UO implements emergency mandatory reporting policy that clarifies “responsible employee”
University of Oregon President Michael Schill signed off on temporary changes in UO’s mandatory reporting policy August 19, giving the UO Senate time to draft new language for a permanent policy.
Changes to the preexisting policy include the clarification of terms such as “responsible employee” and “confidential sources,” according to an email from UO Vice President and General Counsel Kevin Reed requested by the Emerald.
The emergency policy requires all university employees to report prohibited discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, to the Title IX Coordinator, the Office of Crisis Intervention and Sexual Violence Support Services, and the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity.
“Confidential sources” that are not required mandatory reporting include the Office of Crisis Intervention and Sexual Violence Support Services, Health and Counseling Center and Ombudsperson. “Reports made in a privileged context” will also be exempt from the requirement. These include information made available to legal services, to labor unions, at Take Back The Night events, in an Institutional Review Board-approved research, or in the context of an academic assignment.
Schill’s temporary policy also adopts the Title IX Coordinator’s training for certain employees to be exempt from the reporting requirement.
UO Senate voted down the proposed language of the new mandatory reporting policy in May 18, because of split opinions on the policy at the time. UO Senate’s Responsible Reporting Work Group, led by law professor Merle Weiner, will continue working on the permanent policy that will be voted on before these temporary changes expire in 6 months.
“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,” Reed said in the email.
If they fail to pass the policy then, the president will have authority over it and can do whatever he thinks best.