Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Over the last few years, however, orders have come down - either from Sacramento or from UC headquarters in Oakland - that university employees (including faculty) should be trained to avoid unethical behavior or sexual harassment. The training ends up being mandatory computer-administered multiple choice quizzes that can take considerable time to fill out. As far as yours truly knows, there is no evidence - or at least none has been presented - that as a result of such training folks become more ethical or less likely to engage in sexual harassment.
That evidence omission has not prevented the legislature of late from considering a mandate of training regarding sexual assaults on university campuses, currently a hot topic at the federal and state level. See:
Absent evidence of effectiveness, such mandates become a feel-good exercise for legislators and/or university administrators. Or they become legal defenses: "It's not our fault X happened because we provided training to prevent it." We do know one effect such training has: It generates fees and jobs for those who designed the online training programs.
Maybe it's time to get off the mandatory-training-for-all track: