Begin forwarded message:
President Schill has approved emergency policy V.11.02 and associated changes to UO’s grievance policy and discrimination policy relating to the prohibition of discrimination and the process for responding to reports of prohibited discrimination. These temporary changes will be in effect for 180 days and provide needed clarification of who is a “responsible employee” and therefore required to report prohibited discrimination, including sexual harassment.
In summary, the emergency policy:
· Reinforces the expectation that all employees are required to communicate reports of prohibited discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, to:
o The Title IX Coordinator;
o The Office of Crisis Intervention and Sexual Violence Support Services; or
o The Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity.
· Clarifies that the following offices are “confidential resources” that can help connect students and employees with support services and help them navigate their options, without being required to report the alleged misconduct:
o The Office of Crisis Intervention and Sexual Violence Support Services;
o The University Health Center;
o Ombudsperson; and
o The University Counseling Center.
· Provides clarification regarding when a report made in a privileged context does not trigger a duty to report, including:
o Reports made to an attorney in the context of providing legal counsel (such as student legal services);
o Reports made by unit members to a steward of their union;
o Information shared in a public awareness event (such as “Take Back the Night”);
o Information received during an IRB approved research project; and
o Reports made by students in the context of an academic assignment.
· Provides a pathway for certain faculty or staff to receive training and authorization from the Title IX Coordinator to be exempt from the reporting requirement.
This emergency policy reflects the input of the University Senate’s Committee on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, and incorporates many thoughtful suggestions made by stakeholders in three separate meetings of the senate as it debated, but was unable to enact a permanent policy this past spring.
President Schill and I have asked the senate to return to the task and make modifications that reflect sound policy and remain compliant with our legal obligations under Title IX. To that end, University Senate leadership have appointed a working group, led by Knight Professor of Law, Merle Weiner, to seek broader consensus on a legally sufficient policy.
It is my hope that the senate can run an open and transparent process, one that relies on subject-matter experts and finds a careful balance between supporting a student’s control of whether to initiate a formal response to an incident of sexual harassment or prohibited discrimination and the university’s need to receive information necessary to stop and prevent discrimination. If the senate once again is unable to pass a policy, or if the policy it crafts does not meet minimum legal requirements, the president will be prepared to act at the end of the 180-day life of this emergency policy.
Vice President and General Counsel