Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,
As we approach this semester, which follows a summer of historic public demonstrations and includes an ongoing global pandemic, it is important, perhaps now more than ever, that we remain connected with our community and the guiding values that make us proud to be Panthers. Consistent with those values, I would like to express my and UWM’s unwavering commitment to fostering an environment (virtual or physical) that is free from all forms of discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence.
The U.S. Department of Education issued new regulations for how colleges and universities manage Title IX cases.
Title IX is a federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. The law also applies to cases of sexual assault and sexual harassment. The U.S. Department of Education issued the new regulations last May, with the requirement that they be implemented on Aug. 14, 2020.
Our Title IX Coordinator Kim Anderson and other staff worked throughout the summer to revise and adopt UWM policies and procedures as required by the federal government, but also worked to preserve a focus on care and support within those processes.
The new regulations require extensive changes to the way schools respond to Title IX allegations. To comply, UWM implemented an Interim Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy and Interim Policy on Investigation and Resolution of Formal Title IX Complaints.
The new regulations change how and when UWM must address conduct that implicates Title IX. More specifically, these changes limit the situations to which Title IX applies and impose additional procedural requirements to the processes used to address that conduct. Regardless of those changes, I want to make it clear that sexual misconduct that previously violated UWM policy will continue to be prohibited by UWM policy; the issue now is which process applies to address such conduct.
Since the time to implement the new federal rules was so brief, the policies we are implementing are interim policies. Later in the year, once UW System (UWS) begins its permanent rulemaking process for this purpose, we will engage in a more robust policy revision process, during which UWS and UWM will seek broad community feedback.
UWM remains committed to preventing sexual misconduct and will respond to every report with care. Below are some free and low-cost services available to support anyone impacted by sexual misconduct:
- Resources: You can find contact information for campus-specific services, including confidential victim/survivor advocates, medical and mental health providers, legal assistance, and other community resources on the UWM Title IX website.
- Reporting Options: Anyone who wishes to report sexual harassment or sexual violence can choose from a number of options, including contacting Kim Anderson, the UWM Title IX Coordinator, contacting the Office of Equity/Diversity Services, and/or by contacting the UWM Police or local law enforcement.
– Students can also report confidentially to the UWM Confidential Advocate.
- Policies: You can find more information about the care-driven, equitable response to these concerns on the reporting section of the Title IX website and in the UWM Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy.
It is crucial that we continue to care for one another in ensuring a welcoming, safe and inclusive campus. You can learn about ways to support individuals impacted by sexual harassment or sexual violence on the Offering Support page.
If you would like more information or would like to report a concern, feel free to contact UWM’s Title IX Coordinator Kim Anderson at 414-229-7012 or email@example.com, or fill out our Online Report Form, which you can complete anonymously
Mark A. Mone
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee