Harvard issues report on sexual harassment

first_imgIn an email to the University community, President Larry Bacow today announced publication of the report from the External Review Committee to Review Sexual Harassment at Harvard University, which was convened in response to the case of Jorge Domínguez, a Government Department professor and onetime vice provost for international affairs who engaged in decades of sexual harassment during his time at Harvard.The Gazette spoke with Deputy Provost Peggy Newell to learn about the review’s findings, as well as resources and policies that Harvard now has in place, and plans to create, to address the report’s recommendations made.Q&APeggy NewellGAZETTE:  Would you begin by reminding us of the context for why this review was conducted?NEWELL:  In early 2018, the Chronicle of Higher Education published a series of articles stating that Jorge Domínguez, at the time a professor in Harvard’s Government Department, had sexually harassed at least 18 women during his time at Harvard. Shortly after the publication of these articles, the University’s Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR) began an investigation into the harassment allegations. The revelations in the Chronicle also prompted the Department of Government to form a Committee on Climate Change, tasked with examining the climate within the department. Among the recommendations in the Committee on Climate Change’s final report was a call for an external review to examine how procedures, practices, and norms at all levels of the University may have contributed to our collective failure to provide a safe and productive work environment for all members of our community.In May 2019 Dean Claudine Gay announced both the findings of the ODR investigation — that Domínguez had “engaged in unwelcome sexual conduct toward several individuals, on multiple occasions over a period spanning nearly four decades” — and the sanctions that the University would be imposing on Domínguez as a result. Later that day, President Bacow confirmed that he would form a committee to conduct an external review.GAZETTE:  What was the charge of the external review?NEWELL:  President Bacow asked the review committee to explore three central questions that had emerged from the report of the Government Department Committee on Climate Change:What characteristics of organization or culture might have inhibited those who had suffered (or were aware of) misconduct from reporting it?When misconduct was reported, were there characteristics of our organization or culture that inhibited an effective response? And,How do we vet candidates for leadership positions to assure that we are aware of any allegations of misconduct, including sexual harassment, and how might we do this?The members of the review committee — Susan Hockfield, professor of neuroscience and president emerita at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Vicki Magley, professor of psychological sciences at the University of Connecticut; and Kenji Yoshino, professor of law at New York University — were asked to take a forward-looking stance in their work, using the Domínguez case to identify factors that might continue to undermine Harvard’s ability to prevent and address sexual harassment.GAZETTE: What were the main findings of their report?NEWELL:  The committee’s report is incredibly thorough, and I would encourage community members to read it in its entirety. It clearly outlines several cultural and organizational factors that allowed Domínguez to escape accountability for so long, and suggests concrete, actionable steps that Harvard can take to create an environment free from harassment and discrimination. These recommendations include: fostering greater “psychological safety” across our Schools and units, better communicating processes for reporting misconduct, achieving greater faculty gender balance, establishing standardized processes for vetting candidates, improving transparency around investigations and sanctions, monitoring employees with past infractions, and accelerating progress toward a culture that is intolerant of sexual and gender-based harassment, broadly. Some of these things we have been working on already. Other recommendations will be the foundation for new initiatives.The report emphasizes that we can accomplish these changes without compromising our commitment to academic freedom or the due process rights of our community members. It is a forward-looking document that encourages community engagement in advancing its recommendations. President Bacow has said in the past that each of us shares responsibility for confronting and stopping sexual harassment, sexual assault, and discrimination, here at Harvard and beyond our campus walls, and I think the report really underscores this statement.GAZETTE: As you mentioned, Harvard has already been at work at addressing some of the recommendations made in the report toward creating an environment free from harassment and discrimination. Would you tell us about some of the resources to this end that are currently in place for community members?NEWELL:  To begin with, it’s important to note, as the report does, that we have made significant progress in our Title IX initiatives since the office was created in 2013 and moved to the Provost’s Office in 2015. Annually, more than 27,000 students, faculty, and staff participate in in-person training sessions and/or our online Title IX training module — everyone who studies and works at Harvard is now required to complete mandatory online training on how to support a harassment-free community. These have continued online during the pandemic. There are now more than 50 trained Title IX Resource Coordinators supporting Harvard’s students, faculty, and staff community-wide. Title IX and Gender Equity Education Student and Staff Advisory Committees meet regularly to ensure that each School and unit is represented in discussions about how the Title IX Office can improve its prevention initiatives, educational materials, and informational resources across the University. In 2019, the Title IX Office launched bystander intervention trainings, and the Resource for Online Anonymous Disclosure (ROAD), an online tool for anonymously disclosing concerns of sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct. All of this work has gone a long way in improving our policies and procedures around Title IX, and in beginning to change our culture.Harvard’s commitment to addressing sexual and gender-based harassment stretches outside of campus. In collaboration with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education, we are working to identify and develop innovative and evidence-based solutions to address sexual harassment. With more than 60 colleges, universities, and research institutions, Harvard is leading conversations around identifying the most effective ways to measure and monitor the climate within an organization. Through these conversations, institutions have been able to share best practices in developing climate surveys and measuring sexual harassment prevalence.And we continue to move forward with new initiatives that address sexual harassment and discrimination here at Harvard. Just this past week, Provost [Alan] Garber announced that we are embarking upon a community-driven effort to examine how we address discrimination and harassment. We have invited faculty, students, and staff from across the University’s Schools and units to help us evaluate existing, and in some cases develop new, University-wide policies and procedures related to sexual misconduct, discrimination, and bullying.GAZETTE: You also said that specific recommendations within the report will provide the foundation for upcoming initiatives. Has the planning begun on what some of these might look like?NEWELL:  Yes. Thanks in large part to University Title IX Coordinator Nicole Merhill and her office, we are already working to put new resources in place that correspond directly to the recommendations made by the external review. Some examples of what we will do moving forward include incorporating the concept of “psychological safety” into future learning initiatives implemented by the University Title IX Office, and exploring how we can revamp the Title IX Office website so that it provides clear pathways for disclosing incidents to Title IX Resource Coordinators and for filing a formal complaint with the University Title IX Coordinator. The updated Title IX website will also include a “Gender Equity Data Hub,” which will provide greater transparency on information pertaining to disclosures, formal complaints, and outcomes.The Department of Government has continued to make progress on implementing the recommendations of its own Committee on Climate Change, including the creation of a Title IX liaison position within the department to serve as a point of contact for all Title IX-related concerns, and the creation of a standing committee on equity, diversity, and inclusion, made up of faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduates, to assist the department in creating and maintaining a climate that allows its members to do their best possible work. The department has also committed to conducting a biennial climate survey of its community to measure progress toward the goals laid out by the Committee on Climate Change.In spite of all that we have done in the area of creating policies and launching new initiatives, we still have work to do until we have a culture in academia and at Harvard that does not tolerate harassment. Changing an organizational culture cannot be done by an office in central administration or by people in the dean’s office alone. Having policies against harassment is necessary but not sufficient. If we want a better environment, it will require that we all take responsibility for the community in which we would like to live and work and that we all participate in the work necessary to build that community. The recommendations in this report give us a place to start.GAZETTE: Is there anything else you’d like to add?NEWELL:  I would like to reiterate President Bacow’s words in saying that we are deeply sorry not only for the harassment that Terry Karl experienced at Harvard but for the harassment by Domínguez of other women at Harvard that might have been avoided. We are grateful to Professor Karl for having the courage back in 1983 to bring her complaint and for continuing, now nearly 40 years later, to raise concerns when she believed that Harvard had not done all that it could to assure that others were not similarly harassed. We also apologize and express our gratitude to the other women who were later harassed by Domínguez and who have shared their stories, and especially to those who brought formal complaints that ultimately resulted in Dean Gay’s sanctioning of Domínguez. We are grateful for all of your efforts to make Harvard a better place.We are grateful for the work of the members of the External Review Committee, who have spent significant time on this important process since it began in September 2019. Harvard provided the committee with full access to all of the relevant materials that it requested, including confidential files and reports, as well as access to all personnel it sought to interview. This was no small undertaking for the committee. We appreciate their diligence in making sure that their review was thorough and responsive to their charge. We learned a lot from their work and will assure that their efforts and advice are translated into action.We are also grateful to those Harvard community members who gave of their time to the process, including: students and faculty in the Government Department; the members of the Government Department’s Committee on Climate Change; current and former University administrators; representatives from the Harvard Title IX Office and Office for Dispute Resolution; and to individual members of Harvard’s faculty who have done significant work in areas relating to Title IX and organizational culture.last_img read more

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Round table – BetConstruct: The future of sportsbook personalisation

first_img VBET agrees Armenian Premier League and Armenian Cup sponsorship August 13, 2020 GAMING1 uses AI to combat problem gambling August 4, 2020 Share Simon Noy, Kambi: Revolutionising the bet builder July 20, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Related Articles Submit Some of the leading suppliers to the sports betting industry offered their insights into the future for sportsbook personalisation based on automated customer segmentation, advanced behavioural analysis and predictive AI-driven models. The fifth round table participant was BetConstruct, represented by its Group Director of Sportsbook Product, Stuart Baker.SBC: What role does pricing and risk play in the differentiation of a sportsbook offering?Stuart Baker (BetConstruct): There is a misconception that a managed sportsbook solution leaves little room for differentiation; economies of scale do not necessarily mean similarity in product.BetConstruct powers over 300 operators worldwide, across many jurisdictions and with differing compliance standards. On top of that, every single operator wants to stand out from the crowd. Basically, they all want the flexibility to differentiate on the odds that they offer and the bets that they will lay.Everyone understands the importance of new features such as Cash Out, Bet Builder and Price Boost, and such innovations are readily adopted throughout the industry. Such differentiations never last long.It is true that the UX and UI of a sportsbook are extremely important and BetConstruct’s award winning SpringBuilder tool was designed to allow our partners to easily manage their various player UIs.However, the underlying DNA of a sportsbook is the events, the odds and how much you can bet. An operator with the freedom to control these has a key with which to further differentiate themselves from their competitors. It is only through the capabilities of our Spring platform, that we have been able to provide the tools that has allowed every single one of our 300+ partners to feel that they have a bespoke offering.It was five years ago that we looked at our long-term plans and realised that our then platform would not allow us to provide such differentiation in an increasingly crowded market. The bold decision back then to re-design (and build from the ground up) a next generation platform is testament to our understanding, both then and now, of the importance of differentiation. Be it through our in-house driven tailored trading strategies, through our partners own trading teams or more increasingly a mixture of the two, I’m often finding myself asking “is that also one of ours?”Differentiation in marketing gimmicks is a race to the bottom. Differentiation in the offering is a race to the top. We know where we want our partners to be.SBC: How can operators build on their customer analytics to both enhance player experience and drive higher margins?SB: Sports betting is data rich and it’s just getting richer. In simplistic terms it comes down to three key questions. Do you have the knowledge that I need? i.e. have you captured the relevant data in a timely manner?Can you answer my question? i.e. is the data stored in a way that allows flexible BI?Can I do what I need to do? i.e. do I have the necessary tools to allow automation based on the data?Without the ability to answer positively to the first two, an operator will struggle to effectively enhance the player experience and/or drive higher margins. If the answer is yes to both, the fun can begin.One of the strongest drivers of BetConstruct’s data analytics is our in-house CRM product. Our CRM database, fed in real-time by the betting platform, is designed for questions, not actions. The enhanced, data driven, player experiences and custom reporting functions, enabled by the CRM solution, are both possible due to the technical focus on getting the basics correct.Elsewhere, player risk management is no longer a reactive process. Data is now being used in a proactive way, negating the risk before it can happen and driving higher margins. BetConstruct’s Umbrella solution is an AI based automated Risk Management tool whose aim is to predict potential risk.We are only able to answer yes to the third question because we have passed the first two. That is key.SBC: How can AI and analytics be used to personalise and tailor the sports betting experience?SB: Personalisation has been a buzz word for a long time. However, it is easier to get wrong than right. A good starting point is to understand the difference between intention and behaviour. A player might have wanted to bet on a match but didn’t for some reason. Analytics needs to go further than using data that is routinely captured, like the bet. Understanding the players intentions as they navigate the site can often be more important than the end behaviour.A good personalisation engine is always capturing data, always learning. The personalisation that a player experiences on one visit could well be different on their next visit. It needs to be subtle and intuitive. The player should not realise that their experience is being personalised. Far too often, across many industries, personalisation becomes overwhelming and creepy. Sports betting specifically needs to be careful; it is a pastime that can be private and personal. Overtly showing that big brother is watching and analysing a player can be obtrusive and result in the polar opposite of the intended goal.Care needs to be taken to prevent personalisation getting in the way. AI driven personalisation is a guess which often will be wrong. Just because I often bet on this league should not mean that it is now harder to find the actual league that I plan to bet on.Whilst AI driven personalisation is an ever important and growing area, the old mantra of ‘do it well or don’t do it at all’ is always worth remembering. Trying to be too clever when you don’t have all the facts may not be the wisest of moves.Lastly, we are talking about data science. The skill is in extracting knowledge and insights from the data. This is a science, so leave this part to the scientists. BetConstruct’s Machine Learning department has specifically been recruited from outside the industry to remove any preconceived ideas of who a bettor is and how they might behave.So, to answer the question … how can AI and analytics be used to personalise and tailor the sports betting experience? Carefully, very carefully.SBC: A lot has been said recently about gamification; what can it do for sportsbook?SB: Gamification is another buzz word that has been around for a long time. It is also something that is often not fully understood in our industry.Just because gamification and gaming have the same origin does not necessarily mean that expanding elements from the gaming verticals is the be all and end all. Incentivising players with the one-time chance of rewards, be it a boost, prize or a jackpot, are very basic examples. BetConstruct has a cross product Jackpot, waiting to be won at any time, be it by a player on the sportsbook, casino or one of the many other verticals. Gamification is much more than that.I would guess that the majority of readers have a LinkedIn profile. Now, there is gamification. How many connections, endorsements, views and search appearances are all scores. Gamification is about taking normal behaviour patterns and turning them into a competition. Likewise, number of friends or re-tweets are all examples of turning something into a score. These scores in turn manifest them in the minds of the user as a game. People by nature have a competitive streak and like to measure themselves against others.In sportsbook it can come down to two key principles. Firstly, try and get players to compete against each other. Who can show the most profit? Who has the highest strike rate? Whose winning multiple has the highest odds? Secondly, make it easy for players to follow and copy the bets of other players. There are worse options than following winning players.BetBull is powered by the BetConstruct sportsbook and they have built their offering on gamification. Whilst the players benefit from BetConstruct’s full sportsbook offering, the experience is somewhat different. A key part of their offering is around the concept of tipsters. Every player can be a tipster. You can see how you rank against other tipsters. You can follow tipsters and be subscribed to receive notifications when their next tip is live. You can easily follow the tip and place the same bet.Having a think back to the likes, connections, re-tweets, views etc. These are all examples of gamification from within social media. The key there is the social aspect. Gamification is a game between players.If you want to make true gamification work in your sportsbook you need to introduce the social element.last_img read more

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