B. Sexual Harassment

Objective:  To assess the strength of procedures within the unit to create an environment in which the risk of sexual harassment involving students (e.g., students within academic programs in the unit and/or students employed within the unit) is minimized and all employees are made aware of Institute policies on a safe work environment.

Criteria:  It is the policy of this Institute that no member of its community, including administrators, faculty, staff, or students, should be subjected to sexual harassment.  This policy is intended to create an atmosphere in which individuals who believe that they are the victims of harassment are assured that their complaints will be dealt with fairly and effectively.  Toward this end, the Georgia Institute of Technology supports the principle that sexual harassment represents a failure in ethical behavior and that sexual exploitation of professional relationships will not be tolerated.

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made to be -- either explicitly or implicitly -- a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic standing;
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual; or
  3. Such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work, their academic performance, or by creating an intimidating, hostile working or academic environment.

Both men and women may be either the initiators or victims of sexual harassment.  Complaints are to be directed to the Director of Equal Opportunity Programs for faculty and staff, and to the Dean of Students for students.  All complaints will be investigated by Institute officials.  The Associate Vice President for Human Resources or the Vice President for Student Affairs will review the results of the investigation and take or recommend appropriate disciplinary and/or other action.  Individuals subject to disciplinary action may exercise their appeal rights pursuant to the procedures set forth in the Faculty Manual, the Classified Employee Handbook, or the Student Conduct Code as appropriate.

Risk:  If units do not have systems in place to ensure that the Institute's policies on student sexual harassment are clearly communicated to all employees (including student employees), and periodically reinforced, the risk of a sexual harassment incident is elevated.  If such a situation were to occur, risks to the unit could be significant in that this could (1) alienate employees, (2) create a hostile work environment, (3) result in lawsuits, fines and penalties for violations, and (4) cause adverse publicity.