Sexual misconduct policy update reflects changing legal landscape

Extensive review by governance groups, stakeholders preceded revision

The first update to the University of Colorado’s sexual misconduct policy since 2012 reflects new federal, legislative and regulatory requirements and guidance, adding clarity and responsibilities for employees across the system.

Administrative Policy Statement 5014 took effect July 1, along with three other policy changes (see story here). The passage of new legislation and regulations, as well as interpretative guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and the Office for Civil Rights, brought about the need to modernize CU’s policy.

University Counsel Patrick O’Rourke said the changing legal landscape and the breadth of the issues prompted the Office of Policy and Efficiency to consult with an unusually large group of stakeholders across the system as the policy was revised. Among those involved: campus attorneys, campus Title IX coordinators, student affairs leaders, campus and system directors of human resources, Faculty Council, and Staff Council.

The revisions to the policy – which applies to all faculty, staff and students – include an updated definition of sexual misconduct that specifies intimate partner abuse and gender-based stalking. The policy applies to behavior on campus and in the workplace, but also may extend to conduct at venues and events off-site but still related to university business, such as a conference.

One of the key changes is the requirement that responsible employees – defined as those in a supervisory or advisory role with faculty, staff or students – report any known sexual misconduct. There are some confidential resources that are not subject to the reporting requirement, including medical providers, counselors and ombuds. Under the APS, each campus may designate its own confidential resources, and those who wish to make a confidential report should access the appropriate campus policy.

The policy also for the first time explicitly states the roles and responsibilities of the Title IX coordinators at the campuses. Procedures for reporting sexual misconduct vary by campus, where training will be provided to employees. Because system administration has designated CU-Boulder’s Office of Institution Equity and Compliance as its Title IX resource, employees who wish to make a report should contact that office at 303-492-2127.

Here are links to details on reporting options and assistance: