4.1 Policy

  1. Policy and Rationale.
    1. Sexual harassment subverts the mission of the University and threatens the careers, educational experience, and well-being of students, faculty, and staff. The University will not tolerate sexual harassment, nor will it tolerate unwelcomed behavior of a sexual nature toward members of the University community when that behavior creates an intimidating or hostile environment for employment, education, on-campus living, or participation in a University activity.
    2. Sexual harassment is especially serious when an instructor harasses a student or a supervisor harasses a subordinate. In such situations, sexual harassment unfairly exploits the power inherent in an instructor's or supervisor's position. However, while sexual harassment often takes place in situations where there is an abuse of a power differential between the persons involved, the University recognizes that sexual harassment is not limited to such situations. Sexual harassment can occur when a student harasses an instructor, when a subordinate harasses a supervisor, or between persons of the same University status.
  2. Prohibited conduct. The University of Iowa forbids sexual harassment by any member of the University community.
    1. Definition of sexual harassment. For purposes of this policy, "sexual harassment" means persistent, repetitive, or egregious conduct directed at a specific individual or group of individuals that a reasonable person would interpret, in the full context in which the conduct occurs, as harassment of a sexual nature, when:
      1. Submission to such conduct is made or threatened to be made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment, education, on-campus living environment, or participation in a University activity; or
      2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used or threatened to be used as a basis for a decision affecting employment, education, on-campus living environment, or participation in a University activity; or
      3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with work or educational performance, or of creating an intimidating or hostile environment for employment, education, on-campus living, or participation in a University activity.
    2. Evidence of sexual harassment. Behavior that may constitute, or be evidence of, prohibited sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following:
      1. Physical assault;
      2. Direct or implied threats that submission to sexual advances will be a condition of, or that failure to submit to such advances will adversely affect, employment, work status, promotion, grades, letters of recommendation, or participation in a University activity;
      3. Direct propositions of a sexual nature or persistent unwelcomed efforts to pursue a romantic or sexual relationship, including subtle pressure for sexual activity, an element of which may be repeated staring;
      4. A pattern of unwelcomed sexually explicit gestures, statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes, whether made physically, orally, in writing, or through electronic media (see also II-19 Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources);
      5. A pattern of unwelcomed conduct involving:
        1. Unnecessary touching;
        2. Remarks of a sexual nature about a person's clothing or body;
        3. Remarks relating to sexual activity or speculations concerning previous sexual experience; or
        4. Stalking another person who reasonably perceives the stalker is pursuing a romantic and/or sexual relationship. Stalking of a sexual nature that is directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
      6. A display of graphic sexual material (not legitimately related to the subject matter of a course, if one is involved, or to job requirements) in a context where others are not free to avoid the display because of an employment or educational requirement or without surrendering a privilege or opportunity that others may reasonably expect to enjoy in that location;
      7. Domestic/dating violence.
    3. In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, the investigator will consider all available information and will review the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident(s) occurred. Although repeated incidents generally create a stronger claim of sexual harassment, a single serious incident can be sufficient. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis.
    4. Expression that constitutes a protected exercise of an individual's free speech rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution shall not be deemed a violation of this policy.
    5. Isolated behavior of the kind described in II-4.1b(2) that does not rise to the level of sexual harassment but that, if repeated, could rise to that level, demonstrates insensitivity that may warrant remedial measures. Academic or administrative officers who become aware of such behavior in their areas should counsel those who have engaged in the behavior. Such counsel should include a clear statement that the behavior is not acceptable and should cease, information about the potential consequences if such behavior persists, and a recommendation, as appropriate, to undertake an educational program designed to help the person(s) understand the harm caused by the behavior.
  3. Definitions of other terms used in this policy:
    1. "Academic or administrative officer" includes the following:
      1. Collegiate deans (including associate deans and assistant deans),
      2. Faculty members with administrative responsibilities at the level of departmental executive officer (DEO) or above,
      3. Any staff member whose primary job responsibility is to provide advice regarding a student's academic pursuits or other University-related activities,
      4. Any faculty or staff member serving as departmental (or collegiate) director or coordinator of undergraduate or graduate studies, or as a director or coordinator of any departmental, collegiate, or University off-campus academic program (including any study-abroad program),
      5. The President, Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator, vice presidents (including assistant and associate vice presidents), and Provost (including assistant and associate provosts), and those persons' designees,
      6. Directors and supervisors in an employment context, including faculty and staff who supervise student employees, in relation to matters involving the employees they supervise (other than Department of Public Safety personnel when receiving criminal complaints or reports), and
      7. Human resource representatives (including all central University Human Resources staff).
    2. "Alleged victim": a person who allegedly has been harassed or subjected to unwelcomed sexual behavior.
    3. "Complainant": the person who makes a report or brings a complaint alleging unwelcomed sexual behavior or sexual harassment, who could be an alleged victim, a third party, or an academic or administrative officer of the University.
    4. "Domestic/dating violence" is coercive, abusive, and/or threatening behavior toward a current or former intimate or romantic partner. These behaviors may include physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, or injure the victim/survivor. 
    5. "Graduate assistant": a graduate student employed by the University as a research assistant or teaching assistant.
    6. "Human resources representative": an individual designated as a unit's authority on human resource policies and procedures, and all central University Human Resources staff.
    7. "Instructor": a person engaged in teaching students or in evaluation or supervision, direct or indirect, of a student's academic work.
    8. "Member of the University community": any University student, or faculty or staff member.
    9. "Protected interests": University employment, education, on-campus living, or participation in a University activity.
    10. "Respondent": a person who has been accused of unwelcomed sexual behavior or sexual harassment.
    11. "Specific and credible allegations": allegations that provide factual details such as, but not limited to, time, place, actions, participants, and witnesses. Allegations do not have to be based on firsthand observation of events to be "specific and credible," but direct observation normally results in greater specificity and credibility than indirect knowledge.
    12. "Stalking" includes but is not limited to:
      1. Non-consensual communication including in-person communication, telephone calls, voice messages, text messages, email messages, social networking site postings, instant messages, postings of pictures or information on websites, written letters, gifts, ordering goods or services, or any other communications that are undesired and/or place another person in fear;
      2. Following, pursuing, waiting, or showing up uninvited at a workplace, place of residence, classroom, or other locations frequented by a complainant;
      3. Monitoring online activities, surveillance, and other types of observation, whether by physical proximity or electronic means, attempts to gather information about the complainant;
      4. Vandalism, including attacks on data and equipment;
      5. Direct physical and/or verbal threats against a complainant or a complainant's family, friends, co-workers, and/or classmates, including animal abuse;
      6. Gathering of information about a complainant from family, friends, co-workers, and/or classmates;
      7. Manipulative and controlling behaviors such as threats to harm oneself, or threats to harm someone close to the complainant;
      8. Defamation or slander against the complainant, posting false information about the complainant and/or posing as the complainant to post to websites, newsgroups, blogs, or other sites that allow public contributions, encouraging others to harass the complainant;
      9. Posing as someone other than oneself to initiate transactions, financial credit, loans, or other contractual agreements;
      10. Arranging to meet complainant under false pretenses.
    13. "Supervisor": a person who has authority either: 1) to undertake or recommend tangible employment decisions (those that significantly change an employee's employment status, such as, but not limited to, hiring, firing, promoting, demoting, reviewing performance, reassigning, and compensation decisions) affecting an employee, or 2) to direct the employee's daily work activities.
    14. "Third-party complainant": a person who makes a report or brings a complaint alleging that someone else has been subjected to unwelcomed sexual behavior or sexual harassment.