UO employees must report child abuse, other concerns

James Bean, provost
James Bean, provost

A law that went into effect Jan. 1 requires University of Oregon employees to report incidents of child abuse and prohibited discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, Provost James Bean said, in a recent message to the campus community.

“The duty to report child abuse is new,” Bean said. “The duty to report prohibited discrimination is ongoing.”

The university is committed to providing an environment for work and learning that is free from unlawful discrimination, including sexual harassment. The safety of persons who participate in university programs and activities is critical.

You must immediately report to the State of Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) or a local law enforcement agency if you have “reasonable cause to believe” that any child with whom you come into contact has suffered abuse or that any person with whom you come into contact has abused a child, Bean said.

A law enforcement agency is a local police department, county sheriff, county juvenile department, Oregon State Police, or UO Police Department. For instances that are related to UO-authorized activities, UO employees are expected to make the report immediately to the UO Police Department (541-346-2919). Please refer to the FAQs online at http://around.uoregon.edu/content/qa-mandatory-reporting-child-abuse.

If one has credible evidence that any form of prohibited discrimination by or against students, faculty or staff is occurring, a report must be made to the employee’s supervisor or to the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity at 541-346-3123; 677 E. 12th Ave., Suite 452, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, 97403-5221; or via email to the Office of Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunity. Prohibited discrimination includes discrimination and discriminatory harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual assault.

On Dec. 7, President Gottfredson emailed notification to the entire UO faculty, staff and GTF community. The following week, all UO employees received a hard-copy announcement regarding the new law.

Bean said he sent notice so that the campus community is “fully aware” of duties under the new law.

Details about the new law and its effect upon UO employees can be found in this article in AroundtheO. A Q&A is on this new mandatory reporter web page.

Bean said his office is also available to answer questions not addressed on those web pages. Email provost@uoregon.edu  for more information.