Important Changes to UC Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy

February 8, 2016

Dear UC Merced community members:

I am writing to share important changes to University of California policy regarding sexual violence and sexual harassment, and to offer a reminder about the resources available to faculty and staff members and students. Many policy changes are underway, but a few recent updates warrant specific mention.

On Jan. 1, 2016, UC released the updated Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment. This new policy makes it clear that the university is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all individuals can work and learn together in an atmosphere free of harassment, exploitation or intimidation.

Reporting Requirements for All Employees: The policy now requires every UC Merced employee to notify the Title IX Office when they receive information from a student — including teaching assistants, resident advisors and other student employees — about an alleged violation. Moreover, all faculty members and supervisors/managers must notify the Title IX Office when they receive information of alleged sexual misconduct from other faculty or staff members.

Student Policies and Adjudication Procedures: UC Merced student procedures were revised to reflect updated policy requirements for sexual misconduct cases involving students. UC Merced’s Student Adjudication Procedures in Sexual Violence, Stalking and Sexual Harassment Cases are consistent with recent mandates from the UC Office of the President.

New Training Requirements: To improve the university’s efforts to prevent and respond to sexual violence and sexual harassment, and to better prepare all of us to fulfill our obligations, a new comprehensive sexual violence/sexual harassment prevention training program is being rolled out for all UC staff and faculty members. All employees on payroll with active status will be required to complete training on sexual violence/sexual harassment prevention and response. The comprehensive training will be made available in February 2016 with new and updated content. Faculty members and supervisors who have been required to take such training for several years will maintain their current training schedule. Non-supervisory staff members will be required to take sexual harassment prevention training by May 1, 2016, or within 6 weeks for any subsequent new hires. Ongoing training for all employees will be required annually.

Services for Survivors: The new policy underscores our ongoing efforts to prevent and respond to sexual violence and sexual assault. The UC Merced Campus Advocacy, Resources & Education (CARE) Office provides a range of services for survivors and others affected by sexual violence. The CARE Office is designated as a confidential resource. Likewise, confidential services are available at Counseling and Psychology Services (CAPS) for students and at the Office of Campus Ombuds Services for faculty and staff members.

Preventing and responding to sexual violence is a duty we all share. Thank you for being a part of the solution.


Dorothy Leland