Policy and Procedures

Policy Prohibiting Administrators, Faculty Members and Staff Members From Engaging in Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment

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I. Introduction

The University of Evansville (“University”) is committed to promoting an environment of mutual respect among all members of the University community. As part of this commitment, the University prohibits all forms of discrimination and harassment, whether that discrimination or harassment is because of sex, race, color, sexual identity or sexual orientation, national origin, disability, religion, age, veteran status, disabled veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

This policy covers all Administrators, Faculty Members (including all part-time and full-time professors, assistant professors, associate professors, visiting professors, lecturers and instructors) Staff and students. The University shares an equal commitment to protecting its students from sexual harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct. All Administrators, Faculty and Staff Members should understand that any form of harassment against students including, but not limited to sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, if found to be the case, will be dealt with severely. In this policy, any such individual is hereinafter referred to as “Employee” or “Student”. This policy also prohibits discrimination and harassment by independent contractors, volunteers who perform work for the University, vendors, alumni, and guests or visitors of the University.

The University requires any Employee or student who feels he or she has been a victim of harassment or sexual harassment to report this misconduct. Included in this policy is specific information about reporting options.

II. Important Definitions

  1. Sexual Harassment: Definition of Sexual Harassment

    Sexual harassment (also called “sexual misconduct”) is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment creates a hostile, intimidating or offensive environment. It can include, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances or requesting, offering or suggesting a trade of sex for a desired result (this offer to trade is also known as quid pro quo sexual harassment). Sexual harassment also includes verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature if the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to interfere with or limit a member of the University community’s ability to participate in or benefit from the academic, educational, extra-curricular, athletic, and other programs of the University. Sexual harassment occurs in a variety of circumstances. Sometimes, sexual harassment involves relationships of unequal power (for example the unequal power between an academic instructor and a student), and contains elements of coercion, as when compliance with requests for sexual favors becomes a condition of employment, benefits, work assignments, education or study.

    Some examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

    • Sexually explicit profanity;
    • Sexual humor or sexually suggestive language;
    • Unnecessary remarks about parts of the body;
    • Obscene gestures;
    • Cyberbullying that is based on gender or sexual activity;
    • Unwelcome touching;
    • Sexual assault or violence;
    • Inappropriate remarks about a person’s gender or sexual orientation;
    • The display of sexual pictures or images;
    • Forced sexual activity;
    • The use of electronic media (like email or text messaging) to send sexually charged words, images or messages.

    Sexual harassment may also involve unwelcome relationships among equals, as when sexual advances or demeaning verbal or physical behavior have a harmful effect on a person’s ability to work or study at the University.

    All forms of sexual misconduct identified in this policy are also prohibited forms of sexual harassment.

  2. Other Harassment: Definition of Other Harassment

    The University of Evansville expects all members of its community to treat each other with respect and civility. Harassing behaviors directed towards any member of our community will not be tolerated. As part of its commitment to non-discrimination, the University specifically prohibits harassment based on any other characteristics set forth in its nondiscrimination statement as follows: race, color, creed or religion, national origin, gender, sexual identity or sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, and disabled veteran status. Any form of harassment undermines the mission of the University and negatively impacts the University community as a whole.

    Prohibited harassment is conduct based on one of these characteristics when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for work or learning.

    Examples of Other Harassment

    Behaviors that could be considered harassment include any patterns of conduct aimed at another that would degrade, distress or humiliate a reasonable person, such as:

    • Exhibits of pictures or reading materials in print or electronic form containing negative information about a person or a person’s protected class.
    • Verbal abuse or degrading conversations regarding a person or a person’s protected class.
    • Name-calling, jokes or negative comments about a person or a person’s protected class.
    • Retaliation, as defined in “H” below.
  3. Sexual Exploitation: Definition of Sexual Exploitation

    Sexual exploitation refers to any situation in which sexual advantage of another person is taken without that individual’s consent. This includes voyeurism and recordings (photo, audio, or video) of sexual activity, administering alcohol or drugs without consent, exposure of one’s genitals, buttocks, or breasts, and providing opportunities for others to view consensual sexual activity without the knowledge and consent of all parties to the consensual sexual activity.

  4. Domestic Violence: Definition of Domestic Violence

    Domestic violence is defined as violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of Indiana.

  5. Dating Violence: Definition of Dating Violence

    Dating violence is defined as violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship is determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition, dating violence would include, but would not be limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.

  6. Stalking: Definition of Stalking

    Stalking is defined as a knowing or an intentional course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another person that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened. The term does not include statutorily or constitutionally protected activity.

  7. Intimidation: Definition of Intimidation

    Intimidation occurs when a person communicates in any manner a threat to another person with the intent that the other person engaged in sexual conduct against the other person’s will.

  8. Retaliation: Definition of Retaliation

    Retaliation occurs when an effort is made to get back at any person because he or she reports harassment, sexual misconduct or opposes harassment or sexual misconduct or who is involved in an investigation of reported harassment or sexual misconduct. Retaliation is also prohibited against any member of the investigative team, witnesses, or individuals involved with the investigation or adjudication of a report or complaint of harassment or sexual misconduct. Retaliation includes intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating against a person because of their complaint or involvement in the complaint process. The University will take immediate and appropriate action to investigate retaliation and it will take strong responsive action against anyone who engages in retaliation. This prohibition against retaliation should be seriously considered by the person complained about and the friends and family of the person complained about.

This policy applies to prohibited conduct both on campus and away from campus, regardless of where harassment or sexual misconduct takes place, if the conduct occurs in the context of a University sponsored or sanctioned education program or activity. This policy also applies if the conduct has continuing effects on campus or in an off-campus education program or activity.

III. Procedures for Filing a Complaint with the University

Complaints should be reported promptly so that appropriate action may be taken and an investigation completed while the recollection of events remains fresh. Early reporting and investigation greatly helps to address complaints of harassment and discrimination.

Any Employee who believes he/she has been subjected to sexual harassment or who is aware of someone who is being subjected to sexual harassment should contact the Title IX Director Tracey Folden, whose office is located at Room 204 of Olmsted Hall. Her telephone number is (812) 488-2509 and her email address is tf91@evansville.edu.

Claims of harassment or other discriminatory behavior should be reported in one of the following ways:

Claims involving faculty, staff, or administrators should be directed to Director of Human Resources, Keith Gehlhausen, whose office is located at Room 118, Olmsted Hall, His telephone number is (812) 488-2943, and his email address is kg77@evansville.edu.

These individuals will also help answer your questions about this policy.

When two students are involved in a complaint, the University of Evansville Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct shall apply to both procedural and substantive matters as they relate to the student.

All Employees have a duty to report any situation in which they believe another employee or student is being harassed. Unless a complaint involves student-on-student harassment, the following procedure applies:

All complaints will be written out on Complaint Form A attached, by either the Employee making the complaint or the University official who receives the complaint, in order to preserve an accurate record. The written complaint will identify the parties involved; describe the harassing behavior; when and where it occurred; and identify by name or description any witnesses.

All complaints of discrimination, particularly those related to sexual harassment, will be investigated promptly and treated with as much discretion as practicable. Access of information provided by the person making the complaint will be made available only to those persons who the University believes need to know.

IV. The Investigation

The Title IX coordinator and the Director of Human Resources, and his or her designees, will conduct a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation of the complaint. When a student alleges he or she has been the victim of sexual misconduct and when a student is otherwise involved in an allegation of sexual misconduct, the Dean of Students will assist in the investigation. A “preponderance-of-the-evidence” standard will be used during fact-finding. The parties to the complaint and any witnesses will be interviewed as part of the investigation. Both parties to a complaint may be accompanied to any University disciplinary proceedings and any related meetings by the advisor of their choice. However, the advisor may not actively participate in the investigation or disciplinary process. The parties will be informed of the status of the investigation as deemed appropriate. The investigation will conclude within sixty (60) days of the date the complaint was filed, absent unusual circumstances. A confidential record of the investigation will be kept on file in the Offices of Academic Affairs and Human Resources.

V. Following the Investigation

At the conclusion of the investigation the Title IX coordinator, the Director of Human Resources and, if participating, the Dean of Students will provide the President with one of the following recommendations:

  1. There is sufficient evidence supporting the alleged violation;
  2. There is insufficient evidence supporting the violation;
  3. The two parties negotiated a settlement.

The recommendation will be submitted to the President in writing within five business days after completion of the investigation.

VI. Sanctions

If harassment is found, the President, in consultation with the Title IX coordinator, Director of Human Resources and the appropriate administrator will determine the formal sanctions in accordance with University policy. Sanctions include but are not limited to:

  • Formal warning
  • Suspension
  • Dismissal/termination

An Employee who has been found to have engaged in prohibited conduct has the right to appeal both the findings and any sanctions imposed. Written notice of any employee’s desire to appeal must be received by the Director of Human Resources within five business days (Monday – Friday) after the date the employee has been advised in writing that an adverse finding has been made, or the right to appeal will be waived. Upon the timely submission of an employee’s notice of appeal, the following procedures apply.

Non-tenured faculty members will have their appeal heard by the Faculty Appeals Committee. In the case of a tenured faculty member, the appeal will initially be heard by the Faculty Professional Affairs Committee (FPAC). FPAC will make a recommendation concerning the appeal to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. This recommendation will be considered by the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs who will make a decision on the appeal. Thereafter, upon the request of the faculty member charged with engaging in prohibited conduct, the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs will send the case to the Faculty Appeals Committee. This request must be made in writing and submitted to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs within five business days (Monday-Friday) after the date he/she makes a decision on the appeal. The Faculty Appeals Committee will serve as a formal hearing with counsel. The Faculty Appeals Committee will make its recommendation to the President.

Administrators and staff must file their written notice of appeal with the University’s Director of Human Resources. This notice must be received by the Director of Human Resources within five business days (Monday – Friday) after the date the employee has been advised in writing that an adverse finding has been made, or the right to appeal will be waived. This appeal will be forwarded to the Human Relations Committee. The Human Relations Committee will thereafter convene a formal hearing with counsel and make its recommendation to the President.

A “preponderance-of-the-evidence” standard will be used at any hearing.

The President will make the final decision with input from the Board of Trustees. Once the President’s final decision is made, there will be no additional hearing or appeal.

An individual who makes a complaint about harassment or sexual harassment may appeal the leniency or severity of any penalty imposed against a person found to have engaged in prohibited conduct. The appeal procedure will be substantially the same as the appeal procedure available to a person against whom the complaint was made. To initiate such an appeal, the Title IX coordinator should be contacted.

VII. Right to File Criminal Complaint

You have the right to file a criminal complaint against the person who engages in unlawful harassment and discrimination and you have the right not to make a criminal complaint. You may do so before, during or after the University’s internal investigation. You may also contact area law enforcement authorities and/or file a criminal complaint and a complaint with the University at the same time. The University is available to assist you if you wish to file such a complaint. In addition, the University will advise you about your right to ask a court to issue a no contact order. In some exceptional cases, when the alleged behavior impacts the safety or well being of the entire community, the university may itself report allegations of criminal activity to the proper authorities.

In certain situations, the University reserves the right to take action regarding a person against whom a complaint has been made – before the conclusion of the investigation and any hearing. Such action may include, but is not limited to, administrative leave with or without pay or the imposition of restrictions on work or University related activities.

Both the individual filing the complaint and the person against whom the complaint was filed will, at the same time, be notified in writing about: (i) the outcome of any disciplinary hearing; (ii) the University’s procedure for both parties to appeal the result of the hearing; (iii) any change to the outcome that occurs prior to the time the outcome becomes final; and (iv) when the outcome becomes final.

VIII. Bystander Assistance

Sometimes an Employee may be in a situation where they observe sexual misconduct either taking place or likely to take place. If an Employee may do so safely and positively they may be in a position to prevent instances of sexual misconduct or likely sexual misconduct. In such circumstances, an employee should carefully evaluate the situation and if they feel it is safe to do so, lend assistance to the victim of sexual misconduct. If an Employee does not believe assistance may be safely and positively rendered, the employee is strongly encouraged to contact the Office of Safety and Security (812) 471-6911 or (812) 488-2500 and/or local law enforcement at 911.

IX. What to Do if You Have Been Sexually Assaulted

If you are assaulted, get to a safe place as soon as you can.

Preserve Evidence: Resist the urge to bathe, use the toilet, change clothing or apply soaps or lotions. If you must change clothes, put them in a paper bag or wrap them in a clean sheet. Do not place these items in a plastic bag as the bag may distort evidence. It is also important not to disturb any evidence that may be present in the location where the offense occurred or destroy or delete any correspondence relative to the offense.

Get medical attention as soon as possible. It is important to seek medical attention in the case of sexual assault in order to check for injuries, effectively preserve evidence, and test for sexually transmitted diseases. You can contact the Office of Safety and Security (812) 488-2051 for assistance. Medical attention can also be obtained directly from one of these locations:

UE Crayton E. and Ellen Mann Health Center 812-488-2033
St. Vincent’s Hospital 812-485-4491
Deaconess Hospital 812-450-3405

Personal Support: The University Employee Assistance Program (“EAP”) is available to provide support and assistance to an Employee victim of sexual harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct. To schedule an EAP appointment, contact Magellan Health Services at (800) 588-8412.

The victim may wish to report sexual misconduct to either of the following local community support organizations:

Albion Fellows Bacon Center: (812) 422-9372
Domestic Violence Hotline: (812) 422-5622
Sexual Assault Hotline: (812) 424-7273
Evansville Police 812-436-7896

“We Tip” anonymous hotline: (1-800-782-7463)
Holly’s House
750 N. Park Drive
Evansville, Indiana 47710
Phone: (812) 437-7233

These organizations are not connected with or part of the University. The victim should be sure to ask each organization about its policy concerning confidentiality.

Office Phone:
812-488-2509

Office Email:
tf91@evansville.edu

Office Location:
Room 204, Olmsted Administration Hall