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Preventing Harassment: It's Everyone's Responsibility

The role of all employees and students is to create and maintain a supportive and harassment-free working and learning environment for all members of the campus community.

Responsibility of Supervisors and Administrators

Supervisors and administrators are responsible for all of the above, plus the following:

  • You are responsible for responding promptly and adequately to complaints of harassment. Generally, supervisors are considered agents of the University and may put the University on "official notice" when you receive a complaint of harassment. You may be capable of resolving informal concerns of harassment within your office or unit. However, you should consult with the Office for Institutional Equity & Diversity to ensure consistent interpretation of policy and confirmation of any previous relevant complaints. Likewise, the Office for Institutional Equity & Diversity will notify and consult with you when in receipt of such complaints. The Office of Legal Affairs may also be consulted for advice in resolving complaints of harassment. Consultation between the Office for Institutional Equity & Diversity and the Unit Head will determine an appropriate course of action.
  • You are responsible for maintaining impartiality. Avoid expressing opinions about the character or ability of the accused or other persons involved. Do not make proclamations about whether you believe or disbelieve the grievant or whether you believe or disbelieve that harassment has occurred.
  • You are responsible for maintaining confidentiality, to a limited extent. The University cannot, and you should not, make promises regarding complete confidentiality. The University, through you as an "agent" of the University, may be legally obligated to investigate a charge of harassment once you have received notice of the concern. This would require interviewing people to determine whether and to what extent harassment has occurred. Information from any investigation and subsequent resolution would generally be limited to persons who "need to know" or to possible witnesses to the alleged harassment, if any.

Responsibility of Deans and Unit Heads

Deans and Unit Heads are responsible for all of the above, plus the following:

  • You are responsible for adjudicating formal complaints. After an investigation has concluded, Deans and Unit Heads hold the responsibility for the following actions:

Determination of Resolution: Formulate an appropriate resolution regarding the complaint based on official findings of the investigation.

Notification of Resolution: Communicate the disposition of the complaint to the grievant and respondent.