UMass Amherst Contributes to Repository on Sexual Harassment Prevention Policies and Practices

The University of Massachusetts Amherst has contributed information to a repository formed by the Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education, a group of over 60 colleges, universities and research institutions working to prevent sexual harassment. The collaborative recently released a repository of information on their efforts, along with its annual report.

The searchable repository includes descriptions of programs, policies, practices, and toolkits that institutions have developed to prevent and respond to harassment. The repository is intended to facilitate organizations’ sharing of information on actions taken, research on the effectiveness of those efforts, and potential innovative ideas. Examples of approaches included are bystander intervention training, confidential resources and support services for those who have experienced harassment, and programs to assess and improve institutional climate.

Tricia Serio, dean of the College of Natural Sciences, who along with Provost John McCarthy co-chairs a committee appointed by Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy to prevent sexual harassment and violence on campus, said, “UMass Amherst is honored to be a part of this national conversation convened by the National Academies. The work that we are undertaking locally, informed by our participation in the Action Collaborative, will strengthen our university by ensuring a supportive environment for all members of our campus community.”

The group also released its annual report detailing progress made toward its four main goals: raising awareness about sexual harassment, its consequences, and the approaches for addressing and preventing it; sharing and elevating evidence-based policies and strategies; contributing to a shared research agenda and applying the results of research; and developing a standard for measuring progress.

The Action Collaborative, facilitated by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, was established in 2019 to support academic and research institutions in implementing recommendations of the 2018 National Academies’ report Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.