April 15, 2019

American Anthropological Association Creates Ombuds Program for Members

The 10,000 member organization of anthropology scholars and practitioners has appointed M. Gabriela Torres and Bernard Perley as its first Ombudspersons "to receive and review AAA-related complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault." Torres is a professor at Wheaton College in Massachusetts and Perley is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 

According to the association's website:
Torres and Perley will be the primary resource and point of contact for AAA members regarding concerns about sexual harassment. The association's policy provides the following mandate for the Ombuds:
(i) educating the complainant on AAA’s Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault; and (ii) advising the complainant of publicly available anti-harassment resources. If the complainant wishes for the Ombudspeople to actively participate in resolving the complaint, and with the complainant’s consent, the Ombudspeople will discuss the complaint with the alleged harasser and give them an opportunity to respond to the complaint. The Ombudspeople will also facilitate discussion between both parties to achieve an informal resolution that is acceptable to the complainant. The Ombudspeople will follow up after the outcome of the complaints process to determine whether the behavior has stopped; record the dates, times, and facts of the incident and the results of the resolution process; and communicate and coordinate with the Members Programmatic Advisory and Advocacy Committee (MPAAC), where appropriate and including consultation with the complainant, especially if there is clear evidence of a possible instance of sexual harassment and/or assault in a AAA-sponsored setting or activity.
(AAA News; AAA Policy on Sexual Harassment &Sexual Assault.)

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

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