Harassment and Discrimination | University of Portland

Harassment and Discrimination

Harassment and Discrimination Policy | Harassment and Discrimination Complaint Procedure

Addendum to Harassment and Discrimination Policies

Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy

Harassment and Discrimination Policy

The University of Portland is committed to maintaining a safe environment free from all forms of unlawful harassment, as well as any violence, threats of violence, or intimidation by an administrator, faculty, staff, student, or visitor (including independent contractors) that impact the University or a member of the University community. 

Prohibited behavior can include physical acts, oral or written statements made in any medium (e.g. face to face, via regular or electronic mail, or via telephone), gestures and expressions, or behaviors such as stalking. All employees of the University are asked to be sensitive to these issues and their relationship to the individual rights and dignities of their co-workers. The University does not condone, nor will it tolerate, any form of sexual harassment as it undermines the University’s mission of teaching, faith, and service. Federal law and University standards of excellence demand that employees and students MUST be provided with an environment free from any harassment based upon their race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, national origins, or handicaps.

Violations of this policy will be treated seriously and with prompt action. Any employee found in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination. Any individual who violates this policy may be removed and barred from University premises. In addition, where necessary, the University may refer incidents of violence, threats of violence, or intimidation to the appropriate prosecuting attorney or other law enforcement agency.

Violence, threats of violence, or intimidation should be reported immediately to campus safety. On campus, call extension x4444 for emergencies and x7161 for non-emergencies. Off campus callers must dial 503.943.4444 for emergencies and 503.943.7161 for non-emergencies.

It is the intent of the University to provide a campus environment free from all forms of verbal, physical, and visual harassment. All employees of the University are asked to be sensitive to these issues and their relationship to the individual rights and dignities of their co-workers. 

The University defines sexual harassment as follows: 

  • unwelcomed sexual advance
  • request for sexual favors
  • any verbal or physical conduct when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term of condition of an individual's employment or education
  • any verbal or physical conduct when submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or education decisions affecting such an individual
  • any verbal or physical conduct when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or learning performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment

Any act of sexual harassment is subject to disciplinary action by the University. 

All faculty and staff are required to complete a self-administered online sexual harassment education program. Notification of the program website will be sent to all faculty and staff upon their start dates. For faculty and staff who fail to complete the program within the academic year of initial notice, future salary increases shall be withheld until the program is completed.

Because the potential for abuse or the appearance of abuse when dealing with authority, the University prohibits any member of the University community from engaging in a romantic and/or sexual relationship with any other member of the University community whom that person supervises in any way. Exceptions to this prohibition will be considered on a limited, case-by-case basis by the Office of the Provost, or by the director of human resources who will bring the issue to the attention of the appropriate officer(s) of the University.

Procedures for sexual harassment policy enforcement begin with complaints. Complaints of sexual harassment should be brought to the director of human resources or any of the University officers. Click here to view the University’s Harassment and Discrimination Complaint Procedure.

The procedures for enforcement of the University's sexual harassment policy are for all complaints except for those of a student brought against another student, in which case the process outlined in the Student Handbook under the heading "University Policies and Community Standards" shall supersede the policies above.

Complaint Procedures in Cases of Alleged Unlawful Discrimination or Harassment

The University of Portland prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, ethnic origin, age, sex, marital status, disability, or other unlawful basis. The goal of the procedures outlined below is to ensure that non-discrimination is a reality at University of Portland and that no person in the University community is subjected to such unlawful conduct. All members of the University community can assist in the furtherance of this goal by ensuring that complaints of discrimination are promptly directed to the departments or individuals who have been designated to receive them, in accordance with these procedures.

Any employee, student, or applicant for employment or admission who believes that he or she has been subjected to any form of unlawful discrimination may make a complaint. Unlawful discrimination includes harassment based on an individual’s membership in any legally protected category. The University of Portland will conduct a fair and impartial investigation of all such complaints, with due regard for the rights of all parties. Retaliation against any person who has made a complaint of discrimination, or who has cooperated in the investigation of such a complaint, is illegal and a violation of University of Portland policy.

The purpose of these procedures is to ensure that all complaints of discrimination are thoroughly and fairly investigated by authorized University officials who have the necessary expertise.

Any complaint of discrimination should be referred to Human Resources (hr@up.edu) or anyone in a management position whom the complainant trusts.  Any employee who receives a complaint, but who is not specifically designated to formally handle such a complaint, is responsible for directing the complainant or otherwise referring the complaint to the Office of Human Resources. All complaints, either verbal or written, must be referred to the appropriate office, as set forth below.

I. Applicability of These Procedures

The process outlined in this section applies to all complaints of unlawful discrimination or harassment. Any person alleging sexual misconduct on the part of any University of Portland faculty or staff member, affiliate (e.g., visitor, vendor, etc.), or non-affiliate should contact the Office of Human Resources. Any person alleging sexual misconduct that involves a University of Portland student should contact University’s Title IX Office

II. Initiating a Complaint

Employees, students, or applicants for employment or admission who believe that they have been subjected to unlawful discrimination may initiate a complaint either by meeting with the appropriate individual in one of the offices listed below, or by submitting a written complaint to that individual or office. The information provided in the complaint should be as specific as possible regarding the circumstances that precipitated the complaint. The complaint should include the dates and places of the incidents at issue, the individuals involved, the names of any witnesses, any actions taken in an attempt to resolve the matter and the result of these actions, and any other pertinent information.

 Offices in Which a Complaint of Discrimination May Be Initiated

There are several offices available to receive complaints from students, faculty, and staff who believe they have been subjected to unlawful discrimination.

  • Office of Human Resources (faculty and staff)
  • Office of Student Affairs (students)
  • Office of the Provost (faculty)

Complaints by Students

Students may initiate a complaint by speaking to the dean’s office of the student’s school or by contacting the vice president for student affairs. Students living in University residences may also speak to a member of the residence life staff.

Complaints by Members of the Faculty or Staff

Faculty or staff may initiate a complaint by contacting the Office of Human Resources. Faculty may choose to initiate a complaint with the Office of the Provost. Employees in academic units may also initiate a complaint with the dean’s office of the applicable school or department.

Complaints from applicants for employment or admission, visitors, or other non-affiliated individuals

These complaints may be initiated in Office of Human Resources.

Complaints from students, faculty, or staff at off-site locations

Any individual at an off-site location, such as Salzburg, Austria, etc., may bring a complaint to any of the above offices as appropriate, to the study abroad office, or to the on-site director of the program.

III. Investigation and Resolution of Complaints

The offices available to receive complaints, noted above, were selected to give all members of the University community the opportunity to initiate a complaint in a place in which they will feel comfortable doing so. These offices have the responsibility, after speaking with the complainant and/or reviewing a written complaint, to ensure that the complaint is directed to the proper office or individual for investigation.

The University has designated specific offices and individuals to investigate complaints of unlawful discrimination. Depending upon whether the individual accused of engaging in discrimination is a student, a faculty member, or a staff member, the investigation will be conducted by the designated office or individual with the appropriate expertise and jurisdiction to do so. The offices and individuals responsible for investigating complaints of discrimination are set forth below. In any particular case, the University President may designate the office or individual to investigate a complaint. The University will ensure that no person who is the subject of a complaint will be assigned to investigate that complaint. The Office of Human Resources, if it is not conducting the investigation, will provide advice or assistance to the investigation process.

The investigation may involve meeting with the parties, interviewing witnesses, requesting written statements from the parties, informing the person whose actions are the subject of the complaint of the allegations and/or providing to that person a copy of the complainant’s statement, and/or making any other appropriate inquiries. Before any adverse determination is made, the individual whose actions are the subject of the complaint will be informed as to the nature of the complaint, and will have an opportunity to respond.

The investigation should be completed promptly so that a decision can be rendered within 60 calendar days of receipt of the complaint. If the investigation cannot be completed within 60 days, the complainant will be informed of the status of the investigation.

A confidential record of all complaints, including their disposition, will be maintained by the investigating unit. The Office of Human Resources will be informed and maintain a confidential record of all complaints of discrimination against faculty and staff investigated by other units. Records of complaints against students will be maintained by the office of Student Affairs.

A.    Complaints Against Students

The person who receives a complaint against a student will generally refer the matter for investigation to the Office of Student Affairs. The Office of Student Affairs will take any action that might be appropriate based on the results of the investigation, consistent with the applicable provisions as may be found in the Student Handbook.

B.   Complaints Against Faculty Members

The person who receives a complaint against a member of the faculty will refer the matter to the Office of Human Resources or the Office of the Provost, who will inform the Dean of the faculty member’s School. The complaint will be investigated by the Office of Human Resources. If the complaint also involves academic matters such as grades, curriculum, etc., the investigator will ensure that those matters are addressed by the appropriate officials within the Office of the Provost. The Dean of the School will be informed in writing of the findings of the investigation and will determine whether further action is appropriate. Any action involving faculty will be consistent with the procedures outlined in the Faculty Handbook.

C.      Complaints Against Staff Members

The person who receives a complaint against a member of the staff will refer the matter for investigation to the Office of Human Resources. The Office of Human Resources will investigate the complaint. The investigator will provide findings, in writing, to the Director of Human Resources, who will determine what action, if any, is appropriate. Action involving staff will be consistent with University policies.

IV. Confidentiality

Every reasonable effort will be made to protect the privacy and confidentiality of all parties during the investigation, consistent with and subject to the University’s need to investigate the complaint and/or implement decisions made in order to resolve the complaint. However, to enable the University to carry out its obligation to investigate all complaints fairly, and to ensure that non-discrimination is a reality within the University community, no representative of the University is authorized to promise complete confidentiality to any person who possesses information relevant to the investigation of a complaint, including the complainant. 

Any individual who requests confidentiality before disclosing a complaint must be informed that because any apparent violation of University of Portland policy must be addressed, complete confidentiality may not be possible.

V. National Science Foundation Requirements

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has certain notice requirements as follows:

Upon implementation, the new term and condition will require awardee organizations to notify NSF of any findings/determinations of sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault regarding an NSF funded PI or co-PI.

The new term and condition also will require the awardee to notify NSF if the PI or co-PI is placed on administrative leave or if the awardee has imposed any administrative action on the PI or any co-PI relating to any finding/determination or an investigation of an alleged violation of awardee policies or codes of conduct, statutes, regulations, or executive orders relating to sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault.  Finally, the award term and condition specifies the procedures that will be followed by NSF upon receipt of a notification.

Notifications must be submitted by an authorized organizational representative within 10 business days from the date of the finding/determination, or the date of the placement of a PI of co-PI by the awardee on administrative leave or the imposition of an administrative action, whichever is sooner.

The University will abide by all NSF requirements as applicable.