In the wake of the ongoing child sex abuse scandal at Pennsylvania State University, a new policy at Kansas University codifies the responsibility of its employees to report suspected child sex abuse to law enforcement.
Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, in a message to campus in November, said the university didn’t have such a policy previously, and the state’s mandatory reporting law didn’t apply to higher education.
“It’s the chancellor’s hope that people would report this without a policy in place, but this makes clear what the university’s position is,” said Jack Martin, a university spokesman.
The policy applies to employees at all university campuses and employees of Kansas Athletics and the KU Memorial Unions.
“When any employee has reason to suspect that a child under 18 years of age has been harmed as a result of sexual abuse, the employee shall report the matter promptly to an appropriate law enforcement agency,” including the University Public Safety Office or to local law enforcement, or both, the policy says.
Employees who do not report criminal activity could face termination.
“As I wrote last fall, we each have a moral obligation to look out for the safety of the members of our community, especially when they are children,” Gray-Little wrote in a message to campus announcing the new policy.