Printed on: 11/20/2018. Please go to http://policy.umn.edu for the most current version of the Policy or related document.
FAQ

Employees’ Obligation to Report Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence to the Campus Title IX Office

Frequently Asked Questions

Who must report prohibited conduct[1] to the campus Title IX office?

  1. I am a community advisor (CA) or residence advisor (RA) in a residence hall. What are my reporting obligations?

    CAs and RAs are considered employees pursuant to this policy.  Therefore, you are required to report prohibited conduct that you learn about in the course of your CA/RA role.  If you have questions about whether you learned about prohibited conduct in the course of performing your CA/RA duties, please contact the campus Title IX office for guidance.

  2. I am a fellow. What are my reporting obligations?

    Fellows at the University are considered employees pursuant to this policy.  Therefore, you are required to report prohibited conduct that you learn about in the course of performing your fellowship duties.  If you have questions about whether you learned about prohibited conduct in the course of your fellowship, please contact the campus Title IX office for guidance.

  3. I am a University student and employee. What are my reporting obligations?

    Student employees are employees pursuant to this policy.  Therefore, you are required to report prohibited conduct that you learn about in the course of performing your employment duties.  If you have questions about whether you learned about prohibited conduct in the course of performing your employment duties, please see questions 17 and 18 below and contact the campus Title IX office for guidance.  

  4. I am the leader of a student organization. Am I required to report prohibited conduct?

    No.  Leaders of student organizations are not considered employees pursuant to this policy.  Therefore, you are not required to report prohibited conduct that you learn about in the course of your leadership role.  If a student discloses prohibited conduct to you, you are strongly encouraged to provide this student with information about resources for counseling, advocacy services and investigations.  The campus Title IX office can provide you with this information. 

When must an employee report prohibited conduct to the campus Title IX office?

  1. Do I have a reporting obligation if a student disclosed to me that they experienced prohibited conduct and I know the student went to the police and is working with the victim-survivor advocacy office or another personal support resource?

    Yes.  Employees are required to report allegations of prohibited conduct to the campus Title IX office, even if the police are involved (a police investigation is separate from the campus Title IX office investigation) and even if the complainant is known to be receiving personal support.

  2. Do I have a reporting obligation if a student disclosed to me that they experienced prohibited conduct by a stranger while they were studying abroad on a University of Minnesota program?

    Yes.  The study abroad program is considered a University program.  Although the University may not be able to investigate the allegation, the disclosure will permit the University to fulfill its obligations to provide the complainant with information about resources available to them.  Also, the disclosure may permit the University to take actions such as conducting a review of policies and procedures, reviewing safety measures, or providing additional training or education.

  3. Do I have a reporting obligation if an employee disclosed to me only that they were sexually assaulted?

    Yes.  Employees are required to report allegations of sexual assault to the campus Title IX office if it is possible that the sexual assault: (1) occurred on University property; (2) occurred during a University employment or education program or activity; (3) was directed at a current University member at the time they were a University member; or (4) was committed by a current University member at the time they were a University member.  In most cases, employees will need to report to the campus Title IX office because they will have insufficient information about a particular allegation to know that it does not need to be reported. 

  4. A student told me they were “assaulted last weekend and require accommodations.”  Do I have a reporting requirement?

    Likely yes.  You are required to report if you know or reasonably should know that prohibited conduct may have occurred.  Here, the student did not specifically mention that the assault was sexual in nature.  However, given the context, it is reasonable to believe that the student may have been sexually assaulted, and therefore you should report.  If the student provided additional context that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the assault was not sexual in nature, you do not need to report.

  5. Do I have a reporting obligation if a student disclosed to me that they were sexually assaulted in the past (before coming to the University of Minnesota) by someone who is not a University member?

    No.  In this situation you do not need to report the prior assault to the campus Title IX office.  You are strongly encouraged to provide this student with information about resources for counseling and advocacy services.  The campus Title IX office can provide you with this information. 

  6. Do I have a reporting obligation if a student discloses prohibited conduct to me in a written assignment? 

    Yes, except for the narrow exception described in question 15.  Employees are required to report allegations of prohibited conduct to the campus Title IX office that they learn about in the course of performing their employment duties, regardless of how they learn about these allegations. 

  7. I conduct research in the area of prohibited conduct. Will these reporting obligations affect my research and ability to promise confidentiality to research subjects?

    Disclosures made by research subjects in the context of a research project do not trigger reporting obligations.  If you believe that a research project may elicit personal accounts of prohibited conduct, you should make clear to research participants in advance that disclosures made during the research project are not considered notice to the University.  You should provide research participants with information about resources for counseling, advocacy services and investigations.  The campus Title IX office can provide you with this information. 

  8. If prohibited conduct occurs off campus, does it need to be reported to the campus Title IX office?

    Yes, if either the respondent or complainant is a current University member or if the prohibited conduct may have occurred in the context of a University program or activity.  In most cases, employees will need to report to the campus Title IX office because they will have insufficient information about a particular allegation to know that it does not need to be reported. 

  9. A student informed me that they had an abusive relationship with another University student in the past but assured me that there is no continuing abuse. The last incident of violence occurred six months ago, while both were students at the University.  Am I required to report this?

    Yes.  Employees are required to report allegations of relationship violence to the campus Title IX office when the respondent and/or complainant was a University member at the time the relationship violence incident occurred.

  10. At a public demonstration against sexual misconduct, in front of a big crowd, a student announced that they have experienced stalking. Am I required to report this?

    No.  When a student discloses prohibited conduct at a public awareness or activism event or in other public forums where people are disclosing their experiences with prohibited conduct, you do not need to report to the campus Title IX office. 

  11. During an in-class discussion, a student disclosed that they were recently sexually assaulted. Am I required to report this?

    Yes, with the following exception. 

    Some classes involve academic discussions of prohibited misconduct that may lead students to share their personal experiences about prohibited conduct during class sessions or assignments. If a faculty member believes that the employee reporting requirement will inhibit academic discourse in their classroom discussions or students’ work on course assignments, the faculty member can opt not to report identifying information about the student when a student discloses prohibited conduct in class discussions or assignments when: (1) the faculty member has informed their students that they will report only non-identifying information to the campus Title IX office when students make these disclosures in classroom discussions or assignments; (2) the faculty member contacts the campus Title IX office to report non-identifying information about prohibited conduct that they learn about in classroom discussions or assignments; and (3) the faculty member forwards any student who discloses an experience of prohibited conduct during classroom discussions or assignments a letter provided by the campus Title IX office that explains available resources.

  12. Are faculty members required to report disclosures made by students during office hours, in emails, or in other conversations or correspondence?

    Yes.

When does a non-student employee learn about prohibited conduct “in the course of performing their job duties” and therefore have an obligation to report?

  1. I am an employee of the University. When do I learn about prohibited conduct “in the course of performing my job duties?”

    In general, as a non-student employee, you learn about prohibited conduct “in the course of performing your job duties” when you learn about prohibited conduct while at work and while otherwise performing job duties, including off campus and outside of normal work hours.

When does a student employee learn about prohibited conduct “in the course of performing their job duties” and therefore have an obligation to report?

  1. I am a student employee of the University. When do I learn about prohibited conduct “in the course of performing my job duties?”

    You, as a student employee, learn about prohibited conduct “in the course of performing your job duties” when, while at work or while otherwise performing your job duties, you witness or learn about prohibited conduct that involves a University member whom you formally or informally supervise, advise, and/or instruct as part of your job duties.

    You may formally or informally supervise a University member when, among other things, you oversee their work, assign them work, provide them with training or instruction, or where the University member could reasonably believe that you have the authority to redress the prohibited conduct or the responsibility to report the prohibited conduct to the campus Title IX office.

    You may formally or informally advise a University member when, among other things, you provide regular academic or professional guidance or serve as a mentor, including guidance and mentorship provided by residence advisors, community advisors and orientation leaders employed by the University.

  2. I am a graduate student who is also employed as a research assistant in a lab. While I was working in the lab, another research assistant working in the lab told me that they were sexually assaulted last weekend.  Do I have a reporting obligation here?

    You do not have a reporting obligation if you do not formally or informally supervise, advise, and/or instruct the other research assistant, even if you had this conversation during work hours.  If you are unclear about whether you need to report prohibited conduct, please contact the campus Title IX office for guidance.

    Even if you are not required to report, you are strongly encouraged to provide the research assistant with information about resources for counseling, advocacy services and investigations.  The campus Title IX office can provide you with this information. 

What happens after an employee reports prohibited conduct to the campus Title IX office?

  1. What happens when a report is made to the campus Title IX office?

    The campus Title IX office will reach out to the complainant (usually via email) to provide resources for personal support and investigation. 

    In most cases of alleged prohibited conduct involving a student respondent, the campus Title IX office will not conduct an investigation if the complainant does not want to initiate one.  In very limited circumstances, the campus Title IX office may need to conduct an investigation despite a complainant’s desire not to initiate one.  For example, the campus Title IX office may need to conduct an investigation if it has sufficient information about the alleged prohibited conduct and if the respondent is an employee or an investigation is required to maintain a safe and nondiscriminatory campus environment. 

    In determining whether an investigation is required to maintain a safe and nondiscriminatory campus environment, the campus Title IX office will consider the following factors, among others:  whether the respondent is alleged to have used a weapon while committing prohibited conduct; whether the respondent is alleged to have used force while committing prohibited conduct; or whether the respondent has been alleged to have committed sexual assault, relationship violence or stalking against multiple complainants.

    In cases of alleged prohibited conduct involving an employee respondent, the campus Title IX office will most likely need to take some action to respond to the report, possibly including an investigation or informal problem-solving process.

  2. If a report of prohibited conduct is made to the police, will this information be shared with the campus Title IX office?

    Generally not.  When a complainant files a report with the police, the police do not typically forward the report to the campus Title IX office for investigation.  The University of Minnesota Police Department may forward a prohibited conduct report to the campus Title IX office with the complainant’s consent.  

  3. If a report of prohibited conduct is made to the campus Title IX office, will this information be shared with the police?

    The campus Title IX office does not report prohibited conduct to the police, unless required to do so by law (e.g., if the information is subpoenaed).  Rather, the campus Title IX office encourages complainants to report to the police and informs them that individuals from the various campus personal support resources for complainants can assist them in making a police report.

  4. If I report prohibited conduct to the campus Title IX office, will my identity be disclosed to anyone?

    The campus Title IX office prefers to share the reporter’s identity with the complainant so that the complainant understands how the campus Title IX office received the information that the complainant may have experienced prohibited conduct.  However, the campus Title IX office will work with the reporter to address the situation in the most sensitive manner possible.  In certain circumstances where the reporter has a legitimate need to remain confidential, the campus Title IX office has the discretion to keep the reporter’s identity confidential.

Other questions

  1. Should I advise students of my reporting obligations in advance?

    Yes.  If you interact with students regularly, you should notify them about your obligations to report prohibited conduct to the campus Title IX office.  This may be done in many ways including, but not limited to, in one-on-one meetings with students, group meetings, and course syllabi.

  2. What will happen if I do not report prohibited conduct as I am required to do?

    If you do not report this information to the campus Title IX office, the impacted student may not receive important information about the resources available for personal support and investigation. 

    In addition, when an employee fails to report prohibited conduct to the campus Title IX office, the campus Title IX office may share the employee’s failure to report with the employee’s supervisor or department head so that appropriate responsive action can be taken.  In most cases, the appropriate responsive action will be requiring the individual to take additional training on their prohibited conduct reporting requirements, although disciplinary action may be appropriate in cases where an employee deliberately fails to fulfill this reporting requirement.

  3. Does the University offer training for departments or colleges related to employee reporting obligations?

    Yes.  Please contact the campus Title IX office for more information about training options on each campus.

  4. Do my reporting obligations change if a student who disclosed that they experienced prohibited conduct is under the age of 18?

    Yes.  Prohibited conduct involving a minor may be child abuse.  Therefore, you are obligated to not only report this prohibited conduct to the campus Title IX office, but also to report to the local police department (including the University Police Departments), county sheriff or local social services agency within 24 hours.  For additional information about your obligation to report prohibited conduct involving a minor, please see Administrative Policy: Safety of Minors

[1] The phrase “prohibited conduct” refers to sexual assault, stalking and relationship violence directed at students, employees or third parties, as well as sexual harassment directed at students, that may have:  (1) occurred on University property; (2) occurred during a University employment or education program or activity; (3) been directed at a current University member at the time they were a University member; or (4) been committed by a current University member at the time they were a University member.  “Prohibited conduct” does not include sexual harassment directed at employees or third parties.  Employees (other than supervisors and human resources representatives) are encouraged to report sexual harassment directed at employees or third parties to the campus Title IX office, a supervisor or a human resources representative.  However, this reporting is not required.

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