The following information is an extension to the email sent directly to faculty and staff on Monday, September 18, regarding implementation of the new Student Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Violence Complaint and Response policy.
Please review the information below to better understand the new policy and your responsibilities as an employee.
The University is committed to maintaining an environment free of harassment and discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender, perceived gender, or gender identity that would violate Title IX (hereafter “prohibited conduct”). A well-designed “responsible employee” policy is an integral part of an effective response to prohibited conduct.
This policy is intended to encourage reporting by students who have experienced prohibited conduct because it clearly identifies responsible employees for reporting purposes, respects the wishes of students when they talk to other employees, and makes all employees at the institution part of the solution to prohibited conduct.
What you need to know:
There are three categories of employees each with specific reporting requirements.
The new policy requires all employees who receive reports of a student experiencing sexual harassment to respond with compassion and kindness, actively listen to the student’s report, and be sensitive to the student’s needs. It also changes many employees’ obligations related to reporting that information, which previously required almost all employees to report to the Title IX coordinator.
There are now three categories of employee reporting obligations:
- Designated Reporters are required to report information to the Title IX coordinator.
- Includes high-level and supervisory employees such as the president, vice presidents, deans, coaches, and athletic directors as well as employees tasked with responding to incidents of sexual harassment and violence such as the director of student conduct, Title IX appeals officers, resident advisors, and UO Police Department officers.
- Complete list of titles is provided here.
- Student-Directed Employees are required to provide reporting students with information regarding all available campus resources and reporting options.
- Required to consult with the Office of Crisis Intervention and Sexual Violence Support Services to ensure the employee is supported and has all information necessary to help the student, and to assess any risks.
- If the student wants to make a report to the institution, employees must assist the student in reporting information to the Title IX coordinator or report for the student as requested.
- Includes all faculty and staff who are not included in the list of Designated Reporters and Confidential Employees, which is most faculty members, student-employees, SEIU employees, and officers of administration.
- Confidential Employees are required to provide reporting students with information regarding all available campus resources and the student’s reporting options.
- Includes most employees on campus with a legal privilege such as health professionals working in the university health and counseling centers, advocates working in the university’s crisis intervention and sexual violence support services center, and the ombudsperson.
There is a difference between receiving a student’s report in confidence and providing a student with confidentiality.
It is very important to understand that a Confidential Employee (as described above) is a very specific term that implies a greater ability to protect information that is disclosed. A confidential resource means that information shared is protected by federal and state laws and generally cannot be shared without the explicit permission of the person who shared that information, or unless otherwise allowed to be shared under state or federal law.
Student-Directed Employees may offer greater privacy because they are not required to report certain information to the university. However, any information that the employee receives may still be accessed by university or court proceedings. This means, for example, that the employee could still be called as a witness or required to turn over any related documents or notes the employee keeps.
Policies for other forms of prohibited discrimination remain in effect including mandatory reporting of child abuse requirements.
Please note that reporting requirements related to non sex- or gender-based discrimination or harassment have not changed and are still governed by Discrimination Complaint and Response Policy. This policy still requires all employees (except Confidential Employees) to promptly report credible evidence of harassment or discrimination to the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity at 541-346-3123. Students and employees experiencing any form of prohibited discrimination or harassment can find information at respect.uoregon.edu, aaeo.uoregon.edu or contact the non-confidential Dean of Students Office at 541-346-3216 for help. Additional information about reporting requirements for non sex- or gender-based discrimination or harassment is available on the Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity website.
In addition, all UO employees, including faculty, staff, and graduate employees, are mandatory reporters of child abuse. Any disclosure of information about child abuse to a UO employee may trigger the UO employee’s duty to report that information to the designated authorities. You can find more information regarding your child abuse reporting obligations on the HR website.
Some UO employees are also designated as Campus Security Authorities (CSA) under the Clery Act. CSAs will receive an additional communication in the near future reminding them of their reporting obligation to share de-identified information about criminal behavior with the Clery Coordinator at UO Police Department. More information about CSA reporting obligations is available on the UOPD website.
Supervisors of student employees are required to report information about all forms of prohibited discrimination and harassment in the workplace to the university. For sex or gender related workplace harassment, the supervisor is only required to report if the student that discloses to them is a student employee they directly supervise, or if the student accused of harassment is one they directly supervise. The supervisor then must report the disclosure to the Title IX Coordinator regardless of their employee category under the Student Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Violence Complaint and Response Policy. Reporting obligations for supervisors of student employees are further explained in the supervisor section of the Title IX website.
What every employee needs to do:
- Determine which employee category applies to you.
- See if your job title is included in the list of titles that are Designated Reporters and/or Confidential Employees.
- If your job title is not included in these lists, then you are considered a Student-Directed Employee.
- Learn about your required reporting responsibilities.
- Familiarize yourself with the web resources available to students and employees who encounter discrimination.
- If applicable, include approved syllabus language in course materials or other documents provided to students. Suggested syllabus language is available on the Title IX website.
What to expect next:
Designated Reporters and Confidential Employees will receive a direct email reagrding their responsibilities.
If you do not receive a separate email, then you are considered a Student-Directed Employee and can rely on the Student-Directed instructions and resources as your guide should a student disclose prohibited conduct to you.
Reach out for assistance or clarification should you have questions. The Title IX office is always available to help and can be reached by phone at 541-346-8136 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employees with reporting obligations under the Clery Act, commonly referred to as CSAs and supervisors should also expect emails in the coming week reminding them of their additional reporting obligations.