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7.9.2 Professional Misconduct

Approved by Academic Council December 10, 2015, Administration January 10, 2016)

Professional misconduct is improper behavior of a serious nature that arises from, or is reasonably related to, the faculty member’s position, duties, or responsibilities with the University, or that demonstrably affects in a significant adverse way the effective performance of University functions.

Professional misconduct includes the following:

  1. dishonest, illegal, or unethical behavior in the faculty member's teaching, research, administrative, or service duties;
  2. preventing or obstructing University teaching, research, administrative, or service functions, or any other lawful function of the University; 
  3. acts of discrimination, sexual or other harassment, retaliation, sexual misconduct or other behavior prohibited by the University's Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination and Retaliation. The prohibition against these behaviors extends to conduct in electronic communications and social media.
    1. Sexual Misconduct is a broad term which includes sexual violence, stalking, dating violence, domestic violence and gender-based harassment;
    2. Discrimination refers to less favorable treatment because of a person's membership in a class or status protected by law.  Protected classes include but are not limited to race, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, color, religion, religious creed, age, marital status, medical condition, genetic information, disability, citizenship status, military service status, veteran status, pregnancy, age, physical or mental disability, or any other status prohibited by law;
    3. Harassment is a form of Discrimination and means unwelcome behavior based on one of the protected classes listed above.  For example, harassment may be based on race, age or sexual orientation.  Sexual harassment includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature including sexual violence. Hostile environment sexual harassment consists of verbal, physical or visual conduct based on sex, gender or is sexual in nature, which is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive and which occurs without consent. A single, severe incident, such as a sexual assault, stalking and relationship (dating or domestic) violence could create a hostile environment. However, a hostile environment is often created by a series of incidents. Quid pro quo sexual harassment means "this for that." An example of this form of sexual harassment occurs if a member of the faculty (or staff member) stipulates that one's grade or performance rating (or participation on a team, in a play, etc.) will be based on whether one submits to sexual conduct. Whether one refuses a sexual demand or submits to it is not relevant; the conduct is prohibited. Sexual harassment creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or academic environment or unduly interferes with an individual's work or academic performance. Undue interference is defined as improper, unreasonable or unjustifiable behavior going beyond what is appropriate, warranted or natural;
    4. Retaliation means an act of revenge or punishment. Performing a negative act against someone you know or assume has acted against you or someone you support. This includes any employment, educational or personal action taken against a person because of the person's participation in a complaint or investigation of sexual misconduct, harassment or discrimination.
  4. neglect of University-related duties or responsibilities;
  5. other professional misconduct of a serious nature, including but not limited to, intentionally inflicting physical harm or other serious harm on a member of the University community, or knowingly violating a University policy regulating behavior of faculty members; and
  6. attempting to engage in, inciting another to engage in, or abetting, conduct which would violate paragraphs (a) - (e) above if engaged in by the faculty member.

7.9.2.1 Making a Complaint of Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination or Retaliation