Information for Responsible Employees

Responsible Employees

The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which puts forth guidance for educational institutions in meeting their Title IX obligations, states that any "Responsible Employee" that knows or should have known about possible sexual harassment (including sexual violence), must report it to the institution's Title IX Coordinator so that the institution can eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.

Responsible Employees include any employee who has the authority to address sexual harassment, has the duty to report such conduct to the institution, or whom a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty.

At Appalachian, any employee of the University who has supervisory responsibilities, any employee of the Office of Human Resources, any coach of an intercollegiate athletic team, and any employee of the University's Residence Life staff is considered a Responsible Employee. This includes: faculty members, adjunct instructors, academic advisors, supervisors, graduate student teaching assistants, and resident assistants.

Our students form important and influential connections with our faculty. Students view their faculty as trusted mentors and guides along their educational and professional journey. Because of this, students often look to their faculty for support and advice during times of distress.

Responsible Employees at Appalachian are:

  • Athletics Staff
  • Faculty
  • Residence Life Staff
  • Supervisors
  • Office of Human Resources Staff

Reporting Obligations

Reports of Sexual and Relationship Violence

  • Any Responsible Employee who obtains knowledge of conduct that falls under sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking must report such information within one (1) day to the Office of Title IX Compliance.
  • The primary purpose of making such a report is to ensure that the person affected by the alleged prohibited conduct receives information about available resources and support, as well as processes to address the prohibited conduct. Title IX Responsible Employees will safeguard an individual's privacy, but may not promise confidentiality.

Reports of Child Abuse and Neglect

  • In North Carolina, any person or institution who knowingly or wantonly fails to report a case of juvenile abuse or neglect, or inhibits its reporting by another, may be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. This law is often referred to as the Mandatory Reporting Law. 
  • Mandatory Reporters are required to report suspected and/or alleged child abuse and neglect to the County Department of Social Services as soon as possible.
  • Reporting does not require proof that child abuse or neglect occurred. 

Disclosing Reporting Options

Responsible Employees are encouraged to provide notice to all colleagues, students, and visitors of their reporting obligations as appropriate. This may include including this obligation in the signature line of their email, documenting reporting obligations in course syllabi, or providing a general reminder when conversations may include or prompt disclosure. For additional assistance, please contact the Title IX Coordinator. 

Additional Information

Please feel encouraged to download this two-page quick reference regarding Recognizing & Reporting Prohibited Conduct at Appalachian State University

For additional information on serving as a Responsible Employee, please feel encouraged to download our Supporting Students: Title IX Information and Resource Guide for Responsible Employees at Appalachian State University. To request a hard copy, please email titleix@appstate.edu.

Supporting Students Handbook - Front Cover