• Home
  • Sexual Harassment
Policy
Purpose: 

To articulate the University's prohibition of sexual harassment.

Applies to: 

All University of Kansas staff, faculty, and students.

Campus: 
Edwards
Lawrence
Juniper Gardens
Parsons
Yoder
Topeka
Medical Center, Kansas City
Salina
Wichita
Policy Statement: 

The University prohibits sexual harassment, which also includes sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.

The University prohibits retaliation against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by this policy or by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, or because the individual has made a report or complaint of sexual harassment, or testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this policy and related procedures.

The University prohibits individuals from making materially false and bad faith reports of sexual harassment, as well as making materially false and bad faith statements in the course of any investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this policy and related procedures. 

Procedures and additional information for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses are available on the Title IX page of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access website.

Procedures and additional information specific to the Medical Center Campuses (Kansas City, Salina, and School of Medicine Wichita) are available on the Title IX and Sexual Violence page of the Medical Center website.

Contact: 

For KU Lawrence Campuses:
Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access
1082 Dole Human Development Center
1000 Sunnyside Ave.
Lawrence, KS 66045
785-864-6414
ioa@ku.edu

For Medical Center Campuses:
Director
KUMC Equal Opportunity Office
Mailing: 3901 Rainbow Blvd, MS 7004
Kansas City, KS 66160
Physical: 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Suite 330
Fairway, KS 66205
913-588-8011 direct line
711 TTY
nholick@kumc.edu

Approved by: 
Chancellor
Approved on: 
Friday, January 1, 1982
Effective on: 
Friday, January 1, 1982
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Definitions: 

Sexual Harassment: “Sexual Harassment” is conduct on the basis of sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression) that constitutes Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment, Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking.

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment: “Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment” is an employee of the University conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual contact. 

Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment: “Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment” is unwelcome conduct (including physical, visual, audible, and electronic conduct) determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person access to the University’s education programs and activities.   

Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment may include, but is not limited to:

  1. Unwelcome efforts to develop a romantic or sexual relationship;
  2. Unwelcome commentary about an individual’s body or sexual activities;
  3. Threatening to engage in the commission of an unwelcome sexual act with another person;
  4. Engaging in indecent exposure; voyeurism, or other invasion of personal privacy;
  5. Unwelcome physical touching or closeness that does not rise to the level of Sexual Assault; and
  6. Unwelcome jokes or teasing of a sexual nature or based upon sex stereotypes, including stereotypes based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

In cases of alleged Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment arising from speech (verbal, written, or electronic) or other forms of expressive activity, the University will interpret and apply the definition of Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment in a manner consistent with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Subject to limited exceptions, the offensiveness of a particular expression made by a student, standing alone, is not a sufficient basis to support a finding of Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment. 

The University has a legitimate interest in holding employees (including administrators, faculty, and staff) to a higher standard than others with respect to unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that occurs in the workplace or otherwise pursuant to an employee’s official duties.  Therefore, except as stated below, unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex by an employee that occurs in the workplace or otherwise pursuant to the employee’s official duties is prohibited, and may result in disciplinary action, if the conduct is objectively offensive, even if it is not severe or pervasive.  In determining the severity of any disciplinary action taken for a violation of this paragraph by a University employee, the University will consider the severity and pervasiveness of the conduct at issue, the impact the conduct had on individuals subject to the conduct, any prior discipline for similar conduct, and any other relevant factors. 

Any other provisions of this policy notwithstanding, speech and other forms of expressive activity occurring in an academic or research context will not violate this policy unless the speech or expressive activity lacks a legitimate academic, educational, or research purpose.

Sexual Assault: Sexual assault” includes:1

  1. Penetration or attempted penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus by the sexual organ of the other person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. 
  2. Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
  3. Use of an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.  An “object” or “instrument” is anything used by the offender other than the offender’s genitalia.
  4. Touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
  5. Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law of the state where the sexual intercourse occurs.
  6. Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent as defined by the law of the state where the sexual intercourse occurs.

Domestic Violence: “Domestic Violence”  is felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of Kansas, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Kansas.

Dating Violence: “Dating Violence” is violence committed by a person –

  1. Who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
  2. Where the existence of such a relationship will be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (i) the length of the relationship; (ii) the type of the relationship; and (iii) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Stalking: “Stalking” is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to 1) fear for their safety or the safety of others, or 2) suffer substantial emotional distress.  For the purpose of this definition, the following terms have the described meaning:

         (A) Course of Conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties by any action, method, device, or means, follows monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.

         (B) Reasonable Person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.

         (C) Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

1The University’s definition of “Sexual Assault” is mandated by federal regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.  Those regulations require the University to adopt a definition of “Sexual Assault” that incorporates various forcible and non-forcible sex crimes as defined by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting System.  See 34 C.F.R. § 106.30(a).

 

Keywords: 
Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, Harassment, Hostile Environment, Discrimination
Change History: 

08/14/2020: Updated definitions and aligned with federal Title IX regulations; hyperlink clean-up.
08/31/2016: Updated DLR to 10/03/2015 per HR/Abby King to begin policy review process.
07/08/2015: Updated contact information for KUMC Director, EOO.
03/06/2015: Added link to Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Procedures under Related Procedures.
11/03/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
10/23/2014: Added links to 3 related brochures to Related Documents section.
09/16/2014: Corrected two non-working links to the IOA web page on Sexual Harassment in Policy Statement and Related Other sections.
05/2014: Added keywords.
06/2012: Changed contact to IOA;
05/01/2012: Added University of Kansas Combined Notice of Nondiscrimination.
02/18/2012: Added definitions of “sexual harassment” and “sexual violence” and added link to KU Sexual Harassment web page.
06/2010: Revised
11/2007: Revised
12/2002: Revised
08/1993: Revised.
01/01/1982: Policy effective.

Personnel: Affiliates/Volunteers Categories: 
Workplace Rules & Guidelines
Personnel: Faculty/Academic Staff Categories: 
Workplace Rules & Guidelines
Personnel: Staff Categories: 
Workplace Rules & Guidelines
Personnel: Student Employees Categories: 
Workplace Rules & Guidelines

Can't Find What You're Looking For?
Policy Library Search
New Policies in the last 30 days
KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times