Franciscan University is committed to having a safe campus so students, faculty, and staff are able to study, work, and grow both intellectually and spiritually. This is a commitment of the entire Franciscan family. Sexual misconduct, in particular, has no place on our campus, strikes against the core of our Catholic and Franciscan values, is a serious sin, and a crime.
In August of 2018, Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, President of Franciscan University of Steubenville, apologized to any person who may have been harmed at Franciscan University, or whose complaints may not have been taken seriously, and invited them to report their experiences to the University and law enforcement. At that time, Father Sheridan also announced the Board of Trustees had approved the engagement of Husch Blackwell, LLP, a firm that specializes in Title IX compliance, to conduct a review of University records pertaining to past allegations of sexual misconduct by clergy and non-clergy employees at the University.
On January 26, Husch Blackwell, reported its findings to the Board of Trustees. The trustees then initiated a process to review the Husch Blackwell findings to determine what information might be released publicly, consistent with the privacy interests of victims and students. At the April 5-6 trustees’ meeting, the board approved the release of a document titled Franciscan University of Steubenville—Historical Review and Actions Taken Regarding Campus Safety. The document, found below, includes a letter from Father Malachi van Tassell, TOR, minister provincial and chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, president of Franciscan University. The document also includes the identities of certain clerics associated with substantiated reports of unwelcome sexual contact and action steps the University has taken since 2014 to maintain campus safety.
If you have experienced abuse or have knowledge of abuse, please file a report. All reports will be investigated promptly, fairly, and confidentially.