Implementation of Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Attestation (PDAD&C #20)

From: Randy Boyagoda, Acting Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life
Date: February 17, 2023
Re: Implementation of Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Attestation (PDAD&C #20)

In 2021, the University of Toronto (U of T) signed onto the Association of American Universities (AAU) Principles on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Academia, which provide that before finalising an offer of employment to a candidate for a faculty position, institutions contact prior employers to determine if there have been substantiated findings of sexual misconduct against the candidate while they were appointed as a faculty member at another institution.

Subsequently, the Final Report of the 2022 Review of the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment included recommendation 12 (R12), Establish guidelines and processes that allow information on sexual violence and sexual harassment to be shared with other institutions to discourage “passing the harasser.” The University accepted all of the reviewers’ recommendations as indicated in the Administrative Response.

The University has been working to develop and implement a process in response to the recommendations and the AAU Principles starting in the 2022-23 academic year. 

The first step being implemented is the addition of language within appointment letter templates for all newly appointed faculty hires at the University, requiring them to attest that there have been no substantiated findings of sexual misconduct against them, and that they are not the subject of an ongoing investigation or proceeding for sexual misconduct.

The University will shortly embark on the next step of the process, implementing a reference checking process to confirm the accuracy of attestations by consulting with institution(s) where applicants have previously held faculty appointments.  We will begin by implementing this reference checking process for new incoming faculty who will be appointed with tenure at the ranks of Associate Professor or Professor.  We will be working to develop this process over the next several months and will provide additional information prior to implementation.

Questions concerning the Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Attestation and the implementation process may be directed to Kate Enros, Executive Director, Academic Life & Faculty Relations ( Please note that the attestation and reference checking will not apply to applicants who are existing faculty members appointed at the University of Toronto at the time an offer is extended.