February 2, 2018
To the Purdue community,
The recent events at Michigan State University and elsewhere remind us yet again that it falls to each one of us to uphold our values in all we do as members of the university community.
Such accountability requires compliance with laws, rules and policies that proscribe unacceptable behavior on our campuses, whether in the form of sexual misconduct or harassment in any form, research misconduct, academic dishonesty, or other wrongdoing. As individuals, we are held to the standards of conduct reflected in these norms.
In some cases, such as Title IX, mandatory reporters (including university administrators, directors, coaches, supervisors and managers, faculty, and student affairs and residential life staff) are required to complete annual training to remind themselves of the requirements and what must be done to comply with them. All new incoming students at Purdue receive awareness and prevention education about sexual violence, as well as other forms of wrongdoing. In addition, all new university employees receive education about their rights and responsibilities.
We share the responsibility as members of the Purdue community to maintain an environment characterized always by safety, security and integrity. We can tolerate nothing less.
This means that anyone who becomes aware of an incidence of misconduct or a physical threat in our midst should step forward promptly and take advantage of the many avenues available to report it. The university has established a host of resources for this purpose. Important examples include:
- To report incidents of sexual violence, sexual harassment or sex-based discrimination, go online to http://www.purdue.edu/sexual_assault/titleix/overview/index.html. As always, in an emergency dial 911.
- To report other incidents of unethical, illegal or discriminatory behavior, go online to http://www.purdue.edu/hotline/reporting-options/index.html for a list of contacts for all Purdue campuses.
- To make an anonymous report on any matter, go online to http://www.purdue.edu/hotline/ or call 1-866-818-2620.
In one category, initial reports should be treated differently. Under Indiana law, all adults are obligated immediately to report suspected child abuse or neglect by calling 911 or contacting your local police, campus police or Department of Child Services.
Continuous improvement has always been one of Purdue’s strongest traditions. To maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct and strengthen our systems even further, we continually review policies, programs, procedures and reporting protocols across the university, including those regulating our athletic programs.
Maybe most important of all, bear in mind this most basic rule of thumb: If you see something, say something. The university cannot address a problem that has not been brought to anyone’s attention. I was recently made aware of an incident in which two students were having a conversation about another who’d displayed some alarming behavior. Thanks to an alert faculty member who overheard the concerns and encouraged the students to take proper steps to report, the university was able to look into the matter. No one should ever hesitate to speak up, and in particular no one should ever fear any repercussions for making a good faith report on a matter of concern.
Finally, if anyone ever feels that his or her voice is not being heard adequately, please email Peg Fish, director of audits, at email@example.com to alert her that you have reported a concern and need assistance to follow up on that report.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this reminder and for all you do to uphold our standards of excellence, integrity and respect.
Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr.