Sexual Harassment Policy

Policy Statement

Northcentral should be a place of work and study for Students, Faculty Mentors, and staff, free of all forms of sexual intimidation and exploitation. Therefore, Northcentral policy prohibits sexual harassment between or among all members of the Northcentral community in all areas of the Northcentral work and educational environments. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance, and creating a hostile, abusive and offensive working or academic environment.

Sexual harassment of any faculty or staff member is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sexual harassment of Students is a violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. These laws apply both to the Northcentral and to individuals. Those who engage in sexual harassment may be subject to legal consequences, including civil and criminal penalties, and monetary damages.

Violations of sexual harassment laws create a hostile and abusive work environment. When speech and/or conduct of a sexually discriminatory nature, neither welcomed nor encouraged, is committed or permitted by a superior, and found to be so offensive to a reasonable person as to create an abusive working or learning environment, and/or impair his/her job or academic performance.

Responsibility to Report

Any Student, Faculty Mentor, staff member or visitor to Northcentral University who has experienced or witnessed sexual harassment is strongly urged to report the incident. Northcentral must know about incidents of sexual harassment in order to stop them, protect victims, and prevent future incidents. It is the responsibility of Northcentral Faculty Mentors and staff to report complaints of sexual harassment that they receive, as well as of possible sexual harassment of which they become aware, to a sexual harassment officer.

Reporting Procedure

Students, Faculty Mentors, staff members or visitors to Northcentral may report allegations of sexual harassment to a Northcentral harassment officer. They may discuss with the harassment officer any situation that they believe may constitute sexual harassment. Reports may be made by the person experiencing the harassment, or by a third party, such as a witness to the harassment, or someone who is told of the harassment. Sexual harassment should be reported immediately, but must be reported within 180 days of the occurrence. However, under compelling circumstances, a delayed report of sexual harassment may be made, provided it is made within 180 days after a Student has graduated from Northcentral, or 180 days after an employee has left his or her current position at Northcentral. Willfully making a false report of sexual harassment is a violation of Northcentral policy and a serious offense. Any person who willfully makes or participates in making a false or frivolous report of sexual harassment will be subject to disciplinary action.

Investigation of Complaints

A Northcentral harassment officer will investigate every allegation of sexual harassment, including informal and third party reports. Directors, Department Chairs and other administrators and supervisors who are responsible for personnel matters will participate with the harassment officer, as appropriate, in investigating charges of sexual harassment, and following procedures for the informal and formal resolution of sexual harassment complaints.

Resolution and Grievance Procedures

Individuals who make complaints of sexual harassment, and individuals who are accused of sexual harassment, are entitled to due process, and a fair and prompt resolution of the complaint. Resolution may be attempted through direct informal action, through an informal resolution process, or through a formal grievance process. Both parties will be informed in writing of the resolution and grievance procedures, and reminded of Northcentral's policy. In some instances, it may not be possible to determine whether sexual harassment has occurred. Allegations of sexual harassment that are not eventually substantiated are not necessarily false allegations.

Prohibition of Retaliation

Northcentral University policy and federal law prohibit any form or retaliation against a person who makes a sexual harassment complaint, participates in an investigation of sexual harassment, or participates in formal grievance or disciplinary procedures. Retaliation against a complainant or witness is, in itself, a violation of Northcentral policy and of the law, and is a serious separate offense. Northcentral University's harassment officer is Angie Walker (480) 253-3550.