Sasha Roseneil, UCL’s Pro-Provost (Equity and Inclusion), outlines a plan of action following media reports of sexism and racism in the Bartlett School of Architecture.
"Recent reports in the media of former students’ accounts of unacceptable behaviour by staff in our community have increased our determination to work even harder to ensure that UCL is a place where everyone feels accepted, included and safe to study or work.
"Complaints against named individuals who work at UCL, whether current or from the recent past, will be investigated thoroughly using our normal processes. We know that it is not easy to come forward and we respect and are grateful to those who have done so.
"In addition, UCL has begun the process of commissioning an external agency to investigate the culture of the Bartlett School of Architecture, which has been at the centre of these complaints.
"We want to draw upon the best independent expertise available to identify and challenge unacceptable behaviours in the most effective ways, in order to create lasting change. We therefore plan to work with a consultancy specialising in equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) matters.
"We will be asking them to carry out what may well be a complex investigation. While we will ensure that the investigation is completed in a timely manner, we need to ask for patience and respect for the process in the meantime.
"We have all been deeply troubled by these recent reports and I want to reiterate to the UCL community, past and present, that we are committed to ensuring that our university is an environment in which students and staff can thrive in their diversity.
"UCL has an online reporting tool for students and staff to report bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct, ’Report + Support’ , which includes the ability to report anonymously. We encourage students (current and former) and staff to use this to raise any issues or concerns relating to unacceptable behaviour.
"Our institution-wide campaign ’Full Stop’ has focused on how all members of the UCL community can play an active role in shaping a welcoming and inclusive environment for students and staff. Key to the campaign is the message that we do not excuse poor behaviour or minimise the experiences of those affected by sexual misconduct, harassment and bullying.
"We regularly review our equalities policies and reporting procedures to ensure that they are fair, transparent for all parties involved and follow best practice in the UK and globally.
"We will listen and learn from recent events and we will continue to strive to do better."