News & Events

Important Message From President Johnson

10/24/2012

Dear Concordia Community,

Among the core values which shape and guide our institution is the value of integrity-the accord between our beliefs and our practices. In keeping with that value, I wish to share with you recent developments and proactive measures that the University has undertaken in response to reported misconduct by the University’s former Head Baseball Coach.

More than two years ago, in September of 2010, a Concordia University Chicago employee was made aware of suspected inappropriate sexual conduct involving the University’s former Head Baseball Coach. The reported misconduct did not involve minors. The employee immediately brought these concerns to his supervisors and campus leadership, and within hours, the Head Coach was suspended and barred from campus.

Top University officials, with guidance from outside counsel, immediately conducted a review in an attempt to determine whether the allegations were true. The University determined that, indeed, the Head Coach’s conduct was both egregious and antithetical to the mission of the University. University officials also contacted local law enforcement to alert them to the Head Coach’s conduct. 

The Head Coach was terminated within a few days of the allegations surfacing. In an effort to protect the privacy of those who had been subjected to the Head Coach’s conduct, we encouraged our students, their parents and our employees with knowledge of the conduct to refrain from commenting publicly about the matter.

The University took swift action to protect our students and the community. We immediately acted on the information that was brought to our attention; we promptly banned the Head Coach from campus and terminated his employment; we informed local law enforcement; we informed the NCAA; and we safeguarded the privacy of those impacted by the Head Coach’s misconduct. All of these steps were in accord with our beliefs.

Recently, a local law enforcement official informed the University that the former Head Coach had been arrested in a nearby county. After obtaining a copy of the police report, we learned details of the arrest. While the documents indicate that no charges were brought, we were concerned to learn that the former Head Coach was alleged to have engaged in inappropriate conduct with a high school aged minor. The individual was not a Concordia–Chicago student.  

We have also engaged former Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Collins, of the Chicago office of Perkins Coie LLP, to conduct a supplemental independent investigation of the original allegations that surfaced in 2010 and our response to those allegations; to determine the scope of the former Head Coach’s misconduct during his tenure at the University; and to determine whether any further actions are appropriate. Mr. Collins brings with him not only a wealth of experience but, more importantly, an objective and independent voice. I have asked Mr. Collins to conduct a thorough investigation without pre-conditions. Mr. Collins has assured me that this matter will be given top priority and that he expects to complete his review by the end of the year. Any relevant information he learns in the course of his investigation will be promptly provided to law enforcement authorities. 

I am announcing this action today because of the recent alleged incident involving the former Head Coach and our determination to contribute, in whatever way possible, to the continued well-being of the University and its surrounding communities. Our decision to commence an independent investigation may not only assist law enforcement, but will enable us to provide the necessary support for any individual who may have been impacted by the former Head Coach’s misconduct. 

To maintain the integrity of the investigation, we are not releasing additional details at this time. However, we will provide further information when the investigation is complete. 

If you have any information that could assist us in our investigation, please contact Patrick Collins of Perkins Coie at (312) 324-8558 or pcollins@perkinscoie.com. At your request, any information you provide will be treated confidentially.

Concordia University Chicago is a strong, vibrant community, and I know that we will be stronger as a result of our actions today.

 

John F. Johnson

President