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OHSU completes noose investigation

Responsible party(ies) not identified

The noose is a symbol of hate, bigotry and racial violence against African Americans, and OHSU strongly condemns it and all other forms of harassment. We deeply regret that this incident has harmed people and are firm in our resolve to provide a safe, respectful environment free of harassment, discrimination, intimidation and retaliation.

Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, OHSU President 
Greg Moawad, J.D., M.B.A., OHSU Interim Vice President of Human Resources, Affirmative Action Equal Opportunity and Title IX Compliance


OHSU Public Safety and Affirmative Action Equal Opportunity investigators announced Monday that their investigation of the noose found on campus last month is closing and encouraged anyone with additional or new information to come forward. At this time, there is insufficient evidence to identify a responsible person or potential suspect. 

Following is a summary of the investigation:

  • Interviews -- 29 witnesses were interviewed, including:
    • The contractor who reported the noose 
    • 25 employees who regularly work in the area where the noose was found, including African American employees, who were asked about previous harassment or discrimination from co-workers and management as a potential investigatory lead; they reported they had not experienced harassment or discrimination in their work environment.
    • Three people identified via video or badge reader records who had been in the area within 24 hours of the noose being found. 
  • Video surveillance – There was no video evidence of access to the area outside of working hours.
  • Badge readers -- Data from five badge readers on the floor where the noose was found showed no evidence of access to the area outside of working hours.

OHSU has in place a number of reporting procedures and support programs for anyone who hears, sees or experiences prohibited discrimination, harassment, retaliation or intimidation on its campuses:

  • Confidential Advocacy Program: 24-hour confidential and holistic support for people affected by discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic or dating violence, and stalking.
  • Spark Employee Assistance Program: 24-hour confidential service and counseling on a variety of topics.
  • Resident and Faculty Wellness Program: Counseling and coaching support for faculty, residents and fellows.
  • Student Health and Wellness: Confidential primary care, behavioral health, integrated medicine and wellness services for students and postdoctoral scholars.
  • Respect for All guidebook and Respect for All flowchartResources, reporting options and support for employees and students.

OHSU recognizes there is much work to be done to sustain an environment in which there is respect for all. In response to this incident, AAEO has recommended cultural awareness and/or unconscious bias training for the departments directly adjacent to the area where the noose was located. AAEO also is developing an action plan, slated for implementation next year, to improve the workplace environment institution-wide. Finally, an incident such as this always prompts OHSU to re-evaluate security features to see whether any additions or alterations should be made to improve safety; that evaluation is underway.


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