The university is dedicated to campus safety and compliance with federal laws regarding sexual discrimination and misconduct. The university is obligated to respond to any notice that sexual misconduct may have occurred whether the notice is given through a filed grievance; a report by the complainant or other person knowledgeable of the incident made to faculty, staff, administration, law enforcement or other employee; or by a member of the university community who witnesses sexual misconduct. A school’s failure to take prompt and effective corrective action in such cases would violate Title IX.
A school must inform all employees of their reporting responsibilities and the importance of informing complainants of: the reporting obligations of responsible employees; complainants’ option to request confidentiality and any available confidential advocacy, counseling, or other support services; and complainants’ right to file a Title IX complaint with the school and to simultaneously report a crime to campus or local law enforcement. Annual reminders will be sent out by the president or chancellors.
University employees have always had the responsibility to report sexual misconduct under Title IX, but until 2015 the university had not explicitly taken steps to inform them of their duty. The university is legally and ethically obligated to ensure that employees understand what that designation means and provide them with the resources to carry out their duty should it become necessary.
OCR does not require campus mental-health counselors, pastoral counselors, social workers, psychologists or other person with a professional license requiring confidentiality who are working within that license to report incidents of sexual misconduct to the school in a way that identifies the student without the student’s consent. The counselor-client relationship is respected, and confidentiality ensured, so that students will seek the help they need.
Student employees, with the exception of those working in Residence Life, are not designated responsible employees at the University of Alaska. However, all members of the university community are encouraged to report any suspected instances of sexual misconduct.
a. During public awareness events focused on sex or gender-based discrimination (such as “Take Back the Night”); or
b. By a subject, as a response to an appropriate university research compliance office (e.g. IRB, ORIC, ORI) reviewed research protocol, provided that the disclosed sex or gender-based discrimination did not occur during administration of the research protocol or in the university’s education programs or activities.
While responsible employees are not required to report allegations of sex and gender-based discrimination described in these limited exceptions to reporting, they are encouraged to, so that the complainant can be provided supportive measures and to protect others.
Subject to the exemption for counseling or clerical employees discussed above, a responsible employee must report to the school’s Title IX coordinator, or other appropriate school designee, all relevant details about the alleged sex or gender-based discrimination that the student or another person has shared, and that the school will need to determine what occurred and to resolve the situation. This includes the names of the alleged perpetrator (if known), the individual who experienced the alleged sexual misconduct, other individuals involved in the alleged sexual misconduct, as well as relevant facts, including the date, time, and location. A school must make clear to its responsible employees to whom they should report an incident of alleged sexual misconduct.
Consistent reporting of sexual misconduct to the Title IX coordinator is necessary because it allows the university to offer supportive services. It also allows for tracking predatory behavior, understanding risky areas of campus, preventing future misconduct and ensuring the safety of our students.
To ensure compliance with these reporting obligations, it is important for a school to train its responsible employees annually on Title IX and the school’s sexual misconduct policies and procedures. If you have not taken the required Title IX training you can attend an online session accessible through UAOnline.
2020 Responsible Employee Notification PDF