OCTOBER 5, 2016 —The Department of Transportation has selected the Logistics Management Institute (LMI) to perform an independent cultural assessment of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), Kings Point, NY.
The cultural assessment is part of an effort to fully restore the Academy's Sea Year, which was suspended by Secretary of Transportation in June in response to reported incidents of sexual harassment and assault, hazing, bullying, coercion, and retaliation involving midshipmen during their time at sea.
LMI is to begin work immediately to assess the history, culture and climate of USMMA and the Sea Year program. The work will include a review of all relevant prevention policies and reporting procedures, as well as several other factors identified within the scope of work. Following its 60 day review, the contractor will provide its analysis with recommendations to Secretary Foxx
The Sea Year — actually a period in both sophomore and junior years when midshipmen are assigned to a variety of operating U.S. -flag merchant vessels — has been one of the basics of the Kings Point education since 1942 and the Academy has been making efforts to get it back on track. In July, it resumed onboard Federal vessels from the Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) and the following month onboard MARAD's Ready Reserve Force (RRF) vessels.
In AugustIn August, Secretary Foxx decided that additional steps that must be taken included bringing in independent outside experts experienced in assessing institutional and organizational culture.
The consultancy now selected for that role, the Logistics Management Institute is a non-profit consulting firm, founded in 1961, and catering primarily to the public sector,