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Faculty and Staff Resources

We know students reach out to faculty and staff members to disclose incidents or seek support. We hope this page provides information and guidance for how best to respond when students confide in you.

If you have other questions, please email us at

Faculty and Staff Resources

It’s not uncommon for someone to share an experience of discrimination or interpersonal violence (e.g. sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, or relationship violence) with a KU employee. You might learn about harm in any position, but especially if you are an instructor, an academic advisor, a housing staff member, or you mentor/supervise a student.  

When acting in your role as a KU employee and someone discloses, it’s important to 1) listen actively and respond compassionately, and 2) be transparent about your responsibility to share certain information with the university. 

For in-depth advice on how to respond and support someone who’s experienced interpersonal violence, please explore our guide on supporting survivors or review this 2020 memo from the Provost’s office. You are always welcome to contact confidential CARE Services staff, or 785-864-9255, to talk through options and trauma-sensitive responses. 

Generally, you should focus on listening actively, demonstrating genuine care, and inquiring gently about support needs – in addition to explaining your obligations as a mandatory reporter. You can also assist by offering support resources and gently connecting them with the confidential CARE Services staff, who can be there on an ongoing basis. There are also advocates off campus who can help them navigate this process if they prefer. Reassure them that it’s perfectly normal to have questions about their options, be concerned for what’s next, and to seek support along the way. 

With only a few exceptions, all KU employees are “mandatory reporters.” Mandatory reporters are required to report incidents of discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual violence, to the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX at 785-864-6414,, or through an online reporting form at  

The Office of Civil Rights & Title IX (OCRTIX) is the office responsible for taking reports of harm, offering assistance, and arranging supportive measures for students, faculty, and staff who’ve experienced harassment, discrimination, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, and retaliation. OCRTIX staff also investigate harm and may make recommendations for resolution under certain circumstances. You can read more about their roles and responsibilities under Title IX here. Please don’t hesitate to contact OCRTIX if you have questions. 

Remember that you are not responsible for asking questions, investigating, or determining whether a disclosure meets university or federal definitions of discrimination or harassment. Don’t ask for information you don’t need or make promises about outcomes as they are not in your control. Remember that you are only responsible for sharing what you know with OCRTIX. They will take the appropriate next steps and contact the person who confided in you.  

It’s important to inform the person what you will be sharing and with whom. Demonstrate that you are open to questions and ensure they understand where their information will go next. 

Let them know that OCRTIX will contact them soon to invite them to a meeting to 1) learn more about what happened, and 2) provide information on relevant resources, rights, and options. Someone can meet with OCRTIX and share information at their pace. They can also have a support person attend any meetings or conversations with OCRTIX, and they have the right to ask questions before making decisions about taking formal action. CARE Services staff (Melissa and Mariah) can be with them and help answer questions before, during, and after any meeting. 

If you’re an instructor, you may be asked to provide academic supportive measures for one of your students at some point. Supportive measures are not formal accommodations based on a diagnosed disability and a student doesn’t need to be registered with the Student Access Center. Instead, these are individualized supports meant to help maintain and preserve someone’s access to their education after experiencing any kind of “sexual misconduct.” There’s also policy in the University Senate Rules and Regulations (USSR) formalizing an obligation to provide these supports for students impacted by sexual assault, intimate partner violence, dating violence, or stalking. 

Not all students need exactly the same things after harm, but academics can be affected by these highly personal circumstances. Some may need extra time on assignments and might request extensions to deadlines or an incomplete in your course. Others may keep original deadlines, but may ask for alternative assignments or different arrangements for exams. There are some students who may need to change sections or otherwise adjust their enrollment.  

A request for support measures can be made by students themselves, a representative from OCRTIX or Student Support & Case Management, and/or a CARE Services staff person. These communications primarily happen via email, but there are times when students prefer to discuss their needs in-person, by phone, or on Zoom.  

We advise students that this initial communication is the beginning of an ongoing conversation they will need to have with you. It’s up to you and the student to communicate, collaborate, and determine what support measures are possible given the specifics your class, your capacity to provide these options, and their assessment of their own needs. 

While it’s not appropriate to have a student detail what happened or question them about how they’re responding, it is reasonable for you to clearly state your expectations for the course. After experiencing harm and trauma, students often feel nervous to contact their teachers and may hesitate to ask for supports, or these requests may come quite late in the semester. We find that students are very aware of the power dynamics between you and them. While you may not be able to accommodate every request, we feel it’s essential to respond compassionately in a timely manner, while being clear about your expectations and what you are willing to do. Thank you for your willingness to help! 

As in many situations, students may not communicate with you as often or quickly as you might prefer. Try to understand that they may be going through a lot and could be experiencing some difficulty communicating and managing their mental health. If you’ve expressed concern and care, know that you’ve done what you can and they will resume communicating when the time is right for them. If you are ever concerned for their safety or the safety of others, consider notifying the university through a Student Care Referral.  

You deserve support, too! While it’s important to keep someone’s personal information private and only share with those you need to, you may also seek your own space for emotional care. This could be especially important if you have your own history or connection to these topics, a closeness to the person who disclosed and/or who caused harm, or you’re a very empathetic person! Don’t forget to practice good self-care and healthy boundaries that contribute to your overall wellness whenever you can. Consider relying on or building your own trusted support system (including seeking your own advocacy or therapy).  

In Lawrence, The Sexual Trauma & Abuse Care Center is available by phone at 785-843-8985 (24/7) or in-person during their weekday hours at 330 Maine. They are a confidential, free resource who can listen and talk about how you are feeling. They serve “secondary survivors” in addition to the primary people affected by sexual violence.  

If you aren’t in Douglas, Franklin, or Jefferson counties, use the RAINN resource locator to find the advocacy organization in your area. 



Additional support options: 

  • The university Ombuds Office is an impartial, informal, and confidential place to talk through and discuss university-related issues on campus. (However, talking with the Ombuds Office is not a substitution to any mandatory reporting obligations.) 


  • The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all KU employees. The EAP can be contacted by phone at 1-888-275-1205 (Option 1) or TDD 800-697-0353. You can also visit the website of the EAP for more information at (Company ID: SOKEAP).  


  • HealthQuest Health Center is also a resource, that provides counseling services in-person at the clinic in Topeka, as well as telehealth. There may be a copay depending on what insurance plan you have. Health Center | State Employee Health Plan ( 


  • Of course, you can explore other options for professional support and counseling! To help find a private therapist in your area, start with the search feature on Psychology Today, check with your health insurance, and ask around for recommendations. 

Working with individual students and providing support measures aren’t the only actions you can take to show you care and to make a difference.  Here are some tips for helping contribute to a culture of care at KU: 

  • Educate yourself on trauma-informed practices and commit to using nonviolent communication. There are people on campus who offer conversations and consultation on these subjects. 

  • Add campus resources and supportive statements to your syllabi and other course materials.  

  • If you are engaging material in class that may be activating or triggering to some students, give everyone enough notice and time to process what’s coming. You may also want to proactively offer alternative assignments or other ways to demonstrate the same learning outcome. 

  • Invite CARE Services staff to visit your class, program, or department to meet your students or colleagues. We can talk about how to support others, how to respond when someone confides in you, and can provide information about available supports and resources. We want to connect with you! 

  • If you have colleagues who aren’t respecting someone’s privacy or are being insensitive, consider intervening in the conversation in a way that feels safe and productive for you to do so. It can be difficult to be in an environment that is not trauma-sensitive and you deserve to find and build more supportive spaces.