The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees has formed an ad hoc committee to review university policies to ensure that they reflect current best practices. The first priority will be NMU’s sexual misconduct policy, which was updated in 2016 and amended in 2017.
The ad hoc committee will be chaired by Trustee Alexis Hart, a senior human resources executive at Diamler Chrysler. Committee members will be Trustees Tami Seavoy, a Marquette attorney, and Jim Haveman, former director of the Michigan Department of Community Health.
“I am happy to serve as chair of the committee studying this important issue,” Hart said. “I have confidence in our policies and feel that this review will help to ensure we incorporate and follow best practices in all our policies. The well-being and safety of all of our students has been and will continue to be our top priority.”
Many academic institutions are taking a closer look at their related policies and Michigan lawmakers have proposed several bills that may impact universities.
“Northern is committed to maintaining a safe learning and working environment, and in light of recent events at Michigan State University, it’s prudent that we be proactive in this area,” said NMU Board of Trustees Chair Robert Mahaney. “While we have every confidence in our existing policies and the exceptional team of professionals on this campus overseeing efforts in this area, we feel a review is appropriate at this time. We want to make sure we have strong sexual misconduct policies in place and that such policies are being followed to ensure to the fullest extent possible that an environment free from sexual harassment exists for the entire NMU community.”
NMU‘s policy states that all reported incidents of sexual misconduct are investigated and that the university must take steps to remedy the situation. Faculty and staff are required to share reports of sexual misconduct with the Title IX coordinator or Public Safety and Police Services. NMU President Fritz Erickson said he is apprised of all allegations. Individuals reporting sexual misconduct are advised of available university and community resources for support and, if desired, receive help accessing these those services.