As you may be aware, The Ohio State University announced in April an independent external investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against a former university-employed physician, Dr. Richard Strauss. Shortly thereafter, we asked you to contact our independent investigators with any information you may have had related to the allegations.
I am writing today to share that Ohio State will cover the cost of professionally certified counseling services needed by our former students as a result of Dr. Strauss’ conduct during their time at Ohio State. As the independent investigation nears its completion, we want to make sure that those who have been impacted by Dr. Strauss have access to resources they need.
Ohio State has engaged Praesidium, a nationally recognized leader in preventing and responding to incidents of sexual abuse, to facilitate your access to support resources. Praesidium has extensive experience in providing confidential support services to survivors of sexual misconduct. No contact with the university will be required. Praesidium has established multiple points of contact for access to support resources. More will be shared in the coming days.
Under this arrangement, recipients are entitled to counseling services that are comparable to what we make available to students who are enrolled at Ohio State today. If you need further support, we will work with Praesidium to ensure that additional counseling continues to be made available to you as needed.
Additionally, if you have already pursued counseling because of what you experienced related to Dr. Strauss when you were a student at Ohio State, we will make additional resources available to you through Praesidium.
The university last updated the larger community about the independent investigation on Nov. 15, 2018. At that point in time, the Perkins Coie team had interviewed approximately 150 former students who had provided firsthand accounts of sexual misconduct committed by Strauss in the context of medical exams. Former students who were interviewed by investigators will also receive outreach directly from Perkins Coie to maintain their confidentiality.
To further ensure that alumni and other former students affected by Dr. Strauss’ conduct who may wish to seek services are aware of these counseling resources, the university will also distribute a news release to media announcing that we have engaged Praesidium as a partner in this effort.
For further information and details, please visit https://website.praesidiuminc.com/wp/osu/ or call 888-961-9273.
The independent investigation is ongoing and is of the highest priority for the university. Its purpose is to uncover what happened and determine what the university and its leaders at the time knew. Upon completion of the investigation, the university will address the past and continue to take action to support a better and safer future. Taking this step to provide support resources is one part of that process.
Michael V. Drake, MD