Implementation of AAU’s Principles on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Academia
From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer,
Amanda Bailey, Vice President, Human Resources,
and Jean Estevez, Executive Director, Equal Opportunity Office
Last year, Boston University joined other Association of American Universities (AAU) institutions in adopting the Principles on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Academia. These principles identified eight responsibilities to which all signatories committed. We are writing today to set forth the implementation schedule for the two principles that required a University policy change. Specifically, BU has committed to:
“. . . In making hiring decisions, request or require applicants to provide written consent to release personnel information from their prior employer(s) of substantiated findings of sexual misconduct, consistent with applicable law; [and]
“Share substantiated findings of sexual misconduct with prospective employers when requested, upon receipt of written authorization when necessary, and consistent with applicable law . . .”
An ad hoc University committee last year drafted two new policies to implement these principles. Both the Sexual Misconduct Hiring Disclosure Policy and the Policy on Responding to Employer Inquiries Regarding Sexual Misconduct were reviewed through the academic policy and administrative policy approval processes and approved by President Brown on December 15.
We will begin a phased implementation of the Sexual Misconduct Hiring Disclosure Policy, under which offers to incoming employees will be conditional on their authorizing current and prior employer(s) to release information regarding any substantiated findings of sexual misconduct:
Beginning in Academic Year 2022-23 (Phase 1 – effective for new offers initiated on or after March 1, 2023):
- Those with professorial titles of assistant, associate, and full professor in the School of Public Health, Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine (not including BU Medical Group), and all schools and colleges on the Charles River Campus; and
- Executives with faculty appointments
Beginning in Academic Year 2023-24 (Phase 2):
- Those with professorial titles modified by such terms as “research,” “clinical,” and “of the practice”;
- Medical school faculty, including all BU Medical Group hires not otherwise included in Phase 1; and
- Staff (including academic researchers).
Beginning in Academic Year 2024-25 (Phase 3):
- Lecturers of all ranks;
- Instructors; and
- Visiting professors employed by BU.
The Office of the Provost will provide schools and colleges with required language to include in offer letters. The Office of Human Resources (HR) will work with schools, colleges, and administrative units to obtain the required written consent from prospective employees to conduct the check of substantiated findings from current and prior jobs. Directions regarding an operating procedure will be provided to deans and other administrators.
The Equal Opportunity Office (EOO) will implement the Policy on Responding to Employer Inquiries Regarding Sexual Misconduct. Under this policy, BU will, on request by and with authorization from a current or past employee, share with prospective new employers substantiated findings of sexual misconduct occurring during the employee’s career at BU. All schools, colleges, and administrative units who receive such a request should complete the form at the following link: Employer Inquiries Regarding Sexual Misconduct.
We are committed to fostering a community free from sexual misconduct, and implementation of the AAU principles is an important step forward in that work. Please make every effort to work with your units, HR, and EOO as we implement the new policies. Please contact the Human Resources Service Center at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Finally, thank you to the ad hoc committee that developed the policies and shepherded them through the approval process:
Carolyn Gorham, Associate Vice President, HR Data & Systems (since March 2022)
Laura Jenks Robinson, Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives (until March 2022)
Maureen O’Rourke, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs; Dean Emeritus, School of Law
Solomon Eisenberg, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs; Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering, College of Engineering
Jean Estevez, Executive Director, Equal Opportunity Office
Jennifer Grodsky, Vice President for Federal Relations
Kimberly Howard, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology & Applied Human Development, Wheelock College of Education & Human Development
Michael McClean, Associate Dean for Faculty Research & Advancement; Professor of Environmental Health, School of Public Health
Jessica Nagle, University Title IX Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Office (until October 2022)
Hee-Young Park, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs; Professor and Chair of Medical Sciences & Education, Aram V. Chobanian & Edward Avedisian School of Medicine
Patricia Sheehan, Executive Director of Talent Management, Office of Human Resources (until September 2022)
Lisa Tenerowicz, Associate General Counsel
Implementation of AAU’s Principles on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Academia – 1.19.23