September 05, 2016

University of California Adopts Anti-Bullying Guidelines

Janet Napolitano, president of the sprawling UC system and former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, has developed guidance on abusive behavior and bullying.  Stopping short of new policy, Napolitano seeks to define abusive conduct and fit remedies within the existing policy structures.  In addition to other campus resources, she also identified University Ombuds Offices as an appropriate place for people experiencing misconduct.

In a letter to campus chancellors, Napolitano wrote:
UC has a number of current policies that could be used to address bullying, but there is some confusion among employees about what bullying is and how to address it. Consistent with the recommendations, I would like to start by moving us towards a systemwide definition of bullying and abusive conduct. Fortunately, the State legislature helped lead the way on the formulation of such language and I believe it suits the purposes of the University, as well. Assembly Bill 2053, which requires training on the prevention of abusive conduct, defines abusive conduct as “conduct of an employer or employee in the workplace, with malice, that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to an employer’s legitimate business interests.”
Provided with the letter is more specific guidance statement and a report from an ad hoc working group.  (Napolitano Letter; UCOP Guidance & Report on Bullying.)

Related UC posts: University of California Report on Protest Policies Reaffirms Role of Ombuds; University of California President Endorses Ombuds Offices; Job Posting; University of California Protects All its Ombuds Under Updated Sexual Misconduct Policy

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