To: Faculty, Other Academic Appointees, Staff, Postdoctoral Researchers, and Students
From: Daniel Diermeier
Subject: Sexual Misconduct Prevention Initiatives
Date: September 8, 2016
I write to provide you with an update on the University’s ongoing commitment to addressing and preventing sexual misconduct – including gender-based and sexual harassment, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. Sexual misconduct is not acceptable at the University, and we remain committed to increasing awareness of our policies and procedures.
The University continues to make substantial efforts to meet these goals and improve our structure for addressing allegations of sexual misconduct to ensure that we respond to such incidents in a prompt, equitable, and thorough manner that best serves our community and complies with the applicable laws and regulations. I want to highlight a few of these efforts for you.
As the University announced in February, as of July 1, 2016 sexual misconduct awareness and prevention training is mandatory for all students, faculty, other academic appointees, staff, and postdoctoral researchers. Those responsible for adjudicating student complaints of sexual misconduct – including the University-wide Disciplinary Committee and Review Board – will also receive additional training to further ensure that the University is adjudicating sexual misconduct complaints in a way that is consistent with our policies and the law. Michele Rasmussen (Dean of Students in the University) and Sarah Wake (Associate Provost & Title IX Coordinator for the University) will send a follow-up message containing specific details regarding the continued rollout of these training programs. The University will seek feedback on these programs to continue to develop and improve them over time. Michele and Sarah will also continue to seek student feedback regarding the sexual misconduct training provided to first year students in the College during Orientation Week and revise that programming as appropriate.
The University has committed additional resources to responding to allegations of sexual misconduct, including the appointment of Shea Wolfe as Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students and Associate Dean of Students in the University. Shea will focus solely on student concerns pertaining to sexual misconduct – including receiving complaints and providing support services and accommodations to students. Shea can also answer questions regarding engaging in the student disciplinary process or making a complaint with local law enforcement. The University will continue to increase resources dedicated to responding to reports of sexual misconduct during the upcoming academic year.
The University offers many forms of support and resources – including confidential resources – to all members of our community. For additional information regarding resources and the University’s response to reports of sexual misconduct, please review the University’s one-page resource guide for students, or visit the UMatter website (for students) or the Provost’s website. I also encourage you to contact Sarah Wake or Shea Wolfe with questions at any time.
These are important steps toward strengthening the University’s response to sexual misconduct, increasing confidence in the process, building awareness of the University’s Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct (including the processes, definitions, reporting obligations, and support services set forth in the Policy), and fostering a healthy and respectful living, learning and working environment. I look forward to continuing this work over the upcoming academic year and to encouraging further dialogue about this important topic.