Minors on Campus
Minors visit campuses and institutes of The University of Tennessee System for a variety of reasons and are involved in a variety of programs and activities sponsored by the University or by third parties using University facilities or resources. The objective of this policy is to promote a safe environment for minors by fostering a University culture that is committed to preventing, recognizing, reporting, and addressing child abuse and child sexual abuse.
The Office of Safety and Risk Management works closely with the Office of Human Resources and General Counsel to ensure the UTC campus complies with all of the requirements of the SA0575 – Programs for Minors policy.
Covered Adult is a person who is at least 18 years of age or older; who is a University employee (whether regular, term, or student, and whether full-time or part-time) or a person in a contractual or volunteer position with the University; and whom the Program Director reasonably anticipates will have direct contact with a minor in a Covered Program, by reason of the person’s employment, contractual, or volunteer status with the University. The term “Covered Adult” does not include a University employee or a person in a contractual or volunteer position who participates in his/her personal capacity in a Covered Program that is not sponsored by a University unit.
Covered Program is a program or activity in which minors participate that is sponsored by a University Unit; or a program or activity in which minors participate that is sponsored by an entity other than a University Unit and involves use of University owned or controlled real property. For examples and exclusions see UT System policy.
Designated Official is designated by the Chancellor to have responsibility for implementation of this policy at the campus/institute level, for centralizing the review, approval, and monitoring of Covered Programs, and for monitoring the compliance of Covered Programs with the campus/institute policy required by Section 6 of this policy. The designated official on UTC campus is the Office of Safety and Risk Management.
Direct Contact means instruction, care, supervision, guidance, or control of a minor, and/or routine interaction with a minor.
Minor/Child means a person who is under eighteen (18) years of age or who is reasonably presumed to be under eighteen (18) years of age.
Program Director With respect to a Covered Program sponsored by a University Unit, the term “Program Director” means the person primarily responsible for the management and oversight of a Covered Program, including identifying all Covered Adults and ensuring the Covered Program’s compliance with this policy. With respect to a Covered Program not sponsored by a University Unit, the Program Director is the University employee who serves as the primary University contact with the third party who is sponsoring the Covered Program.
University Unit means a department, division, school, college, administrative unit, or other official organization of a campus or institute of The University of Tennessee. University extension offices and research centers are considered University Units for purposes of this policy. Student organizations are not University Units for purposes of this policy.
At least thirty (30) days prior to the start of a Covered Program, the Program Director shall complete the Programs for Minors Registration Packet and submit it to the Designated Official (Safety and Risk Management). The Programs for Minors Registration Form must be completed and signed by the Program Director and signed by the Department Head/Dean or Vice-Chancellor responsible for the unit that will operate the Covered Program. The Designated Official will ensure the necessary paperwork has been completed and approve/deny Covered Programs. Please visit this site to access the Registration Packet and Forms.
Upon receipt of the Programs for Minors Registration Packet, the Designated Official will begin the process of coordinating background checks with Human Resources for each Covered Adult. The Office of Safety and Risk Management and Human Resources will maintain a database of those individuals who have had a background check completed as required every 4 years. Please visit this site to access the Registration Packet and necessary forms.
Before allowing a Covered Adult to participate in a Covered Program, a Program Director shall ensure that, within the last two (2) years, the Covered Adult has received the online training developed by the system Office of Human Resources on how to prevent, recognize, report, and address child abuse, except as otherwise provided in SA0575.
Link to Online UT System Training
For large groups, training can be conducted via classroom with the Designated Official and Program Director.
Tennessee Mandatory Reporting Law
A Program Director shall require every Covered Adult to affirm in writing, using FORM C, that he/she has read, understands, and agrees to comply with Tennessee Law on the Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Child Sexual Abuse. The Office of Safety and Risk Management will retain these forms for two (2) years from the date of the end of the Covered Program.
Programs that include Strenuous Activity
A Covered Program that involves strenuous physical activity shall require a parent/legal guardian of a minor to provide the Covered Program with the following forms executed by the minor’s parent/legal guardian:
- Medical Information and Medical Treatment Release and Authorization Form (FORM B)
- Authorization for Self-Administration of Prescription Medication (FORM B1)
- Authorization for Dispensation of Over-the-Counter Medication (FORM B2)
- Release, Hold Harmless, and Indemnification Agreement (FORM D)
The Program Director will keep these forms in their possession. They do not need to be submitted to the Designated Official for review.
Written Agreements for Third Party Organizations
If the sponsor of a Covered Program is not a University Unit, the Program Director shall require the sponsor of the Covered Program to sign an agreement to indemnify and hold harmless The University of Tennessee for the acts or omissions of program participants or the sponsor’s employees or agents. A copy of the completed agreement shall be forwarded to the campus/institute Chief Business Officer and the Designated Official. This requirement does not apply to a governmental entity prohibited by law from entering into an indemnification agreement.
For Covered Programs not sponsored by a University Unit, the sponsoring entity is responsible for deciding whether to conduct, and conducting, criminal background checks on persons who are not University employees, contractors, or volunteers.
Sanctions for Failing to Comply
A Covered Program in violation of this policy may be denied permission to continue operation in connection with The University of Tennessee. Any violations of this policy by an individual will be handled in accordance with other applicable University policies and procedures, which for University employees may include disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. In addition, a person who fails to comply with Tennessee laws on mandatory reporting of child abuse and child sexual abuse can face criminal prosecution.
Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the Designated Official, following consultation with Human Resources and the Office of the General Counsel. Please visit the Registration Packet and Forms page to access the necessary exception forms.