Presentation on theme: "New Faculty Orientation September 7, 2012 Heidi Zimmerman University Counsel."— Presentation transcript:
New Faculty Orientation September 7, 2012 Heidi Zimmerman University Counsel
Our client is MTSU - we represent the legal interests of the institution. We assist the administration and you, in your professional capacity. If you have questions for the OUC, please first contact your chair or dean.
Be consistent Be fair Follow policy A to Z Link under “P” Ask questions (as far in advance as possible)
Regulates access to and disclosure of “student education records.” Very broad definition – any record, in any form, directly related to a student and maintained by MTSU. Records are confidential and may not be released to a third party without a student’s written consent.
Don’t discuss or share with parents. Partners in Education program Don’t discuss records with anyone who does not have a legitimate educational interest or need to know. Violations could result in loss or limitation of Title IV funding.
Info/Best Practices on Registrar’s website. FAQ.pdf ices.pdf
In contract to FERPA, state records are open to Tennessee citizens for inspection or copying. Concerns records made and maintained in the course and scope of business. Includes employment records. FERPA (federal) trumps Open Records law (state).
You don’t have authority to bind MTSU. May result in personal liability. Purchases: contract routing process. Visit Contract Office website for further information.
MTSU Policy I:01:25 Ethics and Code of Conduct TBR Policy 1:02:03:10 Conflict of Interest MTSU policy sets out - Professional Values - Employment Responsibilities - Conflict of Interest - Professional Development - Integrity of Information - Reporting Fraud, Waste or Abuse of University Resources
University resources are state property to be used only within the scope of employment, for personal gain. Avoid conflicts of interest or even the appearance of impropriety.
Any outside professional employment or business activity: - Must not interfere with assigned duties - Must not be a conflict of interest or compete with MTSU’s programs - Must not be represented as connected to MTSU Notify dept. head of activities; will determine if there is conflict or interference with duties.
TITLE IX SEXUAL HARASSMENT SEXUAL VIOLENCE
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (20 USC Sec 1681, et. seq.) and its implementing regulations (34 CFR Part 106) prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance. No person…shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
TBR Policy 2:02:10:01 Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment TBR Guideline P-080 Discrimination & Harassment – Complaint & Investigation Process MTSU Policy I:01:10 Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination MTSU Policy I:01:22 Discrimination and Harassment
There are other forms of discrimination and harassment which are prohibited and which apply to employees as well as students: race, color, religion, creed, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation/ gender identity, disability, age, status as a covered veteran, genetic information Incidents of these must also be reported. 15
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature including sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
Quid pro quo – work or educational benefits in return for sexual favors; Suggestive or inappropriate communications, s, notes, letters, or other written materials displaying objects or pictures which are sexual in nature; Sexual innuendoes, comments, and remarks about a person’s clothing, body, or activities; Humor and jokes about sex that denigrate men or women; Sexual propositions, invitations, or pressure for sexual activity; Use in the classroom of sexual jokes, stories, remarks, or images that are in no way or only marginally relevant to the subject matter of the class; Implied or overt sexual threats; Suggestive or obscene gestures; Patting, pinching, and other inappropriate touching. 17
Not every act that might be offensive is harassing. Could be found to be unprofessional. Harassment does not include verbal expressions or written material that is relevant and appropriately related to course subject matter or curriculum.
Sexual harassment of a student creates a hostile environment if the conduct is sufficiently serious that it denies or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the institution’s programs. This is usually a number of events, but a single incident of sexual harassment, such as rape, can create a hostile environment.
Physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol. Sexual violence includes rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion.
Examples: Date rape Engaging in sexual contact after the victim has said “No.” Sexual intercourse or sexual contact when the person is drunk or under the influence of drugs Can be committed against a girlfriend or spouse
“Sexual battery” – unlawful sexual contact with a victim - by force or coercion; or - accomplished without consent and the accused knows or has reason to know the victim did not consent; or - the accused knows or has reason to know the victim is physically helpless; or - the sexual contact is accomplished by fraud “Sexual contact” includes the intentional touching of the victim’s, the accused’s, or any other person’s intimate parts, or the intentional touching of the clothing covering the immediate area of…intimate parts for sexual arousal or gratification
Nearly 20% of female students in college will be victims of attempted or actual sexual assault, as will 6% of undergraduate men. In 2009, there were nearly 3,300 forcible sex offenses. Victims of sexual assault are more likely to suffer academically and from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, to abuse alcohol and drugs, and to contemplate suicide.
Educate Train Prevent Provide Services Provide Remedies
Touches all aspects of an institution’s education program and activities: ◦ Academic ◦ Extracurricular ◦ Athletic ◦ Programs or activities on or off campus.
If an institution knows or reasonably should have known about sexual harassment that creates a hostile environment, Title IX requires it to: Take immediate action to eliminate the harassment; Prevent its recurrence; Address its effects.
Adversely affects the health, safety, welfare and educational opportunities of students Regulatory consequences: ◦ Office of Civil Rights investigations ◦ Department of Justice lawsuits ◦ Loss of Title IV Federal funding Individual Liability 27
MUST IMMEDIATELY REPORT Doesn’t matter if the student hasn’t complained. Doesn’t matter if complaint is verbal or written, “formal” or “informal.”
Doesn’t matter if information comes to you secondhand. Doesn’t matter if the student asks you not to take action. Doesn’t matter if the student doesn’t identify the conduct as “harassment.”
Title IX Coordinator Carol Clark ; Monitors and oversees Title IX implementation.
Title IX Deputy Coordinators Athletics – students and employees Diane Turnham, Faculty, staff and visitors Barbara Patton, Students Laura Sosh-Lightsy,
Investigations must be promptly undertaken, equitable, impartial and thorough. Must be completed within stated timeframe. Meet with both Complainant and Respondent. Allow both to offer names of witnesses and evidence.
Institutions have an independent obligation to investigate and take action regardless of the existence of a concurrent criminal investigation or prosecution. May minimally delay investigation, but Complainant must be notified and any needed interim steps must be taken. Complainants must be told of the right to file a criminal complaint. 34
Retaliation – at any stage – is strictly prohibited. Burden to Complainant must be minimized. Complainant must be told of options to avoid contact with the respondent. Implementation of “No Contact” orders
The President will make a determination concerning whether the policy has been violated and what response is appropriate. Both parties have the right to appeal the President’s decision and will be notified in writing of the outcome and their appeal rights. 36
Providing security escorts Ensuring parties don’t have the same class Assigning to different residence halls Providing counseling services Providing medical services
Providing academic support services such as tutoring. Arranging for the Complainant to retake or withdraw from a course without penalty. Arranging for the Complainant to do independent study or online study to complete a course.
Preventive education programs Training Campus climate that encourages reporting Development and distribution of sexual violence materials
Educate campus community on: What constitutes sexual harassment How and where to report What to expect after making a report Investigate reports promptly Take appropriate action against those who violate the policy against sexual harassment and/or retaliation 40
Take interim and permanent steps to stop harassing conduct and remedy its effects Prevent the recurrence of harassment Minimize the burden to the Complainant’s educational program Provide resources and services to Complainants 41
Not prohibited but strongly discouraged. Inherent inequality of power. Undue favoritism or perception of such, abuse of power, compromised judgment or impaired objectivity. Conflict of interest if supervises or evaluates.
Purpose – to ensure that all individuals have equal access to the benefits of educational programs and activity. Individuals with disabilities may require reasonable accommodation in order to provide this.
Disabled Student Services (DSS) Office ces.php DSS determines if a student is disabled, if he/she needs accommodation, and if so, what the reasonable accommodation will be.
Reasonable accommodations will be required unless it can be shown that making such modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the course or exercise. Don’t have to waive courses or other academic requirements if it can be demonstrated that these are essential to the program of study.
Immune from suit for negligent acts within the course and scope of employment. If sued, would be represented by Attorney General’s Office, and would not be personally liable for any damages or costs. Claims Commission, Division of Claims
NO coverage if act was: Unlawful Grossly negligent Outside scope and course of employment Willful, intentional, malicious Performed for personal gain
The instructor has the primary responsibility for maintenance of academic integrity and controlling classroom behavior, and can order the temporary removal or exclusion from the classroom of any student engaged in disruptive conduct or conduct that violates the general MTSU rules and regulations for each class session during which the conduct occurs.
Extended or permanent exclusion from the classroom, beyond the session in which the conduct occurred, or further disciplinary action can be effected only through appropriate procedures of the institution. If an instructor wishes to remove a student from the classroom for a longer period of time or permanently, he/she must refer the student to the Office of Judicial Affairs and Mediation Services.
Disruptive behavior: - Obstructs or disrupts the learning environment; e.g., offensive language, harassment of students and professors, repeated outbursts that disrupt the flow of instruction or prevent concentration on the subject taught, failure to cooperate in maintaining classroom decorum, etc.;
- Continued use of any electronic or other noise or light emitting device which disturbs others (e.g., disturbing noises from beepers, cell phones, palm pilots, laptop computers, games, etc.); - Text messaging
Balance the responsibility to maintain classroom decorum with the right of students to express their disagreement with points of view of others. If the debate or discourse proceeds with some degree of civility and allows the subject matter for the day to proceed, such expressions should not be characterized as disruptive. Exercise professional judgment in determining when conduct becomes disruptive such that the student may be excluded from the classroom.
Include in syllabus behavior that is expected and behavior that may result in a student being removed from class. Set the example. Be respectful of students and their right to voice dissenting or opposing viewpoints. Address the misconduct/disruption immediately. Ask the student to alter his/her behavior. Tell him/her that he/she will be removed if he/she does not.
If the conduct threatens the safety of others, contact Public Safety at If conduct continues, you may direct the student to leave the classroom. If the student refuses, you may want to call Public Safety. Document the incident as soon as possible. Include as much detail as possible. Send documentation to department chair. If conduct is severe or persists, consider filing a disciplinary complaint.
Health and safety exception to privacy constraints. Share only with those with “legitimate educational interest.” If is a Title IX issue, contact a Title IX coordinator.
Review the information at and and complete the form online at: vioral_Referral_Form.pdf. vioral_Referral_Form.pdf
Heidi Zimmerman, University Counsel Jeff Farrar, Assistant University Counsel Cope Administration Bldg.