The University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder) is committed to maintaining a positive learning, working, and living environment. The University of Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation, or political philosophy in admission and access to, and treatment and employment in, its educational programs and activities. (Regent Law, Article 10, amended 9/17/13). 1 CU-Boulder will not tolerate acts of discrimination or harassment based upon Protected Classes, or related retaliation against or by any employee or student. For purposes of this CU-Boulder policy, "Protected Classes" refers to race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy,2 age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation, or political philosophy.
This Policy: (1) provides a definition of discrimination and harassment based upon Protected Classes and related retaliation; (2) prohibits discrimination and harassment based upon Protected Classes and related retaliation; and (3) sets out procedures to follow when a member of the CU-Boulder community believes a violation of the Policy has occurred. The University of Colorado policy prohibiting sexual harassment is set forth in the Administrative Policy Statement entitled, "Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures."
Robust discussion and debate are fundamental to the life of the University. Consequently, this Policy shall be interpreted in a manner that is consistent with academic freedom as defined in Regent Law, Article 5D, amended 10/10/02.
Individuals who violate this Policy shall be disciplined or subjected to corrective action, up to and including termination or expulsion.
Appointing authority/disciplinary authority. An appointing authority is the individual with the authority or delegated authority to make ultimate personnel decisions concerning a particular employee. A disciplinary authority is the individual who or office that has the authority or delegated authority to impose discipline upon a particular employee or student.
Complainant. A person who is subject to alleged Protected Class discrimination, harassment or related retaliation.
Respondent. A person whose alleged conduct is the subject of a complaint.
False Complaints or False Information. It is a violation of this Policy when a person knowingly or recklessly alleges a false complaint of discrimination, harassment or related retaliation or provides false information during the course of an investigation.
Discrimination. Occurs when an individual suffers an adverse consequence, such as failure to be hired or promoted, denial of admission to an academic program, etc., on the basis of her/his Protected Class.
Harassment. Verbal or physical conduct that unreasonably interferes with an individual's work or academic performance or creates an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment (See Hostile Environment as defined below).
Hostile Environment. Unwelcome conduct by an individual(s) against another individual based upon her/his Protected Class that is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it alters the conditions of education or employment and creates an environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile or offensive. The determination of whether an environment is "hostile" must be based on all of the circumstances. These circumstances could include the frequency of the conduct, its severity, and whether it is threatening or humiliating. Simple teasing, offhand comments and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will not amount to hostile environment harassment.
Retaliation. Retaliation is prohibited by this Policy. To be considered retaliation, a causal connection is required between a materially adverse action and the act of (1) reporting an allegation of discrimination or harassment; or (2) participating in support of an investigation of discrimination or harassment. A materially adverse action is one that would dissuade a reasonable person from reporting an allegation of discrimination or harassment, or participating in support of an investigation of an allegation of discrimination or harassment. A determination of whether an action is materially adverse is made on a case by case basis.
Office of Discrimination and Harassment. The office that investigates allegations of discrimination, harassment and related retaliation based upon an individual's Protected Class. This office does not have the authority to impose discipline.
Office of Student Conduct. The office that investigates allegations of discrimination, harassment and related retaliation when the respondent is a student. This office is also the disciplinary authority for student respondents.
Discrimination and Harassment Officer (DH Officer). For all allegations involving respondents who are employees, the DH Officer is the Director of the Office of Discrimination and Harassment. For all allegations involving respondents who are students, the DH Officer is the Director of the Office of Student Conduct.
Supervisors. A supervisor is anyone who has the authority to hire, promote, discipline, evaluate, grade or direct faculty, staff or students. This includes anyone who manages or supervises others, including, but not limited to faculty, teaching assistants, resident advisors, coaches and anyone who leads, administers, advises or directs University programs.
Supervisor's Obligation to Report
Any supervisor who witnesses or receives a written or oral report or complaint of discrimination, harassment or related retaliation that occurs in CU-Boulder employment and educational programs and activities, shall promptly report it to the appropriate DH Officer. A failure to report this information is a violation of this Policy. This requirement does not obligate a supervisor, who is required by the supervisor's profession and University responsibilities to keep certain communications confidential (e.g., a professional counselor or ombudsperson), to report confidential communications received while performing those University responsibilities. The Policy Appendix designates the supervisory positions that qualify under this exception.
Obligation to Report
In order to take appropriate corrective action, CU-Boulder must be aware of discrimination, harassment and related retaliation that occurs in CU-Boulder employment and educational programs and activities. Therefore, anyone who believes that s/he has experienced or witnessed discrimination, harassment or related retaliation should promptly report such behavior to the appropriate DH Officer.
Reports or complaints pursuant to this Policy will be addressed and resolved as promptly and as practicable after the complaint or report is made. Ordinarily, investigations will be concluded and reports submitted to the standing review committee no later than 90 days following the receipt of a complaint. Ordinarily, the final report will be sent to the Chancellor no later than 30 days after the standing review committee's receipt of the draft report of the investigation.
University of Colorado Administrative Policy Statement on Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures provides that the University will not tolerate acts of sexual harassment or related retaliation against or by any employee or student.
University of Colorado Boulder Student Conduct Policies and Procedures addresses student conduct that occurs on or as it relates to university property, or at official functions and university-sponsored programs conducted away from the campus.
University of Colorado Boulder Campus Violence Policy addresses violence, threats, harassment, intimidation and other disruptive behavior that occur in our campus community.
University of Colorado Boulder Student Classroom and Course-Related Behavior addresses disruptive students in the academic setting that hinder the educational process.
For related complaint, grievance or disciplinary processes, refer to Regent Policies under 5. Faculty, 5. H. Faculty Senate Grievance Process and 5. I. Faculty Dismissal for Cause Process (for faculty), State Personnel Board Rules (for classified employees), and campus student disciplinary policies and procedures (for students).
Effective Date: January 1, 2014
Approved by: Philip P. DiStefano, Chancellor
Authors: Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Equity and the Vice Chancellor for Administration