The University of California has announced new system wide procedures for responding to alleged sexual harassment by faculty and staff that provide greater transparency, consistency and timeliness in investigating and adjudicating such cases.
The new procedures for faculty and staff must be implemented at all UC locations no later than Sept. 1. The university enacted a similar model for students last year.
“Combined with our ongoing prevention strategies, these clearly-defined frameworks strengthen our procedures for handling sexual misconduct cases and furthering a culture of safety and respect at the University,” UC President Janet Napolitano said.
The most significant changes reflected in the frameworks announced today:
- Clear roles and responsibilities for Title IX offices and other offices involved in adjudication and discipline of sexual violence and sexual harassment cases
- Processes that include completing investigations within 60 business days and, within 40 days after that, making decisions on discipline
- Following an investigation, complainants and respondents have an opportunity to communicate with the decision-maker regarding their desired outcome.
- For staff, any discipline proposed by a respondent’s supervisor will be reviewed and approved by the chancellor or chancellor designee.
- For faculty, a peer review committee on each campus will advise the chancellor or chancellor designee on appropriate resolution, including discipline.
- Informing complainants as well as respondents of any and all outcomes
Where sexual misconduct is found to have occurred, the additional oversight by the chancellor’s designee in staff cases and the peer review committee in faculty cases will ensure an added level of deliberation and accountability.
To ensure consistency and fairness, the systemwide Title IX office will train all people involved in making decisions in these cases.
“These models signify another milestone in UC’s ongoing efforts to strengthen our investigation and adjudication processes,” said Systemwide Title IX Coordinator Kathleen Salvaty.
“For the past year, campuses have been hard at work shoring up their resources and improving their processes for implementation of these systems,” she said.