Purdue University Executive Memoranda Master Listing
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
EXECUTIVE MEMORANDUM No. C-27
(Supersedes Executive Memorandum No. B-65, dated August 1, 1982)
February 15, 1993
Re: Sexual Harassment
Executive Memorandum No. C-27 sets forth Purdue University's sexual harassment policy and is effective immediately. Procedures for the enforcement of this policy have been issued by the Vice President for Human Relations.
Executive Memorandum No. C-27 supersedes those portions of Executive Memorandum No. B-65 pertaining to sexual harassment, Regulations Governing Student Conduct, and established grievance procedures for employees with complaints of sexual harassment only. Other forms of harassment will continue to be governed by the provisions of Executive Memorandum No. B-65, Regulations Governing Student Conduct, and established grievance procedures covering discrimination in employment.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY
Purdue University condemns and prohibits sexual harassment of any University faculty member, staff member, or undergraduate or graduate student. Sexual harassment subverts the mission of the University. It diminishes individual dignity, impedes equal employment and educational opportunities, and compromises freedom of academic inquiry,
Sexual harassment violates the University's long-standing policy against discrimination on the basis of sex. It is also a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Purdue University is committed to ensuring and maintaining an academic and work environment free of sexual harassment. Any individual who, after appropriate investigation, is found to have engaged in sexual harassment will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or expulsion from the University.
Definition of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other written, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, education, or participation in a University activity;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for or a factor in decisions affecting that individual's employment, education, or participation in a University activity; or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's employment or academic performance or creating an intimidating, offensive, or hostile environment for that individual's employment, education, or participation in a University activity.
For the purposes of determining whether a particular act or course of conduct constitutes sexual harassment under this policy, the alleged incident will be evaluated by considering the totality of the particular circumstances, including the nature, frequency, intensity, location, content, and duration of the questioned behavior. Although repeated incidents generally create a strong claim of sexual harassment, a serious incident, even if isolated, can be sufficient.
This policy seeks to encourage faculty, staff, and undergraduate and graduate students to report and address incidents of sexual harassment. Retaliation against any faculty member, staff member, or undergraduate or graduate student for complaining of sexual harassment or enforcing this policy violates this policy and is strictly prohibited. Any overt or covert act of reprisal, interference, restraint, penalty, discrimination, coercion, intimidation, or harassment against an individual for exercising rights under this policy will be subject to appropriate and prompt disciplinary action.
Faculty and staff who are determined to have violated this University policy on sexual harassment may be held personally liable for any damages or settlement costs to the University.
This policy shall not be used to bring knowingly false or malicious charges against any faculty member, staff member, or undergraduate or graduate student. Disciplinary action may be taken against any person bringing a charge of sexual harassment in bad faith, in accordance with the Procedures for Handling Complaints of Sexual Harassment.
Persons Subject to Policy
Faculty, staff, and students of the University are subject to this policy whenever they are acting as representatives of the University, whenever on or away from a University campus. Likewise, the University will not tolerate sexual harassment of its faculty, staff, or students by persons conducting business with or visiting the University, even though such persons are not directly affiliated with the University.
Amorous relationships that occur in the context of educational or employment supervision and evaluation present serious concerns about the validity of consent. The element of power implicit in amorous relationships between a teacher and student, supervisor and subordinate, or senior and junior colleagues in the same department or unit makes them susceptible to exploitation. Those who abuse their power in such a context violate their duty to the University community.
Relationships between faculty and students are particularly susceptible to exploitation. The respect and trust accorded a member of the faculty by a student, as well as the power exercised by faculty in giving grades or recommendations for further study and future employment, make voluntary consent by the student suspect.
Anyone who engages in a sexual relationship with a person over whom he or she has any power or authority within the University structure must understand that the validity of consent can and may be questioned in the event of a charge of sexual harassment, the University will give very critical scrutiny to any defense based upon consent when the facts establish that a power differential existed within the relationship,
Responsible Institutional Officers
The Vice President for Human Relations shall have overall responsibility for oversight and coordination of enforcement of policies and procedures dealing with sexual harassment for all campuses and operations within the Purdue University system.
Regional campus chancellors, vice presidents, deans, and heads of all schools, divisions, departments, and offices are responsible for maintaining an educational and employment environment free of sexual harassment.
Administrators or supervisors who have knowledge of conduct involving sexual harassment or receive a complaint of sexual harassment that involves a University faculty member, staff member, or undergraduate or graduate student under his or her administrative jurisdiction, must take immediate steps to deal with the matter according to University policy and procedures.
Other Discriminatory Conduct
Although sexual harassment as described and prohibited by this policy includes a wide range of behavior, it does not include certain discriminatory conduct even though that conduct may be otherwise unlawful, offensive, or prohibited by other University policies.
Steven C. Beering
VICE PRESIDENT FOR HUMAN RELATIONS
Judith M. Gappa
February 15, 1993
Re: Interim Procedures for Handling Complaints of Sexual Harassment
Executive Memorandum C-27 sets forth Purdue University's sexual harassment policy. Attached please find Interim Procedures for Handling Complaints of Sexual Harassment. They are effective immediately. Please make Executive Memorandum C-27 and these procedures available to every member of your staff.
Executive Memorandum C-27 and these procedures supersede Executive Memorandum B-65 Regulations Governing Student Conduct, and established grievance procedures for employees for complaints of sexual harassment only. All other forms of harassment will continue to be governed by Executive Memorandum B-65, Regulations Governing Student Conduct, and established grievance procedures covering discrimination in employment.
The sexual harassment policy and these interim procedures are the result of the work of the Sexual Harassment Advisory Committee which issued a draft document for comment; numerous suggestions from students, staff, and faculty systemwide; and legal advice. Since these procedures are intended to cover all instances of sexual harassment involving students, staff, and faculty, and must do so in a legal as well as an academic environment, they are markedly different from other grievance procedures at Purdue University. Thus, I am issuing them as interim procedures. We will implement them now, monitor how well they work, review them with appropriate groups, and revise them if necessary.
Education is essential for full implementation of Executive Memorandum C-27 and these procedures. Dr. Dorothy Leland from the Department of Philosophy has been appointed to design and carry out a comprehensive program of training and education on the subject of preventing sexual harassment for use systemwide. This program will include: (1) educating faculty, staff, and undergraduate and graduate students about what sexual harassment is and is not; (2) making information available to victims (and potential victims); (3) informing administrators and supervisors about proper methods to address complaints of sexual harassment; and (4) providing guidelines and training materials for following the procedures.
Questions regarding the policy and procedures should be directed to me or to Dr. Leland at the Women's Resource Office, Schleman Hall, Room 223, 49-49877.
HANDLING COMPLAINTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
The University encourages persons who believe that they have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment to seek assistance within the University.
There are both informal and formal procedures for handling complaints involving sexual harassment. A complainant may elect to invoke either the informal or formal procedures. However, disputes related to sexual harassment often can be handled, to the satisfaction of all persons, by informal procedures. Therefore, complainants should carefully explore the informal options available.
To protect both the complainant and the accused, inquiries about and complaints of sexual harassment shall be treated with the maximum degree of confidentiality possible. Complainants are advised, however, that confidentiality can only be respected insofar as it does not interfere with the University's legal obligation to investigate allegations of misconduct which, when brought to the University's attention, require it to take corrective action.
Any faculty member, staff member, or undergraduate or graduate student who believes he or she has been the victim of sexual harassment is encouraged to report the incident(s) promptly. Prompt reporting of complaints is vital to the University's ability to conduct a complete, impartial investigation and to resolve the matter. Complaints of sexual harassment must be reported no later than one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of the incident, or where the sexual harassment is of an ongoing nature, within one hundred twenty (120) days from the most recent incident of sexual harassment.
While use of these procedures is encouraged for members of the University community, such use does not foreclose legal action. Complainants or persons accused may wish to obtain legal advice as they consider the other courses of action available to them under state and federal laws.
Complainants may have an advisor or support person present when reporting sexual harassment, or at any point in these procedures. Persons accused of sexual harassment may also have an advisor or support person present if and when they become a party to resolution, mediation, or formal proceedings. However, the proceedings under these procedures are not those of a court of law, and the presence of legal counsel is not permitted during conduct of these procedures.
Information and Advice
Information about or assistance with sexual harassment complaints may be obtained from a variety of sources. The sources listed below are for the West Lafayette campus. Regional campus chancellors will designate appropriate sources for their campus.
- Inquiries and complaints about sexual harassment may be brought to the complainant's department head or any other person who has supervisory responsibility for the complainant.
- The complainant may also contact one of the following offices for advice and information:
- Office of the Dean of Students
- Personnel Services Office
- Women's Resource Office
- Affirmative Action Office
- Graduate School Office
- Within fifteen (15) days from notification of a sexual harassment complaint, the department head or supervisor, or the individuals in the offices cited in 1(b) above shall:
- Listen to the complaint and assist the complainant in clarifying his or her experiences and feelings:
- Advise the complainant of all of his or her options, both informal and formal;
- Assist in seeking resolution of the situation, if requested by the complainant and if the person contacted elects to do so, or refer the complainant to one of the designated mediators (see Sexual Harassment Mediation section below);
- If requested by the complainant, inform the complainant about how and where to file a formal complaint.
- During this part of the informal process only, and to the extent it does not interfere with the University legal obligation to investigate allegations of sexual harassment, the identity of the complainant shall be kept confidential, unless the express written consent of the complainant is obtained.
Sexual Harassment Mediation
Sexual harassment complaints can often be resolved through informal mediation procedures. The function of sexual harassment mediation is to negotiate a satisfactory resolution to complaints without resort to formal procedures.
- Any person who has a complaint of sexual harassment may elect to use the services of a mediator as an alternative to other University complaint resolution procedures. When the mediation process is invoked, the incident must be reported to a mediator by the complainant within fifteen (15) days from completion of the information and advice process (see Information and Advice section above).
- The following persons shall serve or name designee(s) to serve as mediators for the purpose of resolving sexual harassment complaints on the West Lafayette campus:
- Dean of Students (2)
- Director of Personnel Services (2)
- Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs (3)
- Affirmative Action Director
- Director of the Women's Resource Office
- Dean of the Graduate School
At the West Lafayette campus, additional members of the campus community may be asked to serve as mediators. Terms of service for mediators will be established. Regional campus chancellors shall designate mediators for their respective regional campuses and establish their terms of service.
- The mediators shall attempt to resolve informal complaints of sexual harassment. The complainant may choose a mediator; or, if no choice is made, the Vice President for Human Relations or appropriate regional campus chancellor shall designate a mediator to serve.
- Within thirty (30) days from appointment of a Sexual Harassment Mediator, the mediator shall:
- Listen to the complaint and assist the complainant in clarifying his or her experiences and feelings
- Assess whether the complaint constitutes a violation of the University's sexual harassment policy, and, if so, meet with the person(s) accused to hear the response to the allegations.
- Attempt to work out a satisfactory resolution, and convey to the complainant the results of that discussion. Normally, a satisfactory resolution will require the involvement of the department head or supervisor.
- Inform the complainant of the method and time for filing a formal complaint if a satisfactory resolution cannot be obtained through the mediation process.
- Compile a report of the complaint. This report will contain the names of the complainant and the accused, a brief summary of the alleged incident, the actions taken, and a description of the sanctions imposed, if any. This report shall be kept in the Office of the Vice President for Human Relations.
- A charge of sexual harassment is serious. Prompt resolution is essential to provide a University environment free from sexual harassment. Therefore, in the unusual circumstance where the complainant, the accused, or both are not at the campus during thirty (30) day period, the mediator may conduct the mediation by telephone or in writing.
- Possible resolutions when an informal complaint has shown that a violation of the University's policy did occur may include one or more of the following: an apology to the complainant; assisting the accused to better understand the effects of his or her behavior and ways in which this behavior could be changed; voluntary or mandatory participation in training sessions about sexual harassment; verbal or written reprimands; or other interventions or actions aimed at stopping the harassing behavior. Sanctions will be imposed by the appropriate department head or supervisor. Written sanctions will be placed in the faculty or staff member's personnel file.
In the event the informal procedures demonstrate that knowingly false or malicious charges were filed by the complainant, discipline may result.
Either subsequent to or in lieu of the informal processes, a complainant may elect to make a formal charge of sexual harassment. Where the informal procedures have been invoked, the formal complaint must be filed within fifteen (15) days from the termination of the informal procedure.
Filing a Formal Charge of Sexual Harassment
- A formal charge must be made in writing by the complainant and filed with the Vice President for Human Relations. The charge must be signed and dated, describe the incident(s) and date(s) of the occurrence, and identify the accused and witnesses (if any). The Vice President for Human Relations shall make forms available to complainants for purposes of filing a formal charge of sexual harassment.
- Because of the University's strict policy prohibiting sexual harassment and its commitment to properly addressing such conduct and preventing future sexual harassment, once a formal complaint has been made, the University reserves the right to investigate the alleged misconduct and make a determination as to whether the sexual harassment policy has been violated, even when the complainant seeks to withdraw the complaint.
Prompt notification of a formal charge will be given by the Vice President for Human Relations to the person accused of sexual harassment, to the department head or supervisor, and to the appropriate chancellor, vice president, or dean (or the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics when appropriate), by delivery of a copy of the formal charge.
Investigation and Determination
- The Vice President for Human Relations shall appoint and charge a three-person investigative panel elected from among the Sexual Harassment Mediators. Any mediator who has served in that capacity during the informal procedure relating to this charge shall not serve on the investigative panel. At the regional campuses, appointment of an investigative panel shall be in consultation with the regional campus chancellors. Normally, the investigative panel will be appointed within ten (10) days from receipt of the formal complaint.
- The investigative panel shall determine whether there is a reasonable basis for believing that the alleged violation of University's sexual harassment policy has occurred.
- Investigations will be conducted promptly, thoroughly, and fairly. The investigative panel will interview the complainant, the accused, and any other persons believed to have pertinent factual knowledge.
- At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigative panel shall make a written report which shall include a finding that the allegations could not be substantiated, a finding that some or all of the allegations are substantiated, or a finding that the complaint was filed in bad faith. In any case, the investigative panel must state in writing its reasons for so finding. The investigative panel shall also include in its written report a determination of whether a violation of the University's sexual harassment policy has occurred and a recommendation of the sanctions to be imposed, if any.
- All investigations and the written report must be completed and issued to the complainant and the accused within thirty (30) days after the appointment of the investigative panel, unless both parties agree in writing to an extension of time not to exceed ten (10) days except in very unusual circumstances.
- Where the complainant and/or accused are not present at the campus during the thirty (30) day period, the investigative panel may conduct the investigation by telephone or in writing.
- The report will be sent to the complainant and accused with instructions that their written comments, if any, must be received within ten (10) days from date of issuance of the report. At the expiration of the time period for written comment, the investigative panel will send the report and any comments received to the Vice President for Human Relations.
Review of the Report
- Upon consideration of the investigative panel's report and comments of the complainant and the accused, if any, the Vice President for Human Relations shall make a determination whether he or she believes the findings of the investigative panel are warranted by the evidence, and whether a violation of the University's sexual harassment policy has occurred.
- Sanctions shall be determined by the Vice President for Human Relations and the appropriate chancellor, vice president, or dean (or the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics when appropriate). In the event of disagreement, the Vice President for Human Relations and the chancellor, vice president, or dean will refer the disagreement to the President for resolution.
- Sanctions shall be reported to the complainant and the accused within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the investigative panel's report by the Vice President for Human Relations.
- The appropriate chancellor, vice president, or dean (or the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics when appropriate) is responsible for imposing the sanction. The Vice President for Human Relations is responsible for oversight of the implementation of sanctions, in consultation with the appropriate chancellor, vice president, or dean (or the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics when appropriate).
Sanctions will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Possible sanctions include those cited as possible resolutions in the informal procedures (see section 2.f under Informal Procedures) and the following:
When the accused is a faculty member or staff member
- A letter of reprimand placed in the accused personnel file
- Suspension or leave of absence without pay;
- Reassignment of teaching or other responsibilities;
- Removal of graduate faculty certification;
- Denial of a merit pay increase;
- Termination of employment (any termination of tenure-track faculty shall be in accordance with Executive Memorandum B-48).
When the accused is an undergraduate or graduate student
Sanctions for students are listed in University Regulations, Part 4, Section III, C, and include:
- Verbal or written warnings;
- Probated suspension;
- Suspension; or
Student employees, involved in activities prohibited by this policy, may be treated either as students, employees, or both, at the sole option of the University.
In the event the informal procedures demonstrate that knowingly false or malicious charges were filed by the complainant, discipline may result.
The report of the investigative committee and a record of the action taken or sanction imposed will be kept in the Office of the Vice President for Human Relations.
Any appeal by an accused of the determination or sanction imposed must be commenced by the accused within ten (10) days from the issuance of the final determination of the chancellor, vice president, or dean (or the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics when appropriate).
If the accused is a faculty member and the decision has been to recommend termination of employment, the procedures established for "termination for cause" in Executive Memorandum B-48, Section III (or any replacement) shall be followed.
In all other cases, if the accused disagrees with the decision or the sanction imposed in the formal procedures, he or she may appeal the decision to the President of the University. The President shall consider the written report of the investigative panel, the written comments of the accused or complainant to the investigative panel's report, and the sanction determined by the Vice President for Human Relations and the appropriate chancellor, vice president, or dean (or the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics when appropriate). The President shall issue his or her decision on the appeal to all interested parties within thirty (30) days from the date the appeal was commenced.