It is the policy of the university to maintain an academic and work environment free of sexual harassment for students, faculty, and staff. Sexual harassment is contrary to the standards of the university community. It diminishes individual dignity and impedes equal employment and educational opportunities and equal access to freedom of academic inquiry. Sexual harassment is a barrier to fulfilling the university's scholarly, research, educational and service missions and will not be tolerated.
A claim under the policy may be brought by the university or by a faculty, staff or student member of the university community based on the conduct of any university employee. Complaints based on conduct by students who are not also employees of the university are addressed to the Student Code of Conduct, which is administered by the Office of Student Conflict Resolution.
Sexual harassment can be a very serious matter, having far-reaching effects on the lives and careers of individuals. Intentionally false accusations can have a similar impact. The charge of sexual harassment is not to be taken lightly by a charging party, an accused party, or any member of the university community. A person who knowingly and intentionally files a false complaint under this policy is subject to university discipline.
Romantic and sexual relationships between supervisor and employee or between faculty or other staff and a student are not expressly prohibited by university policy. However, even when both parties have consented to the development of such relationships, they can raise serious concerns about the validity of the consent, conflicts of interest and unfair treatment of others. Similar concerns can be raised by consensual relationships between senior and junior faculty members.
The university encourages persons who believe that they have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment to seek assistance. Procedural Guidelines for handling harassment complaints may be found on the UHR Procedures webpage. Individuals also have the right to pursue a legal remedy for sexual harassment in addition to or instead of proceeding under this policy (SPG 201.89-0). For information, visit the university's Sexual Misconduct Reporting and Resources website.