Response to graduate student letter authors

Dear Graduate Students,

Thank you for your letter taking an important and strong stance against harassment. The department is committed to fostering an environment that is free from harassment of any kind and supports efforts to ensure the field of economics is welcoming and inclusive, while also acknowledging that it has not always been so.

We share your commitment to maintaining high standards and will be forming a committee to begin work together to explore the issues and opportunities highlighted in your letter. Thank you for helping us continue to create the positive learning and working environment that we need to thrive as a department.

UW–Madison policy prohibits sexual harassment. Sexual harassment includes both “quid pro quo” (“this for that”) sexual harassment and hostile environment sexual harassment. We also do not tolerate sexual harassment in our department.

Speaking for our faculty and staff, we share your concerns regarding recent allegations and feel strongly that as a department we must ensure we have an environment in which anyone experiencing negative or unwanted behavior feels comfortable and safe bringing those experiences to our attention. They should be able to do so without fear of additional harm or retaliation.

We encourage anyone who would like to file a complaint or share additional information to contact the Sexual Misconduct Resource and Response Program. You may also contact the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Workforce Relations or law enforcement. University Health Services also provides confidential and free support resources to UW–Madison students.

The university follows up on every report it receives through these reporting offices, including initiating investigations when appropriate. Additional resources and support are also offered to students and employees.

All students and employees are required to participate in mandatory educational programs focused on preventing sexual harassment and sexual violence.

Thank you for standing up for your colleagues and taking such an important step in the process of change and healing. We will reach out soon with next steps.

Chris Taber
Chair, Department of Economics