UC releases new faculty, staff sexual misconduct policy

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Rachael Garner/File

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The UC Office of the President announced new systemwide procedures for responding to alleged sexual misconduct by faculty and staff Thursday. The procedures must be implemented at all UC campuses by September 1 of this year.

Several significant changes have been made in the policy, which addresses faculty and staff specifically — changes that align with a student harassment policy implemented last year.

Investigations into staff and faculty misconduct will now be required to be completed within 60 business days, and decisions on discipline must be made within 40 business days after the investigation’s conclusion.

Respondents and complainants will now be informed of “any and all outcomes,” according to the UCOP statement.

Following investigations and decisions, complainants and respondents will now have the opportunity to communicate with the decision-maker.

Any discipline proposed by a staff respondent’s supervisor will be reviewed and approved by the given campus’s chancellor. For faculty respondents, a peer review committee on each campus will advise the chancellor on decisions and discipline.

These new procedures are a reflection of recommendations made by the Joint Committee of the Administration and Academic Senate and the President’s Committee on Sexual Violence Sexual Harassment Disciplinary Process for UC Personnel other than Faculty.

Consultation between UC systemwide Title IX coordinator Kathleen Salvaty, campus Title IX officers “and other important stakeholders” also influenced the new procedures, according to the statement.

“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 in the statement.

Audrey McNamara is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @McNamaraAud.