Minors on Campus Participating in University Programs


September 10, 2015

To: UT Students, Faculty, and Staff
From: Programs for Minors Office
Subject: Minors on Campus Participating in University Programs

On January 1, 2014, University of Tennessee Safety Policy 0575 (Programs for Minors) went into effect. A copy of the policy can be found at http://policy.tennessee.edu/safety_policy/sa0575.

The purpose of the policy is to enhance the safe environment for minors participating in campus activities. All departments that engage in programs or activities involving minors (a person younger than eighteen) must review and comply with the policy. The policy includes guidelines for campus units to determine if a program or activity qualifies as a Covered Program and whether their staff or volunteers should be designated Covered Adults.

The policy includes the following requirements:

* Completion of a registration form for campus programs involving minors
* Mandatory reporting of child abuse and child sexual abuse as required by state law
* Criminal background checks for Covered Adults
* Training for Covered Adults

To help program directors and departments comply with the policy, a website has been established at http://www.utk.edu/policycentral/minors. This website contains the policy, campus procedures, training module, online program registration form, indemnification form, and answers to frequently asked questions. All program registration forms should be submitted a minimum of 30 days prior to the event start date. Programs that fail to submit registration forms and complete all policy requirements will not be approved and their respective Dean or Vice Chancellor will be notified.

In addition, questions have arisen concerning the policy’s application to research involving minors. The Office of the General Counsel has clarified that the term “Covered Program” includes all university-sponsored teaching, research, and service activities in which minors participate, unless a specific exception in Safety Policy 0575 applies. Such activities include, but are not limited to:

* Survey, questionnaire, and interview research activities with minors
* Observational studies (e.g., cross-sectional, case-control, and cohort studies) of minors in their natural setting, in their school setting, or on campus
* Clinical trials or treatment studies involving minors
* Studies involving minors that require review and approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB)
* Outreach, mentoring, and training activities involving minors

If you have questions concerning the policy or registration process, call Brian Browning at 865-974-3061 or e-mail safety-minors@utk.edu. Questions pertaining to the IRB process should be directed to IRB Chair Colleen Gilrane at 865-974-2474 or irbchair@utk.edu.

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