June 15, 2018

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Endorses Ombuds for Higher Ed's Sexual Harassment Problem

The umbrella scientific organization for the U.S. has issued a report calling for a culture change in academia to respond to continued mistreatment of women. In essence, the NASEM report recommends that academic science should become a national leader in responding to the #MeToo movement and ending sexual harassment. Recommendations include a call for institutions have an Ombuds to counsel those who have been harassed, separate from Title IX offices.

Here's a highlight:
Increasing informal, confidential options within the complaint-response system is important for academic institutions to create more supportive environments for those who have experienced sexual harassment. Most academic institutions have an ombuds office that serves the entire campus community, but expanding the ombuds office, perhaps to include an ombudsperson in each department or college, could provide more resources for individuals experiencing sexual harassment.
The NASEM report cites the ACUS Report by Carole Houk, et al., and an article by Brian Pappas ("Out From the Shadows: Title IX, University Ombuds, and the Reporting of Campus Sexual Misconduct" in the Denver Law Review). The report will be released in August, but the pre-publication version is available for viewing online. (NASEM Report see p 140; Inside Higher Ed; Pappas Article.)

Related posts: IOA Takes a Stand on Title IX Issues; IOA Releases Memo Providing Legal Grounds for Ombuds Confidentiality in Title IX Matters; ACUS Finalizes Recommendation on Use of Ombuds in Federal AgenciesIOA Surveys Higher Education Ombuds Confidentiality for Clery Act & Title IX Matters; IOA Video Promotes Ombuds for Surfacing & Addressing Sexual Misconduct.

See also: American Society of Mammalogists Has Two OmbudsHistory of Science Society Appoints First Ombuds.

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