UW Regents Meet in Madison, Discuss Sexual Harassment Documentation

UW System President Ray Cross (Bryce Richter/UW-Madison)


Author: Martin Rakacolli

The Board of Regents met Thursday and Friday in Madison to discuss issues related to the University of Wisconsin System. Across two days, they met in committees and convened later to summarize findings and update the rest of the group on their activities.

The board heard a policy draft to modify existing procedures for how UW institutions document sexual harassment “allegations and investigations,” as well as create new procedures. The policy is close to its final draft, according to its author Board of Regents General Counsel Quinn Williams, and will be shown to shared governance groups and others with a stake in the matter. The policies are expected to be adopted in January 2019.

The policy in question standardizes personnel files and ensures that sexual harassment is well documented. It does not change who has access to these files and only affects substantiated instances of “sexual violence and sexual harassment,” according to Williams’ slides.

Among the other issues discussed during the open sessions was a merger between the campuses of UW-Eau Claire and UW-Barron County, which UW System president Ray Cross said would allow for greater development within those two communities.

“The purpose of this merger was not primarily to save money–though I believe that will happen–the purpose was primarily to gain strategic advantage, to preserve a couple of these campuses, and to bring opportunity for new programming into these communities and to improve transfers,” Cross said.

Other topics included the welcoming of new regents, a rundown of the university system’s economic impact throughout the state, and the discussion of resolutions allowing certain Wisconsin universities to rename their branch campuses.

The minutes of the meetings can be found here and a video of the meeting on day two can be found here.

Editor’s note: WSUM’s broadcast license is held by the UW Board of Regents