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Plans revised and finalized for Peer Review Committee on sexual harassment, violence

Dear campus community,

We write concerning a new Peer Review Committee (PRC) that will consult on discipline for faculty found responsible for violating the UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment (SVSH Policy). A description of our planned approach, which was recently revised and finalized, can be found here. The PRC will begin reviewing cases no later than July 1.

This is one of numerous actions we are taking as part of a broad effort to change the culture around sexual violence and sexual harassment, and to help ensure that our processes are fair, effective, and consistent.

We first announced a general outline of this plan in November and, since that time, the scope of the PRC’s work and its composition have been changed to align with new directives from the UC Office of the President sent in late March. Consistent with the recommendations adopted by the Office of the President, Berkeley’s PRC will review faculty discipline cases involving violations of the SVSH Policy, and will be made up of faculty, reflecting a peer-panel model. The committee will include faculty members with experience in issues relevant to faculty discipline, undergraduate and graduate student life advising, and/or harassment and discrimination.

The implementation framework for UC Berkeley’s PRC has been designed to encourage the Chancellor to solicit additional sources of input on SVSH matters concerning faculty. In addition to guidance from the PRC, the Chancellor will also receive advice and perspectives from the PATH to Care Center director, the campus Chief Ethics, Risk and Compliance Officer, campus counsel, the Vice Provost for Faculty, the Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion, the Title IX Officer in the Office for Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination, and additional campus advisors as appropriate. In addition, the complainant and respondent will have an opportunity to address the Chancellor.  Although informed by such input, ultimate authority regarding disciplinary actions remains the Chancellor’s.

Our campus PRC is one of several important steps we’ve taken to strengthen our response to sexual harassment and sexual violence in our community.  We appreciate your shared commitment in this effort.

Sincerely,

Nicholas Dirks, Chancellor

Carla Hesse, Interim Campus Lead for Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment