Executive Order 54 (EO 54)

The University of Wisconsin System Administration and the University of Wisconsin La Crosse prioritize safety and strive to provide a safe learning environment for everyone. Children come into contact with UW System Administration through various programs and events. Executive Order #54, signed by the Governor on December 19, 2011, requires that all University of Wisconsin System employees report incidents of child abuse and neglect.

Who must report? expanding section

Executive Order #54 requires that UW System Administration employees make a report of child abuse or neglect immediately if, in the course of employment, a UW System Administration employee:

  • observes an incident or threat of child abuse or neglect, or 
  • learns of an incident or threat of child abuse or neglect, and the employee has reasonable cause to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred or will occur.
What is abuse and neglect? expanding section

"Abuse” of a child includes any of the following:

  1. Physical injury inflicted on a child by other than accidental means. “Physical injury” includes but is not limited to lacerations, fractured bones, burns, internal injuries, severe or frequent bruising, or great bodily harm.
  2. Sexual intercourse or sexual contact with a child under the age of 16 or with a 16 or 17-year-old child without his or her consent.
  3. Sexual exploitation of a child. Sexual exploitation of a child occurs when a person employs, uses, persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any child to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of recording or displaying the conduct or records or displays a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Sexual exploitation of a child also occurs when a person produces, performs in, profits from, promotes, or imports into the state, reproduces, advertises, sells, distributes, or possesses with intent to sell or distribute, any recording of a child engaging in sexually explicit content.
  4. Permitting, allowing, or encouraging a child to violate the statute prohibiting prostitution.
  5. Causing a child to view or listen to sexual activity for purposes of sexual arousal or sexual gratification.
  6. Exposing genitals or pubic area to a child or exposing a child’s genitals or pubic area for purposes of sexual arousal or sexual gratification.
  7. Manufacturing methamphetamine with a child present, or in a child’s home (including the premises of a child’s home or in a motor vehicle located on the premises of a child’s home), or under any other circumstances in which a reasonable person should have known that the manufacture would be seen, smelled, or heard by a child.
  8. Emotional damage for which the child’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian has neglected, refused, or been unable for reasons other than poverty to obtain the necessary treatment or to take steps to ameliorate the symptoms. “Emotional damage” is defined as harm to a child’s psychological or intellectual functioning and is evidenced by one or more of the following characteristics exhibited to a severe degree: anxiety, depression, withdrawal; outward aggressive behavior; or a substantial and observable change in behavior, emotional response or cognition that is not within the normal range for the child’s age and stage of development.

“Neglect” is failure, refusal, or inability on the part of a caregiver, for reasons other than poverty, to provide necessary care, food, clothing, medical or dental care, or shelter so as to seriously endanger the physical health of the child.

When do I report information? expanding section

Information UWL employees learn regarding abuse or neglect must be reported immediately.  Do not delay making a report in order to gather evidence; the agency to whom you make the report will determine whether such an investigation is warranted.

It is acceptable to quickly collect additional information that is readily available (such as talking to coworkers who also interact with that child) or to verify that the information learned meets criteria for reporting, but this must be done very promptly.

It is better to report without all relevant information than to delay a report to collect information.

How do I report information? expanding section

UWL employees are encouraged to report information here by completing this form (EO 54 Reporting Form) or by calling UWL Police.

What if I might be wrong? expanding section

You're protected from liability if you make a report in good faith.