Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy

The following information is from the UNC Policy Manual. For the entire current policy, please access the University Board Policy Manualand see sections 1-1-503, 1-1-508 (1-4), 2-2-201, and 2-2-202.

Non-Discrimination Policy

The University will not engage in unlawful discrimination in employment or educational services against any person because of race, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status. It is the University’s policy to prohibit discrimination in employment or educational services on the basis of sexual orientation or political affiliation. The University will take affirmative action to ensure that student applicants and enrolled students are treated during enrollment at the University without regard to race, religion, gender, age, national
origin, disability or veteran status. Such affirmative action shall include, but not be limited to, the following: employment, upgrading, demotion, or transfer, recruitment or recruitment advertising; layoff, retirement, or termination; rates of pay or other forms of compensation; and selection for training, including apprenticeship. Furthermore, the University will post in conspicuous places, notice setting forth the provisions of this University’s Equal Opportunity Policy.

  • Discrimination – It is a violation of University Policy to discriminate in the provision of educational or employment opportunities, benefits or privileges; to create discriminatory work or academic conditions; or to use discriminatory evaluative standards in employment or educational settings if the basis of that discriminatory treatment is, in whole or part, the person’s race, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.
  • Discrimination of certain types is also legally prohibited by a variety of federal, state and local laws, including the “Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act of 1957, as amended” C.R.S. Section 24-34-101 et.seq. (1973): the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. Section 621-34; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, 42 U.S.C. Section 2000(d); Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, 42 U.S.C. Section 1681; Executive Order 11246 as amended; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; 29 U.S.C. Section 701; Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 U.S.C. Section 1681, et.seq.; Section 402 of the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974; and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The University Policy is intended to comply with the requirements of these anti-discrimination laws as they may be amended form time to time.

Policy on Sexual Harassment

It is the policy of the Board of Trustees of the University to maintain the University as a place of work, study, and residence, free of sexual harassment and exploitation of its students, faculty, staff, and administrators. Sexual harassment is defined as set forth in 2-2-201. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the definitions of discrimination and sexual harassment shall not include conduct, discourse, materials or methodologies which serve legitimate education purposes and are protected by the accepted tenets of academic freedom, the first amendment, or are otherwise constitutionally protected. Violation of this policy is absolutely prohibited on the campus or in relationship to any university programs wherever located. The University is committed to take appropriate action against those who violate the University’s policy prohibiting sexual harassment, including corrective and disciplinary action. In addition, the University will take all reasonable steps to prevent or eliminate sexual harassment by non-employees including customers, clients, and suppliers who are likely to have contact with University students, faculty or employees.

  • Sexual Harassment – The Policy prohibits sexual harassment by any faculty, student, staff, invitee or agent of the University (“University community”). The University adheres to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s definition of sexual harassment as modified for the University setting. 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, living conditions and/or an academic evaluation;
    2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual; or
    3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment.

Non-Retaliation Policy

The University will not tolerate reprisal or retaliation of any kind against an individual who in good faith complains of discrimination or sexual harassment under law or these University policies, or who participates in any procedure to investigate and address a complaint regarding discrimination or sexual harassment. Any University employee, official or student who is in violation of this non-retaliation policy will be subject to discipline.

Frivolous or Malicious Charges

Accusations of discrimination or sexual harassment are of utmost seriousness and should never be made casually and without cause. This Policy shall not be used to bring frivolous or malicious charges. Disciplinary action may be taken under the appropriate University policy against any person bringing a charge of discrimination or sexual harassment in bad faith, subject to the non-retaliation provisions of law and 1-1-507(4).

Amorous Relationships

Members of the University community, whether faculty members, students, supervisors, or supervisees put academic and professional trust and ethics at risk when they engage in an amorous romantic/sexual relationship with persons whom they have a direct evaluative relationship. Because these relationships may give rise to the perception on the part of others that there is favoritism or bias in academic or employment decisions, the University discourages such relationships. The atmosphere created by such appearances of bias or favoritism has the potential to undermine the spirit of trust and mutual respect essential to a healthy work and academic environment. Even when the parties have initially consented to such relationships, they can render the parties and the institution vulnerable to possible later allegations of sexual harassment in light of the power differential that may exist. All members of the University Community are expected to be aware of their professional responsibilities and avoid apparent or actual conflict of interest, favoritism, or bias. When an amorous romantic/sexual relationship exists, effective steps should be taken to ensure unbiased evaluation or supervision of the student or employee. Failure to take such steps shall constitute a violation of Board Policy 1-1-502, Conflict of Interest.

Information and Referral

Students, staff and faculty who desire information, have questions about procedures or believe that they may have been discriminated against or sexually harassed are encouraged to contact the Director of Human Resources & Employee Relations Officer as designated by the Vice President for Administration.
The person inquiring shall be given information on discrimination and sexual harassment generally, on campus policy and procedures specifically, and on the availability for recourse to external agencies.

Discrimination Review

  • Purpose – these procedures are designed for the investigation and review of complaints by students, faculty and staff of discrimination and sexual harassment arising at the University of Northern Colorado, including complaints related to off-campus activities or programs of the University
  • Role and Function of the Director of Human Resources & Employee Relations (AA/EEO, Title IX Officer) . The AA/EEO, Title IX Officer has the primary responsibility of implementing the University’s Equal Opportunity Policy, including antidiscrimination and sexual harassment provisions. The AA/EEO, Title IX Office is authorized to investigate all complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination, frivolous or malicious charges, and any claims of retaliatory acts alleged to have arisen from within the University community.

Internal University Procedures for Reviewing Complaints of Discrimination and Sexual Harassment. In order to trigger an internal review, the complaining party must initiate a complaint of discrimination and/or sexual harassment within thirty (30) days of the alleged discriminatory act(s). The AA/EEO, Title IX Officer will promptly investigate and attempt to resolve any such complaints within either the administrative (employees) or academic (students) frame-work of the University. If a complaint cannot be promptly resolved by the AA/EEO, Title IX Officer to the satisfaction of the parties within thirty (30) calendar days from the initiation of the complaint with the AA/EEO, Title IX Officer, the complainant will be referred by the AA/EEO, Title IX Officer as set forth in subsections (a) and (b) below. The AA/EEO, Title IX Officer’s investigation and attempt at resolution may be extended beyond thirty (30) days only upon written agreement by both (all) parties and then only for no more than an additional thirty (30) days. For a complete description of the procedures to be followed, please see the University Board Policy Manual2-2-201et seq.

Procedures Outside the University

The complaining party at all times during an AA/EEO, Title IX investigation and attempt at resolution retains the right to pursue a claim with an external entity having jurisdiction over the matter. Use of the University’s internal processes does not affect the applicable time limitations for filing of such complaints or charges. After the termination or conclusion of any internal investigation, or in the case where the complaining party has filed a change of discrimination directly with an external agency, the AA/EEO, Title IX Officer may conduct investigations of complaints of violations of law which have been filed with and are being investigated by external government agencies such as the Colorado Civil Rights Commission or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Such investigations shall be conducted only at the request of and under the direction and control of the University General Counsel. Any reports, notes or files of the AA/EEO, Title IX Officer may be subject to the attorney work product privilege and therefore not disclosable or discoverable to parties other than the University except as required by law. The filing of a complaint or charge with the appropriate governmental entity with jurisdiction will terminate an AA/EEO, Title IX internal investigation and attempt at resolution, if one has been initiated.

Reports, Files and Confidentiality

The AA/EEO, Title IX Officer will treat complaint files as confidential, to the extent allowed by law, either as personnel files in the case of employees or as non-directory student files in the case of students. Anonymous complaints will not be investigated. Only enrolled students or current employees have standing to bring a complaint to the AA/EEO, Title IX Officer. Persons accused of violations of law or policy will be advised of the nature and details of the complaint and the identity of the complaining parties, and will be afforded an opportunity to respond to the AA/EEO, Title IX Officer. (See Non-Retaliation Policy.)
If the AA/EEO, Title IX Officer prepares a written report of his or her investigation, the report will summarize evidentiary facts only and will not state legal findings of fact or conclusions of law concerning the complaint.