Press Release April 04, 2013

Goodwin Procter Pro Bono Investigation Prompts Reforms at Massachusetts Community College

In August 2012, the Board of Trustees of Roxbury Community College (RCC) in Boston engaged Goodwin Procter to independently investigate certain aspects of what The Boston Globe described as “systemic lapses over the past decade by former and current administrators” at the College.

Over the next six months, a team of 14 Goodwin attorneys and paralegals, headed by Senior Counsel and former Associate Attorney General of the United States Wayne Budd, examined charges that RCC had failed to comply with its legal obligations to investigate and report alleged sexual assaults on campus. Goodwin was also asked to examine specific allegations of financial mismanagement and to evaluate the College’s policies and procedures concerning campus security and sexual harassment.

The investigation, which was conducted on an entirely pro bono basis, encompassed nearly 3,000 hours of legal work. The Goodwin team conducted more than 50 interviews and collected, searched and reviewed more than 100,000 documents.

Goodwin delivered its findings in a comprehensive 56-page Report—dubbed the “Budd Report.” After unanimously voting to waive its attorney-client privilege, the RCC Board released the entire Budd Report to the public on March 27, 2013, drawing significant media attention, including a front-page article in The Globe.

The Budd Report concludes that, while certain of the specific allegations made against the College were unfounded, in several cases, senior administrators at the College were aware of allegations of sexual assaults on campus but failed adequately to investigate and/or to report them as required by federal law. Moreover, in one instance, the College may have improperly provided financial aid to a student for the purpose of silencing her allegation that she was sexually assaulted by a faculty member. The report also highlights significant deficiencies in the College’s internal controls and the absence of appropriate training for college employees concerning their obligations under federal law.

As a result of Goodwin Procter’s investigation, the Board of Trustees has unanimously adopted a series of recommendations designed to address the deficiencies identified in the Budd Report.

The Board of Trustees has repeatedly expressed its gratitude to the Goodwin team. Trustee Michael Curry praised Goodwin Procter’s “professionalism and top-notch legal services,” concluding that “our community owes you a debt of gratitude for helping to protect one of our most important institutions.”

Budd was joined in this extraordinary undertaking by associates Joe RockersCaroline Brownworth and Leann Walsh.