On-Site Consultation

Workshops

The NCHERM Group offers a wide-variety of workshops that cover many different topics, such as:

WORKSHOPS BY TOPIC

BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION AND THREAT ASSESSMENT

CAMPUS CONDUCT TRAINING

Click here to read more.

STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH

TRAINING FOR ATHLETICS

TRAINING FOR FRATERNITY/SORORITY MEMBERS

WORKSHOPS FOR FACULTY

STUDENT AFFAIRS/ACADEMIC/ADMINISTRATIVE RISK MANAGEMENT & PREVENTIVE LAW

CAMPUS SEXUAL MISCONDUCT/SEXUAL HARASSMENT

TRAINING FOR RESIDENTIAL LIFE

TRAINING FOR CAMPUS LAW ENFORCEMENT

PREVENTION AND RISK REDUCTION

On-site services extend beyond those listed here, so please contact The NCHERM Group’s client relations team to further discuss your needs. Any topical offering covered by the Higher Education Risk Management Certification Institute (HERM-CI), ATIXA, or NaBITA can be tailored to an on-site consultation.

Workshop Descriptions

FERPA COMPLIANCE 

FERPA is an important privacy protection for students, but its importance has taken on mythic proportions on some campuses.  Isn’t it time to shed the myths and base our compliance on the facts?  This session is a common-sense walk-through of FERPA that can be addressed to administrators, faculty and/or staff.  We take the legalese out and focus on FERPA as a communication tool, rather than an impediment to successful communication.  Here is a outline of the topics we’ll address:

Definition of Educational Record

Exceptions

Sole Possession Records

Law Enforcement Records

Counseling Records

Health Services Records

Letters of Recommendation

Release Internally

Legitimate Educational Need to Know

Deference

Release Externally

Parents of Dependents

What is a dependent

How to verify

What can be released

To Whom

Release to Public

Release to Law Enforcement

Release to Victims

Drug/Alcohol Parental Notification

Emergency Health and Safety Exception

Financial Aid Records

Subpoena

FERPA and Confidentiality Laws

FERPA Enforcement

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BIT Best Practice Trainings

Now that your team is up and running, you must ensure that it is operating at maximum effectiveness. Do you need to increase your team’s proficiency and benchmark your practices against best practices?

This training gives your team the insights it needs to go to the next level, provided by the national experts who have led the charge toward behavioral intervention from the start. Your faculty helped implement the BIT model at more than 700 college and university campuses. Attendees will have the opportunity to spend two days with national experts who can address your questions, commiserate with your challenges, and share creative solutions to move your team forward.

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Threat Assessment Training

This is a comprehensive training on the NCHERM Threat Assessment Tool.  It can be done in 2 hour, half-day and full-day variants.  Participants will learn how to use tool, with four measures of mental health related risk, five generalized risk measures and nine measures for aggression.  With this tool, teams can accurately assess the potential for harm to self, harm to others, and harm to facilities/operations/reputation.  Once the tool is explained, participants will work through 15 scenarios to assess the risks of each, and then to strategically deploy intervention tools to address those risks.

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Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) Training for Faculty

Campuses around the country are forming behavioral intervention teams and getting the word out to faculty and staff on the critical need to report concerning behavior.  While we offer a workshop on how faculty should respond to concerning behavior, this workshop is specifically for faculty on what they should report to their behavioral intervention team, when and how.  Faculty are “sensors” for purposes of campus threat assessment, and understanding the function of a sensor as an early warning mechanism is the purpose of this training.  We cannot simply expect a culture of reporting to exist, we have to foster it.  Faculty need to understand their role in the process, how much detail to provide, how much subjective “guesswork” to include, what happens when the team receives a report, what feedback will be given to the reporter, and what will remain confidential.  We need to engender a culture that passes along all concerning behavior that reaches the level of a “red flag.”  What is a “red flag”?  This session will provide the answer, along with advice not to minimize the seriousness of incidents, to report when in doubt, so that we err on the side of caution.  Who knows what else is being reported to the team about the same student by other members of the community?  What may seem minor to one faculty member might seem like an avalanche when the team puts all of the pieces of the puzzle together.  This training incorporates details from your campus behavioral intervention team for seamless integration and enhanced reporting.

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Classroom Management: Preventing and Responding to Disruptive Students In and Out of The Classroom

Over the last ten years, there has been an increase in the number and severity of behavioral incidents in the classrooms and on campuses. More and more, it is incumbent upon instructors to intervene in the classroom to address behaviors that can interfere with teaching and learning. Using a combination of lecture and case studies taken from actual incidents, this workshop will provide instructors with tools to appropriately address these behaviors. Participants will be provided with skills to prevent disruptive behaviors, to react to them, and tips on how to enhance their own campus procedures to address abhorrent behaviors.

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will:

  • Gain a perspective on trends in behaviors on higher education campuses
  • Gain a perspective on the realities of campus responses to incidents of classroom disruption
  • Be able to utilize pedagogical methods and teaching strategies to reduce the probability of disruptive behaviors
  • Be able to develop and/or utilize individualized syllabus statements for class management
  • Be able to appropriately respond to disruptive behaviors in and out of the classroom
  • Be able to assist their home campuses in policy development in the area of classroom management

Workshop Outline:

I. Introductions

a. Participant Question Submission

II. College and University Behavioral Trends

III. Campus Policy analysis

a. Sample policies

IV. Analyzing behaviors

a. Disruptive behaviors

b. Distress behaviors

V. Preventive Measures

a. Syllabus statements

b. Pedagogical methods

VI. Reactive Measures

a. Addressing behaviors in the classroom

b. Addressing behaviors outside the classroom

c. Appropriate intervention techniques

VII. Case Studies

VIII. Question and Answer

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You Know Your Stuff, But Can You Connect?  A Facilitation Training for Peer Educators

Peer education is a powerful tool for prevention and risk reduction.  Many campuses use peer education to great effect.  Peer education is most effective when the training provided to peer educators is of high quality.  Two of the toughest skills for peer educators to master are the art of facilitating dialogue, and how to answer student questions creatively and accurately.  This workshop will provide you with training from some of the most skilled facilitators addressing high risk student health and safety issues on college campuses today.  We have faced the toughest questions students have, and have learned what answers provide the best educational impact.  We have faced tough facilitations, heckling, disinterested students and defensive students.  We are experts at creating connections with audiences, and opening men and women to dialogue on sensitive issues.  In this workshop, we will share our strategies for success with you.

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Best Practices for Campus Behavioral Intervention and Threat Assessment

Now that your team is up and running, you must ensure that it is operating at maximum effectiveness. Do you need to increase your team’s proficiency and benchmark your practices against best practices?

This training gives your team the insights it needs to go to the next level, provided by the national experts who have led the charge toward behavioral intervention from the start. Your faculty helped implement the BIT model at more than 700 college and university campuses. Attendees will have the opportunity to spend two days with national experts who can address your questions, commiserate with your challenges, and share creative solutions to move your team forward.

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Best Practices in Peer Education

Developing or growing a successful and competent peer educator program requires a unique ability to address sensitive subject matter in an engaging, relatable manner. There is also a set of skills needed to train peer educators new to prevention programming, supporting their learning on handling disclosures, responding to frequently asked questions, addressing issues of compliance and confidentiality, and managing their own self-care. A culmination of years of award-winning peer educator advising, teaching, and presenting, this training provides attendees with knowledge and practical takeaways for implementing a successful and effective peer education program. Foundational information on sexual assault, consent, high-risk substance use, and bystander intervention is covered. Best practice resources are highlighted, including websites, campaigns, videos, and more. Different learning and presentation styles, as well as settings, are incorporated, such as single-sex trainings, classroom settings, closed groups, and mandated programs.

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Strategic Programming

This workshop will share the concept and design of a four-year programmatic strategy addressing high-risk student health and safety issues.  The goal is for campus programmatic efforts to be developmental, progressive, consistent, and message-reinforcing.  We’ll discuss the importance of a master calendar and a centralized programming office or committee.  We’ll talk about programming boards and student activities and ask where the campus topic specialists are based on campus.  Themes or topics need to be chosen and narrowed.  Maybe this year the focus will be on hazing and campus climate, with less emphasis on some other issues.  Maybe alcohol and sexual assault are your top priorities.  We’ll look at whether there are times of each year when programming on this topic makes more sense than others?  And, we’ll discuss how a progressive curriculum can be devised and implemented, taking students though an accretive process where one program builds upon the last, toward a level of competence that can be assessed and demonstrated.

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Student Suicide: What College and University Administrators Need to Know About the Law and Best Practices

Yes, you can separate a suicidal student. Don’t believe the myths. College and university administrators are all trying to find the right balance for managing the risk of suicidal students while doing the utmost to support them.  We are grappling with tough questions, and this workshop gives you fresh thinking and creative strategies for exploring the best practices for suicidal students that are emerging in our field.  From questions of approaching suicidality as a conduct violation to the merits of involuntary medical withdrawal procedures, this workshop is comprehensive.  It will address the “direct threat” test mandated by ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  Re-entry will be discussed as will suicidality as a disability, pretext issues, and what are reasonable accommodations.  Mandated assessment and behavioral intervention models will also be reviewed.  HIPAA, FERPA and confidentiality limits as they pertain to crisis and recent wrongful death cases against colleges for suicides will be explored.

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Legal Issues for Campus Counselors and Therapists

Every campus struggles with questions about what counselors should know, what they should disclose to others, and how should they straddle the sometimes divided loyalties between their employment obligations and their professional ethics.  This workshop offers a legal update on pressing issues for campus counselors and therapists, including:

  • Confidentiality of Records;
  • Clarification of FERPA: fact/fiction;
  • Release of information between and among health care providers and HIPAA
  • Administrators and law enforcement;
  • Parental notification;
  • Duty to warn;
  • Documentation of Records;
  • Campus Risk Management;
  • Security and Safety Concerns: Before and During a Crisis.

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Search & Seizure on Campus:  A Law and Policy Best Practices Update

When the marijuana is found in your room, it’s hard to argue that you’re not in possession. So, students challenge the legality of the search. In fact, college students have been suing colleges and universities for allegedly illegal room searches for over 40 years.  These cases have been mostly sporadic and infrequent, and we thought we had a pretty good handle on 4th amendment challenges to student room searches.  Yet, search & seizure has recently become big news again, with a spate of incidents and cases involving Santa Clara University, UMASS, Amherst, the University of Houston, George Washington University, the University of Maryland and other campuses.  Not all the cases involve public universities, as the recent state action cases at Harvard University and Mercer University demonstrate.  Perhaps it is time to revisit the best practices and legal contours of this issue again on your campus.  This workshop will take you through state action, administrative searches, search procedures, reasonable scope, warrant requirements and exceptions, plain view, the smell of marijuana as probable cause, reasonable cause, admissibility of evidence in conduct hearings and prosecutions and other relevant search-related topics.

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Criminal Background Checks for Students and Staff: A Law & Policy Update

Recent actions by legislatures in North Carolina and Virginia have framed the question of whether colleges and universities should (or must) perform criminal background checks (CBCs) on incoming students.  The case of Tiffany Williams v. the University of Georgia tells us the potential liability that can be created by recruiting students known to have criminal histories.  Already, standards of practice for background checks of staff are well-established, and broadening standards for student-staff such as RAs are being debated.  This workshop will help participants to gain a thorough understanding of the current state of practice, where it is heading, and what the implications are for this trend of broadening background checks in higher education.  Topics include:

  1. How do we establish a university-wide policy and administer it consistently?
  2. How do we identify and define sensitive positions?
  3. Determining how broad a check to perform – credit histories, state checks, DOJ/FBI 50 state and federal checks?
  4. Is it appropriate/necessary to perform CBCs for residential life and other student-staff?
  5. What are the implications for performing CBCs on all incoming students; Is this a best practice?
  6. What role do sex offender registries play in this issue?
  7. Does the undertaking of CBCs create a legal duty for purposes of negligent hiring causes of action (and possibly negligent admission?)?
  8. What due diligence is required once a CBC is performed?
  9. Does the federal update service create a continuing duty of care?
  10. Can IHEs recruit/hire those with criminal histories, and what are the ramifications?
  11. How do CBCs relate to questions about criminal history on admissions applications?
  12. What is the best practice for informing a subject that a CBC will be performed?
  13. What is an appropriate records retention policy for CBC results?
  14. What can we learn from UC Berkeley’s CBC Review Committee Model?
  15. Is there a difference between an arrest and a conviction, with respect to CBCs?

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Title IX Sexual Harassment Compliance Workshop

If yours is like most colleges, sexual harassment is one of your top five liability areas. Yet, most colleges are not compliant with the legal mandates of Title IX as they pertain to sexual harassment, let alone best practices for the field. Title VII gets all the attention, but employment-based claims are yesterday’s news. Student-on-student claims are way up, and student affairs administrators are not as well prepared as HR for the investigation and resolution of these issues, especially when the sexual harassment has a physical component. This workshop can be addressed to faculty, administration, staff, students or other pertinent groups, helping colleges to assure compliance with Title IX, proper reporting, and appropriate responses.

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Risk Management Strategies for Student Organizations

More and more institutional risk is arising from the activities of student organizations, from fraternities to the mountain-climbing club. A structure for helping these organizations to monitor their own risks, and give oversight to college officials is highly beneficial. Some colleges have such systems, and they are well-developed. Others do not, or are just starting to help student organizations manage risk. This session is a primer on just how to craft such a system, and the ingredients needed to make it work.

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Hazing Risk Management

Hazing within Greek organizations, bands, teams, ROTC or other student groups is part of a culture. Most who haze know it is wrong, and often illegal. Prohibiting hazing is not enough to stop it. Hazing is secret—hidden underground and accepted by those on whom it is inflicted. Zero tolerance sends an important message, but risk management will be more successful when each group has a chance to reflect on its practices, confidentially identify those that are high-risk, and then work to problem-solve, either to change the practice to make it lower risk, or to abandon the practice. But, if the practice is to be abandoned, how can we create a meaningful, positive ritual, initiation, tradition or bonding experience that will replace it. This workshop is a nuts and bolts effort to eradicate hazing for high-risk groups. It can also be done as a trainer training.

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Student-On-Student Sexual Misconduct Prevention Program

90% of college sexual assault occurs in the presence of alcohol or other drugs. How alcohol affects sexual consent is THE issue. Students don’t get it. They go out, get drunk, hook-up, with no thought for the consequences. This interactive program, “Drunk Sex or Date-Rape: Can You Tell the Difference” has been presented on over 2,000 college campuses. This is an interactive program where the audience gets to be the jury—based on a real life case. The jury hears the facts, learns the law, and takes a vote on guilt/innocence. No two juries vote alike, and students are outspoken in their views. The case is controversial, and a great conversation starter. Students think about what incapacity means, and how it impacts sexual consent. More importantly, they reflect on their own behaviors and choices.

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Faculty Consensual Relationships Policy Development

Faculty are resistant to limitations on their abilities to fraternize with students and amongst each other. Rightfully so. This workshop encourages faculty to take on voluntary restrictions, or implement self-goveranance policies—to great effect! Faculty often view these policies are as attempt to take away their power or rights. Another perspective is shared that enables faculty to see these policies as strong self-protection. Different policy models are explored, and rational language is proffered. Extending the policy to staff, to RAs, and creating exceptions is all in the details. Sometimes, faculty believe that if they enter into a relationship with a student, there might be penalties. This workshop is more about eliminating power differentials and the potential for ugly legal consequences for pursuing romantic liaisons at work.

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Problem Drinking Risk Reduction Program for Students

“Ten Things Every Student Should Know About Drinking” is a non-conventional approach to alcohol education. “Ten Things” is not about having a dry campus or telling students not to drink. It will reinforce those students who choose not to drink, or to drink moderately. But, many of our students are going to drink no matter what we do—so the goal of this program is to get them drinking smarter and drinking more safely. “BUT YOU CAN’T TEACH STUDENTS HOW TO DRINK! Anyone can get behind the wheel of a car and figure out pretty quickly how to get it to move. But, classes and licenses are needed to understand advanced control and the rules of the road. Drinking is no different than driving in this regard. It involves a skill set to be done safely and properly. No one is teaching this skill set to students for fear that they will drink or drink more. Most of our students are going to drink. They are going to endanger themselves. We have an obligation to help them build the skill-set that will allow them to reduce their risk. Doing so will have a long-term behavioral impact, because it changes how students process and control their drinking. That’s what this program is all about.

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Students with Disabilities & Emotional Challenges—Best Practices for Tough Times

The writing is on the wall. College administrators know that in the next ten years, this will be one of the toughest issues colleges face. ADA and 504 litigation abounds, and the Office for Civil Rights has now decided that it’s not enough to treat a disabled student fairly, it’s more a matter of how you treat them fairly (Guilford College Decision, 2002). From classroom disruption to overbooked counseling centers to suicidal students to conduct offices that are asked to make exceptions for a student’s disability, colleges are facing a crisis. Out of this morass, certain best practices are emerging, as ever more complex questions are arising. This workshop helps college administrators to understand what is coming, and to plan today for the issues colleges will face tomorrow.

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Sexual Assault Response—Training for RAs and Other Key Personnel

A student comes to you, seeking help in the aftermath of sexual violence. Will you have any idea of what to do? What are the best practices for helping a victim in need? What is the critical information you need to convey to someone who has just been assaulted? Will certain practices help the college to provide better assistance, thereby reducing the potential for liability? What is the significance of paper bags? Who should collect evidence? Should a victim shower? How long can the hospital collect bodily fluid samples? Will insurance cover an emergency room visit? What is a SANE? All these critical questions, and their answers are part of this useful training.

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Clery Act Compliance—Is Your Campus Reporting Crime Accurately?

This law was passed fourteen years ago, and most colleges still don’t get compliance right. This is a nuts & bolts session on assuring accurate, full and correct compliance with the mandates of this campus crime reporting and recordation law. What are the 15 Clery Act crime categories? How do the geographic requirements work? What is the hierarchy rule and how does it work? Why are you reporting non-forcible sex offenses—I bet you’re not likely to have any. How does your crime log look? It is complete and available? Are annual reports made available correctly, and are they distributed to prospective students and employees? What are the new requirements for reporting campus registered sex offender information? Brett Sokolow wrote the book on Clery Act compliance (The 1999 Clery Act Compliance Manual).

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Conduct Training

NCHERM consultants have trained conduct boards at over 500 colleges and universities. They are available to visit your campus for several different types of conduct trainings.

NCHERM offers general trainings on due process and fairness issues, in either half-day or full-day formats.

NCHERM also offers specialized training for sexual misconduct complaints, together with the general training above, or as a separate training, either in a half-day or full-day format.

NCHERM also provides an advanced deliberation training, focusing on the four steps of the dialectical process and an analytic for processing complex cases and multistep-violation cases. This training is six hours. Our conduct trainings have four formats:

 

Sexual Misconduct Board Training: This training takes the skills of the other trainings, and applies them to the specific context of sexual misconduct, such as how to apply investigation findings, how to interpret medical and alcohol evidence, how to deal with past sexual history issues, and evidence about things like rape trauma syndrome.

Dialectical and Deliberation Training: This training focuses not on the hearing, but on the skill of applying policy to a complex set of facts through a five-step analytical method. It focuses on how we determine violations and deliberate on responsibility.

To learn more, click here.

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Legislation and Litigation Update

NCHERM consultants provide workshops on cases and litigation in higher education law, updating you and your staff on important precedents, and compliance issues. Workshop topics feature updates on FERPA, HIPAA, Section 1983 actions, 1st Amendment, HEOA, the Clery Act and the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, Title IX and other current issues.

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Code of Conduct Revision

(on-site or off-site)

Has it been more than a year since you revised your student conduct code? If so, it’s time to take a look, and update your code. Let NCHERM’s expertise make it easier for you. Policy writing is what we do, and the four options below describe how we do it. Send us your conduct code, and we’ll provide you with a written report, identifying areas of weakness, suggesting policies that you may want to consider adding, and highlighting areas where recent cases or legislation suggest or demand changes. We’ll help to bring you up to date on both policies and judicial procedures, and we’ll do it for a fraction of the cost that others might charge.

NCHERM POLICY REVISION SERVICE: This is our most popular revision service, offering you a written report detailing the areas of your policies (policies only—this service does not revise procedures-see below) that need attention, and offering guidance for how improvements can be made. The report offers suggested language to help improve your code and address ever-changing trends in student behavior and ethical development. Language is not based on cookie-cutter models, but is custom-crafted to suit your institutional policy style and philosophy.

NCHERM POLICY AND PROCEDURE REVISION SERVICE: This revision service offers you a written report detailing the areas of your policies and student conduct procedures that need attention, and offers guidance for how improvements can be made. The report offers suggested language to help improve your code and address ever-changing trends in student behavior and ethical development. Language is not based on cookie-cutter models, but is custom-crafted to suit your institutional policy style and procedural philosophy, with special attention on reducing risk via streamlined procedures, modifying legalistic procedures, and making your proceedings transparent and accessible.

TIME TO RESTRUCTURE THE CODE OF CONDUCT:You need help and you know it. The policies of your code of conduct haven’t been revised in 7 years or so, and are no longer adequately serving your community. Yes, you could borrow codes from other institutions (thereby perpetuating their possible mistakes), or use the ever-popular model code (which too few institutions take the time to modify and adapt to fit their communities). Or, you can work with policy experts at NCHERM to custom-create a code of conduct that speaks directly to the needs of your community. An option to restructure conduct procedures can be added to this service.

UNDER FIRE? MAKE SURE YOUR CONDUCT CODE WON’T BE SEEN BY THE COURTS AS A SPEECH CODE:This policy review service is for colleges and universities that value free speech and want to ensure that their codes of conduct do not inadvertently prohibit speech protected by the first amendment. Today, colleges are being attacked and sued by interest groups such as the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the National Association of Scholars. It is possible to create reasonable expectations for campus civility without trampling on the rights of free speech. Let NCHERM help you strike a constitutional and workable balance. This policy review service examines only those areas of your code that address speech and expressive conduct (such as discrimination codes, creeds, mission statements, freedom of speech statements, harassment provisions, and the like) to help you guarantee the constitutional rights of your students. You may be surprised at what we might find. A written report will detail problem areas and offer suggestions for alternative language and phraseology.

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Sexual Assault/Harassment Training for High-Risk Populations

This is a specialized training for coaches, greek leaders, and/or athletic leaders on risk management of sexual assault and sexual harassment. Topics include how to recognize problematic conduct, how to intervene, how to help a victim, best practices for responding to a complaint, legal duties of reporting, confidentiality, informal reporting, recordkeeping, and retaliation. Special considering is given to false-reporting, investigation responsibilities, the rights of accused students, and the special vulnerability/responsibility of students of campus prominence, such as greeks and athletes.

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Risk Management Strategies for Student Affairs and Student Conduct Administrators

Colleges and universities have been faced with a startling rise in litigation over the last decade. Anyone can file a grievance with your institution: employees, students, faculty, parents, and the community.. And many of them often do.

With the cost of litigation and settlement, you should carefully examine your policies and practices, and – more importantly – teach ALL of your employees’ basic risk management principles.

Student Affairs is home to the services and programs that are particularly vulnerable to legal action: Student Activities, Greek Life, Study Abroad, Counseling, Community Service, Student Conduct, Behavioral Intervention – the list is long and the issues are complex. Having a campus full of “risk managers” will make your campus safer. Period. Having Student Affairs take the lead in this area is critical.

Topics that will be covered include:

• The 5 Types of Risk/Crises on campuses

• Student mental health

• Student conduct

• Involuntary withdrawal

• Disability law

• FERPA’s effects on communication and the implications for campus safety

• The changing tenor of government investigations of colleges and universities

• Personal liability for college administrators

• Best practices in staffing and training

• The Future

Audience:

• Student Affairs Administrators

• VPs and Directors of Student Affairs

• Campus Legal Counsel

• Campus Security Professionals

• Directors of International Education Programs

• Public Relations Personnel

• Student Services Providers

• Health Care Providers

• Campus Risk Management Officers

• University Auditors

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Investigation Training (Civil Rights)

Please visit ATIXA Civil Rights Investigator Training & Certification for details.

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Best Practices for Responding to Campus Sexual Violence

It happens on every campus. Students, mostly women, are victimized by sexual violence. Every college has a duty on the prevention side, but also a duty to respond to incidents when they occur. This seminar will establish two effective paradigms for quality-controlled campus response and victim assistance. Role definitions, crisis service, protocol and other relevant topics will be discussed.

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Best Practices for Campus Sexual Misconduct Policy

This workshop identifies and discusses 32 critical elements for establishing a proactive campus sexual misconduct policy. It explores each element in depth and examines its applicability to your campus culture and environment.

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Best Practices for Sexual Misconduct Board Procedures/Hearings

This workshop identifies best practices for resolving allegations of sexual misconduct on college campuses. Composition of conduct bodies, separate boards, investigation models, deliberations, evidentiary issues, appeals and dozens of other pertinent issues will be discussed on this topic of great potential liability.

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Risk Management Training for Campus Law Enforcement Personnel

This workshop offers a broad discussion of law enforcement related risk. From staffing to training to federal compliance, this workshop helps to identify best practices and strategies for implementing risk management principles to reduce law enforcement related risk. Basic principles of risk management are shared, and special attention is given to the special difficulties of enforcing and law policy in a campus setting.

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1ST AMENDMENT

Some of the most difficult and complex student and organizational behavior issues that arise are those that involve the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It is critical to understand the issues related to speech, religious expression, the student press or rights of assembly. It is also important to remember that “speech” may take many forms and that many methods of expression are constitutionally protected. Rapid technological advances have spawned an increasingly broad milieu of venues for expression; not only on campus but around the world. Consequently, administrators must consider student expression that is beyond simply the spoken word on the campus proper.

While the First Amendment may seem fairly straightforward, the reality is that at public colleges and universities, the First Amendment is often inadvertently or purposefully violated and First Amendment issues remain complex, dynamic and vexing. Key to what critics allege are collegiate “speech codes” are our policies on diversity and harassment. “Free speech zones” and discrimination by religiously-affiliated student organizations are also hot buttons. Our policies and practices must be reviewed and revised so as to withstand constitutional scrutiny.

Public colleges and universities strive to create a learning environment that is truly reflective of the “Marketplace of Ideas” while supporting and enhancing the educational experience of traditionally marginalized, and historically vulnerable, individuals and groups. Providing a balance between these two aspirations creates challenges to the campus that are charged with emotion, and constrained by law, leaving campus administrators with the critical question of “who can say what, where and when”. Too often, conflict is played out very quickly and publicly, with intense media scrutiny, and a legal challenge. This leaves little time for concerted analysis.

An increasing number of legal challenges to our institutions on the basis of in 1st Amendment rights include the following issues:

• Campus Speech Codes

• Harassment Policies

• Campus Access Policies

• Literature and Posting policies

• Student Organization Recognition

• Student Press

• Campus Mascots

• E-Mail banners/signature Lines

• Free Speech Zones

• Diversity policies and training

The 1st Amendment isn’t an all-or-nothing concept, however, and there are ways that institutions can put structures in place to maintain the campus for its primary purposes of teaching and learning without abandoning the principles of the First Amendment.

More colleges and universities have unconstitutional “speech codes” now than when they were first introduced in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Having been found to be consistently unconstitutional by a number of courts, why have they resurfaced as a perceived “control mechanism” on college campuses?

How have anti-harassment policies required by federal law become de-facto speech codes in practice? Can guidance gleaned from previous court cases be used to help develop common sense space and facility use policies? What other policies and procedures related to the First Amendment should be critically reviewed?

This presentation provides an in depth review of the broad scope of 1st Amendment challenges facing colleges and universities today including: space and facility use of campus and outside groups; organizational recognition; academic freedom of students and faculty; posting and literature distribution; use of signs and displays; sound amplification; registration requirements; identification of specific speech zones and other common questions. All areas of discussion are accompanied by presentation of relevant case law.

This highly interactive workshop will both educate and challenge. It can be designed for a 2 hour session, a 4 hour session or a full-day session

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Resident Advisor Training: Best Practices and Essential Tools

The seminar will focus on offering training to resident directors (RD’s) and housing directors interested in improving the quality of their resident assistant training programs. The seminar will include a detailed review of existing RA training programs (both online and paper based) along with suggestions for best practice. My approach will be to provide “something for everyone” looking to improve or start up a RA-training program.

Brian will offer practical examples and scenarios useful for training staff to implement in their existing resident assistant training program. Case scenarios will be offered for training staff to use with their RA’s along with supportive articles, web links and additional readings.

The presentation will be useful to those looking to create new RA-training programs and those who are looking for ways to improve their existing programs

The seminar will include detailed explanation of:

  • Explaining Basic Communication micro-skills through role-play
  • How to teach threat assessment to RA’s in a post V-tech, NIU world
  • How to approach odd and strange students (Asperger’s, personality disorders)
  • Teaching Balance: How to manage RA job duties and student responsibilities
  • Teaching Crisis management: Importance of referrals (counseling, academic sup, ADA, Health)
  • Developing a team (icebreakers, conflict management, group dynamics)
  • Applying student development theory to residence hall life
  • Effect use of supervision and support services
  • Working with international students, theme housing
  • Marketing and advertising (themes by year, how to market program)

A handout packet will be provided which will provide trainers with a wide variety of examples, case scenarios and links to helpful websites

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Suicide Gatekeeping & Mental Health Awareness for the Resident Advisor

This seminar is designed to assist resident advisors in their training process to better understand the mental health concerns of today’s college students. Numerous studies have highlighted the increasing number of today’s college students coming to school with an increasing number of mental health difficulties including depression, anxiety, adjustment problems and social difficulties.

This seminar will offer training to future and returning RA’s in the areas of suicide awareness and referral, an overview of various mental health concerns experienced by college students (depression, anxiety, adjustment problems, learning difficulties, substance abuse, eating disorders and social difficulties).

This training will offer practical examples of theory and application for the RA’s, will include testing and certification. The program will also include take-away scenarios to discuss after the classroom experience.

Many schools offer some version of RA training that discusses mental health and suicide concerns of the incoming class. Some of these trainings involve connections with counseling departments on campus, some involve resident directors reading up and teaching on mental health concerns. This program offers a succinct summary of the mental health concerns common to incoming students in both residential and community college scenarios. The training is research based and provides schools with documentation and certification that their residential life staff has been trained in key areas of mental health and suicide prevention.

Learning Objectives:

RA’s will be able to identify key risk-factors associated with depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, learning disorders, personality disorders, social problems and eating disorders.

RA’s will learn how to approach students with these difficulties and work towards improving communications with them. Special focus will include those with difficult personality disorders such as antisocial, dependant and borderline.

RA’s will learn how to properly refer students to the appropriate offices for treatment and assistance.

RA’s will learn how to identify the signs and symptoms of suicide. They will learn the proper way to intervene and refer students to counseling for further assessment.

RA’s will learn ways to address students who are abusing substances, including the importance of intervention, reporting and not leaving them unattended.

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Identifying and Referring Suicidal Students: A Training for Student Leaders

This seminar is designed to assist resident advisors in their training process to better understand the mental health concerns of today’s college students. Numerous studies have highlighted the increasing number of today’s college students coming to school with an increasing number of mental health difficulties including depression, anxiety, adjustment problems and social difficulties.

This seminar will offer training to student leaders in the areas of suicide awareness and referral. Training will offer practical examples of theory and application for the student leaders. The program will also include take-away scenarios to discuss after the classroom experience.

Learning Objectives:

Participants should be able to identify the signs and symptoms of suicide. They will learn the proper way to intervene and refer students to counseling for further assessment.

Participants will learn what questions to ask suicidal students to gather more information and what questions should be avoided when talking with suicidal students.

Participants will learn how to properly refer students to the appropriate offices for treatment and assistance.

Participants will learn the importance of direct questioning, developing a better knowledge of their campus counseling resources and the risk-factors associated with suicidal students.

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Reducing the Odds of a Lawsuit: What we can learn about our day-to-day practices from recent court cases

New laws and cases continually impact the day to day work of administrators (student, academic and business affairs) and faculty. With travel budgets and time at an increasing premium, it has become increasingly difficult for colleges and universities to keep up with all of the changes. This workshop, available only from March 1 to November 1 of each year, will synopsize the changes in legislation and case outcomes from the previous year in real world, pragmatic, applicable terms.

This workshop is designed and can be tailored to: Chief Executives, Chief Academic Officers, Chief Student Affairs Officers, Chief Human Resource Officers, General Counsel, Academic Deans, Student Affairs Deans, Student and Staff Conduct Administration, Risk Managers, Disability Services, Human Resources Professionals, and Athletics Staff

The workshop may cover the following topics:

  • An update and complete synopsis of cases from the last year on:
  • Sexual Harassment and Misconduct, including Title VII, IX, and § 1983
  • First Amendment Issues (Student Organizations, Free Speech/Expression, Freedom of Association, Student Press)
  • Faculty and Employment Issues
  • Liability and Risk Management
  • Student Conduct and Behavioral Issues
  • Search and Seizure Issues
  • ADA/Section 504
  • Intellectual Property Issues
  • Athletics
  • A discussion highlighting key decisions in your region
  • Federal legislative update on the Higher Education Act Reauthorization
  • Plain spoken interpretation of case law and legislation that can be easily applied on your campus
  • Practical insights from experienced practitioners on how these cases and regulations impact day-to-day decision making on your campus
  • A glimpse toward the future with a look at trends and issues that are “on the radar” for the upcoming year
  • A opportunity for one on one consultation with the presenter(s) (2 day workshop only)

This workshop can be presented exclusively for your campus, or can be hosted by your institution for regional attendance.

Length: One or Two Day; or customized to meet your campus needs

SAMPLE AGENA

DAY ONE

  • 8:30 – 9:00am
    • Registration
  • 9:00 – 12:00pm
    • Case Law Review
      • First Amendment Issues
        • Free Speech/Expression
        • Freedom of Association
          • Student
          • Faculty
          • Employee
        • Student Organizations
        • Student Press
      • Duty, Liability, and Risk Management
      • Student Conduct & Behavioral Issues
      • Fourth Amendment Issues
        • Search and Seizure
      • Second Amendment Discussion
  • 12:00 – 1:15pm
    • Lunch
  • 1:15 – 4:00
    • Case Law Review
      • Sexual Harassment and Misconduct
        • Title VII, Title IX, §1983
      • ADA/Section 504 Cases
      • Employment Issues
        • Faculty
        • Non-Academic Employees
        • Student Employees
      • Intellectual Property
      • Athletics

DAY 2 (or substitute/mix & match the following for the afternoon of Day 1 to create a one-day event)

  • 9:00 – 12:30pm
    • Federal legislative update
      • Higher Education Act Reauthorization
      • Implications for other Legislation, Including:
        • FERPA
        • HIPAA
        • ADA/Section 504
  • 12:30 – 1:45pm
    • Lunch
  • 2:00 – 5:00pm
    • Consultation/mini-audit of compliance on your campus (choose 2-4 topics to address)

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Review of College Alcohol Programs  — Best Practices

This seminar will discuss the most common approaches to alcohol educational programming on today’s college campuses and universities, and the best practices being identified by the research. Dr. Van Brunt will discuss the benefits of creating these programs from scratch, building them from existing resources and making an informed decision in choosing among the available commercial programs.

Participants will:

  • Explore a rubric to compare existing alcohol education programs to assess how well they might fit for their campus. This will highlight the differences between existing programs in terms of cost, primary vs. secondary/ tertiary programming (this would be programming to all students vs. programming to at-risk or sanctioned programmed.
  • Identify the features that their campuses need in different settings (freshman orientation, judicial sanction, and talks with campus clubs. Here the difference might be talking about primary, secondary and tertiary programming—those designed at the average population, at-risk, and policy violators
  • Show how to customize or create an alcohol education program for each audience
  • Receive “take-aways” that the audience can use in their own programs.
  • Show the differences between alcohol education and alcohol abuse prevention, and why understanding this difference can help you focus your efforts.

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Working with Pushy Parents — Faculty Professional Development

This training is designed to assist faculty members in working with parents who approach them on behalf of their student. These meetings may happen over the phone, at scheduled meet-and-greet events at parent’s weekend or during orientation. Often times, these parents become overly pushy, needy and aggressive with faculty in order to attempt secure better treatment and grades for their children.

The training will highlight the importance of understanding the motivation for parent behavior, how to use these crisis moments as teachable moments for both the student and parent, setting early expectations in the syllabus regarding parent contact, how to make appropriate referrals to other university officials and the benefits of having gracious conversations.

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Preventing Staff Burnout

The presentation will start with case examples of staff burnout. Dr. Van Brunt will highlight how various student affairs professionals are at-risk for cumulative stress build-up and resulting burnout. He will focus on Resident Assistants, Orientation Leaders, Judicial Affairs personal and other “front line” staff.

This presentation will help those front-line staff reduce the risk of cumulative stress and resulting burnout. Student affairs staff work in a climate of vigilant threat assessment, growing numbers of students with mental illness, learning disabilities and social problems. The presentation will offer an understanding of how stress impacts staff over time as well as offer suggestions for coping with immediate staff burnout concerns and preventive ways to address burnout before it occurs.

There will be a discussion of various types of burnout that front-line helpers experience (emotional reactions, physical reactions, cognitive reactions). This will include a review of behaviors, emotions and language related symptoms supervisors should be aware of.

Dr. Van Brunt will provide a review of relevant research and theory on how burnout occurs in staff and suggestions for follow-up reading through books and web resources.

There will be a discussion of how supervisors can address staff burnout and stress reactions as they happen. This will focus on crisis management and ways to deal with critical reactions as they manifest (e.g. blowing up in staff meetings, yelling at students, slamming doors, hitting desks). These will include mindfulness, body-scan and calming exercises.

Participants will be given several preventative strategies to address staff burnout before it happens (through support, setting appropriate boundaries, use of downtime, empathy training, cycle breathing).

There will also be a discussion of how to address team development and the implementation of rewards and positive feedback throughout the semester.

Finally, Dr. Van Brunt will review “at-risk” situations and times of the year that increase risk of staff burnout.

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Who’s On Your Emergency Management Team? And Are They Really Ready?

You have written your campus emergency plan and have community members assigned to the team. But is your campus really prepared for whatever crisis it may encounter? Research shows that schools have formed crisis management teams but that only a small percentage are really prepared for crisis.

Your campus community contains students, staff, faculty, and visitors. Your plan needs to cover every aspect of your community. In order to comprehensively attend to every facet of your campus and everything that could happen you need representation from a wide variety of the community on your planning team.

Do your faculty and staff have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities?

Training options:

  • Review of Your Campus Emergency Plan: Before coming to your campus our team of experts will review and evaluate your campus emergency plan. Evaluation ratings are based on how well your plan aligns with the recommendations of FEMA and the U.S. Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Best Practices. Our team will present the findings to you in either a written report and/or presentation.
  • Best Practice Review: In a participatory lecture format our team will review with your team best practice case studies. We will discuss events that occurred at other colleges and universities and examine what they did well and where their outcomes may have improved had they used an alternative crisis intervention, remediation or recovery method.
  • Our experts will come to your campus and facilitate a tabletop drill based on scenarios that could occur at your campus.
  • We will design and conduct a survey of your faculty and staff to find out their confidence level in your plan.

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Association Rights, Institutional Non-Discrimination Policies, and Student Groups

In recent years, legal disputes have arisen out of the denial of recognition to student groups which refuse to comply with non-discrimination policies. Disputes have often involved religious groups and prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or religious belief. This presentation examines the competing claims: the students’ association, free speech, and free exercise rights, and institutions’ efforts to prevent discrimination. (60-90 minutes)

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Campus Activism: Promoting Campus Dialogue and Student Development

This presentation examines the history of campus activism in American higher education and the constitutional protections which ensure students’ rights to engage in protest. The presentation encourages student affairs professionals to view campus activism as an opportunity for encouraging student learning rather than a disruption to be managed or limited. (60-90 minutes)

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Watching the Train Derail: A Program On Student Suicide, Threatening Behavior and Bystander Intervention

“If I kill them and myself, will they stop following me?”

These words, scrawled across a test that was turned in to a professor, started a chain of events that culminated in spending 6 hours in an apartment negotiating a potential active shooter crisis with a very disturbed student. What was more disturbing was what I learned in the follow up investigation: that a number of people, students, staff and faculty alike, had seen behaviors that were, at the very least, concerning – but no one said anything.

I saw the same pattern emerge in the death of a student from alcohol abuse, where others were injured as well. Unfortunately, these situations are not isolated to the college environment, and our students will continue to face them after they enter the workforce. Teaching them the skills and confidence to intervene will serve them beyond graduation.

In this engaging and interactive program, students (and staff and faculty) will be asked to answer questions about disturbing behaviors that they have seen and people they may know who may pose a threat of harm to themselves or the campus community

Questions such as:

  • Do you know someone you would never want to be alone with late at night?
  • Do you have a friend who you are concerned about? Why?
  • Do you have a friend who you won’t drink with?
  • What keeps you from saying something to someone?

In this program, Scott challenges students to reconsider their notions of responsibility for their fellow students and their community. It teaches early warning signs, intervention techniques, and what to do with a situation that gets complicated quickly.

  • Mental Health or Behavioral Concerns – this is a valuable support tool to your Behavioral Intervention Team
  • High Risk Drinking or Drug Use – This version can be presented to large groups, but is generally more effective with smaller audiences. It can also be done for targeted student leaders to assist in changing campus cultures through peer education.
  • Student Suicide – Risk Factors, Gatekeeping, and Support

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Avoiding Lawsuits and Bad PR: The changing legal landscape for athletic administrators and coaches

Remember when Title IX was only about equity and parity of programs in athletics?

Did you know (and do your coaches know) that you could incur personal liability for the actions of your players, staff and grad assistants?

Have you hired a former player to be an assistant coach?

Do you know what your employees know about behaviors including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and substance abuse? Did you know you are required to?

This program, designed expressly for coaches and athletic department staff, will outline recent cases that have changed the face of their potential personal liability, and will give them the knowledge and tools to better protect themselves, the department, and the institution.

Issues that will be addressed:

Managing student and staff complaints about Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault

What is “deliberate indifference” and what are “reasonable actions?’

What should I do (and not do)?

What about rumors?

What’s retaliation?

What about student behavioral concerns, including those that may be mental health related?

How should I deal with the Student Conduct office? (You may want to invite them to this program!)

Do you and your staff know what you have an absolute duty to report (as opposed to an optional duty)?

Do you know what level of confidentiality you and your staff have?

For the longer program, departments will be able to submit scenarios and questions to be addressed (discreetly and/or confidentially) beyond those mentioned above.

We have worked with athletes and coaches for over 15 years, and continues to mentor athletes today.

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Law 101 for Faculty: Avoiding Lawsuits

FERPA, The ADA, Section 504, HIPAA, Title VII, Title IX, Section 1983, Tort Law…. whew! These are just a few of the legal landmines that faculty are expected to know how to manage – all while maintaining their research, publication, service, and teaching requirements!

Unfortunately, ignorance is not a defense if you fail to meet your obligations under these laws. And, without proper training, faculty members can expose themselves and their institutions to costly and embarrassing complaints and litigation from students, parents and colleagues. Adjunct faculty, graduate teaching assistants and distance education instructors are the “lost populations,” receiving minimal (or no) training and development in these areas.

This 1 ½ to 2-hour program will provide all faculty members with the necessary tools and information to understand the legal concerns that most commonly impact them and how to best prevent litigation.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Recent court decisions that apply to college faculty
  • Faculty implications of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • Students’ speech rights in class
  • Types of assignments that may expose faculty to legal challenges
  • Defensible policies for use of cell phones and laptops during class
  • Avoiding common classroom mistakes that can provoke a legal suit
  • Errors in judgment that can lead to harassment complaints
  • ADA and disabilities in the classroom
  • Sexual harassment and students
  • Sexual harassment and faculty
  • Affirmative “duty to report” requirements

A question and answer period will allow faculty to present their issues and scenarios for candid expert opinion. These can be submitted anonymously ahead of time.

Audience:

This workshop is designed for everyone who can be held accountable for knowing and implementing legal mandates, including:

  • Adjunct Faculty
  • Distance and Online Education Faculty
  • Professors, including Assistants/Associates
  • Deans, including Assistants/Associates
  • Department Chairs
  • Provosts and Vice Provosts
  • Assistant/Associate Provosts and Vice Provosts
  • Other Academic Administrators
  • Teaching Assistants

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Law 101 for Academic Administrators

We live in a litigious society. Open any given issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Student Affairs Today, or any major newspaper and you will see examples of institutions facing legal challenges on every front. Academic Administrators can find themselves on the wrong end of lawsuits, subpoenas, and other legal threats. Academic freedom and the First Amendment in the classroom, managing, disciplining and terminating faculty when necessary are just a few of the issues that keep Provosts, Vice Provosts, Deans, and other academic administrators up at night! Then there is the ongoing problem of sexual harassment and misconduct in academia, which creates a series of headaches (and lawsuits and potentially large financial settlements)!

For academic administrators, it can be nerve wracking to consider the legal ramifications of making mistakes when you are just trying to do your job! Proper training is the key to managing and understanding the legal risks without losing the ability to perform effectively. Using actual case studies, this workshop will teach the best ways to manage challenging administrative situations and reduce risk.

This workshop covers:

• Legal basics that apply to college administration

• Title IX implications

• Employee discipline and termination

• Academic freedom and the First Amendment

• Sexual misconduct law and expectations

• Recommended policy review practices

• Syllabi review recommendations

• Appropriate complaint response

• Preventive law techniques

• The court system’s increasing willingness to review internal policies and practices

• Evolving management and disciplinary procedures for a new generation

Audience:

All college officials responsible for supervising or overseeing employees and faculty members, including:

• Provosts/Vice Provosts

• Deans and Assistant/Associate Deans

• Department Chairs

• Senior Academic Administrators

• VPs and AVPs for Academic Affairs

• Section/Department Managers

• Directors and Assistant/Associate Directors

• Faculty Association Chairs/Representatives

• Faculty Senate Chairs/Representatives

• Assistant/Associate/Full/Adjunct Professors

• Union/Collective Bargaining Representatives for Faculty

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STAY CENTERED – Handling Disruptive People (in Your Office/Class/Hall)

More and more, front line office staff, residence life staff and office managers find themselves having to manage unruly students, parents, and visitors in their office environment. Preventing the disruption before it begins is key, but managing difficult people is a learned – not innate – skill. Using proven techniques, Scott will draw on actual cases from his experience managing office environments and his training in diffusing difficult situations to teach participants how to prevent and handle these delicate situations by “staying centered.” Scott has presented these techniques to over 1,000 managers and supervisors in the corporate and higher education environments, as well as to front line student staff and law enforcement.

Audience:

• Office Managers

• Front Line Administrative Support Staff

• Residence Life Staff

• Faculty

• Campus Safety

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will…

• Gain a perspective on trends in behaviors

• Be able to utilize methods and strategies to reduce the probability of disruptive behaviors

• Be able to utilize methods and strategies to respond, react and diffuse disruptive behaviors

Workshop Outline:

I. Introductions

II. Understanding the disruptive person

III. Identifying Behaviors

IV. Staying Centered Geographically

V. Staying Centered Physically

VI. Staying Centered Emotionally

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Negotiation and Mediation Skills

Negotiating between competing interests is a routine part of every person’s life experience. Whether you are dealing with your “customers” over price, expectations, or deadlines; your boss for a raise, title, or budget; your peers for buy-in or assistance; or anyone in your life for anything. In essence, anytime you want something and someone else has it – you will negotiate.

What we know is the most successful negotiating strategies are those that let everyone come out ahead. But conflicts are not resolved by simply out-negotiating your opponent; using collaborative techniques and winning through mutual gain, you will learn how to clearly communicate your position and achieve the results you are seeking. Participants in this workshop will practice negotiating role-plays that teach simple yet practical techniques that can be used immediately in your professional and personal life.

 

Audience:

• Office Managers

• Administrative Support Staff

• Student Affairs Staff

• Faculty and Academic Administrators

Learning Outcomes:

• Negotiation Strategies

• Mediation Techniques

• Conflict Resolution Skills

• Negotiation Empathy

• Individual and Team Negotiation Skills

• Personal Negotiation

• Understanding Negotiation Styles

• Preventing and Diffusing Dirty Tricks

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Investigations Training (One to Four Days)

For years, campuses have sought models of resolution for campus sexual misconduct complaints that provide fairness, balance and a measure of outcome satisfaction for the participants. For the most part, we’ve failed miserably. At best, we have tweaked our processes to minimize secondary victimization of complainants, but adding no further harm should not be our yardstick for success.  Throw in the possibility of concurrent criminal prosecution, and the potential difficulties multiply.

That’s simple.  We’re trying to fit campus sexual misconduct into a student conduct/discipline framework like hazing, a roommate conflict or some similar developmental challenge. Campus sexual misconduct is more accurately seen not as a conduct issue, but as a civil rights discrimination.  It’s humane, effective, efficient and can be integrated with relative ease into our current hearing and resolution models.  We need to take a page from HR, and create a civil rights investigation model for addressing campus sexual misconduct.  Civil rights investigation is not police-led investigation, and it is not the same as investigating a student conduct violation.  It is a very specific, highly specialized skill-set.

Click here for a sample agenda.

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Appeals Officer Training

Those responsible for hearing appeals can come together for training on the topics that consistently expose colleges to liability and, at times, undermine the goals of conduct and discipline: education and accountability.

INTENDED AUDIENCE

  • Student Conduct Appeals Panel Members – faculty, staff or student members
  • Appeals Officers – if you are the sole person responsible for hearing appeals, whether you are a Director, Dean, VP, AVP or President – this training is a must for you.
  • Campus Hearing Officers – IF your process is one where the student conduct professional is the “appeal” from a lower hearing officer.
  • Greek/Student Organization Appeals Officers – Student and Student Affairs professionals who hear appeals from decisions made by student organization conduct processes.
  • Employee Appeals Officers/Panelists – Although the focus is on student conduct, those responsible for hearing employee appeals will also benefit from the skills taught at this workshop.

A student (or employee) goes through a conduct process. Afterward, they feel the decision was unfair, so they appeal. Who on your campus hears these appeals? What kind of training have they had in the proper way to do this? Too often, this process ends up being frustrating for the student (or employee) conduct professional, the conduct board, the appeals officer/panel and ultimately the student (and their parents). Even more often, this is the part of the process than finds itself scrutinized in the eventual lawsuit or – equally damaging – in the President or Trustees’ offices. When properly trained, not only can this process be less frustrating, but it can also provide a level of liability and administrative protection that most institutions currently do not have. Equally important, when done well, this process does not have to be as time consuming or uncomfortable as it currently is on most campuses.

Click here for a sample agenda.

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Title IX Overview Assessment

NCHERM has developed a one-day on-site overview assessment for campuses looking to benchmark their compliance with Title IX and the best practices in the field.  Are you as good as you think you are?  Are you better off than you think?  Are there a few departments where more attention is needed?  Do you need a complete rethink or a few tweaks to fine tune?  The only way to find out is to schedule a visit with the experts from NCHERM.  During our on-site visit, we’ll meet with key stakeholders and groups, review policies and practices, and assess documentation of recent cases to give you a snapshot of the priorities for bringing your campus into better compliance and better practices.  At the end of the day, we’ll give you an oral summary of our findings, and then after the visit, we’ll deliver to you a point-by-point written report of specific findings, compliance suggestions and best practice recommendations. Each assessment is different, and not every nook and cranny in every department can be audited in a day, but the one-day assessment will be enough to point you in the right directions, give you a sense of your realistic needs, whether you have adequate resources in place, and what it will take to get you to where you want to be.  Stakeholder meetings can include:

  • President, Cabinet, Trustees
  • Housing and Residence Life
  • Student Conduct
  • Human Resources
  • Affirmative Action/Equity Office
  • Legal Counsel
  • Women’s Center
  • Victim Intake/Advocacy
  • Athletics
  • Campus Law Enforcement
  • Student Leaders
  • Targeted Focus Groups
  • Disability Services
  • Other Key Departments, Individuals or Groups You Identify

Click here for a sample agenda

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Creation of a Unified Policy and Process for All Campus Discrimination Complaints, for all students, faculty and employees (1-3 days)

Many campuses are struggling to make their sex and gender discrimination policies and procedures compliant with Title IX and Title VII.  It is difficult to reconcile processes for staff, students and faculty, when all need to be equitable, but they are administered independently.  Each process needs to speak to the others, but there are still issues created by how well-protected faculty processes are, how we bring a Title IX lens to employee issues, and the cases where faculty and staff grieve against students.  Instead of struggling to reconcile multiple, conflicting processes, NCHERM consultants can help your campus to centralize all discrimination complaints under one policy and one process, regardless of the constituencies of those involved in the grievance.  This simplification creates a stand-alone process overseen by a Coordinator (Title IX and beyond), assuring fairness and equity to all through an efficient, streamlined, civil-rights investigation-based approach.

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SIVRA-35 Training

The ideal approach to violence risk assessment is utilizing an individual trained and experienced in violence risk assessment to interview the subject. The Structured Interview for Violence Risk Assessment (SIVRA-35) serves as a starting place for law enforcement, clinical staff and administrators to conduct a more standardized research-based violence risk assessment with individuals determined to be at an increased risk. Discussion of how to score the SIVRA-35 will occur in the context of three practical case studies involving violence in higher education settings. Discussion will be encouraged during this workshop to further explore the utilization of the SIVRA-35 in various research settings. Click here to learn more about the tool and training.

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Danger to Others: Practical Skill Training in Threat Assessment

Based on his upcoming book in partnership with the American Counseling Association, Harm to Others: The Assessment and Treatment of Dangerousness, Dr. BrianVan Brunt has put together a day long training for counselors, conduct officers, law enforcement and student affairs administrators to learn the foundational skills needed in order to conduct a threat assessment on a student of concern.

In 2013, Dr. Van Brunt began offering trainings on the Structured Interview for Violence Risk Assessment (SIVRA-35).  This training provides additional guidance on how to sit down with the student and conduct the interview.

This advanced training takes staff beyond the knowledge of the SIVRA-35 risk factors, to better explore the foundational and practical skills of:

  • Building rapport with the student
  • Describing the nature of the interview to the student
  • Addressing non-compliance and defensiveness during the interview
  • Overcoming defensiveness and forming trust
  • How to use circular questions to assess key risk factors
  • Working with referral sources to form interview questions
  • Address differences in culture, gender, and diversity
  • Develop treatment plans to guide the next steps
  • Avoid overcommitting to future actions
  • Collecting data into a report back to the referral source

This one-day training will include video demonstrations to highlight interviewing skills, explain concepts and use role-plays to assist participants to improve their efficiency during the interview.

The training includes a copy Dr. Van Brunt’s book when released in the summer of 2014 as well as online access to the New Orleans Tapes, a video demonstration of two threat assessment interviews.

The training is useful for schools that have already completed the SIVRA-35 workshop, but is completion of the workshop is not required. A two-day training schedule that includes the SIVRA-35, Checkmate and the Practical Skill training is available.

Questions about booking this daylong training for your staff can be sent to Ryan McDavis, Vice President for Client Relations, at 610-993-0229, ext. 1009.

Note: Dangerousness and violence, from a student, faculty or staff member is difficult, if not impossible to accurately predict. This training topic offers research based techniques and theories to provide a foundational understanding and improved awareness of the potential risk. The training should not be seen as a guarantee or offer any assurance that violence will be prevented.

Training Overview

Morning Part 1: Introduction to Threat assessment key principles

Paperwork, Communication and Initial Referral
Establishing Relationship/Building Rapport
Understanding Dangerousness

Morning Part 2: Threat Concepts

Central Threat Concepts
Secondary Risk Factors
Risk Factors from the Literature

Afternoon Part 1: Video Demonstrations

Case Study Stacie
Case Study Dustin

Afternoon Part 2: Role Play and Live Demonstrations

Live demonstration and partner work with case studies

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Danger to Others: Management Approaches for the BIT

Based on his upcoming book in partnership with the American Counseling Association, Harm to Others: The Assessment and Treatment of Dangerousness, Dr. Brian Van Brunt has put together a day long training for counselors, conduct officers, law enforcement and student affairs administrators to learn the foundational skills needed in order to address at-risk behaviors following a threat assessment.

In 2013, Dr. Van Brunt began offering offering trainings on the Structured Interview for Violence Risk Assessment (SIVRA-35).  This training provides additional guidance on how to manage at-risk students on campus once they have completed a threat assessment and are deemed safe to return.

Management Approaches for the BIT addresses what to do with students once the assessment is complete and they remain on campus.

Training will review:

  • Building rapport and addressing defensiveness
  • Mandated Treatment: What is it and how can we do it well?
  • Communication with the referral source; reducing silos
  • Forming connection and addressing objectification
  • Listening to their story and offering reframing
  • Managing anger and addressing irrational thoughts
  • Using Motivational Interviewing and Change Theory

This one-day training can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the audience. If the training group is made up of exclusively clinical staff, Dr. Van Brunt will focus more on the clinical aspects of mandated treatment and review approaches from humanistic, cognitive-behavioral, Gestalt, existential and narrative therapy perspectives. If the training group is made up of non-clinicians, focus will remain on case management, overcoming resistance, working with defensive students and reducing behaviors in order to stay enrolled at the institution.

The training includes a copy Dr. Van Brunt’s book when released in the summer of 2014 as well as online access to the New Orleans Tapes, a video demonstration of two threat assessment interviews.

The training is useful for schools that have already completed the SIVRA-35 workshop and/or the Danger to Others: Practical Skill Training in Threat Assessment, but is completion of the workshop is not required. A two-day training schedule that includes the SIVRA-35, Checkmate and the Management Approaches to the BIT is available.

Questions about booking this training for your staff can be sent to Ryan McDavis, Vice President for Client Relations, at 610-993-0229, ext. 1009.

Note: Dangerousness and violence, from a student, faculty or staff member is difficult, if not impossible to accurately predict. This training topic offers research based techniques and theories to provide a foundational understanding and improved awareness of the potential risk. The training should not be seen as a guarantee or offer any assurance that violence will be prevented.

Training Overview

Morning Part 1: Introduction and Learning to Listen

Establishing the Relationship and Building Rapport
Mandated Treatment, Case Management and Non-clinical Meetings
Learning to Listen

Morning Part 2: Understanding Their Story and Thinking Differently

Understanding Their Story
Learning to Think Differently

Afternoon Part 1: Addressing Change

Taking it Step-by-Step
Irrational Thoughts and a Cognitive-Behavioral Approach to Change

Afternoon Part 2: Addressing the Most Difficult Students

Finding Meaning
Case Study
Practical Application

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Crisis De-escalation of Hostile and Violent  Students

Based on his work and experience in Emergency Services, secure group home facilities, locked inpatient units, director of counseling and as an EMT, Dr. Brian Van Brunt has created a day long training to assist faculty and staff learn how to calm hostile and violent students in the classroom and around campus.

This one-day training addresses what to do with students who present in a hostile and/or violent manner on campus.

The training will review:

  • How to recognize an emergency
  • Importance of activating back up and law enforcement
  • How to stay calm, cool and collected in the face of a crisis
  • Focus on the immediate risk and address secondary issues at a later point
  • Body language and posture
  • The use of motivation and persuasion
  • How to balance the “carrot and stick”
  • Preventative steps to create a safe office (escape routes, code words and alert buttons)
  • Documentation and future action

This training will focus on the needs of staff and faculty who encountered individuals who have lost control and are at the point of violence.  The workshop is useful for front office staff, administrators, instructors and professors, conduct officers, residential life staff, admissions and registration, financial aid and campus safety.

The day will include the use of role-play, video scenarios and interactive discussions.

Questions about booking this training for your staff can be sent to Ryan McDavis, Vice President for Client Relations, at 610-993-0229, ext. 1009.

Note: Dangerousness and violence, from a student, faculty or staff member is difficult, if not impossible to accurately predict. This training topic offers research based techniques and theories to provide a foundational understanding and improved awareness of the potential risk. The training should not be seen as a guarantee or offer any assurance that violence will be prevented. 

Training Overview

Morning Part 1: Introduction

 Identifying an Emergency
Types of Emergencies

Morning Part 2: Identifying the Crisis

What to look for
The biology of a Crisis

Afternoon Part 1: Intervention

Motivation, Persuasion and Achieving Compliance
Know Thyself
Responding to a crisis
Referral, Connection and Documentation

Afternoon Part 2: Addressing the Most Difficult Students

Practical Examples and Role-Play
Video scenarios
Case studies

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VAWA Section 304 Day-Long Workshop (Campus SaVE Act)

Using the ATIXA Training Checklist as a guide, The NCHERM Group Consultant will work with the institution to ensure that all training mandated by law is addressed in this planning session workshop.

Topic: Implementing a Strategic Education, Training, Prevention Awareness and Risk Reduction Curriculum.

  • Dialogue-based assessment of existing program and strategy (1-2 hours)
  • Determination of whether an effective strategy, programmatic elements, delivery mechanisms, oversight, accountability and quality-control are in place (1 hour)
  • Identification of programmatic gaps/weaknesses (1 hour)
  • Development/refinement of strategy (if needed) (.5 hours to 2 hours)
  • Programmatic elements (by audience of employees, new employees, students, new students, faculty, resolution administrators, etc.)(balance of the day):
    • Primary prevention, awareness, risk reduction, training
      •  Means
      • Dosage
      • Content
      • Effectiveness
      • Accountability
      • Audience
      • Integration into comprehensive strategy

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Executive-Level Briefing on Title IX Compliance and the Hot-Button Issues Needing Attention

This workshop can be provided to senior-level administrators, the President’s cabinet, and/or Boards (Trustees, Visitors, Curators, etc.), depending on your needs.  We can also provide this content for all three groups, if desired.  We are constantly updating this content as new regulations and cases unfold, so that the most senior-level campus decision-makers are fully briefed on what needs to be done, where their attention should be focused, and the real-world costs of neglecting hot button Title IX compliance issues.  We will customize this training to your audience, your needs and your priorities.  Many boards and cabinets have benefitted from this briefing already this year, in person and by Skype, all over the country.

Civil Rights Investigation Clinical Skills Training (One or Two Days)

Day One 

Fully process and resolve a sexual harassment complaint (faculty-on-student).  This training will have participants model the entire process of resolution in a clinical setting with feedback from the presenters and audience. The allegation will be processed through intake, and then to the Title IX Coordinator.  Then, a small “i” preliminary inquiry will be conducted. From there, the allegation will be referred to an investigation team (or multiple teams, depending on the training group size.  The team(s) will conduct interviews, gather evidence, assess and analyze and recommend a finding.  The training is based on a fully scripted case study where multiple individuals will play roles as intake personnel, the Title IX Coordinator, investigators, witnesses, parties and advisors.  The allegation will be processed from start to finish, with expert guidance and feedback from the presenter(s) along the way, and an opportunity for the group(s) to debrief their findings and process together at the end of the day.  

Day Two

Report writing clinic. Day two can stand alone or be combined with day one to write the report based on the case study from day one. This training will start with discussion of the anatomy of an investigation report. The training will then address each section to include within a report, writing style, credibility assessment, analysis, and finding. Working from the sexual harassment case study script, participants will then write report sections and share for group editing with input from other participants and gentle critical feedback from the expert facilitator(s). Examples of report sections written by the facilitator(s) will be shared and discussed as well. Participants will receive sample template reports for a variety of Title IX covered behaviors as part of the materials for this training.

For more information, please contact Kate Halligan at 610-579-3725 or kate@ncherm.org.

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Civil Rights Investigation Clinical Skills Training (One or Two Days)

Day One 

Fully process and resolve a sexual harassment complaint (faculty-on-student).  This training will have participants model the entire process of resolution in a clinical setting with feedback from the presenters and audience. The allegation will be processed through intake, and then to the Title IX Coordinator.  Then, a small “i” preliminary inquiry will be conducted. From there, the allegation will be referred to an investigation team (or multiple teams, depending on the training group size.  The team(s) will conduct interviews, gather evidence, assess and analyze and recommend a finding.  The training is based on a fully scripted case study where multiple individuals will play roles as intake personnel, the Title IX Coordinator, investigators, witnesses, parties and advisors.  The allegation will be processed from start to finish, with expert guidance and feedback from the presenter(s) along the way, and an opportunity for the group(s) to debrief their findings and process together at the end of the day.  

Day Two

Report writing clinic. Day two can stand alone or be combined with day one to write the report based on the case study from day one. This training will start with discussion of the anatomy of an investigation report. The training will then address each section to include within a report, writing style, credibility assessment, analysis, and finding. Working from the sexual harassment case study script, participants will then write report sections and share for group editing with input from other participants and gentle critical feedback from the expert facilitator(s). Examples of report sections written by the facilitator(s) will be shared and discussed as well. Participants will receive sample template reports for a variety of Title IX covered behaviors as part of the materials for this training.

For more information, please contact Kate Halligan at 610-579-3725 or kate@ncherm.org.

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 Title IX Tune-Up (One day)

Have a consultant from The NCHERM Group visit your campus for a day for our Title IX Tune-Up. Consider the value of a day-long concerted focus on Title IX for your campus, from the Title IX experts!

There is so much Title IX information floating about, that it can often be difficult to focus in on the priorities. Often, a consultant can be just the catalyst you need to move initiatives forward or to help problem-solve challenges facing your campus.

Over the course of a day-long visit, one of The NCHERM Group’s twenty-two (22) Title IX experts can catalyze change, offer training, increase stakeholder buy-in, help you to improve compliance, or go beyond compliance. While every Title IX Tune-Up visit is customized for your campus needs, a basic example of a one-day visit schedule might be:

8:30am – 10:00am — Update on the Title IX Legal Landscape: Lawsuits, Litigation and Legislation

10:00am — 11:00am — Training for Mandated Reporters

11:00am — Noon — Title IX and Athletics: Briefing and Update

Noon to 1:15pm — Cabinet-Level Title IX Briefing and Working Lunch: Top Issues to Keep Your Eyes On

1:30pm to 3:00pm — Policy workshop (review of sexual misconduct policies, VAWA, Clery Act ASR, etc.)

3:00pm to 4:30pm — Strategic prevention task force meeting: VAWA, Bystander Intervention, and Beyond

Any of these sessions can be combined and/or changed in length or content as needed. Additionally, you might substitute any of the following topics to get the customized visit most beneficial for your campus:

  • Appeals Officer Training
  • Investigation Report Review Clinic
  • Title IX Investigator Training Brush-up
  • Hearing Panel Training
  • Title IX Recordkeeping
  • Advocates and Confidential Employees training
  • Intake and First Response
  • Title IX Training for Ras/Housing/Residential Life
  • Designing a Program for Campers and External Programs
  • Prevention Program Assessment
  • Establishing MOUs with Law Enforcement, Outside Agencies, etc.
  • Climate Survey Design, Implementation and Assessment
  • Communication Protocols for Title IX Cases
  • Forming and Managing a Title IX Team
  • Title IX Deputy Coordinator Training
  • Designing Your VAWA Brochure
  • Case-specific Review and Debrief
  • Protocols for Pregnant and Parenting Students
  • Best Practices for Title IX and LGBTQiA Rights
  • Title IX Caseload and Workflow Management
  • Title IX Staffing/Resources Assessment
  • Title IX and Faculty Rights
  • Title IX and BIT Intersections
  • Preparing for Legislation on the Horizon
  • Title IX and the 1st Amendment
  • And many more…

Give us a call, we’ll answer your questions, and get you scheduled for your Title IX Tune-Up today. For more information, please contact Kate Halligan at 610-579-3725 or kate@ncherm.org.

To learn more, click here.

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 Hazing Investigator Training (One-day)

Over the past four+ years, colleges and universities have been building capacity for civil rights investigations, especially those impacting on Title IX. For many campuses, the capacity to investigate hazing and other acts of group misconduct has not been developed to the same level, and now is your opportunity raise the level of group investigation prowess for your campus. This training will empower your investigators with the critical skills necessary to investigate hazing and other group misconduct by learning techniques for dealing with group loyalty issues, finding weak links, utilizing group interviews, preventing groups from closing ranks and circling the wagons, cooperating with national headquarters, local alumni representatives and house corporations. Trainees will learn effective questioning techniques, how to assess evidence, and ways to utilize technology to assist in information retrieval, especially when evidence may be posted to transient social media apps and accounts.

AGENDA

8:30 a.m.

  • Psychology of Hazing
  • Understanding Hazing Rationale
  • The Hazing Cycle
  • Understanding the Myths Surrounding Hazing
  • Understanding Groupthink, Conformity, and Voluntary Participation

10:30 a.m.

  • Break

10:45 a.m.

  • Pre-Investigation Basics
  • Process/Protocol – Model Hazing Policy
  • Communicating with Stakeholders
  • Investigation Timeline
  • Investigation Logistics

12:00 p.m.

  • Lunch Break

1:30 p.m.

  • The Investigation
  • Questioning Strategies
  • Cutting through the Clutter
  • Questioning Organization Leaders/Officers

3:30 p.m.

  • Break

3:45 p.m.

  • Post Investigation Basics
  • The Report
  • Working with Stakeholders
  • Sanctioning/Sanctioning Case Studies

5:00 p.m.

  • Wrap Up

Contact Ryan McDavis, Vice President for Client and Member Relations, at 610-993-0229, ext. 1009.

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 BIT Tune-Up

Perhaps you’ve had your BIT up and running for a year or more now and feel it may be time for a tune-up of its operations. Or maybe you’ve attended either our Foundations or Best Practices Course, but are looking for something more specifically tailored to your team’s needs. Looking for a refresher on how to use the NaBITA Tool? Wondering just how well you handled a high-risk case? Looking to expand your services to include mandated counseling or deepen your experience using the SIVRA-35 tool? Consider a day with Dr. Brian Van Brunt. He can offer your team an in-depth, customized training to address its specific needs. Dr. Van Brunt will review your policy and procedure manual, advertising, and risk rubric to ensure everything meets NaBITA’s standards.

Contact Ryan McDavis, Vice President for Client and Member Relations, at 610-993-0229, ext. 1009.

BIT Topical Trainings

1. Discussion of issues related to your team’s name, membership, advertising, and the development of an effective mission statement. You’ll have the opportunity to see sample advertising strategies and catchy logos, and hear about innovative approaches to inform the community about your team.

2. Conversation on the challenges of educating faculty members about disruptive and dangerous behavior in the classroom. Best practices to help them to better handle at-risk behaviors that fall more under classroom management than referrals to the police or BIT will be shared.

3. Strategies to identify, intervene, and manage suicidal students. From the initial contact to assessment for hospitalization, you’ll learn how the best teams manage suicidal students on campus. You’ll also learn about the legal limitations on removing suicidal students from campus, and how teams should handle the delicate task of parental notification.

4. Ways to identify, intervene, and manage students with more serious mental health concerns, such as bipolar disorder, autism-spectrum disorder (e.g., Asperger syndrome), and schizophrenia. What should team members know about these mental health conditions and how can they work more effectively with these students as they come in contact with the BIT? Learn how to address issues related to such students without running afoul of disability law.

5. Development of an outreach strategy to promote bystander intervention as a way of addressing sexual assault, dating violence, bullying, cyber-bullying, and hazing.

6. Use of the “Window Into BIT” video training tool to see how best practices in conducting BIT meetings, reviewing cases, using the NaBITA tool, and developing interventions should play out in real life.*

7. How to write notes for case managers, counselors, psychologists, and BIT members. Learn what well written notes look like, and avoid some of the most common pitfalls to ensure your notes are as useful as possible while at the same time limit legal risk for your institution.

8. Refresher on how to apply the NaBITA threat assessment rubric consistently to all cases that come across the team’s desk. Several case studies designed to demonstrate how to best apply the tool to issues of disruptive behavior and mental health crises will be discussed. A group review of any school-specific cases the team would like to tackle can also be completed.

9. Training on the use and application of the SIVRA-35 tool. Using group discussion and new video demonstrations featuring a stalking case and faculty member who is aggressive with students, your understanding of the SIVRA-35 will be deepened.

10. Discussion on how to empower members of your campus community to identify and help at-risk students before they reach the crisis stage.

11. Primer on Title IX as it relates to your BIT. Learn the Title IX essentials your team members must know when dealing with cases that intersect with this law. Discussions on whether your team should have representation from the Title IX office, and how much is too much to share will help you ensure Title IX compliance.

12. Discussion of counseling confidentiality and scope of practice as it relates to the BIT. Can counselors and psychologists share information with the BIT? If so, when can they share and when must they not? What are other schools doing in terms of mandated counseling, and how the counseling center defines its scope of practice? What if the counselors we use aren’t licensed or don’t offer mental health treatment? How do such factors impact confidentiality?

Contact Ryan McDavis, Vice President for Client and Member Relations, at 610-993-0229, ext. 1009.

Addressing Interview/Assessment Bias, Microaggressions, and Building Cultural Competence on Campus

In the wake of the recent election, colleges and universities have seen an increase in bias-related incidents and race-, gender-, and sexual orientation-based incidents on campus, in the classroom, in the residence halls, and around the campus community. This training provide an awareness of how issues of microaggressions, bias, and cultural competence impact the campus, along with some practical techniques to respond, de-escalate, and come together as a community.

These training topics are useful for the following groups:

  • Faculty and academic departments
  • Students
  • Student leaders and athletic team captains
  • Campus Behavioral Intervention Team members
  • Threat Assessment Team members
  • Front office staff in Health Center, Counseling Center, and Academic Affairs
  • Registrar and Financial Aid staff
  • Counseling and Health Center staff
  • Student Affairs staff
  • Student Activities and Greek Life representatives
  • Title IX Investigators and Student Conduct staff
  • Law Enforcement and Campus Security officers

Contact Megan Birster, Director of Marketing Outreach and Business Development, at 610-993-0229, ext. 1015.

The Development and Maintenance of Professional Boundaries

This workshop is accessible to and appropriate for numerous audiences on campus. The session will review the importance of developing and maintaining professional boundaries in higher education. Good boundaries require forethought and planning to create relationships that are effective and productive. Poor boundaries contribute to complaints of sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior, power conflicts, and legal concerns. This workshop can be useful for a large group, separate departments, or tailored to individuals in either a preventative or disciplinary manner.

For more information, please contact Kate Halligan at 610-579-3725 or kate@ncherm.org.

Therapy & Service Animals

Most people are familiar with the concept of service animals. But as more college students with disabilities request to have animals on campus as accommodations, it’s imperative that administrators have a deep understanding of laws governing not just service animals, but also of other animals frequently used to mitigate the effects of disabilities, including comfort, emotional support, and therapy animals.

There are three federal laws related to students’ requests to animals on campus: 1) the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990); 2) the Fair Housing Act (1968); and 3) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973). In this training, we provide an overview of each one and their regulations related to animals as disability accommodations, particularly as they relate to requests to have animals on campus. This session also covers the role of sound institutional policies and procedures in protecting your campus from lawsuits, and some key considerations for evaluating these types of requests.

For more information, please contact Kate Halligan at 610-579-3725 or kate@ncherm.org.

Doing Due Process Right: An Audit of Due Process Protections

The NCHERM Group has been watching as plaintiff’s attorneys have been picking off college after college like flies in the federal courts. With 77 losses since 2013, public and private colleges have become easy targets for lawyers’ claims of due process violations, or Title IX due process violations. The deference the courts used to show college disciplinary decisions just isn’t there anymore, we’ve lost the goodwill of many judges, and now it’s time to bolster our defenses. Isn’t it time to turn the tide of litigation? You’re tired of feeling like a sitting duck for every lawsuit, right?

So, let The NCHERM Group audit your processes under a microscope, before some lawyer in discovery in a lawsuit does it for you. We’ll identify areas of sufficiency and insufficiency, and provide you with a comprehensive report that offers a roadmap to tightening your due process defense posture, and helping to assure that your college is much less susceptible to successful due process claims, either arising from the conduct process or the Title IX resolution process. Our audit can look at student, faculty, and/or staff policies and procedures, depending on how deep you wish us to look.

We’re experts on procedural protections that you might never have even considered, such as the due process implications of investigation interviews, sharing investigation reports, interacting with legal counsel as advisors, conflict-of-interest in decision-making, making your recusal process viable in the event of bias, cleaning up the vulnerabilities presented by appeals, and assuring your recordkeeping will hold up in court.

Here is a sample agenda of what a confidential audit by The NCHERM Group’s attorneys can offer you:            

Two-day site visit (all policies, procedures, and related correspondence documents to be reviewed off-site prior to site visit):

DAY ONE

  • Fact-gathering and focus groups with stakeholder constituencies to help assess the current campus climate and thinking on procedural protections offered in the conduct and/or Title IX resolution processes
  • Assessment of sufficiency of Clery/VAWA procedural protections
  • Review of hearing officer training materials.Review of investigation procedures/grievance process/tenure/unions, etc.

DAY TWO

  • Review of any outcomes assessment of the conduct and/or Title IX processes that have been conducted by client
  • Meeting with investigators
    Meeting with student conduct decision-makers
  • Meeting with Title IX decision-makers
  • Meeting with employee discipline decision-makers (optional)
  • Meeting with appeals officer
  • Selected case file review
  • Review with client of pertinent lawsuits, OCR investigations, and planning process around revision of procedural protections

OPTIONAL DAY THREE (can be done off-site, telephonically)

  • Consultant attendance/observation at a hearing/deliberation

DELIVERABLE:  A verbal and/or written report of sufficiencies and deficiencies, with recommendations for changes to practices, protocols, procedures, case documentation, and policies, using a 40-point assessment tool developed by The NCHERM Group’s field-leading experts.

For more information, please contact Kate Halligan at 610-579-3725 or kate@ncherm.org.

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