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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)August 6, 2015

Initiative Based Upon Commissioned Reports by
Nationally Recognized Campus Safety Consultant and
Former New Jersey State Attorney General

MAHWAH, NEW JERSEY – Ramapo College of New Jersey today introduced Ramapo: Advance, a strategic plan to advance campus safety (the “Plan”). The Plan is based on two independent reports commissioned by the College and conducted by D. Stafford & Associates (“Stafford”), a professional consulting firm specializing in campus safety, security, and law enforcement issues on college campuses, and a separate report by former New Jersey State Attorney General Anne Milgram. The College has begun implementation of the Plan, with completion expected during 2016.

Dr. Peter Mercer, President of Ramapo College of New Jersey, said: “A safe environment is a basic requisite for a strong learning environment, and Ramapo is committed to ensuring we provide both for every student. Ramapo: Advance is a way forward for the College to ensure that our policies and procedures are fully aligned with our commitment to the safety of our students and the entire campus community.”

Ramapo: Advance is a compilation and concentration of recommendations made in the reports submitted by Stafford and former Attorney General Milgram. It also incorporates recommendations contributed by third-party public safety experts, administrators, and law enforcement officials, including Mahwah Chief of Police James N. Batelli. The Plan is organized into a series of initiatives, each designed to enact, enforce, evaluate and continually enhance each of the adopted recommendations that focus on policies, training, staffing, and organizational infrastructure. The full text of the Ramapo: Advance is available online at Ramapo College of New Jersey’s website at www.ramapo.edu/advance.

Ramapo: Advance was substantially informed by an in-depth report prepared by the consulting firm, D. Stafford & Associates, a leading authority on Title IX and Clery Act compliance. The firm was founded by Dolores Stafford, a 26-year law enforcement and the security industry veteran who worked in Campus Law Enforcement for 23 years at Bucknell University, Butler University, and most recently, at the George Washington University, where she served as Chief of Police. The firm is an organizational member of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators and the International Association of Professional Security Consultants. The Stafford team that produced the report for Ramapo was led by Adrienne Meador Murray, Stafford’s Director of Training and Compliance Activities. The report was initiated in December 2014 and concluded July 1, 2015 after more than six months of research and analysis. During that time, Murray interviewed three students, 23 administrators, and faculty representatives from College-wide groups.

Murray, of D. Stafford & Associates, found: “The commitment to the students at Ramapo was evident in all of the interviews. Ramapo administration and staff have clearly embraced their responsibility to this special educational environment. Several staff members understood the bigger picture of addressing the role of alcohol and bystander intervention in conjunction with the need to draft a comprehensive sexual misconduct policy.”

Ramapo: Advance was similarly informed by a report produced by former New Jersey State Attorney General Anne Milgram which was furnished on July 29. Milgram interviewed three students, four administrators, and the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

In her report, Milgram said: “Throughout my interactions with Ramapo and its constituents, I have been deeply impressed by the commitment of the entire college community to providing a safe campus for its students. … The seriousness with which the administration at Ramapo has taken this matter has been evident in the level of access that I have been provided. At all times throughout my review I have been given complete and full access to both people and information.”

“When reviews such as this occur, a temptation exists to focus only on the areas in need of further reform. Here, I would encourage a focus on the positive: it is unusual for a college to take such a deep and searching lens to itself to figure out how to do better,” Milgram concluded, “This, above all, should be encouraged and seen in the spirit for improvement with which it has come.”

Ramapo has begun implementing certain initiatives according to a critical path that will enable rapid deployment. Among the steps taken, Ramapo met with Mahwah Police Chief James N. Batelli regarding enhanced communication and collaboration between Ramapo College and the Mahwah Police Department regarding sexual assault prevention and education.

James N. Batelli, Chief of the Mahwah, New Jersey Police Department, said: “I have had an opportunity to work with Ramapo College on their plan to advance public safety. It’s a practical approach for enhancing existing policies that will lead to stronger collaboration with local law enforcement to ensure rapid and proper handling of reported sexual assaults.”

For more information about Ramapo: Advance, progress about its implementation, and additional services and resources provided by Ramapo College, please visit https://www.ramapo.edu/advance.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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