Reitz said the school expects the outside investigation to answer who at UConn knew about the allegations and what action was taken between 2006 and 2011.
"This will be the central focus of the self-initiated retrospective review, expected to be undertaken by an investigatory firm selected through the RFP [request for proposal] process," Reitz said. "The same questions that others are asking are being asked by the board of trustees and this administration and will be the driving focus of the outside law firm's review."
"The [current] administration became aware of this on Feb. 13 of this year," Reitz said. As to what action was taken by previous administrators on the allegations, Reitz said, "Those will be reviewed as part of the independent counsel study."
Richard Kenny, a lawyer who represented 40 victims in the recent sexual abuse case against Dr. George Reardon, a now-dead endocrinologist at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, said he gives credit to Herbst, who began as president in June 2011, "for stepping up and taking an aggressive position."
But, he said, if any suggestion was made to university officials as early as 2006 of the possibility that Miller was abusing children, "They should have at that point worked from the premise that this was happening and we need to take it seriously and move forward."
Kenny said the university should have done this even if the allegation regarding Miller was only "kind of having an idea. That's good enough …. You can't work with the benefit of the doubt going to the supposed perpetrator. You need to go the other way when it comes to children. "
Kenny said that if university officials had any inkling that Miller was abusing children, they should have involved police immediately. "I'm not talking about anything more than getting the police involved from day one and letting them do their job," said Kenny. "You cannot take the position that it will be embarrassing to the school if this is let out. You need to take the position that the police are better suited to investigate this."
The UConn police investigation opened in February after receiving the December 2011 letter, which had been sent to a department head whom UConn would not identify Monday.
State police are asking anyone with information on the case to call major crime squad detectives at the Tolland state police barracks at 860-896-3200.
Courant Staff Writer Hilda Munoz contributed to this story.