(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 Policy."
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 websites and documents:
- Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity, and Anti-Harassment Policies and Procedures—Staff
(exempt, nonexempt and union)
- Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity, and Anti-Harassment Policies and Procedures—Faculty
- Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Anonymous Reporting Form
- Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act
- Bias Incident Protocol
- Bias Incident Reporting (requires valid Skidmore login) https://www.skidmore.edu/bias/secure/index.php
- Clery Act and Fire Safety Information
- Whistleblower Policy
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.com or by telephone 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 action.
However, an employee shall not intentionally 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 at 518-580-5177.