The faculty’s Senate Assembly has passed a resolution urging the University of Michigan to form an office for ethics and compliance to help protect from retaliation members of the university community who report sexual misconduct.
The resolution, which calls for the new office to report directly to the Board of Regents, was approved at an April 18 meeting of the Senate Assembly by a vote of 44-2 with two abstentions.
It claims “administrative structures of the University are ineffective in protecting students, staff and faculty from administrative abuse by requiring victims to report abuse to those responsible for creating toxic situations.”
“The Senate Assembly and SACUA is putting a firm voice down that this is what we’d like to see,” said Allen Liu, chair of the Senate Assembly and the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs, central faculty governance’s executive arm. “The resolution is a firm statement that this is an area that we’d like the administration to act on.”
The resolution says that both SACUA’s WilmerHale Task Force and Guidepost Solutions, which was hired by the university, found that institutions with similar misconduct have created independent reporting lines to their board through an office for ethics and compliance.
The resolution says 49 of 64 universities in the American Association of Universities and 12 of 14 Big Ten Conference schools have created offices for ethics and compliance that report to their boards.
“It is critical that an adequate administrative structure be in place at such a time as a new president is hired,” the resolution says.
The university remains committed to examining its compliance and ethics function across the university, said Rick Fitzgerald, university spokesperson.
The Senate Assembly and SACUA are part of U-M’s central faculty governance system that also includes the broader Faculty Senate.
The Senate Assembly consists of 74 elected faculty members from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses representing the interests and concerns of faculty throughout the university.