Anti-Harassment Training Begins with University Leadership
As part of the AUCSpeakUp initiative to maintain a safe campus, the University launched mandatory anti-harassment training for every member of the AUC community, starting with the administrative and academic leadership. AUC is the first to introduce mandatory online training for all faculty, staff and students this fall.
Members of the University Cabinet and Provost’s Council, which includes all vice presidents, associate peovosts and school deans participated in the online training yesterday, which focused on “Sexual Harassment Prevention, Reporting and Resolution.”
Conducted by Sunanda Holmes, AUC’s general counsel and chief compliance officer, the training covered topics such as what Title IX means and how it applies to all students, faculty and staff; Egyptian law; AUC’s Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy; examples of misconduct; what defines sexual harassment as well as how to respond to it and report it; and useful resources, including AUC’s newly established Office of Institutional Equity. Participants were given real-life situations to respond to and were quizzed on the information they learned.
"If you experience harassment, abuse or bullying of any kind, especially sexual harassment, you have rights and you have options," said President Francis Ricciardone. "If you have witnessed it happen to others, you really have an obligation to report it. ... Please know the policy, and please report."
Next week, all associate deans and department chairs will take part in the same training, followed by a the senior management group later this month. All faculty, staff and students will also receive the mandatory training online before the end of the Fall 2020 semester.
What Participants Say
“The training was excellent and extremely engaging — one of the best trainings I have attended. It was clear from the questions and discussions that the participants were thinking about difficult scenarios in new and deeper ways. Personally, it was very helpful to learn more about the nuances of responding to complaints and ways to move forward while investigations are ongoing. The fact that the University's administrative and academic leadership are now more aware of these issues will serve to strengthen our responses and also help to enforce a culture where harassment and discrimination have no place.”
— Provost Ehab Abdel-Rahman
“Great presentation style with lots of opportunities to ask questions and talk about different examples, which all made for a really enjoyable and informative session.”
— Amir Habib, chief financial officer and associate vice president for finance
“The session emphasized the importance of having a culture where all members of the community trust that their concerns will be heard, and that the organization will take every necessary action to provide a safe environment where cases are addressed fairly and confidentially. It is everyone's collective responsibility to uphold this culture.”
— Ghada Elshimi, dean of undergraduate studies and Academy of Liberal arts
and director of the Core Curriculum
"The training was one of the most detailed and comprehensive that I’ve attended on this subject. Importantly, it was also very much at the elevated level that it needed to be for the senior leadership, which shoulders a big part of the burden of ensuring our community remains safe and secure. The fight against discrimination and harassment in all its forms is an ongoing effort, and I was glad that this training too will be ongoing, will be mandatory and will target our entire community.”
— Ayman Abdellatif, vice president for digital transformation
“An eye-opening training that explained many aspects of the harassment topic and how to deal with it. Overall, it was a very beneficial training that provided more knowledge and understanding of how to handle this culturally sensitive topic at this time.”
— Randa Kamel, associate provost for admissions and financial support
and chief enrollment officer
“The training was a first, but important, step of a long track toward building trust among the AUC community in the system established and seriousness of its implementation."
— Alaa-Eldin Adris, associate provost for research, innovation and creativity
“The School of Continuing Education has a large and diverse community of learners, instructors and staff, and I am confident that the University's policies and procedures ensure that our educational mission can continue to be carried out in an environment that does not tolerate harassment or discriminatory behavior and upholds the values of our community.”
— James Ketterer, dean, School of Continuing Education
“The training was useful in that it put all administrators on the same page about their responsibilities for promoting a respectful environment on campus, their roles in preventing sexual harassment and the appropriate actions to take in the event of an occurrence. The training stressed on the importance of listening and creating a comfortable space and a safe environment for complainants to speak up without fear of being judged.”
— Zeinab Amin, associate provost for assessment and accreditation
“Thank you for an amazing session. Great presentation and rich content with lots of opportunities to ask questions and discuss real-life examples and scenarios. I have to admit that I love the motto, AUC Speak Up.”
— Dina Adly, associate provost for sponsored programs
“The training session istestimony to the University’s unwavering commitment to ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for all our different stakeholders. The session underlined and emphasized that all [of us] have a responsibility to save no effort in this regard.”
— Nabil Fahmy, dean, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
Egyptian and American Laws
"I found the training very useful, and I particularly enjoyed the discussion on how academic leaders could contribute to the process and play active role in reporting incidents.The workshop was also very informative especially with illustrating the similarities and differences between American and Egyptian laws with respect to harassment."
— Zeinab Taha, interim dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
“Using case studies, Sunanda Holmes, the facilitator, challenged us to recognize sexual harassment situations and quizzed us on how to respond. The main takeaway for me was to become aware of our specific responsibilities as academic leaders to take a proactive role creating a culture where sexual harassment is not tolerated.”
— Aziza Ellozy, associate provost for transformative learning and teaching
“Sexual harassment has no place at AUC and the University is committed to addressing every incident. The training program, which every member of the campus community needs to attend, clarifies procedures, standards and legal issues. We must report, investigate and address every grievance.”
— Bruce Flessner, vice president, Advancement and the Americas
“I really enjoyed the training. It was just the right mix of background knowledge and content about the policy with lots of opportunities to ask questions. The real-life scenarios were very informative and the assessment exercise at the end to check our understanding of key concepts was an excellent activity to end the training. I'm sure that all members of the AUC community will find this training incredibly useful and an eye opener for many.”
— Deena Boraie, vice president for student life
"It was very informative with case studies for discussion, given the Egyptian context and culture."
— Heba El-Deghady, interim dean, Graduate School of Education
"An exceptional first step in a process that is vital to AUC. One of the most important aspects of the session is that both the formal presentation and the questions that it provoked identified a number of specific policy issues that the University community must address over the coming months."
— John Swanson, special adviser to the provost