A newly formed task force began work in February to review and make recommendations on the UI's existing sexual harassment policies, procedures and educational efforts.
"The campus has a significant number of policies that are directed at reducing the incidence of sexual harassment and dealing with identified cases. However, it has been some years since any substantive review or revision of these policies has taken place," Chancellor Michael Aiken said.
Jill Doner Kagle, dean of the School of Social Work, is the chair of the 16-member task force.
"What we've done is identify the issues as a group and formed three subcommittees," Kagle said. One committee will examine the policies and standards, another will examine procedures and resources, and the third will look at prevention and education.
Members of the task include academic professionals, students, and faculty and staff members.
Members of the subcommittees are collecting information from both the UI and other universities as they examine existing policies and how they work for the UI. The task force will meet occasionally until the subcommittee work is done. "One of the issues we will be looking at is that of consensual sexual relations between members of the university community where there is a power differential or status differential," Kagle said.
"As a campus, we are committed to providing our faculty, staff and students with an optimal environment in which to work and study," Aiken said. "Such an environment must be safe and inclusive; we must not permit harassment to intrude upon the lives of members of the community."
The task force members plan to provide a status report at the end of the spring semester and to complete their work by the end of the year. Their recommendations will go to the chancellor, but other people in the university will make decisions about implementing policy and policy changes.
Anyone in the university community who would like to communicate with the task force is encouraged to e-mail Kagle at firstname.lastname@example.org, or to send a letter addressed to the task force in care of the chancellor's office.
Back to the U. of I. News Bureau