Note: Effective August 2013, this policy has been revised. For individual changes, see the redlined version.
The purpose of this policy is to prevent harassment within The University of Iowa community and to provide a process for addressing all forms of harassment if and when it does occur. The University of Iowa is committed to maintaining an environment that recognizes the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and that fosters tolerance, sensitivity, understanding, and mutual respect. This commitment requires that the highest value be placed on the use of reason and that any harassment in the University community be renounced as repugnant and inimical to its goals. Harassment destroys the mutual trust which binds members of the community in their pursuit of truth.
The University also is committed strongly to academic freedom and free speech. An educational institution has a duty to provide a forum in which free speech and differences of opinion are actively encouraged and facilitated, and where opinions and deeply held beliefs are challenged and debated. Critical to this mission is providing a nondiscriminatory environment that is conducive to learning. Respect for these rights requires that members of the University community tolerate expressions of opinion that differ from their own or that they may find abhorrent.
This policy addresses harassment in all forms based on any classification covered by law and/or II-3 Human Rights (with the exception of sexual harassment, which is addressed in II-4 Sexual Harassment) and IV-2 Sexual Misconduct Involving Students, as well as harassment based on other factors as set forth in this policy.
Harassment of any member of the University community is prohibited.
b. Definition of harassment as it relates to the content of speech. When an allegation of harassment rests upon the content of oral, written, or symbolic speech, it falls within this definition only if 1) the content consists of those personally abusive epithets which are inherently likely to provoke a violent reaction, 2) the content is a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals, or 3) the content is a threat to a person or group of persons with the intent of placing the victim in fear of bodily harm or death. Conduct that constitutes a protected exercise of an individual's rights under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (and related principles of academic freedom) shall not be deemed a violation of this policy. Note: Sexual harassment is addressed by the University's Policy on Sexual Harassment (II-4) and/or the University's Policy on Sexual Misconduct Involving Students (IV-2).
c. Evidence of harassment. Behavior that may constitute, or be evidence of, prohibited harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(2) physical, visual, or verbal behavior directed toward another person or an identifiable group of persons that is intended to be or is reasonably likely to be interpreted as threatening or intimidating. Behavior that constitutes speech is included within this section only to the extent to which it has a direct tendency to incite an immediate violent reaction in a reasonable person or to place a reasonable person in fear of imminent physical harm.
(3) harassment proscribed by the Iowa Criminal Code, Chapter 708, including, for example, stalking, the placement of simulated explosives, ordering merchandise or services with intent to annoy, or false reports to police.
(4) stalking as a course of conduct that is directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
e. Penalty enhancement. The University reserves the right to impose more severe sanctions on individuals whose actions in violation of this policy are motivated by race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status of the victim.
f. In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes prohibited harassment, the investigator will consider all available information and will review the totality of circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident(s) occurred. Although repeated incidents generally create a stronger claim of harassment, a single serious incident can be sufficient. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis.
g. Definitions of other terms used in this policy:
(b) Faculty members with administrative responsibilities at the level of departmental executive officer (DEO) or above,
(c) Any staff member whose primary job responsibility is to provide advice regarding a student's academic pursuits or other University-related activities,
(d) A faculty member serving as departmental (or collegiate) director or coordinator of undergraduate or graduate studies, or as a director or coordinator of any departmental, collegiate, or University off-campus academic program (including any study-abroad program),
(e) The President, Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, vice presidents (including assistant and associate vice presidents), and Provost (including assistant and associate provosts), and those persons' designees,
(f) Directors and supervisors in an employment context, including faculty and staff who supervise student employees, in relation to matters involving the employees they supervise (other than Department of Public Safety personnel when receiving criminal complaints or reports), and
(g) Human resource representatives.
(3) Complainant: the person who brings a complaint of violation of this policy, who could be an alleged victim, a third party, or an academic or administrative officer of the University.
(4) Graduate assistant: a graduate student employed by the University as a research assistant or teaching assistant.
(5) Human resources representative: the individual designated as a unit's departmental authority on human resource policies and procedures, and all central human resources staff.
(6) Instructor: a person engaged in teaching students or in evaluation or supervision, direct or indirect, of a student's academic work.
(7) Member of the University community: any University student, or faculty or staff member.
(8) Protected interests: University employment, education, on-campus living, or participation in a University activity.
(9) Respondent: a person who has been accused of harassment.
(10) Specific and credible allegations: allegations that provide factual details such as, but not limited to, time, place, actions, participants, and witnesses. Allegations do not necessarily have to be based on firsthand observation of events to be "specific and credible," but direct observation normally results in greater specificity and credibility than indirect knowledge.
(11) Supervisor: a person who has authority either: 1) to undertake or recommend tangible employment decisions (those that significantly change an employee's employment status, such as, but not limited to, hiring, firing, promoting, demoting, reviewing performance, reassigning, and compensation decisions) affecting an employee, or 2) to direct the employee's daily work activities.
(12) Third-party complainant: a person who brings a complaint alleging that someone else has been harassed.
(13) Stalking includes but is not limited to:
(b) Following, pursuing, waiting, or showing up uninvited at a workplace, place of residence, classroom, or other locations frequented by a complainant;
(c) Monitoring online activities, surveillance and other types of observation, whether by physical proximity or electronic means, attempts to gather information about the complainant;
(d) Vandalism, including attacks on data and equipment;
(e) Direct physical and/or verbal threats against a complainant or a complainant's loved ones, including animal abuse;
(f) Gathering of information about a complainant from family, friends, co-workers, and/or classmates;
(g) Manipulative and controlling behaviors such as threats to harm oneself, or threats to harm someone close to the complainant;
(h) Defamation or slander against the complainant, posting false information about the complainant and/or posing as the complainant to post to websites, newsgroups, blogs, or other sites that allow public contributions, encouraging others to harass the complainant;
(i) Posing as someone other than oneself to initiate transactions, financial credit, loans, or other contractual agreements;
(j) Arranging to meet complainant under false pretenses.
(2) at any location, including through electronic media such as e-mail or social networking websites, and involving any University faculty, staff, or students, provided that:
(b) The accused or the complainant was acting in an official capacity for the University during the incident;
(c) The accused or the complainant was conducting University business during the incident;
(d) The conduct has the purpose or reasonably foreseeable effect of substantially interfering with the work or educational performance of UI students, faculty, or staff;
(e) The conduct creates an intimidating or hostile environment for anyone who is involved in or seeks to participate in University employment, education, on-campus living, or other University-sponsored activities; or
(f) The conduct demonstrates that the individual poses a reasonable threat to campus safety and security.
(2) Complaints that a faculty member violated the rights of any member of the University community may be investigated under a process initiated by the Provost (such as, but not limited to, III-15 Professional Ethics and Academic Responsibility);
(3) Complaints that a staff member violated the rights of any member of the University community may be investigated under a process initiated by the Senior Human Resources Leadership Representative for the staff member's unit (such as, but not limited to, III-16 Ethics and Responsibilities for University of Iowa Staff.
c. Substantial weight will be given to the wishes of the alleged victim when determining how to respond to a complaint. However, the University may investigate the allegations even without the alleged victim's consent, if circumstances warrant (such as when there are multiple complaints of harassment involving the same person or allegations are particularly egregious).
d. Anyone (victims or others) who wishes to consult with someone about a specific situation without making a complaint, or who wishes simply to learn more about enforcement of this Anti-Harassment Policy may contact any of the following offices or organizations:
(2) Faculty and Staff Services/Employee Assistance Program (for faculty or staff)
(3) University Counseling Service (for students)
(4) Women's Resource and Action Center (for faculty, staff, or students)
b. The academic or administrative officer will:
(2) take appropriate interim action, which may include those actions described below in II-14.10, to address the alleged behavior and protect the health or safety of the alleged victim, complainant, and/or witnesses.
(2) For situations involving faculty and/or staff, the Behavior Risk Management team is available to assist with assessing situations, planning the actions needed, and carrying out those actions. This team may be accessed by contacting Faculty and Staff Services, 121-50 University Services Building.
(3) For situations involving students, contact the Dean of Students, 135 Iowa Memorial Union.
e. Any academic or administrative officer of the University who becomes aware of specific and credible allegations of harassment based on a protected classification (race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or gender identity), whether through the report of a complainant (including a third party) or otherwise, shall report the allegations promptly to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity for assistance in evaluating the situation and determining an appropriate course of action, even if the alleged victim has requested that no action be taken.
If there is a supervisory relationship between the complainant and/or victim and the respondent, the appropriate course of action will include development of a plan to avoid any perceived or actual conflict of interest until the complaint is resolved.
The initial report may be verbal, but a written report also must be made after the complaint is resolved using the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Informal Harassment Complaint Resolution form, which requires disclosure of the employment or student status of the alleged victim(s), the complainant(s) (if other than the alleged victim), and the person(s) charged; the department(s) with which those persons are affiliated; a summary of the allegations; and a description of the steps taken to resolve the complaint.
If the person alleged to have engaged in harassment was notified of the existence of the informal complaint and given an opportunity to respond, the names of the parties must be provided to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity. If the person was not informed of the allegations or was not given an opportunity to respond, then the names of the parties shall not be provided to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity.
f. Reasonable efforts will be made to process complaints within 21 days, giving consideration to the nature of the allegations and the circumstances surrounding the complaint process.
g. It is the responsibility of the academic or administrative officer who facilitates the informal resolution of the complaint to monitor compliance with the terms of the informal resolution. Sanctions up to and including termination of employment or separation from the University may be imposed in the event that an individual fails to comply with the terms of the informal resolution.
(2) Other harassment. If the complaint alleges harassment that is not based on a classification covered by the II-3 Human Rights (race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other classification that deprives the person of consideration as an individual), a person should bring a formal complaint to one of the following offices depending on the status of the respondent:
(b) Staff member. If the respondent is a staff member (organized or non-organized professional and scientific, organized or non-organized merit staff), a formal complaint should be brought to the Senior Human Resources Leadership Representative for the unit employing the respondent;
(c) Student. If the respondent is a student, a formal complaint should be brought to the Dean of Students or the Dean of the Graduate College.
c. The purpose of the investigation is to establish whether there is a reasonable basis for believing that a violation of this policy has occurred. In conducting the investigation, the investigating office will make reasonable efforts to interview the alleged victim, the complainant (if other than the alleged victim), and the respondent, and may interview other persons believed to have pertinent factual knowledge, as well as review any relevant documentary evidence. At all times, the investigating office will take steps to ensure confidentiality to the extent possible.
d. When a formal complaint is brought, the respondent will be informed of the allegations, the identity of the complainant, and the facts surrounding the allegations. The investigation will afford the respondent an opportunity to respond to the allegations and evidence provided by the complainant and/or alleged victim, and to provide a statement of the facts as perceived by the respondent.
e. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigating office will issue a written finding which will summarize the evidence gathered and state whether or not there is a reasonable basis for believing that a violation of this policy has occurred. The written finding will normally be issued within 45 days of when the complaint was filed. When it is not reasonably possible to issue the finding within that time, the investigating office will notify the alleged victim and the respondent that the finding will be delayed and indicate the reasons for the delay. The alleged victim and the respondent will receive a copy of the written finding, which is to remain confidential as defined below by II-14.12c. Third-party complainants will be notified only that the proceedings are concluded.
f. If the investigating office finds a reasonable basis for believing that a violation of this policy has occurred, the matter will be referred to the appropriate administrator for further consideration as outlined in II-14.7 below.
(2) the office of the vice president or dean responsible for the unit employing the person charged, if the respondent is a staff member (including a graduate assistant, in which case the Dean of the Graduate College also must be notified in order to determine whether ramifications apply for the student's academic progress);
(3) the Dean of Students, if the respondent is a student (including a graduate student, in which case the Dean of the Graduate College also must be notified in order to determine whether ramifications apply for the student's academic progress);
(2) not accept all or any part of the findings of the investigating office;
(3) reach a negotiated settlement of the complaint with the respondent; or
(4) initiate formal disciplinary action.
d. In addition to other disciplinary action, persons who are found to have violated this policy may be referred to the Behavior Risk Management team or to the Dean of Students for consideration of a mandated referral or be required to participate in policy and behavioral expectations education. They also may be required to complete community service, enroll in a specific academic course, attend an educational workshop, and/or make restitution for economic damages caused by their behavior.
When the respondent is a faculty or staff member, the Office of Faculty and Staff Services, 121-50 University Service Building, is available to assist with locating appropriate resources. When the respondent is a student, University Counseling Service, 3223 Westlawn, is available to assist with locating appropriate resources.
e. It is the responsibility of the appropriate administrator to follow-up with the parties at a reasonable interval(s) to assess their compliance with the disciplinary and/or remedial sanctions imposed. More serious sanctions, up to and including termination of employment or separation from the University, may be imposed in the event that the individual fails to comply with the sanctions initially imposed.
b. staff members will be governed by applicable University policies, including III-16 Ethics and Responsibility Statement for Staff and the applicable discipline and/or grievance procedures (III-28 Conflict Management Resources for University Staff and/or relevant collective bargaining agreement);
c. graduate assistants, when dismissal is sought, will be governed by the procedure for dismissal of graduate assistants (III-12.4). When disciplinary action other than dismissal is taken by the dean of the employing college, a graduate assistant may appeal through any existing contractual grievance procedures;
b. After such counseling occurs, if a person continues to engage in the conduct described in II-14.9a, he or she may be deemed to have engaged in harassment.
b. Throughout the investigation and resolution of a complaint, steps will be taken to protect alleged victims, complainants, witnesses, and others from harm caused by continuation of the alleged harassing behavior.
c. Retaliation against alleged victims, complainants, and/or witnesses who provide information during an investigation pursuant to this policy is prohibited by II-11 Anti-Retaliation. Reasonable action will be taken to assure that alleged victims, complainants, and/or witnesses suffer no retaliation as a result of their activities with regard to the process.
d. Steps that may be taken to protect alleged victims, complainants, witnesses, and others from continued harassment and/or retaliation might include:
(2) arrangement that academic and/or employment evaluations concerning complainants or others be made by an appropriate individual other than the respondent.
f. In extraordinary circumstances, the Provost, a dean, a DEO, or any vice president may, at any time during or after an investigation of allegations of harassment, suspend or partially restrict from employment any employee accused of harassment if the Provost, dean, DEO, or vice president finds that it is reasonably certain that:
(2) serious and immediate harm will ensue if the person continues his or her employment. Similarly, if the respondent is a student, interim sanctions may be imposed pursuant to Section 10 of the Student Judicial Procedure.
b. In the event the allegations are not substantiated, reasonable steps will be taken to restore the reputation of the respondent if it was damaged by the proceeding. The respondent may consult with the investigating office regarding reasonable steps to address such concerns.
b. Alleged victims, third-party complainants, and respondents are expected to maintain confidentiality as well. They are not prohibited from discussing the situation outside of the work or educational environment. However, the matter should not be discussed in the work or educational environment.
c. Dissemination of documents relating to complaints of harassment and/or to the investigation of such complaints, other than as necessary to pursue an appeal, grievance, or other legal or administrative proceeding, is prohibited.
d. Failure to maintain confidentiality by a respondent may be considered to be a form of retaliation in violation of II-14.10c of this policy. Failure to maintain confidentiality by any party (alleged victim, third-party complainant, or respondent) may result in disciplinary action.