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Middlebury Statement on "Profiling" Investigation

November 6, 2017

In May 2017, as Middlebury College was completing its disciplinary process for a number of students in relation to the events of March 2, it terminated one student-conduct case prior to hearing, following receipt of certain evidence that raised questions about the student’s whereabouts.

At the beginning of the summer, that student, who has since graduated, alleged that a Public Safety officer had engaged in “racial profiling” by identifying her as a participant in the interference with a moving car following the appearance on campus of political scientist Charles Murray. Middlebury takes all such claims seriously and therefore opened an investigation under its Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy to determine if the officer had acted wrongly. The investigation was conducted by the experienced staff in Middlebury’s Title IX & Compliance Office, which is responsible for determining whether discrimination or harassment has occurred.

The investigation took approximately eight weeks, including 22 recorded interviews and the gathering and review of multiple forms of evidence. Following the investigation, the Title IX Office determined that the Public Safety officer did not violate Middlebury’s Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy. Moreover, the office determined that the Public Safety officer did not engage in any form of profiling when he identified the former student as having participated in the incident. The officer’s identification of the former student was corroborated by other evidence gathered during the investigation, including testimony from other witnesses.

This matter has been fully resolved by the conclusion of the investigation under the Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy. Middlebury is confident that the trained investigator and adjudicator conducted a full, thorough, and fair investigation, and made the determination after a careful evaluation of all the evidence, including newly discovered evidence. No other processes or actions remain pending regarding either the former student or the employee.

Separately, there have been anonymous accusations regarding Middlebury Vice President for Communications Bill Burger’s conduct on the night of March 2. These claims are without any basis in fact. The Middlebury Police Department’s investigation did not corroborate the anonymous accusations. Moreover, Middlebury’s independent investigators found that – as reported by multiple eyewitnesses to the incident – Mr. Burger drove slowly and carefully, stopping frequently to avoid harming individuals who threw themselves against, in front of, and sometimes on top of the car.