Statement on Harmful Federal Sexual Harassment Rules

Chancellor Gary May with serious expression on his face and right hand on chin looking out a window.

To the UC Davis Community:

Today, the Department of Education issued new rules that will significantly impact how UC Davis and other universities respond to reports of sexual harassment. These rules narrow the definition of sexual harassment and lower the standards to which the federal government holds schools. They also subject those who participate in the university’s hearing processes for resolving such reports to direct cross-examination, even though other less traumatic and equally fair processes are available.

These changes are a big step backwards and I am concerned they might discourage survivors from coming forward in the future. I join University of California President Janet Napolitano in expressing my deep disappointment with the Department of Education’s action.

The safety and well-being of our UC Davis community is my top priority. I want to assure you that we will continue to respond promptly and effectively to allegations of sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, stalking and other forms of sexual harassment.

In a statement issued today, President Napolitano said some of the changes were “deeply troubling” and asserted that the UC will “continue our hard-won momentum through education, prevention, and processes that are fair and compassionate to all parties.”

Our UC Davis processes for reporting will not change. To make a report about sexual violence or sexual harassment, you can contact our Title IX officer directly at 530-752-9466 or wjdelmendo@ucdavis.edu or the Harassment and Discrimination Assistance and Prevention Program (HDAPP) at 530-747-3864. The Center for Advocacy, Resources and Education (CARE) also offers confidential resources for any student, faculty or staff who have experienced sexual violence or sexual harassment. Additional resources are available at sexualviolence.ucdavis.edu.

To learn more about how UC Davis handles sexual violence and sexual harassment cases, read the Compliance Annual Report.

UC Davis will never relent in the fight against sexual violence. Despite this setback, I am committed to a fair and compassionate adjudication process for all.

Sincerely,

Gary S. May
Chancellor

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