REFORM THE POLICIES FOR PREVENTION AND RESPONSE OF FACULTY MISCONDUCT

Demand 3A - Reform the policies and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct against faculty and staff

 

Demand 3B - Publicize data and outcomes for allegations of misconduct against faculty and staff in annual IDHR reports


Demand 3C - Implementation of targeted policies for preventing and punishing retaliation

 

Demand 3D - Guarantee transitional funding

Demand 3A - Reform the policies and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct against faculty and staff

 

In order to address systemic discrimination at MIT, the complaint resolution process must be reformed to be accessible, clear, supportive of complainants, and focused on restorative justice rather than protection of the Institute’s reputation and financial interest. MIT must first and foremost take seriously the process of re-establishing trust in the leadership via increased transparency and a reform of these procedures for handling misconduct. In particular, faculty and certain staff who have unique levels of authority over their students or other staff as compared to most supervisory roles in other industries, should undergo rigorous and serious processes when accused of misconduct, as such power dynamics can lead to abuse and rampant discrimination. Thorough and fair processes for reporting, investigating, and ruling on misconduct as well as clear, consistent, publicized, and appropriately harsh sanctions for such actions are critical to preventing further misconduct from known offenders and potential future offenders.

 

Demand 3B - Publicize data and outcomes for allegations of misconduct against faculty and staff in annual IDHR reports

 

Publishing aggregate statistics and anonymized case outcomes is crucial for maintaining transparency and breaking the “culture of silence” by encouraging reporting. When a victim of misconduct is able to see that they are not alone in their experience and that reporting can lead to justice, whether that’s informal or formal remediations, they are more likely to have faith in the process and view their experience as worthy of reporting. Presently, the annual IDHR reports include only aggregate statistics on case outcomes with student respondents, not faculty respondents, indicating preferential protection of faculty reputations over the suffering of others.


Demand 3C - Implementation of targeted policies for preventing and punishing retaliation

The fear of retaliation is a primary deterrent of reporting incidents of harassment and discrimination and of speaking up about discriminatory environments in general. In order to truly address the climate of systemic harassment and discrimination, MIT must meet them with zero-tolerance. MIT has an opportunity to be a leader among universities by implementing a transparent process for reporting, investigating, and punishing retaliation incidents and by providing meaningful protections from retaliation and its negative career consequences.

Demand 3D - Guarantee transitional funding

Students may have to switch labs or programs for a number of reasons, such as incompatibility with the advising style or research focus, or more serious issues of abuse or misconduct from colleagues and advisors. “Transitional funding” is support for students to cover their costs of continuing as a student while switching between advisors, including tuition, stipend, and healthcare. Guaranteeing transitional funding is a responsibility of the Institute to support its students, particularly those in abusive advisor-advisee relationships that are victims of the vast power imbalance and potential retaliation that can occur in these situations.

Read our full report

on section 3 demands

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter

©2020 by the RISE Campaign