DIXIE STATE COLLEGE OF UTAH

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL


Section: 3-Faculty

Policy No: 30

Approved: 3/20/97
Revised: 5/02/03

Policy: DISCRIMINATION / SEXUAL HARASSMENT

4-33 DISCRIMINATION / SEXUAL HARASSMENT

33.1 Philosophy

Dixie State College is committed to providing an environment free from harassment and other forms of discrimination based upon race / ethnicity, color, national origin, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity / expression, pregnancy, disability, or protected veteran status. Such harassment or discrimination undermines the sense of human dignity and belonging of all people in the environment.

33.2 Purpose

33.2.1 This policy outlines Dixie State College's position against discrinination and sexual harassment and sets forth the College's policy regarding romantic or sexual relationships between a supervisor and an employee or between a faculty member or staff member and a student. Dixie State College seeks to provide an academic and work environment free of discrimination and sexual harassment for students, faculty, and staff employees.

33.3 Definitions

33.3.1 Sexual Harassment: Any unwelcome treatment that is sexual in nature or occurs substantially because of the gender of the victim, which creates a work or learning environment which a "reasonable person" would find negative, hostile, intimidating or offensive. The creation of such an environment is established when the behavior is either severe or repeated.

33.3.2 Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment: When a faculty member’s, supervisor’s or employee’s behavior creates the reasonable perception in the mind of a student or subordinate that the granting or withholding of tangible academic or job benefits shall be based on the granting of sexual favors.

33.3.3 Consensual Relationships: Romantic or sexual relationship between a supervisor and an employee or between a faculty member and a student.

33.3.4 Faculty or faculty member: As used in this policy, the terms faculty or faculty member mean all those who teach at the College, and include adjunct faculty with teaching responsibilities and other instructional personnel.

33.3.5 Staff or staff member: As used in this policy, the terms staff or staff member means a person other than a faculty member who receives compensation for work or services from funds controlled by the College, regardless of the source of the funds, the duties of the position, or the amount of compensation paid.

33.3.6 Student: As used in this policy, a student means a person duly registered in any class or program of instruction or training offered by the College at any level, whether or not for credit.

33.3.7 Employee: As used in this policy, the term employee refers to faculty and staff.

33.4 Sexual Harassment

33.4.1 No student or employee of Dixie State College may engage in harassing conduct which creates a hostile work or learning environment for other students or employees.

33.4.2 No Dixie State College employee may induce or foster a reasonable perception in the mind of a student or subordinate that the granting or withholding of tangible academic or job benefits shall be based on the granting of sexual favors.

33.4.3 Dixie State College seeks to provide fair, expeditious and uniform procedures by which claims regarding harassment or consensual relationships may be investigated and resolved within the College community. Dixie State College also wishes to safeguard the rights of those accused of harassment. Therefore, sanctions shall be imposed upon students or employees of Dixie State College only in accordance with due process.

33.4.4 Laws Regarding Discrimination and Harassment: Discrimination and harassment are prohibited by Titles IV, VI, and VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. They are also prohibited by the Utah Anti-discrimination Act. In addition, various other constitutional provisions, statutes and common law causes of action prohibit such discriminatory conduct. It is the policy of Dixie State College to enforce these laws among its students and employees.

33.4.5 Any supervising employee, who knows or has reason to know of violations of this policy in any activity under his/her supervision, conducted under the auspices of Dixie State College, must bring it to the attention of the Human Resources Director, if it involves employees, contracted services, or campus visitors, or to the Vice President of Student Services, if it involves students.

33.4.6 Any student or employee who knows of violations of this policy in any activity conducted under the auspices of Dixie State College must report such conduct to the attention of the Human Resources Office, if it involves employees, contracted services, or campus visitors, or to the Vice President of Student Services, if it involves students, or to a supervisor.

33.5 Consensual Relationships

33.5.1 Dixie State College's educational mission is promoted by professionalism in faculty-student relationships. Professionalism is fostered by an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Actions of faculty members and students that harm this atmosphere undermine professionalism and hinder fulfillment of the College's educational mission. Trust and respect are diminished when those in positions of authority abuse or appear to abuse their power. In addition, inappropriate sexual relationships have myriad other negative effects on the lives and families of faculty, staff, and students. Professional ethics require that faculty members strictly avoid consensual relationships with students under their direct supervision.

33.5.2 The respect and trust accorded a faculty member by a student greatly diminish the student's actual freedom of choice should sexual favors be included among the faculty member's other demands of a legitimate academic nature. The power exercised by the faculty member in encouraging further study, giving grades, and supporting future employment creates an imbalance in the relationship that can undermine the student's ability to act wisely. Though the relationship may appear to be consensual, it will be deemed unethical and unprofessional and be considered to constitute a violation of this policy and to be a cause for discipline under this policy unless the situation is remedied by reassigning performance evaluations, reporting responsibilities, or grade assignments to other qualified individuals. Faculty who engage in such consensual relationships and do not take steps to resolve the conflict of interest may be subject to the filing of a complaint under this policy.

33.5.3 Anyone who enters into a romantic or sexual relationship where a difference in power or authority exists must realize that if a charge of sexual harassment is lodged, it will be exceedingly difficult to sustain a defense on the grounds of mutual consent. Utah law may preclude the College from defending and indemnifying an employee in such circumstances.

33.6 Procedures

33.6.1 Protection of the Parties

33.6.1.1 Complaint investigations shall be treated with discretion to protect the privacy of those involved, as permitted by law.

33.6.1.2 Participants in such complaint proceedings shall treat all information as confidential. However, Dixie State College cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality and expressly reserves any immunities or defenses it has in this regard.

33.6.1.3 The intentional disparagement of a complainant, respondent or witness during the pendency of an investigation shall constitute a violation of this policy.

33.6.1.4 Neither the respondent nor her/his representatives shall contact the complainant regarding the allegations unless such contact is arranged by the Human Resources Director or the Vice President of Student Services, with the permission of the complainant.

33.6.1.5 To any person who opposes a practice which is forbidden by this policy, or has filed a complaint, testified, assisted or participated in any manner in an investigative proceeding or hearing under this policy, retaliation is prohibited.

33.6.1.5.1 Individuals found guilty of any retaliation may face disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion.

33.6.2 Initial Report

33.6.2.1 Any person who believes s/he is the victim of discrimination or harassment or who has knowledge of such conduct must report that conduct directly to the Human Resources Director, to a supervisor or to the Vice President of Student Services.

33.6.2.2 A supervisor, if contacted will refer the report immediately to the Human Resources Director, if it involves employees, or to the Vice President of Student Services, if it involves students.

33.6.2.3 A complaint alleging discrimination or harassment must be filed within 120 calendar days of the date of the last alleged occurence.

33.6.2.4 The preferred, but not required, reporting method is the use of the Discrimination/Harassment Intake Form available from the Human Resources Office.

33.6.2.5 If a complainant is unwilling to sign an Intake Form attesting to the truth of the allegations contained therein, the complainant should be informed that her/his refusal may hinder the conducting of an investigation.

33.6.2.6 Regardless of whether a signed complaint or intake form is received, the Human Resources Director or Vice President of Student Services shall use her/his best efforts to resolve the problem.

33.6.3 Investigation

33.6.3.1 The Human Resources Director or Vice President of Student Services will investigate all reported incidents of discrimination or harassment.

33.6.3.2 Within the Human Resources Director's or the Vice President of Student Services’ discretion, s/he may attempt informally to facilitate an agreement satisfactory to the parties.

33.6.3.3 An investigation of formal complaints shall be completed within forty-five (45) days of the filing of the complaint. If for any reason, an extension is necessary, the parties will be notified in writing of the status of the investigation, and the probable date of completion.

33.6.3.4 If after initial investigation the complaint appears to be of a criminal nature the Human Resources Director or Vice President of Student Services will counsel with the College Attorney and refer the matter to the proper authorities, in addition to conducting formal campus procedures.

33.6.3.5 When there are multiple complaints arising from the same occurrences they may be consolidated into one investigation.

33.6.3.6 The Human Resources Director or Vice President of Student Services shall promptly inform the accused, in writing, of the existence and nature of the charge(s) filed against them.

33.6.3.7 The accused will also be informed of their rights and responsibilities during the investigation, and shall be provided an overview of the anticipated investigative procedures.

33.6.3.8 When allegations involve an employee, the Human Resources Director shall inform the dean level and/or immediate supervisor with line authority over the accused named in the complaint that an investigation has been initiated.

33.6.3.9 In cases where informal resolution is not possible or sought, a formal investigation will be conducted by the Human Resources Director or the Vice President of Student Services.

33.6.3.10 The extent of a formal investigation shall be determined by the Human Resources Director or Vice President of Student Services, but at a minimum shall include interviews with all complainants, accused and others with possible knowledge of relevant information.

33.6.4 Findings

33.6.4.1 At the conclusion of the investigation the Human Resources Director or Vice President of Student Services shall make available to the concerned parties a written report. The report shall review the complaint, response, evidence adduced from the investigation and findings.

33.6.4.2 The findings shall indicate whether a policy violation occurred.

33.6.4.3 The findings will be presented to the appropriate vice president.

33.6.4.4 The parties shall then have ten working days to provide the vice president with their written responses to the investigation report.

33.6.4.5 Once the appropriate vice president has reviewed the report of the Human Resources Director or Vice President of Student Services along with any responses thereto filed by any of the parties, s/he shall determine whether to close the complaint, conduct further investigations, attempt informal conciliation between the parties, or initiate disciplinary proceedings.

33.6.4.6 Further investigations may include forming a special hearing committee, or turning the matter over to the Utah Anti-discrimination Division of the Industrial Commission or the Attorney General's Office.

33.6.4.7 The vice president will notify the parties in writing of his/her conclusions and related actions.

33.6.5 Remedial Action

33.6.5.1 If the findings indicate a policy violation occurred, the vice president shall implement corrective and remedial steps to eliminate the effects of the discrimination or harassment.

33.6.5.2 The complainant and respondent shall be given a written notice of any specific corrective and remedial action to be taken.

33.6.5.3 Employees and students found guilty of discrimination or harassment may face disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion. Imposition of such discipline will not occur unless the respondent has been afforded due process.

33.6.5.4 Complainants found to have made malicious and unfounded charges will be disciplined.

33.6.5.5 All disciplined employees and students will be notified of their right to the established grievance or appeal processes.

33.6.6 Complaint Reviews

33.6.6.1 Within 90 days following the resolution of a complaint or the imposition of sanctions, the Human Resources Director or Vice President of Student Services shall conduct a review to determine if the specified remedial and corrective measures have been implemented.

33.6.7 Records

33.6.7.1 Records of all discrimination or harassment complaints shall be maintained and stored for a minimum of three years in the Human Resources Office or Vice President of Student Services’ Office.

33.6.7.2 Findings will be recorded in an offending employee’s file when they indicate a policy violation occurred.

33.6.7.3 All information contained in the complaint file is classified as confidential.