After weeks of criticism from a campus group about how sexual violence complaints are handled, University of Nebraska-Lincoln administrators will form a panel to strive to eliminate such violence.

About 25 organizations will contribute members to the "Title IX Collaborative," UNL officials said through a statement Wednesday. The panel will work in an advisory role, "consulting with the chancellor on matters related to Title IX and violence prevention," the statement said.

Sexual violence victims and supporters for weeks have pounded the NU Board of Regents and UNL administration with complaints and demands concerning UNL's Title IX office. That office investigates allegations of sexual abuse on campus. UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green's Title IX Collaborative appears to be a response to those complaints.

Among many things, the organization, Dear UNL, has asked that the Title IX office's coordinator, Tami Strickman, be replaced; that the office have a bigger staff; that better support of victims be provided; that an oversight committee be formed; and that various entities on the campus undergo more training in how to deal with sexual violence.

It was not immediately clear how Dear UNL would react. A spokeswoman for the group didn't respond to texts Wednesday morning. Dear UNL was not mentioned as an entity that would provide members to the collaborative.

UNL spokeswoman Leslie Reed said Green met with Dear UNL representatives Tuesday.

Green's statement said: "Over the past several months I have listened carefully to survivors of sexual assault and harassment who have courageously come together ... to call for elevated university attention to prevention, advocacy and support," Green said.

The collaborative will start work late this month, he said. It will review policies and procedures; identify effective strategies; review and assist with sexual violence prevention training; alert officials to trends or necessary changes in programs, intervention and service; survey the campus climate regarding sexual violence and prevention; and evaluate prevention programs and services provided to survivors.

Strickman said through the statement that the collaborative is modeled after similar groups at Big 10 universities. The collaborative will "gather information and identify strategies as we work to strengthen our response to sexual misconduct," Strickman said. 

UNL leadership has maintained that the Title IX office is an investigative office, not an advocacy group. And Green said last month that UNL already has added staffers to its Title IX office.

Dear UNL representatives since spring have spoken publicly three times to the NU Board of Regents. 

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

rick.ruggles@owh.com, 402-444-1123

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