(Amended 9/21/18; 1/20)
Effective January 2020, this policy has been revised. For individual changes, see the redlined version.
- "Good-faith report" means disclosure of university-related misconduct made with a belief in the truth of the report which a reasonable person in the reporter's position could hold based upon the facts. (Such report is sometimes called "whistleblowing.") A report may be initiated in good faith regardless of whether the complaint is ultimately founded or unfounded. A report is not in good faith if made with reckless disregard for or willful ignorance of facts that would disprove the report.
- "University-related misconduct" includes any activity by a university department or by an employee that is undertaken in the performance of the employee's official duties, whether or not such action is within the scope of the individual's employment, and that is in violation of any state or federal law or regulation or university regulation or policy, including but not limited to corruption, bribery, theft of university property, fraudulent claims, fraud, coercion, conversion, discrimination, sexual harassment, civil rights violations, misuse of university property and facilities, or willful failure to perform duty.
- "Impacted party" means any student, staff, or faculty who in good faith reports real or perceived university-related misconduct and who experiences retaliation as a result of this action, consistent with the definition of retaliation within this policy.
- "Third-party reporter" means any student, staff, faculty member, or other covered individual who in good faith makes a complaint of retaliation upon an impacted party under this policy.
- "Other covered individuals" means any person who has participated in complaint investigations or related proceedings or who has a close association with someone who has reported university-related misconduct or filed a complaint of retaliation.
- "Retaliation" means any materially adverse action or credible threat of a materially adverse action by the university, or member thereof, taken against any faculty member, staff member, or student for having made a good-faith report of university-related misconduct, or taken to deter such a report in the future, or taken against another covered individual because of a close association with someone who has made or may make such a report.
- "Materially adverse action" means any action that causes or threatens to cause significant injury or harm to an impacted party, a third-party reporter, or other covered person such that it would likely dissuade a reasonable member of the faculty, staff, or student body from making or supporting a good-faith report of university-related misconduct. Adverse action does not include an action, including employment or academic action, that would have been taken regardless of the good-faith report of misconduct.
- Faculty and staff. Adverse actions may include, but are not limited to, employment actions such as discharge, demotion, suspension, denial of tenure or promotion, detrimental changes in work assignments, threats, harassment, purposeful exclusion from job interactions, and otherwise being substantially disadvantaged with respect to compensation or the terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. Adverse actions may also include actions or threats not directly related to employment if the actions would dissuade a reasonable faculty or staff member from making or supporting a complaint of university-related misconduct.
- Students. Adverse actions may include, but are not limited to, expulsion, suspension, disenrollment, grade reductions, denial of employment or training opportunities, exclusion from academic or extracurricular activities or opportunities, threats, harassment, or otherwise being substantially disadvantaged with respect to the academic, residential or extracurricular life.
- Other covered individuals. Adverse actions may include those mentioned above as well as those that may prevent the individual from pursuing and/or obtaining employment.