Online training for SMU faculty and staff on recognizing, reporting and preventing discrimination, sexual violence

Institutional Access and Equity

Online training for SMU faculty and staff on recognizing, reporting and preventing discrimination, sexual violence

SMU has arranged for all faculty and staff members to participate in two online tutorials on recognizing and reporting discrimination and sexual violence.

The two self-paced courses, offered through training vendor LawRoom, take about one hour to complete. All faculty and staff members will receive an e-mail from LawRoom within the next several days with instructions on how to access the tutorials.

The University has set a Jan. 31, 2015 deadline for completion of the courses.

The training initiative was announced in the following e-mail message from SMU President R. Gerald Turner dated Monday, Nov. 17, 2014:

Dear SMU faculty and staff:

SMU is committed to maintaining an inclusive work and academic environment that is free from all forms of discrimination and discriminatory harassment, as outlined in the University’s Statement of Nondiscrimination (see below).

It is important that all employees understand their rights and responsibilities under the law and SMU’s nondiscrimination policies. Therefore, the University has arranged for every employee to participate in two new online educational tutorials that focus on these issues.

The first tutorial outlines the law on discrimination against groups protected by federal statutes, including Title IX of the Education Amendments, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and the Equal Pay Act. The tutorial explains the University’s policies and procedures for addressing and reporting such discrimination.

The second tutorial will help employees learn more about recognizing, reporting and preventing sexual violence. Topics covered include the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, stalking, assisting victims and survivors, and bystander intervention strategies.

Within several days, you will receive an email from SMU’s training vendor, LawRoom, with instructions on how to access the tutorials online. The self-paced modules are approximately one hour long and may be paused and restarted until completion. I found this feature to be particularly helpful when I took the training. The deadline for completing the training is January 31, 2015. However, I encourage you to review the tutorials as soon as possible to benefit from this important information.

Questions about accessing the tutorials may be directed to the Department of Human Resources at DevelopU@smu.edu.

If you have questions about SMU’s nondiscrimination policies and procedures, please contact the Office of Institutional Access and Equity (IAE) at 214-768-3601 or accessequity@smu.edu, or visit IAE online at smu.edu/IAE. You can find more information about sexual misconduct policies, resources and prevention on SMU’s Live Responsibly website, smu.edu/LiveResponsibly.

Thank you for your participation in this training. By being informed about these important issues, all of us can contribute to our community’s safety and well-being, and promote a respectful and welcoming environment for all community members.

Sincerely,

President R. Gerald Turner

SMU Statement of Nondiscrimination

SMU will not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status. SMU’s commitment to equal opportunity includes nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity and Title IX coordinator has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies.

November 17, 2014|News|

SMU establishes new policies, procedures on workplace violence

(Originally published Aug. 13, 2010.)

Stock photo of business people in an escalating argumentNo campus is immune from the possibility of violence by one community member against another. This summer, SMU has taken steps to ensure that all faculty and staff members have easy access to University resources when harassment, intimidation and other hostile acts are committed or threatened in the workplace.

“For some time now, we have been interested in getting a formal workplace-violence policy and program in place,” says Jeff Strese, SMU Director of Human Resources. The departments responsible for preventing and reacting to risk have been working together for years, he says. Human Resources, Legal Affairs, the SMU Police Department, Institutional Access and Equity, and Risk Management meet regularly to deal with high-risk issues and involve one another as appropriate.

Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Business Services Bill Detwiler and Vice President for Legal Affairs Paul Ward spearheaded the effort to improve connection and communication among these areas. “This is an opportunity to better deploy the resources that already exist,” Strese says. “It creates an umbrella for the whole University that allows our offices to work together to respond to or mitigate any risk.”

Campuses across the country have begun to focus on raising awareness of workplace violence during the past year, Strese adds. The issue came to national attention in February 2010, when a University of Alabama-Huntsville professor who had been denied tenure shot six colleagues in a departmental staff meeting, killing three.

“When you look at case studies of campus violence, you find that in every single one of them there was previous knowledge and concern,” Strese says. “We intend to streamline the information-gathering process so that intervention can occur earlier in situations where there is an emerging threat or risk, whether it comes from inside or outside this community.”

SMU’s program includes a new policy on workplace violence, added to the University Policy Manual in August. Policy No. 10.12 in the Public Safety section includes clear descriptions of prohibited behaviors, as well as procedures for reporting violence and threats of violence from an SMU community member or visitor.

A new website, smu.edu/workplaceviolence, provides e-mail and telephone contacts for reporting concerns securely and confidentially. It also serves as a clearinghouse for information on policy and procedure.

In addition, the University has established a Workplace Violence Assessment Team, which includes representatives from the offices of the Provost, Risk Management, Legal Affairs and Human Resources. The team will meet as needed to review individual cases and recommend appropriate responses in accordance with University policies. Other staff or faculty members, or both, may be invited to join on a case-by-case basis.

The new program “is not intended to supersede any existing policies or processes, such as those coordinated by the Office of Student Life or the Ethics and Tenure Committee,” says Anita Ingram, SMU Executive Director of Risk Management. The Workplace Violence Assessment Team will review each case it receives to determine if it should be referred to the appropriate area, she says.

> Learn more at smu.edu/workplaceviolence
> Find SMU’s University Policy Manual online

August 17, 2010|News|
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