Non-Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Title IX

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Non-Discrimination and Non-Retaliation

The College of Engineering and the University of Washington are committed to protecting the rights and dignity of each individual in the University community. We follow State, County, and Federal laws that bar discrimination in places of public accommodation, housing, employment, and education. The College of Engineering is committed to providing equality of opportunity and an environment that fosters respect for all members of the University community, as detailed in Executive Order No. 31, the University’s policy on non-discrimination and non-retaliation, and Article 2 of the UW/WFSE-UWPMA Contract.

University policy:

  • Prohibits discrimination or harassment against a member of the University community because of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or military status.
  • Prohibits any member of the University community, including, but not limited to, the faculty, staff, or students, from discriminating against or unlawfully harassing a member of the public on any of the above grounds while engaged in activities directly related to the nature of their University affiliation.
  • Prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports concerns regarding discrimination or harassment, or who cooperates with or participates in any investigation of allegations of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

In addition, The College of Engineering works to uphold the protections guaranteed under the Anderson-Murray Antidiscrimination Law to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination through the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) (RCW 49.60).

These policies have the goal of promoting an environment that is free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. To facilitate that goal, the University and the College of Engineering retains the authority to discipline or take appropriate corrective action for any conduct that is deemed unacceptable or inappropriate, regardless of whether the conduct rises to the level of unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation.

Sexual Harassment

The University’s policy defines sexual harassment as follows:

“Sexual harassment” is a form of harassment based on the recipient’s sex that is characterized by:

  1. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a person who has authority over the recipient when:
    • Submission to such conduct is made either an implicit or explicit condition of the individual’s employment, academic status, or ability to use University facilities and services, or
    • Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for a decision that affects tangible aspects of the individual’s employment, academic status, or use of University facilities; or
  2. Unwelcome and unsolicited language or conduct that is of a sexual nature or that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it could reasonably be expected to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment, or has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance (Executive Order 31).

Sexual harassment is illegal and sexual violence is also a form of sex discrimination. Faculty, staff, and students who engage in sexual harassment will be subject to corrective or disciplinary action. Violations can lead to severe penalties, up to and including termination of employment or termination from educational programs, as well as possible personal liability.

Because consensual relationships between students and instructors may interfere with the learning relationship, the Faculty Senate has adopted a policy that states:

No faculty member, teaching assistant, research assistant, department chair, dean, or other administrative officer should vote, make recommendations, or in any other way participate in the decision of any matter which may directly affect the employment, promotion, academic status, or evaluation of a student with whom he or she has or has had a familial, sexual, or romantic relationship (University Policy Directory, Faculty Code,, Chapter 24, Section 24-33, Footnote: Faculty/Student Relationships and Conflicts of Interest).

Title IX

The University will promptly respond to and take appropriate action concerning allegations of sexual harassment. In addition, the University prohibits retaliation against anyone for reporting, cooperating with, or participating in the University’s complaint process regarding allegations of sexual harassment (Executive Order 31).

Each member of the University community is asked to participate fully in our collective effort to maintain the University of Washington’s commitment to prevent and eliminate sexual harassment and discrimination. Toward that effort, the University also provides a number of resources to members of the campus community who either believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment or discrimination or have knowledge that leads them to believe that a member of our community has been subjected to sexual harassment or discrimination.

Investigation and Resolution

The University encourages the prompt resolution of complaints about the behavior of its employees. There are many resources available to assist in this process, including:

University policy prohibits retaliation against individuals who bring complaints or who participate in the complaint process.