Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Hosts Summit on Sexual Harassment

Amanda Castro-Crist

August 10, 2018

The three-day summit will focus on sexual harassment in academia, and features multiple national experts.

Inspired by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, academics are coming together to form novel and public solutions in response to the problems of sexism and the intersectional forces of racism, classism and heterosexism within higher education. 

Texas Tech University will host a first-of-its-kind summit Aug. 15-17 focused on sexual harassment in academia and highlighting the power of stories. The summit will open with a welcome reception at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday (Aug. 15) in the University Library, room 309. On Thursday, sessions will follow an 8:30 a.m. welcome breakfast in the Teaching, Learning & Professional Development Center meeting rooms of the library. The final day will include a review and call to action.

“The summit signals Texas Tech's willingness to acknowledge a widespread problem in universities across the nation and take a lead role in offering solutions and enacting meaningful changes,” said Elizabeth Sharp, summit co-organizer, professor in Human Development & Family Studies and former chair of the Presidents' Gender Equity Council. “Spearheaded by female faculty from six of Texas Tech's colleges and with partnerships from more than 20 units, colleges and offices at the university, the summit brings to the foreground the reality that sexual harassment affects all members of the higher-education community and must be combatted by us all.”

The summit features multiple national experts:

  • Vicki Magley, a psychology professor from the University of Connecticut whose research focuses on workplace sexual harassment, worked on the National Academy of Sciences Engineering and Medicine's June 2018 report, “Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture & Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.” Magley will discuss findings from the report and offer practical ways to integrate the recommendations.
  • Menah Pratt-Clarke, vice president for strategic affairs and vice provost for inclusion and diversity at Virginia Tech, will share how individual stories lead to wider patterns. Pratt-Clarke is co-editor of “Journeys of Social Justice: Women of Color Presidents in the Academy” and author of “A Black Woman's Journey from Cotton Picking to College Professor.” Drawing on her national expertise in social justice and track record for translating ideas into action, she will offer strategic ways to address compounding issues of sexism and racism.
  • Andrea Piño, co-founder of End Rape on Campus, will share her personal journey, lessons learned and her reflections on the current, shifting landscape, including harassment on social media.
  • Jessica Luther, author of “Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape,” will share stories from undergraduate women and offer a new “playbook” for universities to prevent sexism and sexual violence.  

The schedule for the summit includes:

  • A presentation of research findings on the global #TimesUp movement by Sharp, Jerry S. Rawls College of Business professors Claudia Cogliser and Andrea Romi and doctoral student Stacy Chavez.
  • “From the Hunting Ground to ‘We Believe You' and Beyond …,” a panel featuring Piño, Luther and College of Human Sciences professor Dana Weiser.
  • Sessions on campus leadership, integrating Title IX and Title VII within the campus climate, best practices in the classroom and bystander strategies.
  • An open student forum on sexism and integrating intersectionality within the #MeToo movement to produce an #UsToo ethos. Participants will hear from administrators, faculty and staff on the current issues facing higher education.

“The summit carves out a safe space for women who have been rendered silent and encourages them to speak out against sexual violence,” said Texas Tech professor Aretha Marbley, co-organizer of the summit.

A full schedule, parking information and registration are available online. Cost is $15 for students, $35 for staff and $55 for faculty and others. A limited number of discounted registrations are available, and those interested should email Sharp.