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Our Commitments to Each Other

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018

Dear VCU and VCU Health Communities:

In recent weeks, we have watched in the national news with anguish and outrage as brave survivors have recounted in court heinous acts of sexual assault by a doctor entrusted to heal them, who instead used his position to inflict irreparable harm.

As we look to our own VCU community, let me be crystal clear about our commitments. We will listen to and support people impacted by sexual abuse, assault, harassment, and other forms of discrimination. We will address any concern brought forward with respect and dignity.

We will never tolerate any such acts by a member of our community, in accordance with our Sexual Misconduct/Violence and Sex/Gender Discrimination and other applicable policies. We will take all appropriate steps to report sexual violence to law enforcement.

While managers, supervisors, and Human Resources employees have specific reporting responsibilities set forth in the policy, most university employees are obliged to report possible incidents of sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and partner or relationship violence (including stalking). These reports should be made to the university’s Title IX coordinator, Laura Walsh Rugless, through any of the following channels:


Reports must be made even when the accused is unknown or unaffiliated with VCU, and regardless of whether an incident may have occurred on or off campus, including in an off-campus residence or at an internship or clinical or field placement.

If you are uncertain whether to report, make the report.   Additional reporting and support resources include:

  • For sexual assault, abuse, and other potential crimes, contact VCU Police at 804-828-1234. For off-campus emergencies, contact 9-1-1. For more information about VCUPD, including the You Have Options Program, visit
  • For students who wish to speak with a confidential university advocate, contact
  • The VCU Helpline provides an anonymous reporting option and ensures that information is addressed by the appropriate university official.
  • More information about university and community resources is available here.
  • More information about VCU’s commitment to Title IX can be found here.


For Health System employees, reporting and support resources include:

How we treat one another defines who we are. That is why we have significantly strengthened our Title IX infrastructure and policy, including requiring Not Anymore Title training for all students and employees. We will soon launch #NotAnymore@VCU, a series of workshops, outreach events, and communications to increase awareness and provide tools to prevent and address unacceptable behaviors. It is also why we remain committed to a culture where all people are welcomed and valued, and invested in one another’s safety, well-being, and success.

It is why we commit to continually improve society’s understanding and capacity for civility and compassion. An engaged community is the best prevention, and we must continue to work together to ensure that VCU is a great place for all people.

Michael Rao, Ph.D.