Regents to finalize

by Stacy Jo

In an effort to create uniform campus-wide policies, the Board of Regents plans to pass official University policies on sexual harassment, nepotism and consensual relationships at their December meeting next week.
Both policies encompass all members of the University community, including students, staff and faculty.
As it stands, both are administrative policies; only recently did they gain the priority status necessary to go before the board for official approval.
The Faculty, Staff and Student Affairs Committee will likely pass the policies with minimal discussion. The board reviewed the policies at previous meetings, and only minor language changes have been made since their review.
“They’re both very important matters, and merit attention at the highest level,” said Regent Bob Bergland. “We intend to see that there’s compliance.”
The sexual harassment policy requires individuals in supervisory or managerial positions to report knowledge of harassment to appropriate officials. It also requires each campus to work with the director of equal opportunity and affirmative action on methods of resolving sexual harassment complaints.
The nepotism and consensual relationships policy prohibits individuals from a number of activities, including the hiring, promotion, supervision and grading of those they are related to or with whom they are romantically involved, because of a presumed lack of objectivity.
It also makes mandatory a consultation process with an administrator for the involved parties.
“The adoption of the policy should have a big effect symbolically and assure that there is uniform application of these rules,” said Greg Brown, executive director and corporate secretary for the regents.
While the policy does not ban romantic relationships, it does discourage some more than others.
“The relationship that is most frowned upon in our policy is the faculty-student (romantic) relationship,” said Carol Carrier, vice president for human resources. “That’s a very unwise thing to do.”
Regents expressed the need to take action on the policies because of their relevance to current issues facing the University and the community at large.
“These are contemporary issues in society today,” said Regent Bryan Neel.
Regents will also discuss their intentions for the phased construction of the South Mall at the Facilities Committee meeting.