The University of California announced Thursday new system-wide procedures for responding to alleged sexual misconduct by faculty and staff that provide greater transparency, consistency and timeliness in investigating these cases.
The university adopted a similar model for students last year. The new procedures for staff and faculty will go into effect on Sept. 1 at all UC locations.
The most significant changes reflected in the frameworks announced are:
- Clear roles and responsibilities for Title IX offices and other offices involved in adjudication and discipline of sexual violence and sexual harassment cases
- Processes that include completing investigations within 60 business days and, within 40 days after that, making decisions on discipline
- Following an investigation, complainants and respondents have an opportunity to communicate with the decision-maker regarding their desired outcome.
- For staff, any discipline proposed by a respondent’s supervisor will be reviewed and approved by the chancellor or chancellor designee.
- For faculty, a peer review committee on each campus will advise the chancellor or chancellor designee on appropriate resolution, including discipline.
- Informing complainants as well as respondents of any and all outcomes
“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 a press statement.
If sexual misconduct is found to have occurred, additional oversight by the chancellor’s designee in staff cases and the peer review committee in faculty cases will provide an added level of accountability. The system-wide Title IX office will train all people involved in making decisions in these cases.