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Operations Manual The University of Iowa


(Written to conform to Regents Procedural Guide 3/74; amended 9/93; 10/95; 9/97)

(3/97; 10/11)

Note: Good-faith reports of violations of University of Iowa Operations Manual policies, including Community policies and Human Resource policies, or other Human Resource policies or Division of Student Life policies are protected from retaliatory action by this policy.

11.1 Principle and Rationale
11.2 Definitions
11.3 Scope of Policy
11.4 Students Who Retaliate
11.5 Sanctions
11.6 Procedures

The University of Iowa encourages its faculty, staff, and students to make good-faith reports of University-related misconduct. The commitment to improve the quality of the University through such reports is vital to the well-being of the entire campus community. Retaliation as a response to such a report will not be tolerated. Retaliation, whether actual or threatened, destroys a sense of community and trust that is central to a quality environment. The University, therefore, wishes to make clear that it considers acts or threats of retaliation in response to such reports to constitute a serious violation of University policy.


No members of the University community shall engage in retaliation in response to the filing of a report of University-related misconduct.

The University will make every reasonable effort to stop retaliation immediately, to conduct a complete and thorough investigation of alleged acts of retaliation in a timely manner, and to sanction the perpetrators of retaliation as appropriate. For victims of substantiated retaliation, the University will provide redress by returning the reporter to the working or academic conditions s/he would have been in absent retaliation, where appropriate and reasonable.

The act of a good-faith report of University-related misconduct shall not be used to make a decision to the reporter's or other covered individual's detriment, or to subject the reporter or other covered individual to harassment such that it creates a hostile work or educational environment.

Agreement to a University or departmental confidentiality statement does not prohibit the sharing of such information in order to report University-related misconduct under this policy except to the extent prohibited by law. For example, disclosures governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or professional licensing requirements would prohibit the sharing of information. Confidentiality statements signed as a requirement for the use of a University of Iowa electronic application available through the self-service web site would not prohibit the sharing of information. If a potential reporter is unclear about whether he or she is prohibited from making a report due to a confidentiality agreement, he or she may contact the Office of the Ombudsperson for assistance in making that determination.

To encourage and protect reporters, it is University policy that no reference to the good-faith report of University-related misconduct shall be made in personnel files, letters of recommendation, performance appraisals, or any other permanent evaluative documents without the consent of the reporter. To the extent that it is possible to do so, the identity of the reporter and complainant will remain confidential.

No faculty or staff member or student will be exempt from the consequences of misconduct or inadequate performance by reporting his or her own misconduct or inadequate performance. Reports of alleged University-related misconduct that are not made in good faith are not protected under this policy. Those who make reports not in good faith will be disciplined as appropriate through regular University procedures. Irrespective of the origin or the intent of the allegations, in the event the allegations are not substantiated, the University in consultation with the accused shall take all reasonable steps within the control of the University to restore the reputation of the accused to the extent that it was damaged by the investigation and proceedings, for example, removing all references to the allegations in the personnel records of the accused.

In order to maintain a hostility-free educational environment, University policies seek to protect students from the harassing behaviors of other community members. Students and other covered individuals who make good-faith reports are protected from retaliation by faculty or staff members, as explained above. Retaliatory behavior also is prohibited under the Code of Student Life and under other University rules affecting students. Although students are not agents of the University, an individual enrolled in a University academic course may be subject to disciplinary sanctions if he or she threatens, assaults, or harasses a student or faculty or staff member in retaliation for making a report. Sanctions also may be imposed in cases where no report has been filed but a student threatens to retaliate against one who does make a report.

Anyone who violates the anti-retaliation policy is subject to disciplinary action. Following an appropriate investigation and subject to the procedures which are part of the policies governing the relevant type of appointment at the University, the faculty, student, or staff member may be subject to sanctions, including reprimand, probation, suspension, demotion, reassignment, termination, expulsion, no-contact directive, or building prohibition directive.

Temporary sanctions invoked upon receipt of a complaint under this policy, such as a no-contact directive or building prohibition directive, may also be imposed as a permanent sanction. It is the responsibility of the administrator imposing sanctions to monitor compliance. Failure to comply with an ordered sanction may result in further disciplinary measures up to and including termination and expulsion. In addition to disciplinary action by the University, violations of the policy which fall under Iowa Code 70A.28 may also be referred to the state for civil prosecution.


(See II-27.8 Anti-Retaliation for Reporting Misconduct in Research.)


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Page last updated October 2014 by Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations