On March 16, 2016, the associate deans and senior staff of Berkeley Law sent the following message to the community:
Dear Berkeley Law Community,
We write to report on several new measures that the faculty and staff leadership are moving on in the wake of the recent troubling events.
We all believe—as do many of you—that it’s critical to seize this opportunity as a springboard to meaningful and sustainable change. We understand that the community is looking for leadership on these issues, and we want to be responsive. For the past several days, the Associate Deans and senior staff have been digesting the community responses and discussing concrete, proactive steps the school can take to ensure a safe and respectful workplace and learning environment, and to instill trust and pride in our institution.
We have also been reaching out to the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD), the campus counsel’s office, the staff and student ombuds offices, and other campus resources for guidance in navigating the many questions and concerns that have arisen over the past week.
Accordingly, we are taking the following measures:
- New sexual harassment web site: Yesterday, we launched a new web page devoted to sharing resources related to sexual harassment. You can find it on the school website under the “For Students” and “For Faculty and Staff” tabs at the top of every page. This page is a work in progress, and we will be updating it with more information as soon as possible. We welcome your comments on improving it, which you can share with Michael Bazeley, director of communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also looking at better resources we can share related to sexual assault, as well as materials about how employees should respond if someone brings a complaint or concern to them.
- In-person sexual harassment trainings: Although senior leaders and supervisors have been required to take UC-mandated online sexual harassment trainings (and soon all employees will have the same requirement), we recognize that this measure sometimes falls short. We are working with the OPHD and the Office of Advocacy and Prevention to bring in resources for live, on-site training.
- Sexual harassment training compliance: Related to that, we recognize that the consequences for not fulfilling the UC-required sexual harassment training have not been effective in getting everyone to comply. We are communicating with other schools on campus to learn about the measures they have put in place to ensure full compliance in this area.
- Broader sexual harassment awareness: We are working with campus to develop highly visible informational materials that will be distributed broadly and help raise community awareness around sexual harassment and resources.
- Civility and respect: We acknowledge that sexual harassment is not the only dynamic at-play in this situation. We heard that clearly during the staff meeting and staff town hall this week. We also realize that a culture that endorses disrespectful or demeaning behavior can contribute to other, more harmful behavior. We are actively exploring resources and tools that we can use to help us promote a more civil and respectful workplace.
The details behind many of these measures are still to be worked out. But we wanted the community to know that we are working aggressively to bring them to fruition. We also want to be clear that we do not expect the school’s response to end here. We are continuing to listen to the very helpful feedback that is coming in from faculty, staff, students, and alumni. We are determined to seize this opportunity to make our community safer, friendlier, and more collegial.
Thank you to the staff for your professionalism, tireless efforts, and willingness to speak up, the students for your activism and community spirit, and alumni for your engagement during this challenging time.
Associate Deans and Senior Staff