Purdue president reinforces employee responsibility to report sexual crimes against children

November 17, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University President France A. Córdova is reminding all Purdue employees of their obligation to safeguard employees, students and campus visitors in the wake of allegations of failure to report crimes against children at Pennsylvania State University.

"At Purdue, we are committed to the safety of those who study and work at our university, as well as those who visit. Each of us has the responsibility to do what is right to keep our university safe," Córdova wrote in the letter sent to all employees. "Under Indiana law, we all have an obligation to report child abuse or neglect. If you are a witness to questionable activity, you must act immediately."

The letter also clarifies that Purdue employees who witness a sexual crime against children are obligated to call police or Child Protective Services in addition to informing their supervisors.

Purdue offers several ways for employees to report suspected crimes or concerns of any kind, according to Alysa Rollock, vice president for ethics and compliance. While Purdue policies specifically prohibit any retaliation against people who report concerns, the internal audit office offers a Whistleblower hotline at http://www.purdue.edu/hotline/ or by calling 866-818-2620, where any potential criminal activity can be reported anonymously. The system also has a feature that lets people learn how their tip has been addressed.

Córdova convened a meeting Wednesday (Nov. 16) with senior university officers to review Purdue policies, practices and training for recognizing and reporting abuse. One outcome is that Rollock's office has been asked to develop an online training module that all employees will be required to complete.

Writer:  Chris Sigurdson, 765-496-2644, sig@purdue.edu

Sources:  France A. Córdova, president@purdue.edu

                   Alysa Rollock, 765 494-5830, acrollock@purdue.edu

Related information:

President Córdova's letter to employees

Related websites:

Nondiscrimination Policy Statement

Procedures for Resolving Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment