The Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs has called a meeting of the full Faculty Senate to discuss and collect input on the University of Michigan’s draft umbrella policy on sexual and gender-based misconduct.  

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The meeting will be at 3:15 p.m. Nov. 18 in Room 100 of Hutchins Hall. The Faculty Senate includes all professorial faculty, librarians, full-time research faculty, executive officers and deans.

SACUA Chair Joy Beatty, who also chairs the Faculty Senate, said she’s hoping for a good turnout because the policy is significant. 

“We believe it’s important for faculty to have a careful review of it, as well as the opportunity to discuss it with the people who have drafted it,” Beatty said. 

The university released on Oct. 15 the draft umbrella policy for addressing sexual and gender-based misconduct that would apply to students, faculty, staff and third parties on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses.

The draft policy is largely consistent with current policies, procedures and resources for addressing sexual and gender-based harassment and misconduct on campus. It brings together this information in one policy with separate procedures for employees and students.

Representatives from the offices of Provost Martin A. Philbert and Vice President and General Counsel Timothy G. Lynch will attend the meeting to explain the policy and collect feedback.

The Faculty Senate will consider a resolution that says students, faculty and staff should be afforded the same level of consideration and due process. SACUA members recently approved presenting the resolution to the Faculty Senate for a vote.

The resolution stems from some members’ concerns that parts of the draft policy don’t afford faculty the same rights as students, such as the right to appeal decisions by the Office of Institutional Equity. Additionally, some members have said the draft policy isn’t clear that sanctions such as suspensions without pay and without notice do not apply to tenured faculty.

The policy lays out common definitions for prohibited conduct, identifies the categories of employees who are responsible for reporting sexual misconduct concerns to the university, and outlines procedures for addressing misconduct allegations. It also clarifies available confidential resources and ways to report misconduct.

The university is seeking feedback on the draft policy and procedures through Nov. 22.

The policy, procedures and a Standard Practice Guide were developed by a team that included representatives from all three U-M campuses. In creating them, the team reviewed existing university policies, studied more than 20 policies at peer institutions and looked to federal guidance.

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