UC Berkeley expands its sexual harassment prevention and training
BERKELEY – The University of California, Berkeley is initiating several new measures to strengthen existing sexual harassment policies and training procedures.
Beginning this fall, all faculty, administrators and staff will be expected to learn more about campus policies and procedures on sexual harassment either through a new Web-based training session, expanded workshops, or at presentations during departmental meetings.
The Web-based training program was launched this week and is now available to the entire campus community. And, today (Tuesday, Aug. 19), every dean and department chair attending the annual two-day management meeting of this group will participate in a presentation on responding to sexual harassment allegations. They will participate in one of the new training programs as well.
"I am very pleased to announce these new measures," said Paul Gray, executive vice chancellor and provost. "UC Berkeley takes sexual harassment seriously, and this latest effort reflects our commitment toward maintaining a respectful and supportive work and education environment."
The university has long provided the campus community with information about sexual harassment policies and procedures and, upon request, has provided sexual harassment prevention training for faculty and staff. Various centers and programs on campus are available to assist individuals who wish to report or discuss sexual harassment. The new measures will build on these policies and procedures by adding a more pro-active approach.
Gray has directed deans, department chairs and supervisors to inform faculty and staff under their direction about sexual harassment laws and policies through at least one of the three programs. The options were specifically designed to accommodate the varied schedules and duties of faculty and staff. They are:
- Web-based training. A new Web-based course has been specifically designed for those in a university setting. This program allows the user to spend 40 minutes to two hours learning about state and federal law and campus policies and procedures and exploring such issues as what constitutes sexual harassment and how to handle difficult situations. Recent court opinions also will be posted on the Web program. Similar training programs have been used by major corporations and other colleges and universities.
- Special workshops. Professional staff from the campus's Title IX office, the campus unit chiefly responsible for providing sexual harassment prevention training and assisting those with complaints, will visit individual departments or schools
- Departmental meetings. Department chairs and deans can request training for faculty and staff by adding a training session to the agenda of a regularly scheduled meeting. These briefings, led by the Title IX staff, will typically take a half hour.
The campus's Academic Compliance Office and the Title IX Office are overseeing these new training and education efforts. Sarah Hawthorne, UC Berkeley's assistant vice provost for academic compliance, selected the Web-based training program and hired an outside expert to provide training during this week's meeting of deans and chairs.
Nancy Chu, the campus's Title IX officer, will continue to educate the campus community about sexual harassment and handle complaints. Chu will have additional support thanks to a newly hired Title IX outreach coordinator. The outreach coordinator, along with Chu and Hawthorne, will work closely with campus administrators to encourage faculty and staff to participate in the Web or in-person training programs.
The campus's sexual harassment and complaint resolution procedures are posted on the Web at titleix.chance.berkeley.edu/. Sexual harassment support and guidance is available through the Title IX office; the UC Police Department; the various ombudspersons for faculty, students and staff; and the Gender Equity Resource Center's program, which offers student-to-student peer education to increase awareness about sexual harassment, dating violence, stalking and rape.