Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Role of the Senate and P&T Committees in Title 9 Cases

UC President Napolitano issued a letter yesterday dealing with processing of sexual harassment/assault cases against faculty.* The letter is in part a directive and in part a complaint that so far the recommendations she has received do not provide processes that are "efficient, effective, and timely, both for the complainant and respondent."

The letter seems to aim at creating separate ombudspersons for such cases. It says that each campus should have "at least one confidential resource for faculty, other academic appointees, and graduate students, who is exempt from reporting and has appropriate insights into the unique demands, opportunities, and risks of mentor relationships and academic careers. This will mirror the confidential advocate position that has been established for students on each campus." It might be noted that at least at UCLA, the existing Office of Ombuds Services is supposed to cover faculty as well as students.**

In addition, steps should be taken to:

• Clarify the relationship between the Title IX offices and the Committees on Privilege and Tenure (or their equivalents) so that cases can be more readily brought to conclusion.
• Develop structures and support so that Committees on Privilege and Tenure (or their equivalents) have the capacity to meet throughout the year to curtail undue delays in the adjudication of faculty sexual violence or sexual harassment cases. 
**"The [UCLA] Office of Ombuds Services is a place where members of the UCLA community–students, faculty, staff and administrators–can go for assistance in resolving conflicts, disputes or complaints on an informal basis. In order to afford visitors the greatest freedom in using its services, the Office is independent, neutral and confidential." Source:

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