Strengthening Our University: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Misconduct
To the New School Community,
At The New School, we are deeply committed to ensuring an academic environment in which every member of this community feels safe, secure, and respected. As we wrote to you in December, sexual assault and misconduct have no place on our campus, and we are taking this long overdue moment of change in our country to reflect — and act — to make our university a better, stronger place to learn, teach, work, and create.
This important work brings together expertise from various parts of the university. Leaders from several key areas, including Human Resources, the Provost’s Office, Student Success, and the Office of Social Justice, are working to build a deeper awareness of our individual and collective responsibilities and create a campus culture in which sexual harassment and discrimination, the exploitation of asymmetrical power relationships, and other unjust behaviors are not tolerated. Recent progress includes the following:
New Training Programs — Rhonnie Jaus has been meeting groups of faculty and staff to conduct trainings. Deans and other organizational leaders who would like to request a training should email Rhonnie firstname.lastname@example.org. The Provost’s Office also has been providing workshops and training sessions for faculty. Write to Rita Breidenbach email@example.com to schedule a session or to learn more.
Comprehensive Review of Our Policies and Practices — Leaders from the Provost’s Office, Student Services, Human Resources, Social Justice, and the Office of General Counsel have completed a review of the policies and practices we have in place to address harassment or discrimination complaints, and to make sure that these systems are easily available and accessible to every member of our community. This review identified key aspects of our current approach that warrant reconsideration.
Engaging the Community — As an important next step, this team will be organizing a series of discussions with faculty, staff, and students in small group settings, senate meetings, town halls, and other venues to hear your views and solicit your input. Your perspectives and suggestions are important, and we hope you will be able to participate in one of the upcoming conversations.
We look forward to hearing from you and appreciate your partnership as we move forward. Eradicating sexual harassment and fostering a respectful environment requires a continuing commitment from all members of our community. It is up to all of us to ensure that The New School is a place where our deep concern for one another enables every person to thrive and pursue the extraordinary possibilities for learning and growth that bring us together.