University starting new sexual misconduct reporting training for employees

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As part of the 18 recommendations to fight sexual assault and sexual harassment on campus endorsed by President Eric Barron, the University has finalized a new training for employees, which will be launched on Feb. 24. 

The new 35 to 45 minute training, “Understanding Title IX at Penn State,” will be required initially for all employees, then as part of the orientation process for new employees. It will cover applicable policies and laws, responsibilities around reporting, and reporting protocols for issues related to Title IX and sex-and gender-based misconduct. 

This training will be offered online through the University’s Learning Resource Network platform and administered by the Title IX Office. Employees will only have to take the training once. After that, the policy will be covered in the Annual Compliance Training.

For reporting purposes, Title IX classifies University employees as either “confidential employees” or “responsible employees.” Confidential employees are divided into two groups that have different responsibilities and obligations under the law. The first group, professional and pastoral counselors are not required to report any information under Title IX or the Clery Act. This group includes licensed mental health counselors, pastors, priests or any other pastoral counselor whose official responsibilities include providing mental health counseling to the campus community. It also includes individuals who are supervised by these people.

The second group of confidential employees, non-professional counselors or advocates, should report aggregate data, but are not required to report incidents in a way that identifies the victim, unless they have the victim’s consent. They are defined as individuals who are not professional or pastoral counselors, but work or volunteer in on-campus sexual assault centers, victim advocacy offices, women’s centers or health centers, including front desk staff, students, social workers, doctors, medical staff or any other person with a license requiring confidentiality.  

All other employees will be designated as responsible, meaning that the majority of Penn State employees are responsible for reporting sex- and gender-based misconduct when they become aware of it.

All employees will be notified via email regarding their designation and how to access the training when it becomes available.

Last Updated February 23, 2017