Washington, DC- Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14) will hold a press conference Thursday, September 22, 2016, to introduce the Federal Funding Accountability for Sexual Harassers Act. The bill targets rampant sexual abuse and harassment in federally-funded STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics) research. If passed, it would require colleges and universities to report all substantiated findings of sexual abuse by professors to every federal agency that has awarded the institution competitive research and development grants in the past 10 years.
“There have been far too many cases of professors sexually assaulting or harassing their students and employees, but continuing to receive millions in taxpayer-funded grants. We know that sexual assault and harassment are an enormous factor in driving women out of STEM, and yet universities continue to cover up the appalling actions of some of their faculty,” said Rep. Speier. “This is disgraceful, and federal agencies deserve to know if the researchers they are funding are abusing their students."
Universities and colleges would also have to report incomplete investigations that have been ongoing for more than six months, though no personal identification would be disclosed in those cases. Along with requiring universities to report sexual abuse to funding agencies, the bill requires agencies to consider this information during future funding decisions.
Supporters of the bill include the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. Speakers will include the congresswoman; Dr. Kathryn Clancy, an expert on STEM harassment and an assistant professor at the University of Illinois; AAUW; and two scientists who experienced sexual harassment and are willing to share how it affected their studies and damaged their careers.
Who: Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14)
Dr. Kathryn Clancy, University of Illinois
Two scientists who have survived sexual harassment
What: Introduction of the Federal Funding Accountability for Sexual Harassers Act