The University of Akron staying a step ahead in the wake of the Penn State scandal.
Akron faculty and employees getting a reminder -- via email -- of their duty to report to both supervisors "...and proper authorities as required by law..." crimes or violations of the University ethical standards. The list includes not only criminal conduct but also sexual harassment -- reported to police -- and academic misconduct.
The system-wide email to faculty and employees reminds them of their duty to report crimes -- to the police -- and misconduct if they come across it. The email quotes University President Luis Proenza, noting the expectation "administrators faculty, staff and students should act honorably, ethically, with civility, and in compliance with the law in every instance."
The email starts out "What would you do? What should you do? What must you do?" and specifically mentions Penn State. There's no grey area; the memo tells the "UA community" to assume personal accountability, and understand personal and professional responsibilities.
Text of University of Akron email
What would you do? What should you do? What must you do?
As events at Penn State dominate national news coverage, and stories abound over ethics violations and alleged illegal activities at other colleges, it is imperative that all members of the UA community understand their personal and professional responsibilities.
We must be vigilant and assume personal accountability in adhering to legal requirements and the highest of ethical standards endorsed by the Board of Trustees and President Proenza. Moreover, we all have a shared responsibility to conform our actions to behavior that reflects a sense of understanding between "right and wrong."
"There is an expectation that administrators, faculty, staff and students will act honorably, ethically, with civility and in compliance with the law in every instance," Proenza said. "Further, it is incumbent upon all of us to report promptly suspected violations of our standards to a supervisor or to Human Resources; or to the proper authorities as may be required by law."
Under Ohio law, people who have knowledge of a felony are required to report the crime to the police (Ohio Revised Code §2921.22), and failure to report a crime may itself be a crime.
Where to report:
Threat to safety: Report it to University police immediately at 330-972-2911 or at 9-1-1 in an emergency. You can submit a tip confidentially to police by texting it to 274637 (CRIMES), and beginning the message with the keyword ZIPTIP. You may also submit a tip confidentially online to provide more detailed information, including images.
Occurrence of sexual harassment: File a report with the police. Call 330-972-2911.
Academic misconduct and student conduct: Notify the Office of Student Judicial Affairs.