Responsible Employee

At CalArts, all faculty and staff members — with some limited exceptions of counselors, Student Health Center staff and the confidential student resource advocate — are Responsible Employees under CA SB493. Responsible Employees are required to report all sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and related activity disclossed to them, they become aware of, or that they discover among faculty, staff and students. Faculty and staff are likewise required to report all misconduct related to discrimination and harassment under any protected class.

Reports should be made to the Title IX Coordinator, Dionne Simmons, who can be reached via, at (661) 291-3091 and through an online form. The information relayed in faculty and staff reports is considered private but not confidential. The Title IX Coordinator will discuss resources with the people involved. 

Each report made by faculty and staff should include all known details, how the information came to be known to the reporter and whether the reporter has reported the incident to any other office or individuals on campus. For matters involving child abuse or neglect of a minor, reports must be made immediately; the state of California maintains a 24-hour notification requirement. The same window applies to all other disclosures of prohibited conduct at CalArts.

A few other best practices for mandated reporters:

  • Before someone discloses a reportable incident, try to make the person aware of your reporting obligations. If a student chooses not to disclose any information, you can contact or walk them to the confidential student advocate for a discussion of options.

  • Remind the student it’s not their fault. Let them know resources and support are available. Tell the student about information and services available at CalArts, and explore possible next steps.

  • Respect the party’s — or the parties’ — privacy and don’t discuss the matter with anyone apart from Institute officials who need to know about it.

  • Don’t force your own opinions onto the student, or what you think they need. Don’t conduct an independent investigation, attempt to mediate or notify the accused of the allegations. 

  • Don’t attempt to explain to either party how the institutional policies on sexual misconduct work. Instead, refer them to the Title IX Coordinator.

  • Don’t take any follow-up action apart from checking in with the student about their safety and contacting the Title IX Coordinator for next steps.

Statutorily protected confidential resources are available for those who are not prepared or required to make a report but are still seeking information and support. CalArts Confidential Student Resource Advocate, Dr. Elizabeth Peisner, — at, at (661)-713-5325 or in room F201H— can discuss options.

More details about faculty and staff standards stemming from Title IX and institutional policies on sexual misconduct are available in Dionne Simmons’ presentation to new faculty members. The presentation addresses, in part, prohibited relationships by persons in authority. In short: All faculty, staff and administrators are prohibited from pursuing or engaging in amorous relationships with students for whom they have, or may have, professional responsibilities.