Biostatistics faculty statement on sexual harassment

January 9, 2018

Faculty in the Biostatistics program have issued a statement on the program's sexual harassment policy. The full text appears below:

Statement of the Biostatistics Faculty of UMass Amherst

There have recently been public accusations of sexual harassment leveled at several senior statisticians in academia and industry. An account of the events was published in the Guardian newspaper soon after the allegations came to light. In the Guardian article and in online forums, many individuals have made it clear that they feel that some professional statistics organizations have not done their part to prevent behaviors that range from inappropriate to predatory. There have been numerous responses from the various professional organizations involved (see, e.g., here and here).

We are disturbed and disgusted by these alleged actions. We are also disheartened that individuals have been discouraged from pursuing careers in STEM fields (including Statistics and Biostatistics) due to sexual harassment/assault and the professional cultures that normalize them. There is no place for behavior - verbal or physical - that demeans, objectifies, threatens, or harms others. This behavior is particularly abhorrent when it comes from people in positions of leadership or power.

If you or someone you know experienced or experiences harassment or abuse, resources for advice and help are available. For incidents at UMass, call the Dean of Students Office at 413-545-2684, file a report, or learn more about your options for whom to contact.

We are a diverse and supportive academic community. We are committed to providing a professional environment for all of the students, faculty, staff, and researchers in Biostatistics at UMass Amherst. We collectively hold ourselves and each other to high standards in our academic research and in our professional and personal conduct. We do not tolerate and will not ignore abusive or harassing behavior.

Leontine Alkema
Raji Balasubramanian
Laura B. Balzer
Carol Bigelow
Scott Chasan-Taber
Ken Kleinman
Xiangrong Kong
Penny Pekow
Jing Qian
Nicholas G. Reich
Ed Stanek
Susan E. Hankinson (Chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology)