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Zero tolerance for harassment at BI

29 November 2017

BI must be a safe study environment. Sexual harassment must be prevented, including at BI.

Inge Jan Henjesand

The news in the wake of the #metoo campaign has shaken Norwegian society. Academia is no exception. BI Norwegian Business School addresses this issue with grave seriousness. Let it be clear that sexual harassment is behaviour that is not accepted.

We are committed to the goal of facilitating an inspiring study environment that promotes well-being, health, learning and development for the individual. This environment is characterised by diversity, equality, consideration and respectful and open communication. Different forms of abuse of power should not be tolerated. We have zero tolerance for bullying and harassment, and we all have a responsibility to ensure that it does not happen.

Status at BI today

In the past, there have been individual cases of sexual harassment at BI. These were some time ago and have been handled. I must, unfortunately, assume that there are some unknown instances. I see that the #metoo campaign has motivated many to stand up and tell their story. We hope that employees and students who experience sexual harassment at BI report this. It should not happen, nor should those who experience it carry that alone.

How to report

At BI, we have routines for reporting and handling of these type of instances. Routines and guidance for are available on our intranet and student portal. 

What we do now and in the future

I hope the attention of the #metoo campaign can have a positive effect on BI. For both our study environment and working environment. The most important thing we do now is to prevent sexual harassment from happening in the future. Our students and our employee should not be exposed to this.

In recent days, I have had discussions with the unions, the students and our own administration about what we are doing. I want to put prevention on the agenda in BI's Working Environment Committee (BAMU) and Learning Environment Committee (LMU). This is a good opportunity to review our routines and, if necessary, improve them with new measures where necessary.

Sexual harassment was raised for discussion at the Council of Representatives in the University and Higher Education Council (UHR) last week. I am deputy chairman of the UHR this period, and can confirm that this is the topic of the agenda throughout the Norwegian academic community.

Shared responsibility

The goal of a good working environment for both students and employee involves continuous work and is a shared responsibility. I would ask all to be aware of their own behaviour. Respect for each other is a central value for BI. Knowledge is power, and responsible management of this power is a highly important principle for us.

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