(Please note: the links for online resources were updated on 4/18/17)
I trust that we all remain aware of the unfortunate events that occurred several months
ago at several prominent universities – events that involved significant breaches
of both law and institutional codes of ethical conduct. Mindful of those events but
prompted primarily by our own standards and expectations at Skidmore, I write to remind
us of our shared ethical and legal responsibilities to protect our students, our guests,
and one another from harm.
Certainly, all of us desire to work in a campus community that is founded on mutual
respect – a safe place to learn and work in which people support one another, not
just with our words but also through our actions. These expectations give rise to
a simple principle: If you see something that should not occur within our community,
be sure you say something to the appropriate person so that the College can take any
actions that are warranted.
Specifically, if you believe that you are a victim of criminal activity or misconduct
on campus or at the hands of a member of the Skidmore community, you need to report
the incident immediately to one or more of the following individuals:
- your department chair, supervisor, or division head;
- the Director of Campus Safety;
- the Assistant Director for EEO and Workforce Diversity; or
- the Director of Human Resources.
Alternatively, you may report suspected criminal activity or misconduct anonymously
using the avenues specified below in Attachment A, the "Skidmore College Whistle-Blower
Similarly, if you believe you have witnessed or otherwise become aware of criminal
activity or misconduct on campus or involving a member of the Skidmore community,
you need to report this information as indicated above. If you are unsure about whether
something should be reported, we ask that you contact Campus Safety, any of the above-referenced
individuals or offices, the Saratoga Springs Police, or the New York State Police
to help determine what action, if any, should be taken.
We all need to understand that reporting such events is not optional. Various Skidmore
policies – listed below – identify the obligations of Skidmore employees to report
any incidents that come to our awareness relating to sexual harassment, harassment
based on other factors (e.g., race, religion, sexual orientation), assault, crime,
or serious threats of harm on our campus. These policies also identify special obligations
of people in supervisory or administrative roles (including academic department chairs
and program directors) to receive such information and transmit it to the next level
(e.g., a Director, Dean, or Vice President).
In addition, both state and federal law require certain employees to report crimes
to Campus Safety, the Saratoga Springs Police, or the New York State Police. Specifically,
the Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act of 1990 (frequently referred to
as the "Clery Act"), requires the Skidmore College Department of Campus Safety to
alert the campus community of certain crimes in a manner that is timely and that will
aid in the prevention of similar crimes. In accordance with this Act, the College
also is required to report "statistics concerning the occurrence of the following
criminal offenses reported to local police agencies or any official of the institution
who has 'significant responsibility for student and campus activities'." The latter
offices include the Housing and Disciplinary Staff, the Director of Athletics, Athletic
Coaches and Staff, and Faculty Advisers to Groups.
Finally, various laws prohibit retaliation against individuals who, in good faith,
report unlawful activity.
Information regarding the above-referenced policies, along with resources available
to you, can be found at the following web sites and documents:
I also want to remind you of our Employee Assistance Program, which provides additional
resources that are available to any Skidmore employee:
Employee Assistance Program
559 Glen Street
518-793-9768 or 1-800-734-6072
Some of our policies address the responsibilities and rights of our students in these
areas. Information about those policies is available through the Dean of Student Affairs
Office. And Dean of Student Affairs Calhoun will be sending a separate memo to students
reminding them of our relevant policies and the resources available to them.
Once again, we all share the responsibility for ensuring that everyone attending,
working at, or visiting our campus can enjoy the experience safely. Thank you for
doing your part to make Skidmore the kind of community each of us wants it to be.
SKIDMORE COLLEGE WHISTLE-BLOWER POLICY
Skidmore College has an ongoing obligation to members of the College community, to
those with whom the College does business or otherwise interacts, and to the public-at-large
to maintain the highest ethical standards. The College requires all members of the
Skidmore community to comply with the law and with all College policies.
The College encourages members of the community to come forward in a timely manner
with good-faith reports or concerns about suspected compliance issues. Individuals
are encouraged to submit such reports to their immediate supervisor or the appropriate
department chairperson, program director, dean, or other College official. Various
College policies may specify certain reporting procedures.
Although the College encourages individuals to report concerns to their immediate
supervisors, department heads, program directors, deans, or other appropriate College
officials, there are times when an individual may feel it is necessary to report
a concern of wrongdoing outside of the traditional reporting mechanism. To address
that situation, Skidmore has selected an independent firm to provide a way to anonymously
and confidentially report activities that may involve improper conduct or violations
of Skidmore policies. You may file a report by visiting www.skidmore.ethicspoint.comor
bytelephone at 1-888-828-7002.
Upon submission of a report, the independent firm will promptly forward the report,
as appropriate, to the to the College Controller or to the Associate Vice President
for Finance and Administration/Director of Human Resources, who will confer as appropriate
to determine a process for review and investigation including the Board of Trustees
Audit Committee Chairperson. All reports will be investigated promptly and discreetly,
receiving careful consideration with the objective of addressing any improper conduct
or violation of College policy.
No retaliatory action will be taken against anyone for reporting or inquiring in good
faith about potential violations of the law or Skidmore's policies, or for seeking
guidance with respect to suspected violations. Any such retaliatory action taken shall
be considered a violation of this policy and grounds for independent disciplinary
However, an employee shall no intentionall misuse the College's Whistle-Blower
Policy. Intentional misuse includes, but is not limited to, frivolous claims, attempts
to treat a personal grievance or personnel dispute as an allegation of wrongdoing,
lack of good faith in invoking the policy, or any known false, malicious, or misleading
statements made at any time under the procedures of the Policy. The investigator will
report to Human Resources, the Director of the applicable office of the employee,
and the President the identity of any employee who is believed to have intentionally
misused the Whistle-Blower Policy. After appropriate review by these individuals,
the employee is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Specific administrative entities or granting programs also may have specified lines
of reporting for issues of misconduct or other violations of applicable policy.
Information on such grant-specific reporting procedures may be obtained by contacting
the Office of Sponsored Research (518-580-5177).