The following is a statement from the Association of American Universities on the adoption of a groundbreaking set of principles on preventing sexual harassment in academia by AAU’s members:
At their fall meeting this week, AAU presidents and chancellors adopted a groundbreaking set of principles to help prevent sexual harassment in academia. In adopting the principles, America’s leading research universities are committing to meaningful efforts to fight sexual harassment on their campuses by agreeing to share information about accused harassers and to see all investigations into sexual misconduct through to completion, regardless of whether the accused harasser has moved on to other employment. The principles will guide member universities as they continue their efforts to create a campus climate where sexual harassment is unacceptable and victims are heard and supported.
The principles were developed by AAU’s Advisory Board on Sexual Harassment in Academia, a group of 20 senior administrators and campus leaders committed to identifying innovative methods to address sexual harassment and sexual misconduct within the academy. University of Southern California President Carol L. Folt and University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas A. Girod co-chaired the advisory board.
“The principles focus on three critical aspects of addressing sexual harassment on campus,” said AAU President Barbara R. Snyder. “They seek to prevent the abuse from happening in the first place through policies focused on educating the campus community and ensuring that sexual harassers don’t get passed from one institution to the next. They also intend to provide victims with the resources and the support they need to report abuse and, finally, to hold harassers accountable.” The principles, which are nonbinding, are designed to be adaptable to each institution’s unique cultural and legal context.
“America’s leading research universities have taken a large step forward by agreeing to principles that will make it much harder for accused sexual harassers to move from one university to another,” said President Folt. “This unprecedented effort demonstrates the tremendous capacity for doing good that exists within AAU when member institutions work to address a systemic challenge. I’m deeply thankful to my colleagues on the committee and my fellow presidents and chancellors for their work on adopting these principles.”
Chancellor Girod also thanked his colleagues for their work: “The advisory board undertook a deeply deliberative and informed process to arrive at these principles, which provide tools for all of our campuses to help address the important issue of combatting sexual assault and ensuring the health and safety of each of our communities.”
The principles as adopted by AAU’s members are available here.
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