When participating in university-run or -affiliated programs and activities, volunteers, students, faculty and staff must:
- Always be vigilant in protecting the well-being and safety of minors with whom they interact on or off campus.
- Watch for signs of child abuse or neglect and promptly report suspected instances of abuse or neglect or violations of this Policy or federal law as described in this Policy.
- Before engaging in any university-run or -affiliated program or activity involving contact with minors, each participant must meet the requirements of this Policy relating to training and criminal background checks.
Training for Those Participating in Programs and Activities
Ashland University students, faculty, staff and volunteers who participate in university-run or
-affiliated programs or activities involving minors must complete appropriate training. This training must include:
- Guidelines for working with minors in a safe and positive manner.
- Warning signs of child abuse and neglect.
- Guidelines for protecting minors from emotional and physical abuse and neglect.
- Requirements and procedures for reporting incidents of suspected abuse, neglect and improper conduct.
- Certification of compliance with and understanding of obligations regarding the protection of minors.
Additional training may be required depending upon the program or activity and the trainee’s role in the program or activity.
Non-university organizations and entities that wish to operate programs or activities involving minors on campus must provide documentation to the university indicating that all individuals who will be interacting with minors (and anyone who supervises such individuals) have received training that meets or exceeds the requirements of this Policy.
Additional information and required training materials can be found in Appendix A of this Policy.
Criminal Background Checks
Certain individuals are required to clear a criminal background check prior to participation in university-run or -affiliated programs or activities involving minors. The individuals who must undergo background checks are described in Appendix B of this Policy.
If a criminal background check reveals adverse information or unfavorable results, the university will conduct an individualized assessment using criteria designed to identify potential risks to minors. A prior conviction shall not automatically disqualify a person from participating in programs or activities involving minors, but shall be considered using these criteria, which are described in Appendix B of this Policy. Except where required by law, criminal background checks of university faculty, staff, students and volunteers that are conducted pursuant to this Policy will be used only for purposes consistent with this Policy and will otherwise be kept confidential. Records of background checks will be maintained separately from an individual's personnel or student file.
Non-university organizations and entities that operate programs or activities involving minors on campus must conduct criminal background checks of their employees, volunteers and representatives to ensure that they meet university standards. Additional information, exclusions and standards are described in Appendix B of this Policy.
Additional information and processes related to criminal background checks can be found in Appendix B of this Policy.
Reporting Potential Harm to Minors
Individuals who know, suspect or receive information indicating that a minor has been abused or neglected (or have concerns regarding the safety of minors) must notify Safety Services by calling 419-207-5555. These individuals include but are not limited to the following:
- Participants of university and university-affiliated programs and activities involving minors.
- Participants of non-university programs and activities involving minors on campus.
- Mandated reporters.
Individuals who witness child abuse in progress must immediately call 911. Safety Services should be made aware of the incident as soon as possible thereafter.
After contacting Safety Services, the following parties should be contacted and made aware of the issue:
- The reporting individual’s supervisor, program director, dean or vice president (when it is safe and appropriate to do so).
- The Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) and/or local law enforcement (state law requires mandated reporters to do so).
Questions about obligations or actions taken in concerning situations should be directed to the Director of Human Resources and Legal Affairs by calling 419-289-5034.
Additional Obligations for Mandated Reporters
In addition to the reporting obligations described in this Policy that the university imposes on those participating in programs and activities involving minors, certain individuals are considered mandated reporters. Mandated reporters have additional obligations under state law. Such individuals are responsible for knowing and understanding their obligations under said law.
Addressing Reports of Abuse or Neglect
Whenever Ashland University receives a report of alleged abuse or neglect of a minor in a university-run or -affiliated program or activity:
- The person receiving the report shall immediately notify the Director of Safety Services.
- The Director of Safety Services, together with the Director of Human Resources and Legal Affairs and appropriate university leadership, shall:
- Take immediate steps to prevent further harm to the alleged victim or other minors, including, where appropriate, the removal of the alleged abuser from the program or activity and/or limiting their contact with minors pending resolution of the matter.
- Determine whether local law enforcement and/or CFSA have been notified and, if not, whether such notification is required or appropriate given the circumstances.
- Notify the parents or guardians of the alleged victim if they have not been notified already and are not the alleged abusers.
- Investigate the report and resolve the matter in a way that safeguards minors, protects the interests of victims and reporters, affords fundamental fairness to the accused and meets relevant legal requirements.
- Facilitate the university's cooperation with any investigation conducted by law enforcement, CFSA or any other governmental agency.
Whenever a report alleges that an individual who is not affiliated with the university and is involved in a non-university program or activity on campus has abused or neglected a minor, the person receiving the report shall immediately notify the Director of Safety Services. The Director of Safety Services, the Director of Human Resources and Legal Affairs and appropriate university leadership shall coordinate with the non-university organization or entity involved in the program or activity as necessary to see that the requirements of this Policy are accomplished.