Sexual harassment case at the Academy

The Ministry of Education has received a complaint about sexual harassment at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. The Academy’s rector and director have met with representatives from the ministry, and the ministry’s letter to the Academy was reported by the online newspaper Khrono and subsequently by several other media. The Academy replied to the ministry’s letter on 12 January 2018.

Because the case has received a good deal of media attention and concerns the place of work and the working environment for Academy’s staff and students, it has been decided to present an overview of the case’s background and processing.

Background

On 18 December 2017 the Ministry of Education (MoE) received a complaint about sexual harassment at the Academy. The whistle-blowers want to be anonymous. The whistle-blowing led to the rector and director being summoned to a meeting with the MoE on 21 December 2017. The following day, the MoE sent a letter to the Academy with a demand that the case be followed up; the Academy replied to this letter later that same day. The letters are publicly available and are included in the respective records of the MoE and the Academy.

The three letters may be read here:

Letter dated 22 December 2017 from the MoE to the Academy (only Norwegian)
Letter dated 22 December 2017 from the Academy to the MoE (only Norwegian)
Letter dated 12 January 2018 from the Academy to the MoE and appendix with an action plan
 

Processing of whistle-blowing cases

The whistle-blowers have requested anonymity. Those who are involved in the case are entitled to their case being processed as an internal disciplinary procedure bound by the duty of confidentiality, cf. section 13 of the Public Administration Act. Hence, the Academy does not comment on individual cases in particular.

The current case will be followed up and processed by the rector and the director. It is also solely the rector or the director who will address the case with the media.

Action plan for a safe educational and working environment

The Academy practices zero tolerance in cases of sexual harassment. This is clearly laid down in the following documents:

Ethical Guidelines for the Oslo National Academy of the Arts
Letter from the Rector, 7 December 2017: There is a great responsibility. About #metoo and the culture of friendship in academia (only Norwegian)

The new action plan will be discussed at the board meeting on 6 February.

The rector and director called an open meeting for staff and students on Monday, 8 January, 12:15 p.m., at the Main Stage.

Give notice about the educational environment

The intranet page for students has recently been updated to include clearer information about the relevant rules and regulations as well as guidelines on how to blow the whistle on cases concerning the educational environment. The page also includes ethical guidelines for the Academy, relevant procedures and a whistle-blowing form.
Link to the intranet for students

Press reports

The ministry’s letter was first reported by the online newspaper Khrono on 4 January 2018. The article there includes a comment from the Academy’s rector. Following Khrono’s report, several other media outlets have written their own articles about the case.