1. What is a “Responsible Employee” under UTD Policy?
A Responsible Employee is a University employee who has the duty to report incidents of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or other appropriate designee, or an employee whom an individual could reasonably believe has this duty.
2. Who are the Responsible Employees at UTD?
Responsible employees at UTD include all:
- Supervisory staff
- Resident life directors and advisors
- Graduate teaching assistants
- Any UTD employee whom an individual could reasonably believe has the duty to report incidents of sexual misconduct
Exception: Physical and mental health care professionals and pastoral counselors are NOT Responsible Employees and are prohibited by confidentiality laws from reporting any information about an incident to anyone, in any way that identifies the complainant, without the complainant’s permission. Examples of such employees at UTD include: counselors at the Student Counseling Center, the Galerstein Gender Center, and Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and healthcare professionals at the Student Health Center.
Although only Responsible Employees are required to report sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or designee, all employees, students, and third parties without confidentiality obligations are strongly encouraged to immediately report any incidents of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator.
3. Why are Responsible Employees required to report incidents of sexual misconduct?
Reporting incidents of sexual misconduct helps us fulfill our commitment of maintaining a learning and working environment that is free from sex-based discrimination and harassment, including sexual violence.
4. What must Responsible Employees include in their reports?
Responsible Employees are required by law and University policy to report all relevant information that is known to the employee regarding possible sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator, including the names of the complainant, respondent, and any witnesses; contact information for those individuals; the time, date and location of the incident(s); the nature of the misconduct; and any other relevant information.
5. Do Responsible Employees have to let the complainant or other reporting party know that they are required to report?
Though not specifically required in the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the Department of Education has advised that Responsible Employees should make every effort to ensure that the complainant understands: (i) the employee’s obligation to report the names of the complainant and respondent, as well as relevant facts regarding the alleged incident (including the date, time, and location), to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator; (ii) the complainant’s option to request that the school maintain his or her confidentiality; and (iii) the complainant’s ability to share the information confidentially with confidential resources such as a counselor or healthcare professional.
See the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, “Questions and Answers On Title IX and Sexual Violence” at D-4 (April 29, 2014).
6. How soon must Responsible Employees report alleged sexual misconduct once they receive information about an incident?
Responsible Employees must report the alleged sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator as soon as possible.
7. If an incident happened a long time ago or happened off campus, does it still have to be reported?
There are no time period limitations under the Sexual Misconduct Policy, so the date of the alleged sexual misconduct is not relevant. Even if significant time has passed and the respondent is no longer on campus, a Responsible Employee must report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator to comply with University policy and the law.
Certain off-campus conduct must be reported. Sexual misconduct alleged to have occurred off campus but at a UTD-sponsored or affiliated event or activity must always be reported. Examples of off-campus UTD-sponsored events and activities include, but are not limited to, study abroad programs, UTD-sanctioned student or employee travel, and athletic events. If the incident occurred at a location that is off campus and not a UTD-sponsored event or activity, it may still be required to be reported.
8. What happens after a Responsible Employee makes a report to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator?
The Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator will contact the complainant to discuss:
- Campus and community resources;
- Complainant rights under University policy;
- Complaint and investigation process, and
- Determine if immediate and/or interim measures are necessary.
If interim measures are determined to be appropriate, they will be taken immediately. For example, if the respondent is an employee, interim action may include reassignment or administrative leave for that employee. If the respondent is a student, interim action may include suspension, no contact orders, changing living arrangements, modifying the course schedule, or modifying other aspects of the educational environment. Interim action may also include allowing the complainant to move to a new residence hall, change work schedules, alter academic schedules, and withdraw from or retake a class without penalty. Moreover, the University may be able to provide additional accommodations for a complainant while an investigation is pending.
9. What if the complainant does not want the University to take any action regarding a report?
Informal and formal resolutions are available options. In most cases, the matter will be immediately closed, and all information regarding the complaint, including the reporting party’s identity, will be kept confidential. In rare circumstances, the Title IX Coordinator may determine that, based on information provided in a report a formal invesigation is necessary. The complainant will be notified of the investigation. The complainant may choose not to share additional information or otherwise participate.
10. Is the information included in a Responsible Employee’s report shared with the University Police Department?
Identifying information included in a responsible employee report will not be shared with the Police Department. In compliance with the Clery Act, a federal law that requires universities to collect and report statistical information regarding certain crimes committed on or around campus, including sexual assaults, basic non-identifying information will be provided to University Police as required.
11. What if someone wants to discuss an incident of sexual misconduct without the information being reported to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator?
Individuals may share information with University employees who are subject to confidentiality laws, such as counselors, or with non-UTD affiliated individuals and organizations, without the information being reported to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator. Examples of confidential resources include:
- Counselors at the Student Counseling Center, the Galerstein Gender Center, and Employee Assistance Program (EAP),
- Healthcare professionals at the Student Health Center,
- Off-campus resources such as an individual’s personal health care provider or counselor, clergyperson, a rape crisis resource center, or domestic violence shelter
Institutional Compliance, Equity, and Title IX Initiatives maintains an updated list of campus and community resources.