Show More


Harassment Policy

  1. Definition of Harassment and Notice of Non-Discrimination

    The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all members of the University community, including, but not limited to, members of the faculty and staff, students, guests of the University, and applicants for employment and admission. In this regard, the University reaffirms the right of its students to live and learn, and its employees to teach and work, in an environment free from harassment and inappropriate and/or offensive comments or conduct.

    The University encourages a workplace and learning environment free of discrimination, harassment, and/or inappropriate treatment of any employee, student or guest because of any person's race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or any category protected under federal, state or local law. To be unlawful, conduct must be sufficiently serious that it unreasonably interferes with an employee's ability to work or a student's ability to learn or benefit from the University's programming. The University does not, however, condone or tolerate any inappropriate conduct, whether by employees or non-employees, based on a person's race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or any category protected under federal, state or local law.

    Harassing conduct may include, but is not limited to:

    • Ethnic, racial, religious, age, disability or sex-related jokes, epithets, stereotypes or slurs.
    • Foul or abusive language.
    • Offensive graffiti, cartoons or posters.
    • Insulting or derogatory nicknames.
    • Mimicking another.
    • Starting or spreading rumors.
    • Teasing about religious or cultural observances, retirement, age, ability to learn, or absenteeism.
    • Threatening or offensive mail, e-mail, voicemail or messages.

    The University also recognizes the fundamental importance of the open and free exchange of ideas and opinion. It recognizes that conflicts may arise between individuals' desire to express their opinions and the right of individuals to be free from harassment. The University also recognizes that every act that might be offensive to an individual or a group is not necessarily a violation of the law or of this policy.

  2. Sexual Harassment

    DePauw prohibits any form of sexual harassment or discrimination on the basis of sex and enforces the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations through student and employee guidelines. DePauw is committed to providing students, employees and University guests an environment and workplace free of inappropriate comments or conduct of a sexual nature. Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX should be directed to the University's Title IX coordinators. Prohibited sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to:

    • Unsolicited and unwelcome comments or conduct of a sexual nature or that are demeaning to women or men as a group (for example, offensive or vulgar jokes, name-calling, comments about one's body or sex life, or stereotyping based on a person's sex);
    • Unwelcome and unwanted sexual jokes, language, gestures, epithets, innuendoes, advances or propositions; sexually oriented "kidding," "teasing" or "practical jokes;"
    • Unsolicited and unwelcome demands or requests, implicit or explicit, for sexual favors or sexual encounters;
    • Sexually oriented propositions, slurs, suggestions or questions;
    • Stalking;
    • Persistent, unsolicited and unwelcome demands or requests, implicit or explicit, for social encounters;
    • Written or verbal abuse of a sexual nature, including, for example, using sexually degrading or vulgar words to describe an individual;
    • The display of sexually suggestive or revealing objects, other material or offensive pictures, electronic communications or photographs (this prohibition does not apply to University approved art exhibitions or other University approved displays or communications);
    • Unwelcome and unsolicited information about another's sexual prowess, activities, deficiencies or sexual orientation;
    • Asking questions or commenting about another's sexual activity or making unwelcome sexual advances or expressed or implied requests for sexual activity;
    • Offensive or inappropriate behavior targeted at only one sex, even if the content of the conduct or comments is not sexual;
    • Unwelcome physical contact, such as patting, pinching, touching, leering, ogling, whistling, indecent exposure, brushing against the body, or suggestive, insulting or obscene comments or physical gestures.
    • Any instance in which a supervisor, faculty member or another in a position of authority uses his/her authority to require or to urge an employee or student to submit to sexual activity. Such behavior can be explicit or implicit - for example, a supervisor or another person in a position of authority states to an employee or student: "Things could be a lot better for you here if you would be a little nicer to me."
  3. Reporting Procedure

    Any employee, student or guest who believes that he/she either has witnessed or been subjected to behavior that violates this policy is encouraged to and has a responsibility to immediately report the suspected policy violation. The University cannot investigate and take appropriate action if the behavior is not reported. The method of reporting suspected policy violations is as follows:

    Staff members and guests should immediately report suspected policy violations to the Office of Human Resources. The phone number for the Director of Human Resources is (765) 658-4181. If the Director of Human Resources is unavailable or the staff member or guest is uncomfortable reporting the suspected policy violation to the Director of Human Resources, he or she may report the suspected violation directly to the Vice President for Finance and Administration at (765) 658-4161.

    Faculty members should immediately report suspected policy violations to Academic Affairs. The phone number for the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty is (765) 658-4359. If the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty is unavailable or the faculty member is uncomfortable reporting the suspected policy violation to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, he or she may report the suspected violation directly to the Director of Human Resources at (765) 658-4181.

    Students should immediately report suspected policy violations to the Office of Student Life. The phone number for the Dean of Students is (765) 658-4199. If the Dean of Students is unavailable or the student is uncomfortable reporting the suspected policy violation to the Dean of Students, he or she may report the suspected violation directly to the Director of Human Resources at (765) 658-4181.

    Complaints of inappropriate behavior by a Vice President of the University should be directed to the President of the University and/or the Director of Human Resources.

    Supervisors and department chairs who receive complaints or who observe inappropriate behavior must immediately inform the appropriate office listed above. Failure to report potential violations may result in appropriate discipline, up to and including termination.

  4. Investigation and Resolution of Complaint

    Given the nature of the type of conduct prohibited by this policy and the serious effects such conduct can have on the target of the conduct and the one accused of the conduct, the University takes every complaint of harassing behavior seriously and each report shall be investigated. The investigation will be conducted in as confidential a manner as circumstances permit to protect all parties involved, including witnesses. The University will not tolerate any retaliation against anyone who makes a report of harassing behavior or cooperates in an investigation of any complaint under this policy.

    The responsibility for determining the need for and degree of administrative action to address a harassment complaint varies and is based upon the group to which the accused belongs. These groups include: faculty, staff, students and guests. Generally, complaints involving students only will be processed under the Community Standards process, and complaints involving non-students will be processed according to the procedures identified below.

    The chart below indicates investigation and disciplinary authority as it relates to policy violations at DePauw:

    Complainant

    Accused

    Investigating Responsibility

    Disciplinary Responsibility

    Procedural Guidance

    Student

    Student

    Office of Student Life – Title IX Coordinators

    Office of Student Life

    Student Handbook

     

    Staff or Guest

    Office of Student Life – Title IX Coordinators
    Human Resources

    Human Resources

    Employee Guide

     

    Faculty member

    Office of Student Life – Title IX Coordinators
    Academic Affairs 
    Human Resources

    Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty

    Academic Handbook

    Staff or Guest

    Student

    Human Resources 
    Office of Student Life – Title IX Coordinators

    Office of Student Life

    Student Handbook

     

    Staff or Guest

    Human Resources

    Human Resources

    Employee Guide

     

    Faculty member

    Human Resources 
    Academic Affairs

    Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty

    Academic Handbook

    Faculty

    Student

    Academic Affairs 
    Office of Student Life – Title IX Coordinators
    Human Resources

    Office of Student Life

    Student Handbook

     

    Staff or Guest

    Academic Affairs 
    Human Resources

    Human Resources

    Employee Guide

     

    Faculty member

    Academic Affairs
    Human Resources

    Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty

    Academic Handbook

    The President and Director of Human Resources will be responsible for investigating complaints and determining the need and degree of administrative action for complaints against a Vice President of the University.

    Violations of this policy will not be tolerated and will result in appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including discharge or dismissal. Please help us maintain a comfortable learning and work environment free from inappropriate and offensive conduct.

    (endorsed in principle by the faculty in March 1999; established as University policy April 1999; revised August 2003; revised August 2011)