New sexual misconduct training required for all employees

A new required annual training is coming to all University of Oregon employees on Feb. 22. The module, called "Understanding Sexual Misconduct, Resources, and Employee Responsibilities," will be available in MyTrack Learning and is mandated by new Oregon legislation. Faculty, classified employees, officers of administration, graduate employees and temporary employees must complete the training by May 22. 

The training will take about 30 minutes to complete and may be stopped and restarted as many times as necessary. It covers:

  • How to recognize behaviors that constitute sexual misconduct.
  • How to intervene and stop these behaviors.
  • Reporting options and responsibilities.
  • Where to get help and support.

"We should think beyond simply complying with the law and use this opportunity to genuinely make sure we’re well equipped to identify and prevent sexual misconduct and create a safer environment for our students," said Mark Schmelz, chief human resources officer.

The employee training requirement is part of House Bill 3456, a new legislative package intended to improve the reporting of sexual misconduct and provide better support to student survivors at state universities. 

According to a 2019 survey by the Association of American Universities, 11 percent of UO undergraduate women reported experiencing sexual assault in the last year, and 21 percent since they began college. But only 31 percent disclosed the abuse to a program or resource. Those who did not report cited not thinking the situation was serious enough, they could handle it themselves or feeling embarrassed as reasons they were reluctant to seek help.

"We hope that HB 3456 and the supports it provides will encourage more survivors to come forward," Chief Civil Rights Officer and Title IX Coordinator Nicole Commissiong said. "Whether students choose to report and formally enter our system or prefer to seek confidential services through the UO’s confidential Care and Advocacy Program in the Dean of Students office, there are many support options available to them."

Employees are encouraged to log in to MyTrack starting on Feb. 22 to complete the training. The UO understands that the content may be difficult for some people due to their lived experiences, and those employees are encouraged to use caution and take breaks throughout the training if needed.

More information and instructions to complete the training module will be provided when the training launches.