Beyond Compliance Summer Update from the CP/EVC

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor Marlene Tromp

I am pleased to provide an update about Beyond Compliance, our UC Santa Cruz initiative that engages faculty to help reshape campus culture with the goal of creating an environment free from sexual violence and sexual harassment.

As you know, Beyond Compliance has been co-chaired by Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Martin Berger and Senate Vice Chair Kimberly Lau. With Martin’s departure, I have appointed Physical and Biological Sciences Dean Paul Koch to serve with Kim as co-chair. In addition to his extensive administrative and Senate experience, Paul brings a nuanced understanding of SVSH issues in higher education and will continue to ensure Beyond Compliance remains attuned to the complexities underlying efforts at cultural change.

This past year, our Beyond Compliance working group collaborated with faculty, staff, and students to develop a series of programs and proposals around five key priority areas: best practices for supporting graduate students whose advisers may be placed on leave or dismissed as a result of a Title IX investigation; a faculty ambassadors program; a single reporting portal; learning communities to facilitate curriculum development; and a call for new course development.

When faculty members are placed on involuntary leave during SVSH investigations, or when they are disciplined for violations of university policy, there are invariably negative consequences for graduate students. In the past, when faculty have been unavailable to graduate students due to Title IX investigations or discipline, it has been left largely to individual departments, and the affected graduate students, to find replacement advisers, faculty who can write letters of recommendation, qualifying-examination committee members, etc.

To reduce the burden on departments and students, Beyond Compliance has developed a best practices guide to provide assistance in these situations. The guide offers an extensive list of potential adverse impacts, suggests who should serve as the point person for resolving the situation (and lists others who need to be involved), and provides a menu of potential solutions. It is our hope that the guide will aid departments and students in better understanding, and more efficiently resolving, problems that arise through no fault of students. The guide is currently under review by the campus counsel and my office. As soon as it is approved, Beyond Compliance will circulate it to the Graduate Student Association, the Division of Graduate Studies, and directors throughout the division for comment.

The Title IX Office provides training and education to the campus community on SVSH prevention, while also conducting investigations. But the office’s limited staff precludes them from meeting all of our educational needs. For that reason, Beyond Compliance has developed an ambassadors program that aims to train volunteer faculty members to serve as SVSH educators to the community. Working in conjunction with, and trained by, the Title IX Office, ambassadors will give public presentations at department or divisional meetings and serve as a resource for faculty members with SVSH-related questions.

It’s our hope that the program will both increase the percentage of faculty with an understanding of Title IX policy and procedures and allow the Title IX Office to reach a vastly larger population. The program proposal is also currently under review by the campus counsel and my office. We hope to announce additional details in the fall.

Over the past two years, Beyond Compliance members have heard repeatedly that faculty, students, and staff found it challenging to know where particular incidents should be reported. While our campus has many different reporting paths (for SVSH, hate/bias, faculty code-of-conduct violations, campus crime, etc.) it is not always clear to community members where a given incident or problem should be reported. To simplify reporting, I have engaged with Information Technology Services to build a single portal that will include links to every campus reporting site. I hope this will make reporting seamless and efficient for all members of our campus community. The new portal will go live in the fall. Stay tuned for additional details.

Finally, as an incentive for faculty to integrate courses on SVSH-related topics into departmental curricula, Beyond Compliance has created a competitive program offering course release to support the research and development of such courses. The CFP is now posted to the Beyond Compliance website, and the first of a series of rolling deadlines is Sept. 24. In addition to this approach to developing new course offerings, Beyond Compliance will co-sponsor a faculty learning community with the Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning for faculty interested in adding an SVSH-related unit into an existing course; we expect this program to take place during the Winter 2019 quarter.