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Administrative Offices
Office of Academic Affairs

Sexual Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedures

Approved by Faculty Senate
March 10, 1997

Harassmenton thebasis of sex is a violation of section 703 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as Title IX of the Education Amendments of ]972. Indiana University does not tolerate sexual harassment of students or employees. Men and womenwho believe they are victims of sexual harassment as well as those who observe sexual harassment should report such incidents at the earliest possible time. Indiana University will promptly investigate every sexual harassment complaint, respond, and take corrective action to stop the harassment and prevent the misconduct from recurring. Violation of this policy will result in corrective action, up to and including dismissal. The severity of the corrective action will depend on the circumstances of the particular case.

Once a person in a position of authority has knowledge, or should have had knowledge, of conduct constituting sexual harassment, Indiana University is exposed to liability. Therefore, any supervisor, manager or faculty member who is aware of any unlawful sexual harassment and condones it, by action or inaction, will also be subject to corrective action.


University faculty, staff and students.


Indiana University Kokomo does not tolerate sexual harassment and responds to every complaint, providing proper remediation when harassment is determined.

This Policy serves to support the University's commitment to the principles of equal educational and employment opportunities for all persons and to positive action toward the elimination of discrimination in all aspects of university life.


All members of the university community, including employees and students have the right to raise the issue of harassment, and are protected by faculty and staff personnel policies, student codes and the University's Equal Opportunity Policy. Sexual harassment can be a grievous action having serious and far-reaching effects on the careers and lives of individuals. False accusations can have a similar impact. Thus a charge of sexual harassment is not to be taken lightly by a charging party, a respondent, or any other member of the University community.

Sexual harassment is a specific form of sex discrimination. This form of discrimination usually occurs when the power inherent in a faculty member's or supervisor's relationship to his or her students or subordinates is unfairly exploited. While sexual harassment most often takes place in a situation of power differential between persons involved, this Policy recognizes also that sexual harassment may occur between persons of the same University status, i.e., student-student, faculty-faculty or staff-staff.

The University's mission is promoted by professionalism in faculty-student and supervisor-employee relationships. Professionalism is fostered by an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect which is diminished when those in positions of authority abuse or appear to abuse their power. Consenting amorous or sexual relationships between faculty members and students for whom they have professional responsibility (either instructional or non-instructional) are viewed as violations of the University's "Code of Academic Ethics." Moreover, such relationships between supervisors and employees, while not expressly forbidden, are deemed very unwise and can lead to charges of sexual harassment.

The Affirmative Action Office is vested with the responsibility to ensure University compliance with this Policy. The Affirmative Action Officer provides information and education on University policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment: serves as a resource to those who may be affected by sexual harassment; investigates and either resolves all complaints of sexual harassment, or refers them, when appropriate, to an alternative procedure for resolution. Justice requires that the rights and concerns of both the complainant and respondent be fully assured. The Affirmative Action Officer makes every effort to protect these rights, and to assure that no action is undertaken that threatens or compromises them.

Prevention is the best tool for the elimination of sexual harassment. Each dean, director, department chairperson and/or administrative officer is responsible within his/her area of jurisdiction for the implementation, dissemination, and explanation of this policy. It is the obligation for each faculty, staff, or student member of the University to adhere to this Policy.


In accordance with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines, the "IUK Sexual Harassment Policy" defines sexual harassment as follows:

Unwelcome sexual advances--requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature--constitute sexual harassment when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or education, or
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is use as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual, or
  3. Such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or creating, an
    intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, or learning environment.

This applies to all conduct, regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the individuals involved.


Many types of conduct, stemming, from unwanted sexual attention, may constitute sexual harassment. The following are some illustrations for the ran-e of behaviors characteristic of sexual harassment.

Ø Unwanted propositions for sexual favors, particularly when accompanied by threats of retaliation or promises of special consideration;

Ø Physical assault;

Ø Unwanted propositions or invitations for dates;

Ø Sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, anecdotes, pictures or graffiti;

Ø Direct or implied threats that submission to sexual advances will be a condition of employment, work status, promotion, grades, or letters of recommendation;

Ø Offensive gender-based personal remarks, including verbal, written, graphic,
computer generated or e-mail communications;

Ø Unnecessary touching, patting, hugging, or brushing against a person's
body; or

Ø Patterns of conduct causing the person to whom it is directed to feel humiliated, demeaned or uncomfortable, including remarks of a sexual nature about a person's clothing or body, remarks about sexual activity, or speculations about previous sexual experience.


Individuals who believe they have been sexually harassed, as well as those who observe or are aware of sexual, harassment, should report such incidents at the earliest possible time. Faculty, staff or students who believe that they have been sexually harassed should notify either their supervisor, the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Vice Chancellor of Student Services, Director of Human Resources and/or the Affirmative Action Officer. Complaints should be forwarded to the Affirmative Action Officer for investigation and resolution. The Affirmative Action Officer can be contacted in Room 053 in the Main Building, 2300 S. Washington Street, Kokomo, Indiana, 46904-9003 and by telephone at 765-455-9529.

Within fourteen days of receipt of a written complaint, the Affirmative Action Officer shall proceed with conducting an investigation of the complaint for the purpose of effecting a resolution. Because of the sensitive and discriminatory nature of charges of sexual harassment, complaint procedures will observe the following principles and guidelines:

  1. A confidential direct personal interview will be held with the complainant or victim for the purposes of completing a "Complaint Form," and to gather specific information detailing the nature of the allegations. A confidential interview will also be held with the accused party.
  2. Information regarding complaints shall be restricted to the complainant, the accused party, and those persons directly involved in the resolution of the matter.
  3. All records, memoranda, correspondence, and other information/materials related to complaint investigations conducted by the Affirmative Action Officer shall be retained.
  4. Complaint investigations will be conducted as promptly as possible, and the results will be reported in writing to the Chancellor, the complainant, the accused party and other persons involved in the resolution.
  5. If a complaint is found to be valid, action will be taken through appropriate channels of the University to rectify the situation so that such incidents do not occur in the future. University complaint channels for appeal will be open to the complainant and the accused party. Students and faculty should refer to Part 11: Student Complaint Procedures in the Indiana University Code of Student Ethics,.
  6. University policy prohibits retaliation against an individual because of the filing of a complaint, or cooperating with a complaint investigation. Such incidents will be considered seriously and action will be taken expeditiously to prevent or correct such conduct.

[1] See also Board of Trustees document approved 6/15/98

Last updated: 11/25/2015