September 1, 2015
To: UH ‘Ohana
From: President David Lassner
Dear University of Hawaiʻi ʻOhana,
One of my highest priorities has been to ensure that all of our campuses maintain and promote safe and respectful environments for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. To that end, as we celebrate the start of the fall 2015 semester, I am pleased to announce the establishment of the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) at the UH System. This office will build upon or our foundation and commitment to provide a safe, nonviolent and non-discriminatory community for students, faculty, staff and visitors across the 10 UH campuses and our community based learning centers. It will be primarily responsible for overseeing the Federal legislation governing Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), as well as collaboratively establishing system-wide best practices for responding to sexual violence, sex and gender-based discrimination, domestic and dating violence, stalking and retaliation.
We are also unveiling the UH System Title IX and OIE website at www.hawaii.edu/titleix. The new website provides campus, local and national resources and information for students, faculty and staff regarding sexual violence, stalking, domestic violence, dating violence and other forms of sex discrimination.
Finally, I have just approved an updated Interim Executive Policy EP 1.204, which expands on the University of Hawaiʻi’s existing policy and procedure on sex discrimination and gender based violence. It is an interim policy as we continue to work with the respective exclusive collective bargaining representatives who represent our valued faculty and staff to meet our compliance, contractual and statutory obligations. And while this interim policy is the result of a collaborative effort by many university and community stakeholders, we will continue to seek feedback from students, staff and community groups as we work toward its finalization. Some of the highlights of the interim policy are:
- Establishes systemwide standards and procedures that ensure a consistent institutional response across the 10 UH campuses;
- Clarifies the types of conduct prohibited by the university; and
- Identifies how and from whom students, faculty and staff can seek confidential support or report incidents of sex discrimination and gender-based violence.
Interim EP 1.204, as well as other information designed to support our university community, will be available on the University of Hawaiʻi System website at www.hawaii.edu/titleix.
In the coming months, you will hear more information about the evolution of our policies and other resources and efforts to ensure campus safety.