University of Vermont

College of Medicine


Office of the Ombudsperson

Status of the College of Medicine Ombuds Office – August 2015

In accordance with federal law, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), the University of Vermont is required to collect and distribute statistics about certain types of crimes (including incidents of sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence – “sexual misconduct”), and to respond promptly and appropriately to all instances of sexual misconduct and harassment involving members of the University community. Some employees, by nature of their positions at the University, are legally required to report all allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment of which they become aware to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, in the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity (AAEO), as well as all allegations of crime occurring on or near University property more generally to the University’s Clery Act Coordinator in Police Services. UVM collectively refers to these employees as “mandatory reporters”. They include:

  • Members of the University of Vermont Department of Police Services;
  • Any individual responsible for security who is not a member of the UVM Department of Police Services (for example, individuals responsible for monitoring entrances to buildings or specified areas and special event personnel);
  • University officials with significant responsibility for student or campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline and campus judicial proceedings, coaches and coaching staff, and advisors to recognized student organizations;
  • Supervisors, managers, and higher level employees;
  • Chairs, directors and deans of an academic unit;
  • All faculty members (full and part-time); and
  • Any other employee whom a student could reasonably believe has the authority to take action to redress sexual harassment and misconduct or the duty of reporting incidents of sexual harassment and misconduct, or any other type of misconduct, by students to the Title IX Coordinator or other appropriate UVM official.

President Tom Sullivan, upon the collective recommendation of the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Clery Act Coordinator, and Office of the General Counsel, has determined that the College of Medicine Ombudsperson constitutes a mandatory reporter under both University policy and federal law. As the College of Medicine Ombudsperson has previously pledged confidentiality to individuals availing themselves of services, this represents a significant change in practice. Thus, Dean Rick Morin has suspended the operation of the College of Medicine Ombuds Office and instituted a planning process to determine how to best support College of Medicine learners within this new paradigm. Associate Dean for Students Dr. Christa Zehle will be convening a committee of faculty and students to review possible options. We hope to have that work completed this fall. In the meantime, medical students have several avenues, both confidential and non-confidential, for seeking advice and reporting observation or incidents of mistreatment and unprofessional behavior. Students may speak with their advisors, Course and Clerkship Directors, Curriculum Level Directors, the Associate Dean for Students and/or the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education with questions or concerns. Additionally, students may discuss a specific incident confidentially and free of charge, without filing a complaint, with the Campus Victim’s Advocate (for cases of sexual harassment or misconduct) or staff of UVM Counseling & Psychiatry Services (“CAPS”). Information shared with the Campus Victim’s Advocate or CAPS is generally legally protected from further disclosure as confidential or “privileged” information. Communications cannot be further disclosed without consent absent extraordinary circumstances.

More Information

For more information about the University’s responsibilities under the Clery Act and Title IX, including who at UVM is a mandatory reporter under federal law, how to report incidents of crime for inclusion in annual statistics, and what options are available if you’ve experienced harassment or discrimination, please see:

Sexual Conduct and Education Website
Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy
Harassment: Students Policy
Campus Safety and Security: Clery Act Policy
Campus Security Authorities (CSA) University Operating Procedure

You may also contact the following individuals with questions:

Title IX Coordinator
Jes Kraus
Executive Director, Human Resource Services and Affirmative Action
(802) 656-3368

Clery Act Coordinator
Kelly Riel
UVM Police Services
(802) 656-3052

Last modified August 13 2015 07:08 AM