Racial and Ethnic Harassment Policy
Racial and ethnic discrimination is a violation of federal and state law, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Kansas Acts Against Discrimination.
All University of Kansas staff, faculty, and students.
The University of Kansas, Lawrence, is committed to programs and activities that are free of racial or ethnic discrimination. To carry out the mission of this institution, the university community must provide and maintain a working and learning environment that fosters respect among all members of the community. The University’s goal is to provide an environment where individuals are free to develop intellectually, personally, professionally, and socially without intimidation or fear. Intimidation and harassment affect not only those who suffer the harassment but also the entire community. Racial and ethnic discrimination is a violation of federal and state law, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Kansas Acts Against Discrimination.
Kansas Board of Regents policy (II.F.5)
“Unlawful harassment cannot and will not be tolerated at state universities. Each state university shall develop and maintain specific policies that seek to: (i) identify prohibited conduct in this area; (ii) educate campus constituencies with regard to this negative behavior; (iii) eliminate such behavior; and (iv) set forth the manner in which such behaviors or conduct is to be addressed.”
University of Kansas policy prohibiting racial and ethnic harassment
The University prohibits racial and ethnic harassment. Racial and ethnic harassment is a form of illegal discrimination and is contrary to the nature and mission of our institution. It may take many forms, from outright criminal acts (e.g., assault and battery, vandalism, or destruction of property) to anonymous, malicious intimidation. Whatever its form, however, racial and ethnic harassment is motivated by fear, ignorance, or hatred of ethnic and cultural differences that are perceived as threatening to the offending party. Most frequently, this harassment is directed toward those persons with ethnic visibility including, but not limited to, Blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Native Americans, and Asians or Pacific Islanders. Racial or ethnic harassment will not be tolerated in the university community.
The University of Kansas, Lawrence, is committed to preventing or stopping racial harassment whenever it may occur at the university or in its programs. Campus administrators, faculty members, and supervisors who become aware of such harassment should contact the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX and Access to prevent continuation of the harassment.
In cases of alleged Racial or Ethnic Harassment arising from speech (verbal, written, or electronic) or other forms of expressive activity, the University will interpret and apply the definition of Racial or Ethnic Harassment in a manner that does not interfere with the First Amendment free speech protections. Student speech or expressive activity that is offensive but not severe or pervasive is generally not a sufficient basis to support a finding of Racial or Ethnic 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 race or ethnicity 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 race or ethnicity 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.
University of Kansas Combined Notice of Nondiscrimination
The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Director of the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX, firstname.lastname@example.org, Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas medical center campuses).
“Racial and Ethnic Harassment” that is prohibited under this policy is conduct (including physical, visual, audible, and electronic conduct) on the basis of race or ethnicity that is unwelcome and 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. Racial and Ethnic Harassment may include, but is not limited to, unwelcome commentary about an individual’s race or ethnicity and unwelcome jokes or teasing based upon racial or ethnic stereotypes.
Office of Civil Rights & Title IX
Dole Human Development Center, Room 1082
Lawrence, KS 66045
05/16/2022: Updated to align with KBOR's Statement on Free Expression.
09/02/2021: Updated IOA to Office of Civil Rights & Title IX.
08/31/2016: Updated DLR to 10/03/2015 per HR/Abby King to begin policy review process.
04/03/2015: Fixed broken links to Board of Regents Policy Manual.
12/17/2014: Fixed broken links to Board of Regents Policy Manual.
11/18/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
06/08/2012: Changed contact to IOA.
04/30/2012: Added University of Kansas Combined Notice of Nondiscrimination.