a Christian community, take time to listen, hear, and support any who may have been victims of sexual misconduct at Moody as well as fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct in our community.
  3. Perry will meet with our mental health professionals this week to discuss how we can provide immediate support to those who are hurting in our community, as well as begin developing a long-term plan by which they will become a more integrated resource in supporting students engaged in the Title IX process.
  4. Effective immediately, and until conclusion of the independent investigation, Dr. Tim Arens will step away from his responsibilities concerning any student discipline, and Mrs. Rachel Puente will step away from her part-time role as the Title IX Coordinator. This temporary reassignment of a portion of their responsibilities does not mean, and let us be clear, that we have determined that Dr. Arens, Mrs. Puente, or anyone else involved in these issues have done anything inappropriate. Please do not read into these actions any judgement by us toward Dr. Arens or Ms. Puente.
  5. As you know, several months ago, Dr. Arens announced his plans to retire at the end of June 2021. We have formed a search committee for a new Vice President of Student Life. We plan to include in the on-campus interview process for the final candidate(s), randomly selected students from the various student groups to ensure the voice and perspective of the student body is included in making this important decision.
  6. We will announce an interim Title IX Coordinator by this time next week.
  7. We will also, depending on the recommendations of the independent investigator, consider restructuring our Title IX office along with ways that we can provide more support to students in the Title IX process than in the past.
  8. We will provide periodic updates as we move forward.

Please know that the welfare of our students is paramount, and we sought this investigative and review process to help provide insights and recommendations for moving forward to ensure that we have a safe environment, and one that hears every student’s voice. We value the worth and dignity of every person and encourage our community to refrain from assumptions or conclusions until the investigation is fully complete.

A spirit of humility and action must mark our posture at this moment. We must be on our knees in prayer and we must listen and learn, in order to come through this experience as a stronger community. The Scripture exhorts us to be quick to listen, and slow to speak. Let us also remember the Apostle Paul’s exhortation to “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” This is the community we continue to work toward—where we count others more important than ourselves and look to their interests and not our own.

Thank you for your commitment to be in prayer, and for your patience as we enter this season.

If you were unable to join today’s President’s Chapel, in which we shared about the steps above and members of our community came together in a time of extended prayer, we would encourage you to visit the President’s Chapel web page. You can view the Tuesday, October 20, President’ Chapel on the “Archives” tab.

Humbly,

Dr. Mark Jobe
President

Dr. Dwight Perry
Provost

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