We are pleased to report that, for the first time on the Berkeley campus, the CALmessage sent (August 10, 2015) to all faculty, staff, and current students about the Academic Calendar and Student Accommodations included a statement on campus policies and guidelines pertaining to pregnancy and parenting.

Students who have or will be forming families — and the faculty and staff supporting them — will find this helpful to review. The statement reads:

In compliance with Title IX of the U.S. Department of Education’s Education Amendments of 1972, and with California Education Code, Section 66281.7, it is the official policy of the University of California at Berkeley not to discriminate against or exclude any person on the basis of pregnancy or related conditions, and to provide reasonable accommodations to students as appropriate.

Instructors are reminded of their responsibilities for excusing medically necessary absences for pregnancy and related conditions and for making appropriate accommodations in the areas of class sessions, exams, tests, project deadlines, field trips, and any other required activities. For graduate students, faculty advisors are reminded of policies regarding parental leave and the extension of normative time for academic milestones, as set out in the Guide to Graduate Policy.

Reasonable common sense, judgment and the pursuit of mutual goodwill should result in the positive resolution of scheduling conflicts. The regular campus appeals process or Title IX complaint process applies if a mutually satisfactory arrangement cannot be achieved.

For more information about accommodations for students who are pregnant or parenting, please contact the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination or (specific to graduate students) email the Graduate Division at <[email protected]>.

The Graduate Division has long worked to establish and promote family-supportive policies for graduate students. Our Families Matter brochure offers a helpful summary of available resources. Everyone can help make sure that these policies and resources are well known in every department and program, so that local practices follow best practices. The Graduate Division welcomes feedback from all students, faculty, and staff on these important family matters.