In an e-mail to the College neighborhood, President Larry Bacow today announced publication of the report from the External Review Committee to Review Sexual Harassment at Harvard University, which was convened in response to the case of Jorge Domínguez, a Authorities Division professor and onetime vice provost for worldwide affairs who engaged in many years of sexual harassment throughout his time at Harvard.
The Gazette spoke with Deputy Provost Peggy Newell to be taught in regards to the assessment’s findings, in addition to assets and insurance policies that Harvard now has in place, and plans to create, to handle the report’s suggestions made.
GAZETTE: Would you start by reminding us of the context for why this assessment was carried out?
NEWELL: In early 2018, the Chronicle of Greater Schooling revealed a collection of articles stating that Jorge Domínguez, on the time a professor in Harvard’s Authorities Division, had sexually harassed at the least 18 ladies throughout his time at Harvard. Shortly after the publication of those articles, the College’s Workplace for Dispute Decision (ODR) started an investigation into the harassment allegations. The revelations within the Chronicle additionally prompted the Division of Authorities to type a Committee on Local weather Change, tasked with inspecting the local weather inside the division. Among the many suggestions within the Committee on Local weather Change’s closing report was a name for an exterior assessment to look at how procedures, practices, and norms in any respect ranges of the College could have contributed to our collective failure to supply a secure and productive work setting for all members of our neighborhood.
In Might 2019 Dean Claudine Homosexual introduced each the findings of the ODR investigation — that Domínguez had “engaged in unwelcome sexual conduct towards a number of people, on a number of events over a interval spanning almost 4 many years” — and the sanctions that the College could be imposing on Domínguez consequently. Later that day, President Bacow confirmed that he would type a committee to conduct an exterior assessment.
GAZETTE: What was the cost of the exterior assessment?
NEWELL: President Bacow requested the assessment committee to discover three central questions that had emerged from the report of the Authorities Division Committee on Local weather Change:
- What traits of group or tradition may need inhibited those that had suffered (or had been conscious of) misconduct from reporting it?
- When misconduct was reported, had been there traits of our group or tradition that inhibited an efficient response? And,
- How will we vet candidates for management positions to guarantee that we’re conscious of any allegations of misconduct, together with sexual harassment, and the way may we do that?
The members of the assessment committee — Susan Hockfield, professor of neuroscience and president emerita on the Massachusetts Institute of Expertise; Vicki Magley, professor of psychological sciences on the College of Connecticut; and Kenji Yoshino, professor of legislation at New York College — had been requested to take a forward-looking stance of their work, utilizing the Domínguez case to establish elements which may proceed to undermine Harvard’s means to forestall and deal with sexual harassment.
GAZETTE: What had been the principle findings of their report?
NEWELL: The committee’s report is extremely thorough, and I might encourage neighborhood members to learn it in its entirety. It clearly outlines a number of cultural and organizational elements that allowed Domínguez to flee accountability for therefore lengthy, and suggests concrete, actionable steps that Harvard can take to create an setting free from harassment and discrimination. These suggestions embody: fostering higher “psychological security” throughout our Colleges and models, higher speaking processes for reporting misconduct, reaching higher school gender stability, establishing standardized processes for vetting candidates, bettering transparency round investigations and sanctions, monitoring staff with previous infractions, and accelerating progress towards a tradition that’s illiberal of sexual and gender-based harassment, broadly. A few of these issues we now have been engaged on already. Different suggestions would be the basis for brand new initiatives.
The report emphasizes that we are able to accomplish these modifications with out compromising our dedication to tutorial freedom or the due course of rights of our neighborhood members. It’s a forward-looking doc that encourages neighborhood engagement in advancing its suggestions. President Bacow has mentioned up to now that every of us shares duty for confronting and stopping sexual harassment, sexual assault, and discrimination, right here at Harvard and past our campus partitions, and I feel the report actually underscores this assertion.
GAZETTE: As you talked about, Harvard has already been at work at addressing a number of the suggestions made within the report towards creating an setting free from harassment and discrimination. Would you inform us about a number of the assets to this finish which might be at present in place for neighborhood members?
NEWELL: To start with, it’s necessary to notice, because the report does, that we now have made vital progress in our Title IX initiatives because the workplace was created in 2013 and moved to the Provost’s Workplace in 2015. Yearly, greater than 27,000 college students, school, and employees take part in in-person coaching periods and/or our on-line Title IX coaching module — everybody who research and works at Harvard is now required to finish obligatory on-line coaching on find out how to assist a harassment-free neighborhood. These have continued on-line through the pandemic. There at the moment are greater than 50 educated Title IX Useful resource Coordinators supporting Harvard’s college students, school, and employees community-wide. Title IX and Gender Fairness Schooling Pupil and Employees Advisory Committees meet recurrently to make sure that every Faculty and unit is represented in discussions about how the Title IX Workplace can enhance its prevention initiatives, instructional supplies, and informational assets throughout the College. In 2019, the Title IX Workplace launched bystander intervention trainings, and the Useful resource for On-line Nameless Disclosure (ROAD), a web based software for anonymously disclosing considerations of sexual harassment and different sexual misconduct. All of this work has gone a great distance in bettering our insurance policies and procedures round Title IX, and in starting to alter our tradition.
Harvard’s dedication to addressing sexual and gender-based harassment stretches outdoors of campus. In collaboration with the Nationwide Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medication Motion Collaborative on Stopping Sexual Harassment in Greater Schooling, we’re working to establish and develop progressive and evidence-based options to handle sexual harassment. With greater than 60 schools, universities, and analysis establishments, Harvard is main conversations round figuring out the simplest methods to measure and monitor the local weather inside a company. Via these conversations, establishments have been capable of share greatest practices in creating local weather surveys and measuring sexual harassment prevalence.
And we proceed to maneuver ahead with new initiatives that deal with sexual harassment and discrimination right here at Harvard. Simply this previous week, Provost [Alan] Garber introduced that we’re embarking upon a community-driven effort to examine how we address discrimination and harassment. We’ve got invited school, college students, and employees from throughout the College’s Colleges and models to assist us consider present, and in some instances develop new, College-wide insurance policies and procedures associated to sexual misconduct, discrimination, and bullying.
GAZETTE: You additionally mentioned that particular suggestions inside the report will present the inspiration for upcoming initiatives. Has the planning begun on what a few of these may seem like?
NEWELL: Sure. Thanks largely to College Title IX Coordinator Nicole Merhill and her workplace, we’re already working to place new assets in place that correspond on to the suggestions made by the exterior assessment. Some examples of what we are going to do transferring ahead embody incorporating the idea of “psychological security” into future studying initiatives applied by the College Title IX Workplace, and exploring how we are able to revamp the Title IX Workplace web site in order that it offers clear pathways for disclosing incidents to Title IX Useful resource Coordinators and for submitting a proper grievance with the College Title IX Coordinator. The up to date Title IX web site may even embody a “Gender Fairness Information Hub,” which is able to present higher transparency on data pertaining to disclosures, formal complaints, and outcomes.
The Division of Authorities has continued to make progress on implementing the suggestions of its personal Committee on Local weather Change, together with the creation of a Title IX liaison place inside the division to function some extent of contact for all Title IX-related considerations, and the creation of a standing committee on fairness, variety, and inclusion, made up of school, employees, graduate college students, and undergraduates, to help the division in creating and sustaining a local weather that permits its members to do their absolute best work. The division has additionally dedicated to conducting a biennial local weather survey of its neighborhood to measure progress towards the objectives laid out by the Committee on Local weather Change.
Despite all that we now have achieved within the space of making insurance policies and launching new initiatives, we nonetheless have work to do till we now have a tradition in academia and at Harvard that doesn’t tolerate harassment. Altering an organizational tradition can’t be achieved by an workplace in central administration or by individuals within the dean’s workplace alone. Having insurance policies in opposition to harassment is important however not adequate. If we would like a greater setting, it should require that all of us take duty for the neighborhood wherein we want to stay and work and that all of us take part within the work essential to construct that neighborhood. The suggestions on this report give us a spot to start out.
GAZETTE: Is there the rest you’d like so as to add?
NEWELL: I want to reiterate President Bacow’s phrases in saying that we’re deeply sorry not just for the harassment that Terry Karl skilled at Harvard however for the harassment by Domínguez of different ladies at Harvard which may have been averted. We’re grateful to Professor Karl for having the braveness again in 1983 to deliver her grievance and for persevering with, now almost 40 years later, to boost considerations when she believed that Harvard had not achieved all that it may to guarantee that others weren’t equally harassed. We additionally apologize and specific our gratitude to the opposite ladies who had been later harassed by Domínguez and who’ve shared their tales, and particularly to those that introduced formal complaints that finally resulted in Dean Homosexual’s sanctioning of Domínguez. We’re grateful for your whole efforts to make Harvard a greater place.
We’re grateful for the work of the members of the Exterior Overview Committee, who’ve spent vital time on this necessary course of because it started in September 2019. Harvard supplied the committee with full entry to the entire related supplies that it requested, together with confidential information and stories, in addition to entry to all personnel it sought to interview. This was no small endeavor for the committee. We recognize their diligence in ensuring that their assessment was thorough and aware of their cost. We realized lots from their work and can guarantee that their efforts and recommendation are translated into motion.
We’re additionally grateful to these Harvard neighborhood members who gave of their time to the method, together with: college students and college within the Authorities Division; the members of the Authorities Division’s Committee on Local weather Change; present and former College directors; representatives from the Harvard Title IX Workplace and Workplace for Dispute Decision; and to particular person members of Harvard’s school who’ve achieved vital work in areas referring to Title IX and organizational tradition.