Over the past several years, accountability at higher education institutions has become more important than ever. One of the issues that many institutions faced was that systems surrounding complaints of racial discrimination or sexual harrasment required updating.
The situations surrounding these complaints are delicate and need to be handled carefully – however, many of those who entered complaints discovered that an opaque system meant they weren’t sure how their complaints were being handled. At the same time, institutions were looking for ways to support this system more effectively, to be more transparent about their prodigious efforts in this area and to track complaints in a way that was both legally expedient and clear to all parties involved.
In many institutions student or faculty grievances are already being addressed on the highest levels, but those who make complaints have a limited way of knowing that anything is being done. In many cases this has led to a firestorm of social media comments. It’s a genie that cannot be put back into the bottle. Once negative information spreads, administrative claims that they are already working hard on solutions is too little too late.
On both sides, demand has grown for a new and more efficient system that prioritizes transparency and communication.