Dear Arizona Family:
Colleges and universities across the United States are wrestling with reports of sexual assault, relationship violence, sexual harassment, and discrimination; the University of Arizona is no different. As an institution of higher education, we are only as strong as our students, faculty and staff. We have no greater responsibility than to give them a full and fair opportunity to access all we have to offer at our amazing university.
Sexual misconduct and any other form of discrimination will not be tolerated at the University of Arizona. Our Student Code of Conduct and Nondiscrimination and Anti-harassment Policy make this absolutely clear. It is essential that our entire university community support an environment in which it is safe to learn, teach, and work.
While we cannot guarantee that incidents will not happen here, it is a top priority for us to do all we can within our roles as educators and employers to prevent them. When anyone comes forward to report a concern, we must be excellent in our response. We must provide an open and trusting environment so that those with concerns feel safe to come forward. Then we will be in a position to offer access to the full range of resources that will help and support them.
An effective safety and support approach requires many disciplines and perspectives. We have more than a dozen university offices that provide sexual harassment- and assault-related education, counseling, health care, investigation, and other supportive services. While the number and range of programs and services speak to our commitment, I believe our community will be better served by gathering our existing resources in a more coordinated and enhanced fashion.
We have asked Natasha Baker with the law firm Hirschfeld Kraemer in San Francisco to guide us in a review of our processes and policies. Ms. Baker, a recognized Title IX expert, will also examine how we coordinate with supporting community agencies like law enforcement and health care. I will commit the institutional resources and take the actions necessary to place our prevention, support and response measures among the very best in the country.
As a continuing reminder, a comprehensive set of Title IX resources, including reporting options, is available at: www.titleix.arizona.edu.
As members of our university community, we each have a role to play in creating safe campuses. Through education, dialogue and a continuing emphasis on our campus culture, each of us can make a difference in combatting sexual assault, relationship violence, sexual harassment, and discrimination. You have my commitment that I will do my part.
Robert C. Robbins
The University of Arizona