Deans Consultation Commitee
For information about the Deans Consultaiton committee please visit the Dean of Student website.
New Responsible Reporting Policy Effective September 15, 2017
A new policy defining reporting responsibilities for employees who learn of a student who has experienced sex or gender-based discrimination will take effect on September 15, 2017. The new policy is designed to increase both campus safety and confidence in our institutional response by encouraging even more students to seek support, receive services, and report sexual harassment. Once implemented, the new policy will change many employees’ obligation related to reporting that information, which currently requires almost all employees to report to the Title IX coordinator. Read Vice President and Title IX Coordinator Darci Heroy's memo to campus for more information and the policy language.
Student Employees who are required to report pursuant to these policies are:
- Residential Advisors;
- Graduate students with GTF appointments (GEs); or
- Other student employees who supervise two or more employees).
However, a student employee’s supervisor may set expectations for a position that include reporting obligations. Further, student employees are encouraged to report as outlined below.
For Graduate Employees
Graduate Employees (GEs) are both employees and students and so all reporting requirements must be understood in both contexts. GEs are required to share information with the Title IX Coordinator or the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity (OAAEO) when they receive information about prohibited discrimination, harassment, or violence in the context of their work as an employee (e.g. as teachers, lab assistants, researchers or administrative staff). Information received outside of that employment context—in other words, information that a GE does not receive because of their role as a GE is not subject to required reporting. GEs should, however, consider whether or not reporting is nevertheless the best course of action.
For example: If the person disclosing is a student for whom that GE has some academic obligation or responsibility; or the person disclosing is not a student for whom the GE has some academic obligation or responsibility, but is a student who may believe that the GE in their academic role holds a position that the reporting student believes might help or assist them, then the GE would be required to report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator. If the person disclosing is a student peer or another person unrelated to the professional role or obligations of the GE and does not reasonably believe that the GE can help them based upon the academic position of the GE, then the GE is encouraged but not obligated to report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator.
Deciding whether a situation is employment related is not always easy so GEs are encouraged to contact the Title IX Coordinator or the OAAEO office for advice about whether or not the situation at hand requires reporting. GEs may also contact the confidential Ombuds or Crisis Intervention and Sexual Violence Support Services for assistance in determining the nature of their reporting obligations in a particular situation.
To learn more read the full emergency policy.
The only exceptions to required reporting are those employees designated as confidential and other specific exemptions listed below:
- 24-hour SAFE hotline: (541) 346-SAFE
- University Health Center
- University Counseling and Testing Center
- Crisis Intervention and Sexual Violence Support Services
- University Ombuds Office
- Student Survivor Legal Services
- Otherwise legally privileged conversations (e.g., attorney-client, therapist-client)
A complete list of on and off-campus confidential services and resources is located at safe.uoregon.edu/services.
Employees designated as confidential resources are not required to report evidence of prohibited discrimination that they obtain while providing confidential services.
Academic and Public Awareness Exemptions
Further, because of the importance of academic expression and open discussion, disclosures that may occur during the course of academic courses and in the context of academic assignments and classroom discussion, during public awareness events (such as "Take Back the Night" or "Survivor Speak Outs"), or from IRB-approved human subjects research protocols focused on prohibited discrimination are not required to be shared with the appropriate authorities.
However, if an employee thinks that a writing assignment or discussion may illicit a personal account of this nature then prior to the assignment they should make clear to students (as in a syllabus statement or in an announcement) that such a disclosure in a classroom assignment, without more, would not trigger reporting obligations and therefore would not trigger an investigation or response from the university. It is equally critical to make sure that students are not making disclosures with the expectation that the disclosure will trigger action and then not having that expectation met.
If a student does submit such an account or make a disclosure in class, it would still be appropriate (and encouraged) for the employee to provide that student with information such as the link to the SAFE site and contact information for the appropriate offices so that the student can still be fully informed as to their options and what the university can provide—even if the student remains entirely confidential. One suggestion is to have a confidential resource present information at the beginning of the term, or prior to potentially triggering coursework, regarding services, resources, and the rights of students to help ensure that students are fully informed.
The requirement to report incidents of prohibited discrimination does NOT require employees to ask additional questions or "investigate" the situation. In fact, employees are encouraged not to attempt to gather more information for the report as there are specially trained staff to handle these situations in a manner which best preserves an individual's options, including choosing what information to share and with whom. Our priority is to not re-traumatize the individual by asking them to share more than they wish or to repeat their story.
If an employee is approached by an individual who wishes to share their experience with discrimination or sexual misconduct, or to share information they have about any form of prohibited discrimination or sexual misconduct, they should tell the individual the following information:
- As an employee, I am required to report prohibited discrimination.
- You (the individual) have confidential options for sharing this information and receiving support, which are listed on the SAFE.uoregon.edu website or by calling the reporting hotline at 541-346-SAFE.
- You can request the university maintain your confidentiality. (The university will maintain confidentially to the extent legally possible while also meeting its obligation to respond to health and safety threats to the campus.)
- You may report this information to campus or local law enforcement.
- You have a right to file an internal complaint.
The information that should be shared by a responsible employee includes any details that are shared with or otherwise known by the employee including: the name of the student affected, the name of the accused individual, the location of the incident, any details about the incident and the date/time of the incident. Again, the employee should not investigate or request more details unless necessary to assess immediate health and safety. The reporting requirement is simply to share with the appropriate authority what is made known to the employee at the time of the report.
Reporting Incidents of Child Abuse
The term “mandatory reporting” refers to incidents of child abuse. All UO employees, including student employees and GEs, have a duty to make a report to the Oregon Department of Human Services or a law enforcement agency when there is reasonable cause to believe any child (any person under the age of 18) with whom the employee comes in contact has suffered abuse or that any person with whom the employee comes in contact has abused a child. The duty of employees of public universities to report incidents of child abuse applies at all times, not just to those incidents occurring during working hours or on campus.
Students who are not employees are not mandatory reporters of child abuse unless their work outside of the university involves one of the professions mandated in the law as a mandatory reporter, such as childcare worker or psychologist/professional counselor or therapist. (See the FAQ document for a complete list of professions with mandatory reporting obligations.)
For questions please contact Human Resources at 541-346-2195 or the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity at 541-346-3123.
Clery Reporting Obligations
For information relating to Campus Security Authority reporting obligations under the Campus Clery Act, please see police.uoregon.edu/content/campus-security-authorities or contact the Clery Coordinator with the University of Oregon Police Department at 541-346-0670.