Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

June 10, 2004

Deadline Looms for Anti Sexual Harassment On-line Training

Pitt staff, faculty and students have until July 31 to complete a web-based course, “Preventing Sexual Harassment,” aimed at ensuring compliance with the University’s policy against sexual harassment.
Completion of the course is mandatory for all staff and “highly recommended” for faculty and students, according to Pitt’s Office of Human Resources.
That distinction has irked some staff employees, including members of the staff councils at the Pittsburgh, Bradford, Greensburg and Johnstown campuses, who met here May 6 at the annual Council of Campuses gathering.
“Why is it ‘mandatory’ for staff but only ‘recommended’ for faculty?” asked one annoyed Johnstown council member.
“Really, completing the course is mandatory for faculty, too,” said Provost James V. Maher. “All faculty, staff and students are strongly urged to complete it.”
Pitt held mandatory meetings for faculty several years ago about sexual harassment, the provost noted. “We’re hoping that web-based courses like the one currently being offered will eliminate the need for more of those meetings,” he said.
“There are no sanctions against anyone who doesn’t complete the course,” said Ron Frisch, associate vice chancellor for Human Resources, “but we want to encourage people strongly to take it. Everyone in the organization, from the top down, believes this is important. We’re encouraging the faculty as well as the staff, very much so, to do this.”
Offering the course should not be misconstrued as indicating that sexual harassment is rife at Pitt, Frisch added. “It’s just that we want everyone to have as much information and knowledge as possible about this subject. This is a case where knowledge is strength,” he said.
SAC President Rich Colwell said some staff who have yet to complete the on-line course told him they never received the original memo (dated Oct. 7, 2003) from Human Resources informing employees about it. The first they heard about the course, they said, was via an April 14 follow-up memo telling them that Human Resources records indicated they hadn’t taken it yet, and July 31 was the deadline. After that date, Pitt’s authorization to use the course program will expire.
Frisch said it’s always possible that some campus-mail memos will fail to reach addressees. “The important thing is that people complete the course,” he emphasized.
The course can be accessed at:
– Bruce Steele

Leave a Reply