For a safer workplace that lives and breathes the basic values

Umeå University needs to improve its work with handling and preventing cases of harassment, sexual harassment and bullying in our organisation. Currently, several measures are underway.

Umeå University has a zero vision regarding harassment and bullying. The work to reach that vision is, and must always be, never-ending. Nevertheless, the members of the University Management experience that the progress is too slow in reaching some of the fundamental objectives of this work, which recent attention by the media, staff and students has made evident.

For this reason, the University Management has prioritised to put extra focus on this topic through a number of measures. Learn in more detail about the ongoing work below.

These activities are being initiated by the University Management

The list will be continuously updated.

Last updated on 22 December

  • (22 December 2022) Two new activities: Extended scientific analysis of sexual harassment at Umeå University and Full day seminar for students and staff: Sexual harassment - in theory and practice.
  • (7 December 2021) Evaluation of the university's handling of misconduct using an external reviewer. On 7 December, former Director-General Karin Röding was appointed to conduct the evaluation between 1 February and 31 March 2022.
  • (26 November 2021) A meeting for heads of departments and other managers on the theme of harassment has been completed. The meeting took place on 25 November and a summary is presented on the page Completed activities.
  • (23 November 2021) Directives and content have been established for the evaluation assignment of the university's handling of misconduct using an external reviewer. Read the full description in Directives for the evaluation of Umeå University's processing of misconduct (Swedish).

Extended scientific analysis of sexual harassment at Umeå University

What is the objective?

To carry out an extended analysis of the results that the national study from the National Secretariat for Gender Research, on behalf of the Collaboration and Research Program on Sexual Harassment and Gender-Based Vulnerability, collected in the spring of 2021 on the prevalence, extent and consequences of sexual harassment in academia in Sweden. The analysis will focus on data collected from Umeå University.

The analysis will be presented in a report and describe the gender prevalence of sexual harassment, abusive treatment, estimated support in relation to problems at work / studies and health among employees and students at universities. The report is also supplemented with an analysis of the results compared with the results from the university's employee survey conducted since 2006.

Assignment brief (In Swedish only)

When will this take place?

Work on the report will start in mid-December 2021 and will be completed on 4 March 2022.

Who is responsible?

The Vice-Chancellor gives the assignment to Britt-Inger Keisu, researcher at UCGS, Umeå Center for Gender Studies.

 

Full day seminar for students and staff: Sexual harassment - in theory and practice

What is the objective?

Conduct a full day seminar with both open lectures and workshops. Three lecturers will be invited. An international researcher with a focus on the theme from a theoretical perspective. In addition to bridging the gap between theory and practice, two lecturers will focus on the theme based on their practical and business-related experiences.

When will this take place?

Full day seminar with lecture and workshop is planned during the latter part of spring 2022.

Who is responsible?

The Vice-Chancellor gives the assignment to arrange the theme day to UCGS, Umeå Center for Gender Studies.

 

Evaluation of the university's handling of misconduct using an external reviewer

What is the objective? (23 November 2021)

An external reviewer will evaluate Umeå University's systematic work with proactive and reactive measures when it comes to sexual and psychological harassment, as well as other forms of harassment and cases of misconduct. The evaluation is to be forward-looking and form basis for decisions on what measures are necessary to ensure that the university works effectively with work environment issues and has a culture that supports zero-tolerance against discrimination and all forms of harassment.

Update 23 November

Directives and content have been established for the evaluation assignment of the university's handling of misconduct using an external reviewer. Read the full description in Directives for the evaluation of Umeå University's processing of misconduct (Swedish)

When will this take place? (7 December 2021)

The assignment brief will be adopted on the Vice-Chancellor's Executive Meeting on 23 November 2021. The time plan for the review itself will be established when the reviewer has been appointed.

Update 7 December

The evaluation will be implemented between 1 February and 31 March 2022. A final report is to be submitted to the Vice-Chancellor no later than on 31 March 2022.

Who is responsible? (7 December 2021)

An external reviewer has not yet been appointed, but this person must be independent in relation to Umeå University. The Vice-Chancellor appoints the reviewer, and will also receive the report and the results of the evaluation.

Update 7 December

On 7 December, former Director-General Karin Röding was appointed to conduct the evaluation.

If something happens – new and helpful information in one place on the staff web

What is the objective?

To gather information on how to act and receive help in issues related to work environment, harassment, threats, incidents and injuries. Next year, this page will also include a whistle-blower function. This page intends to give quick and clear information and in one place on what help and support is available.

When will this take place?

A first version will be launched in early December 2021. The contents of the page will be developed upon throughout 2022.

Who is responsible?

The University Director Hans Wiklund is overall responsible for the activity. Various offices in the University Administration are responsible for the support and services presented on the page. The Communications Office is working to produce and publish the page.

Revise and elucidate the university's processes when it comes to investigating cases of psychological and sexual harassment, as well as other forms of harassment.

What is the objective?

The process is described in the policy document "Handläggningsordning vid diskriminering, trakasserier och kränkande särbehandling" [not translated] adopted in 2015. Both the document and procedure need to be updated and a newly revised "Procedure when investigating harassment, psychological harassment or sexual harassment" is underway, and will also be translated.

When will this take place?

A proposal of a new procedure was submitted for referral to the faculties, the Umeå School of Education, the University Library, trade unions and student unions on 16 November, and the last day to respond is set to 4 January 2022. A new procedure should be ready for approval at the beginning of next year.

Who is responsible?

The Human Resources Office is in charge of the procedure. The team that has drafted the new procedure consists of Thomas Wahlström and Jeanette Lövqvist from the Human Resources Office and the legal officers Chatarina Larsson and Maria Karlsson. The proposal has also been discussed with a reference group consisting of line managers, trade union representatives and student union representatives.

Measures based on the Equality Ombudsman's inspection of Umeå University

What is the objective?

In late December 2020, the Equality Ombudsman submitted a report after an inspection of several higher education institutions, Umeå University included. The inspection was based on how the higher education institutions worked with active measures in 2018, when the law on such measures was new. Active measures, according to the Discrimination Act, are prevention and promotion measures in an organisation aimed at preventing discrimination and serving in other ways to promote equal rights and opportunities regardless of gender, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation and age.

Umeå University has initiated a project to evaluate and review how the preventive and promoting work is conducted in accordance with the Discrimination Act, both when it comes to employer and education provider perspectives.

When will this take place?

1 October 2021 until June 2022

Who is responsible?

The Vice-Chancellor of equal opportunities leads the project, the project manager is appointed from the Human Resources Office.

Do you have a question or a comment?

Your message will be received by the Communications Office who will forward it to the right person, for instance a member of the University Management. Messages are read and responded to on weekdays between 08:30–16:00.
Your message is anonymous unless you wish to receive a response, in which case you need to enter your email address.
Kommunikationsenheten
12/22/2021