Equal Opportunity Policies

Equal Opportunity, Equal Access and Affirmative Action

Purdue University is committed to maintaining an inclusive community that recognizes and values the inherent worth and dignity of every person; fosters tolerance, sensitivity, understanding and mutual respect among its members; and encourages each individual to strive to reach his or her own potential. In pursuit of its goal of academic excellence, Purdue University seeks to develop and nurture its diversity. The University believes that diversity among its many members strengthens the institution, stimulates creativity, promotes the exchange of ideas and enriches campus life.

Purdue University views, evaluates and treats all persons in any university-related activity or circumstance in which they may be involved solely as individuals on the basis of their own personal abilities, qualifications and other relevant characteristics.

Purdue University does not condone and will not tolerate Discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, genetic information, disability, status as a veteran, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Purdue University promulgates policies and programs to ensure that all persons have equal access to its employment opportunities and educational programs, services and activities. The principal objective of this policy is to provide fair and consistent treatment for all students and employees of the University. Purdue is committed to increasing the recruitment, selection and promotion of faculty and staff at the University who are racial or ethnic minorities, women, persons with disabilities and veterans. The University also is committed to policies and programs that increase the diversity of the student body.

All aspects of the employment relationship, including recruitment, selection, hiring, training, professional development, tenure, promotion, compensation and separations, are administered in accordance with this policy. Notwithstanding the prohibition against Discrimination, the University may, without violating this prohibition, provide different benefit packages to employees who have a spouse, same-sex domestic partner and/or dependent children than are provided to other employees.

All policies and procedures applicable to students are administered in accordance with this policy. Purdue University provides Academic Adjustments and Auxiliary Aids and Services to qualified students with disabilities in accordance with federal law.

This policy seeks to encourage faculty, staff and students to report and address incidents of Discrimination. Discrimination complaints will be addressed promptly and consistently, using procedures that are fair and effective from the point of view of the person and the University, and be resolved at the lowest organizational level possible. The Procedures for Resolving Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment, as issued and updated from time to time by the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance, describe the necessary steps for filing complaints of Discrimination.

Retaliation against faculty members, staff members or students for reporting or complaining of Discrimination, for participating or assisting in the investigation of a complaint of Discrimination or for enforcing this policy is strictly prohibited. It inhibits the ability of the University to address complaints and contributes to distrust of complaint procedures.

For the complete Equal Opportunity, Equal Access and Affirmative Action Policy (III.C.2), see www.purdue.edu/policies/ethics/iiic2.html.


Procedures for Resolving Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment


Any employee, student, campus visitor, or person participating in a University activity whether on or off campus, who has experienced or witnessed discrimination and/or harassment is encouraged to report the incident(s) promptly. Prompt reporting of complaints is vital to the University’s ability to resolve the matter.

Once the University has received a report of harassment and/or discrimination, the University will take any and all necessary and immediate steps to protect the Complainant. Such actions may include taking interim steps before the determination of the final outcome of an investigation.

There are both informal and formal processes for resolving complaints of discrimination and harassment. A Complainant may elect to invoke either the informal or formal resolution process. If the Complainant finds that initial informal efforts are unsatisfactory, the Complainant may then seek formal resolution.

The University may initiate an investigation of circumstances that may involve discrimination and/or harassment even where no complaint, formal or informal, has been filed. In such situations, the University may elect to investigate and, if warranted, impose disciplinary sanctions pursuant to these or other established University procedures.

In matters involving alleged criminal conduct, the Complainant may notify, or decline to notify, local law enforcement at any time. The University may also make an independent determination to notify law enforcement and/or other authorities based on the nature of the complaint.

The complete Procedures for Resolving Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment are available at www.purdue.edu/ethics/resources/resolving-complaints.html.

Anti-Harassment

Purdue University is committed to maintaining an environment that recognizes the inherent worth and dignity of every person; fosters tolerance, sensitivity, understanding and mutual respect; and encourages its members to strive to reach their potential. The most effective way to work toward preventing Harassment is through education that emphasizes respect for every individual.

It is essential that Purdue University demonstrate its intellectual and ethical leadership by reaffirming its strong position against Harassment in all forms. All members of the University community must be able to pursue their goals, educational needs and working lives without intimidation or injury generated by intolerance and Harassment.

Harassment in the workplace or the educational environment is unacceptable conduct and will not be tolerated. Purdue University is committed to maintaining an educational and work climate for faculty, staff and students that is positive and free from all forms of Harassment. This policy addresses Harassment in all forms, including Harassment toward individuals with legally protected status for reasons of race, gender, religion, color, age, national origin or ancestry, genetic information or disability and Harassment toward individuals for other reasons such as sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status or parental status. The University will not tolerate 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.

This policy seeks to encourage faculty, staff and students to report and address incidents of Harassment. The Procedures for Resolving Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment, as issued and updated from time to time by the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance, describe the necessary steps for filing complaints of Harassment.

Freedom of thought and expression are the lifeblood of our academic community and require an atmosphere of mutual respect among diverse persons, groups and ideas. The maintenance of mutually respectful behavior is a precondition for the vigorous exchange of ideas, and it is the policy of the University to promote such behavior in all forms of expression and conduct. The University reaffirms its commitment to freedom of speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Accordingly, any form of speech or conduct that is protected by the First Amendment is not subject to this policy. The University reaffirms its commitment to academic freedom, which is essential to its educational mission and is critical to diversity and intellectual life.

  For the complete policy on Anti-Harassment (III.C.1) see http://www.purdue.edu/policies/ethics/iiic1.html.

Amorous Relationships

Purdue University is committed to maintaining an environment in which learning discovery and engagement take place in a professional atmosphere of mutual respect and trust. Amorous relationships can develop within the University community between faculty, students and staff.

The disparity of power when an amorous relationship is between a student and a faculty member, a graduate teaching or research assistant, or any other University employee who has educational responsibility over the student, (2) a supervisor and subordinate, or (3) senior and junior colleagues in the same department or unit makes them susceptible to exploitation. Amorous relationships that occur in the context of educational or employment supervision and evaluation like those named above undermine professionalism and hinder the fulfillment of the University’s educational mission. 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, approvals, or recommendations for future study and employment, make voluntary consent by the student suspect.

Those who abuse their power in the context of an amorous relationship where there is educational or employment supervision and evaluation violate their duty to the University community. Voluntary consent by the student or subordinate in a romantic or sexual relationship is difficult to determine given the asymmetric nature of the power structure in the relationship. Because of the complex and subtle effects of the power differential in the relationship, the individual with power may perceive the existence of consent that may not exist or not exist at the level perceived by the individual with power. The possibility exists that, if the relationship sours, these individuals may be subject to a claim of sexual harassment.

Amorous relationships may have an effect on others in the course, department or unit. Others may perceive that the student or subordinate in the amorous relationship is favored and afforded undue access and advantage above others in the same course, department or unit. These individuals may perceive the environment created as a result of the amorous relationship to be hostile and/or perceive forward progress and benefits are obtained through engaging in a romantic or sexual relationship with the person in power.

Therefore, Purdue University prohibits amorous relationships between a student and any University employee who has educational responsibility over the student, and supervisors and subordinates where there is a supervisory or evaluative relationship between the parties.

Individuals engaged in an amorous relationship prior to the existence of a supervisory or evaluative relationship within the educational and/or employment context, or who find themselves entering into such a relationship, have a duty to report the existence of the amorous relationship to the department or unit head who must ensure that arrangements are made to sever the supervisory or evaluative relationship between the parties. The parties must further abide by the University's policy on Nepotism (III.B.3). Individuals engaged in an amorous relationship in violation of this policy are subject to disciplinary action ranging from a written reprimand up to and including termination.

The complete policy on Amorous Relationships (III.A.1) is available at www.purdue.edu/policies/ethics/iiia1.html.

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