Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Dear OSU Community Members,

I write to remind you that each of us have a personal and shared responsibility to contribute to an Oregon State University community free of sexual misconduct and harassment.

Within OSU, almost all employees are considered “responsible employees” and must immediately report any allegation of sexual misconduct or discrimination to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access (EOA) when they become aware of an incident – or if they have reason to believe an incident has occurred.

This is not a request, it is your responsibility and mine, and aligns with federal and state law, and is fully driven by Oregon State University’s values.

As your president – and as a parent of three daughters – I am committed to policies and efforts that prohibit and seek to end sexual misconduct, violence, harassment and discrimination. I assure you that if you bring reports of sexual misconduct or harassment to the university’s attention by contacting EOA, the report will be taken seriously and looked into regardless of whether the accused is an OSU faculty member, administrative leader, staff member, student, student-athlete, stakeholder or any other member of our university community. Responsible employees should not attempt to investigate an alleged incident themselves. Instead, they are to simply refer all information to EOA.

I also write to share that I am presently engaged in personal communications with federal leaders and members of President-elect Biden’s transition team to help address needs in higher education, including rolling back changes in U.S. Department of Education Title IX regulations that went into effect in August and create problematic barriers for reporting. In doing so, I support and advance fair, full and impartial investigations, due process and support for those involved in reports of sexual misconduct.

Oregon State University has a long history of addressing sexual misconduct and providing support resources and going forward, this university will advance such efforts.

Earlier this year, OSU expanded efforts regarding how the university investigates and responds to reports of sexual misconduct and discrimination involving employees by establishing a new investigation and resolution process. This process enhances the university’s commitment and efforts to foster an equitable and inclusive campus environment free of sexual violence, harassment and discrimination while addressing complaints that allege violation of OSU’s Sexual Misconduct and Discrimination policy. For more information about OSU’s policies, support services and how to report complaints, please do not hesitate to contact the OSU Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, by calling 541-737-3556, or by writing equal.opportunity@oregonstate.edu. In the case of an emergency or if immediate help is ever needed, please call 911.

Meanwhile, I also encourage all those who would like to first speak to someone confidentially to seek assistance and resources from OSU’s Survivor Advocacy and Resource Center – a confidential resource available to all students and employees. Other confidential university resources include Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), medical professionals in Student Health Services and the university Ombuds Office. Counseling and other resources at OSU-Cascades are available by calling (541) 322-3162 and can be found on the OSU-Cascades website.

Join me in committing to advance OSU’s culture and commitment to contribute to a university community free of sexual misconduct and harassment. Your commitment and efforts are essential to this effort and are very much appreciated.

 

Sincerely,

F. King Alexander
President