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U. of California System Changes How It Responds to Sexual Harassment and Violence

The University of California system has new policies to respond to allegations of sexual misconduct by faculty and staff members, the university announced in a news release on Thursday. Changes will be in place systemwide by September 1.

The changes include a clear timeline for completing investigations; chancellor or chancellor-designee approval of discipline proposed for a staff member’s supervisors; and informing complainants, as well as respondents, of all outcomes.

In the news release, Kathleen Salvaty, the system’s Title IX coordinator, said the new polices aimed to strengthen the adjudication process across campuses. “For the past year,” she said, “campuses have been hard at work shoring up their resources and improving their processes for implementation of these systems.”

Other changes include:

  • Clear roles and responsibilities for Title IX offices and other campus offices in the adjudication and discipline processes for cases of sexual harassment and violence.
  • Completion of investigations within 60 business days. And 40 days after an investigation is completed, a decision on discipline should be made. After an investigation, respondents and complainants can communicate with the decision maker about the outcome.
  • Review and approval by a chancellor or chancellor-designee of discipline proposed by a staff member’s supervisors. For faculty members, a peer-review committee on each campus will help the chancellor come up with a resolution that includes discipline. All complainants and respondents will be informed of any outcomes.

The policy also states that in sexual-misconduct cases the chancellor’s designee or a faculty-member review committee will add another level of deliberation to the process. The system’s Title IX office will train all parties to best make decisions about sexual misconduct.

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