The Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) oversees the University’s centralized initiatives for preventing, reporting and responding to sex discrimination, including sexual and gender based harassment, sexual exploitation, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.

Its staff provides technical assistance and support to all of the University’s ten campuses and centers in relation to complying with Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and coordinates University policy and initiatives designed to maintain and promote campus environments for University faculty, staff, students and visitors that are free from sex discrimination and gender based violence.

OIE has three primary functions:

  • To oversee UH’s Title IX and VAWA efforts and work with UH stakeholders including Title IX Coordinators to ensure that policies, procedures, programs and services are compliant, consistent, equitable, accessible and effective on all campuses;
  • To establish a centralized infrastructure that ensures the appropriate implementation of system-wide protocols;
  • To foster and promote a climate of respectful and non-violent interpersonal relationships and safety on campus; and
  • To establish community partnerships to strengthen UH’s response to sex discrimination and gender-based violence.

OIE’s major goals are to:

  • Ensure UH’s prompt, effective, comprehensive and equitable response to incidents and reports of sex discrimination and gender-based violence,
  • Prevent sex discrimination and gender-based violence, and
  • Cultivate a community environment that embraces and ensures non-violent and non-discriminatory standards of interpersonal behavior.

“The President’s Task Force on Title IX and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has provided recommendations on how to achieve compliance with emerging mandatory federal requirements. The university stands firmly committed to advancing these directions in concert with core values of the institution: academic rigor and excellence, integrity and service, aloha and respect.”

University of Hawai‘i Strategic Directions, 2015-2021

As part of its overall commitment to improving the social, economic and environmental well-being of current and future generations, the University of Hawai ‘i Strategic Directions, 2015-2021 guides the University’s priorities, which include providing safe, healthy and discrimination free environments for teaching, learning and scholarship for students, employees and visitors (University’s 21st Century Facilities Action Strategy 3).

The following tactics were adopted to achieve this Strategy:

  • Collaborate as a system to understand and comply with Title IX and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) guidance and apply best practices in promoting safety and response to incidents across the state
  • Update system-wide and campus policies and guidelines to ensure compliance and promote safety and security
  • Ensure availability and accessibility of high-quality confidential resources for victims
  • Provide appropriate safety and awareness education for responsible officials and all students and employees
  • Ensure that clear and useful information is readily available when needed

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.

The University of Hawaiʻi is deeply committed to preventing sex discrimination, sexual violence, stalking and domestic and dating violence, If you have any questions or concerns about these prohibited behaviors, I encourage you to contact your respective campus Title IX coordinator. For confidential resources, go to www.hawaii.edu/titleix/confidential.

In the coming months, you will hear more information about the evolution of our policies and other resources and efforts to ensure campus safety.

Best regards,
David Lassner
President