Report: 'The Citadel at odds with own ideals'

Cadets march on The Citadel campus Monday. (Joe O'Neill/WCIV)

By Eric

CHARLESTON, SC (WCIV) -- A Citadel self-evaluation has been made available to the public.

The Citadel released the 23-page report to ABC News 4 Monday. In it, The Citadel is called "an institution at odds with its own ideals and values."

Leaders held the review from January to July. In the wake of past shortcomings and successes, the goal was to include the entire campus, to identify the biggest issues.

The report was commissioned by The Citadel and completed by the Institutional Program Assessment Committee, or IPAC.

The committee listed 14 recommendations, which The Citadel must immediately address and improve upon.

"What you see in there are all the things that you need work, and some of the things are alarming to you," said Citadel President, Lt. Gen. John Rosa.

IPAC consisted of six panels to examine campus issues ranging from hazing, discipline and alcohol as well as sexual abuse and harassment. The review was critical of The Citadel's disciplinary system, calling it broken.

"Those are strong words," said Rosa. "That's a part of the report I take issue with and I've got to meet with that panel to find out what's going on in their minds."

Rosa says they will find the right disciplinary philosophy moving forward.

Also under the microscope is The Citadel's history with youth-related programs and sexual abuse.

While the report applauds efforts for abuse prevention, it says there is no coherent approach to the problem.

Part of the review reads, "Although there seems to have been progress in the reporting of sexual assaults, significant challenges remain. Panelists heard testimony that 'cadets of both sexes in some companies have reported they have been discouraged from reporting incidents of sexual assault' because 'what happens in the company, should stay in the company'."

The report also identified Skip ReVille, a former cadet convicted of molesting 23 boys, as one who once seemed to epitomize the citadel's core values. According to Rosa, changing such a negative influence and reshaping a culture will be some of the biggest challenges to assuring these events do not repeat themselves.

"Our climate and our culture, those are big because they're hard to work," Rosa said. "Culture takes a long time to start to turn that ship."

The Citadel says it released the report to be transparent and to identify what it will take to live up to its high standards.