Further measures for a safer workplace

29 April 2022

Umeå University will introduce further measures to improve the work with handling and preventing harassment, sexual harassment and victimisation in our organisation. The measures have been prioritised by the University Management based on the proposals presented in the external evaluation.

The external evaluation was conducted by Karin Röding who presented her report on 8 April. Since then, the report has also been presented to the University Board and been discussed in the University Management and the University Management Council, which includes the Vice-Chancellor, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellorss, deans, the University Director, the Director of the Umeå School of Education, the Library Director and representatives of the students.

Hans Adolfsson.

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"The report forms good basis for our continued effort to improve," says Vice-Chancellor Hans Adolfsson. "It also confirms that we are en route in our chosen priorities. For instance, we need to provide better support to heads of department, managers, students and staff when work environment issues arise."

Support will be improved in two steps. As a first step, the University Administration has been tasked with establishing a supportive team with extended resources at the Human Resources Office to which heads of department and managers can turn for advice and support when work environment issues arise in their organisations. The plan is for the supportive team to be in place in the 2022 autumn semester.

Umeå University will also revise its support to students and staff – of which doctoral students is an important group to pay special attention to.

Better abilities to act early

The second step is to draw up a proposal for how support should be outlined on department and faculty level to provide the organisation with better abilities to act early when work environment issues arise. The expectation is that a proposal will be presented in autumn 2022.
The evaluation also points towards the importance of continuous discussions on topics of work environment and equal opportunities throughout the University for preventive work to carry on. Training students and staff in core values to help them act if anything should happen is also a measure that the evaluation highlights.

"We will ensure that these activities are planned for and commenced. Our previous work with core values provides a good basis. Working with core values is not something that can be 'checked off' and completed, so in the continued dialogue, I'm convinced that new proposals for further improvements will come up," says Hans Adolfsson.

A revision of routines and responsibilities for investigations of cases of victimisation, harassment and sexual harassment, and for the Staff Disciplinary Board, has already been initiated and will be completed this spring in the form of new procedures. Other completed or ongoing activities in the work to handle and prevent harassment, sexual harassment and victimisation can be found on the webpage For a safer workplace. Karin Röding's final report can also be found on that webpage.

For a safer workplace

Several measures are being taken to better equip the university for handling and preventing psychological and sexual harassment, and other forms of harassment.

Here you will find Karin Röding's report on the university's handling of malpractice.

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