Tag: University Policy

When Bad Behavior Becomes Sexual Harassment

by Institutional Equity

Sexual harassment is no joke. This topic is no longer off-limits, and allegations are being taken more seriously than ever before. But when does behavior cross from bad to unprofessional to sexual harassment? Is sexual harassment only egregious acts of physical touching or fondling? Does the behavior have to occur more than once before it becomes sexual harassment?

So often, recipients of sexual harassment talk themselves into believing it’s not a big deal with thoughts like this:

  • “Don’t be so sensitive. It’s just a joke.”
  • “That is a really nice skirt. Can’t you take a compliment?”
  • “Is it really that bad if they’re looking at you? Who doesn’t like attention?”
  • “Why do they have to hug me? I guess that’s just what they do.”
  • “The comments are not directed toward me, so I should mind my own business.”

Jokes, comments and actions can be harmful. Don’t justify someone else’s actions. What matters is the impact of their actions. When someone else’s behavior affects you to the point that it interferes with your employment and programs associated with employment, that is the point at which the behavior needs to be addressed.

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex, including verbal, physical, written and visual forms. Employees are encouraged to seek assistance as early as possible to prevent the harassment from continuing and possibly becoming more serious. Whether you are reporting harassment directed at yourself, another employee or a student, the key is to report the incident(s) so any harm can be remedied, the appropriate University personnel can respond and University procedures are followed.

Don’t suffer in silence. There are multiple resources, so choose the one that best meets your needs:


ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Acknowledging structural barriers – a visualization shift from leaky pipeline to a hostile obstacle course in academia

Equal practices are often mistaken as synonymous with equitable practices.  However, the path to get from point A to point B can be different for different people because the surrounding system of people (faculty, staff, students, society) does not respond to all individuals similarly. For example, those who have regularly been extended the benefit of perceived competence before presenting research results may have a hard time relating to those who must first prove their competence before the audience listens to the research results. These multiple layers of different treatment and different barriers are described in this article by Berhe et. al. in Nature Geoscience, as a hostile obstacle course that women and researchers of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds have to overcome in STEMM fields.  Acknowledging that the pathways are different and adjusting resources to be responsive to those differences are key ways to position each individual to be successful.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE PI Team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Unintended effects of gender-neutral tenure policies

Policies that allow for pauses in the tenure clock have been discussed as a potential solution to the gender disparities observed in faculty promotion, such as those which have become more evident during the pandemic. But what evidence do we have that these policies produce desirable outcomes? A 2018 study using aggregated economics department data revealed that adoption of gender-neutral tenure clock stopping policies actually led to a decrease of 19% in women faculty obtaining tenure, while men obtaining tenure increased by 17%. These results “imply that gender-neutral tenure clock stopping policies do not adequately account for the true gender-specific productivity losses associated with having children,” thereby actually worsening the problem they are attempting to fix. It behooves us to examine whether our own university policies are adequately designed to correct the imbalances and achieve their desired outcomes.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the MTU Advocates Team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.
The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


October 30, 2020 ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

If the weather of late has told us anything it’s that Heikke Lunta has awakened. With winter weather just around the corner and COVID-19 disruptions continuing, ADVANCE at Michigan Tech dedicates this week’s edition of the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup to the updated University policy on Children in the  Workplace. This policy has been updated in recent years and we encourage employees to be aware of both this policy as well as policies regarding visitors under the MTU Flex plan.

If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.