Rutgers to update sexual harassment policy after report documented its failure to review old complaints

<p>Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi annnounced Wednesday that the University will immediately begin to investigate all cases of sexual harassment, and said that the old policy was inconsistent with the University's values.</p>

Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi annnounced Wednesday that the University will immediately begin to investigate all cases of sexual harassment, and said that the old policy was inconsistent with the University's values.


On Wednesday, University President Robert L. Barchi announced that the University will change its policy on investigating sexual harassment complaints following an NJ Advance Media report that Rutgers had set expiration dates on older complaints.

Kristy King, a former Rutgers political science student filed a sexual harassment complaint against Stephen Eric Bronner, a professor in the Department of Political Science, in February, according to NJ Advance Media.

The complaint was from an earlier incident, in which she claimed that Bronner sexually harassed her from 1999 to 2009, according to the Associated Press. 

In a letter to King about her report, NJ Advance Media reported that the head of the Rutgers’ Office of Employment Equity said the University usually does not investigate sexual misconduct complaints that are more than two years old.

King described the response as swift, dismissive and insulting, according to NJ Advance Media.

Barchi said he has ordered a review of the office that handles sexual harassment complaints to ensure it has enough staff and resources, and that the old policy was "inconsistent" with the school's practices and values, according to the Associated Press.

This comes days before Rutgers plans to celebrate Turn the Campus Purple Week, an event intended to raise awareness for dating and domestic violence.

Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) spoke out against the time limit, according to the Associated Press.

"(In this era) you've got to cross all your 't's and dot all your 'i's," he said. 

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