Office of the President

Policy on Sexual Harassment; Supercedes EM 94-041; Superceded by EM 12-043

Executive Memorandum 99-020 June 11, 1999

From: Manuel A. Esteban, President

Subject: Policy on Sexual Harassment; Supercedes EM 94-041; Superceded by EM 12-043

Upon recommendation of the Academic Senate and with the approval of Provost Scott McNall, I approve the attached policy for immediate implementation. This policy, which supersedes EM 94-041, effectively separates the sexual harassment policy from the sexual harassment procedures. Because the complaint procedures must fit federal, state, and case law and Chancellor's office directives, they will be issued as a Human Resources Operations document, which can be changed easily as federal or state laws change.


Sexual harassment is prohibited at California State University, Chico. Violations of this policy by administrators, faculty, staff, and students will be regarded as unprofessional and uncivil conduct, and violators may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action ranging from written or oral reprimand to dismissal or expulsion. Nothing in this policy is meant to preempt or foreclose the pursuit of remedies available to persons alleging sexual harassment under applicable state and federal statutes and regulations.

The goal of this policy is to create and preserve a learning and working environment conducive to growth in mind, spirit, and human community. Sexual harassment subverts the mission of the University by interfering with academic or work performance; by creating an atmosphere of intimidation and hostility; and by undermining respect for the University, the individuals who constitute its community, and its degrees and scholarship.

For purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual conduct: sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, repeated derogatory sexual remarks, and other verbal, visual, or physical actions of a sexual nature when

  • Submission to or toleration of such conduct is an explicit or implicit term or condition of appointment, employment, admission, enrollment, evaluation, grading, or participation in any university-sanctioned activity
  • Tolerance of, submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for a personnel decision or academic evaluation including benefits, services, honors, grades, program activities, etc.
  • The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment

A single incident of sufficient severity may constitute sexual harassment. In determining whether a specific act or pattern of behavior violates this policy, all of the circumstances surrounding the conduct will be considered.

In addition to its general duty, the University also recognizes (1) its obligations to all individuals involved in a particular case of sexual harassment; (2) its obligation to respect individual rights to privacy and confidentiality; and (3) its obligations to provide a procedurally just framework for encouraging the resolution of such complaints. Individuals who believe they are or may have been victims of sexual harassment may initiate either an inquiry or complaint.

It will be a violation of this policy to dismiss, discharge, expel, penalize, discipline, harass, adversely alter academic grades, or otherwise discriminate against any student, faculty, or staff member because he/she has opposed any discriminatory practice, filed an internal or external complaint of discrimination, or testified or assisted in any proceeding in accordance with this policy.

Responsibility and authority for the dissemination and implementation of this policy lies ultimately with the President of the University with the support of university administrators, faculty, and staff and with assistance from the Director of Employment Practices and Affirmative Action. Practically, the responsibility and authority to act affirmatively to provide equality of opportunity in education and employment lies with all who are in decision-making positions within the University. The Director of Employment Practices and Affirmative Action is responsible for providing information and for monitoring campus compliance relating to sexual harassment issues. All current and new students, staff, faculty, and administrators will be informed of and forums will be provided regarding the University's sexual harassment policies and procedures. Questions or concerns regarding sexual harassment issues, complaint procedures, or sexual harassment-related issues may be directed to the Director of Employment Practices and Affirmative Action.

(Reference: Chancellor's Executive Order No. 345,Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964, its applicable amendments, and Title IX of the Education Amendments (Federal) and California Fair Employment and Housing Act)