A Tougher Stand on Sexual Misconduct

  • The University of Texas at Austin will now fire professors found to have committed sexual misconduct and publicly disclose their disciplinary records.
  • President Greg Fenves agreed to make termination a default punishment for such behavior after student activists pushed for the measures.
  • He shared in a letter to campus that faculty and staff members found guilty of sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking or interpersonal violence after a “thorough investigation” will be presumptively separated from the university.
  • Husch Blackwell law firm was hired by the university to advise administrators and recommended the policy changes. The goal is to have the new policy in effect by the end of the semester but there will be some exceptions to the policy.
  • A faculty or staff member who engaged in sexual misconduct would be allowed to remain employed if the victim of their actions expressed that they do not want to “ruin this person’s life”.
  • Husch Blackwell also recommended that any staff or faculty member retained by the university should be listed in a report that includes their name, misconduct committed and the “mitigating factors” preventing their termination.
  • The regularity of the report has not yet been determined, said Gary Susswein, chief communications officer.