DEANS, DIRECTORS, DEPARTMENT CHAIRS and ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS
Re: Proposed Revisions to the Presidential Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence
As you may recall, in February 2014 the University of California (UC) issued a revised Presidential Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence that updated the University’s policy on preventing and responding to allegations of sexual misconduct. The new policy brought the University into compliance with the requirements of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that was reauthorized by President Obama in 2013.
Additional regulations to the act were issued by the Department of Education in October 2014 that will become effective July 1, 2015. To comply with the final requirements of the VAWA, UC has again updated the Presidential Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence, taking into account the comments received from campus academic and administrative leaders, faculty, other academic appointees, staff, and students during the vetting process last year.
The proposed new policy draft addresses the following key issues:
- Incorporates recommendations of the California State Auditor Audit Findings and President’s Task Force to require mandatory education for faculty, other academic appointees, staff, and students.
- Clarifies that complainants and respondents may appeal an investigation process that alleges violation of this policy.
- Updates policy terminology as required by the VAWA.
- Clarifies appropriate paths for reporting incidents.
- Updates the definition of consent and adds additional definitions to improve readability, consistency, and understanding.
- Includes an “amnesty” provision for reporting.
- Incorporates “abuse” as included in domestic violence or sexual violence.
- Clarifies that the policy addresses only “sexual” harassment as required by the VAWA.
- Complies with the President’s directive to disclose disciplinary actions to complainants.
A redline version of the proposal is available in Related Information.
As you may know, certain procedures in the Department of Education VAWA policy have generated controversy in various universities throughout the country. We strongly invite your attention to these important matters, and would appreciate receiving your comments on or before Friday, April 10, 2015.
Comments from staff should be directed to Ellen Bui, Staff Diversity and Compliance at firstname.lastname@example.org, or from faculty to Vivian Rupert, Academic Personnel at email@example.com, or from students to Deborah Geller, Student Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.