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Purdue University Executive Memoranda Master Listing


August 1, 1982

To: All Faculty, Staff, and Students of the University

Re: Sexual and Other forms of Harassment


It is and has been the policy of Purdue University to maintain the campus as a place of work and study for faculty, staff, and students, free of sexual harassment and harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or other protected status. In providing an educational and work climate which is positive and discrimination-free, faculty, staff, and students should be aware that harassment in the workplace or the educational environment is unacceptable conduct and will not be condoned.

Harassment is a form of discrimination. Formal action concerning harassment will follow the policies and procedures currently established for the various areas of the University.

It is the obligation of each of us -- faculty, staff, and students -- to adhere to this anti-harassment policy. Vice presidents, deans, directors, and heads of schools, divisions, departments, and offices, and regional campus chancellors are specifically responsible within their particular organization for publicizing and implementing this policy.


Within the context of this policy, harassment is defined as any person's conduct which unreasonably interferes with an employee's or student's status or performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment. Although it is impossible to spell out completely all prohibited behavior, the following may be of further help in considering what constitutes harassment:

  1. Sexual harassment includes unsolicited, non-reciprocal behavior by a person who is in a position to control or affect an employee's job or a student's status or who uses the power of authority of his/her position to cause that employee or student to submit to unwanted sexual attention, or to feel that he/she will be adversely affected for the refusal to submit. Sexual harassment may consist of a variety of behaviors including, but not limited to, subtle pressure for sexual activity, inappropriate touching and language, demands for sexual favors, and physical assault.

  2. Harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or other protected status includes offensive or demeaning treatment of an individual, where such treatment is based typically on prejudiced stereotypes of a group to which that individual may belong. It includes, but is not limited to, objectionable epithets, threatened or actual physical harm or abuse, or other intimidating or insulting conduct directed against the individual because of his/her race, color, religion, national origin, or other protected status.


If you believe you have been the victim of harassment, there are a number of ways to seek assistance.

  1. You may talk with the person whose actions you find offensive or with the administrative head of the department in which you are employed or study.

  2. If you wish to discuss the incident with someone outside the department in which you are employed or study, there are people in the offices listed below who are willing to listen to you, to discuss specific incidents, provide help if necessary and/or information. They can also advise you if you reach a point at which you wish to initiate formal procedures. Your visit will be kept confidential.


      1. Faculty may contact the Office of the Provost.

      2. Staff may contact the Department of Personnel Services.

      3. Students may contact the Office of the Dean of Students.


      Each Regional Campus Chancellor shall issue a listing of people/ offices to contact on that particular campus.


      The Affirmative Action Office of each campus is available to employees who may have need for information or guidance toward the proper complaint channels.


In preparation for the meeting, organize your thoughts about the incident(s):

  1. Cite examples and dates.

  2. Identify other individuals who may have observed the incidents and who may be able to provide another perception of what happened.

  3. Decide what you believe will be an acceptable resolution.

  4. Identify the role you and others will play in the resolution.

It is important to contact one of the offices listed in order to explore all options open to you in dealing with harassment. Often through consultation you will discover some informal ways of handling the situation.

John W. Hicks