It saddens me deeply that I cannot speak of the Catholic tradition without also mentioning the report from the Pennsylvania grand jury on clergy sexual abuse and the finding regarding Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. As I said in my statement at the start of our opening Mass, the stories are appalling. Our gaze, however, must be not on these evil acts but on the work of attending to victims, protecting the vulnerable, and healing the Church. These will be the tasks of coming months and years, and the University of Notre Dame will look for ways to assist.
"We together must commit to ensuring that the University of Notre Dame is a place where reports of any ethical or professional misbehavior are taken seriously, reported promptly, investigated professionally, and addressed appropriately."
Unfortunately, it is not only the Catholic Church but respected universities that have had to deal with problematic behavior extending over a long period of time that was not appropriately addressed. Michigan State, USC, Ohio State, the University of Maryland, and other institutions as well have struggled with the consequences of misconduct that went on unchecked and unaddressed for too long.
We together must commit to ensuring that the University of Notre Dame is a place where reports of any ethical or professional misbehavior are taken seriously, reported promptly, investigated professionally, and addressed appropriately. Indeed, the University’s Ethical Conduct Policy requires that every employee of the University—each one of us—report any misconduct that she or he believes has occurred.
There are numerous avenues for making a report:
- The number for the Integrity Line (1-800-688-9918) and more information can be found on the Human Resources website, hr.nd.edu. It is not necessary to leave one’s name, just a description of the behavior or situation in question.
- Mark Kocovski, interim director of Institutional Equity and director of Human Resources Consulting, can be approached on any matter involving discrimination or harassment, including matters involving race or disability. As the University’s Interim Title IX coordinator, he also receives reports involving discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex.
- The University’s Office of Audit and Advisory Services, headed by Roger Mahoney, our chief audit executive, can be contacted with reports of financial malfeasance.
- Any suspected crime, including crimes against minors, can be reported to Notre Dame Security Police at 631-5555 from a cell phone or 911 from a University landline.
- And every University vice president and dean is also equipped to receive reports of misconduct.
Anyone who tries to retaliate against another person for making a report will be subject to disciplinary action under the University’s Non-Retaliation Policy.
You only need look at the tragic aftermath for individuals and the institutions mentioned above to see why this is important at Notre Dame to report and address misconduct. Yet the most important reason you should report is because it is the right thing to do, and that is what we at Notre Dame should always aspire to. I ask you to join me in continuing to foster a culture at Notre Dame where doing the right thing—the ethical thing—informs all we do.