EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY AND ANTI-DISCRIMINATION
Rockhurst University welcomes persons from all backgrounds and beliefs to join our staff and University Community. We seek to create and foster a sense of community that facilitates the development, both personal and professional, of all our members, including faculty, staff, and students.
Rockhurst University is committed to providing equal opportunities for all persons and does not discriminate or retaliate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, pregnancy status, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin or ancestry, age, gender, disability, citizenship or intending citizenship status, gender identity, veteran status, or any other status protected by law (“protected status”). This policy extends to admissions, employment, housing, services, and in the other educational programs and activities that Rockhurst University operates (collectively “programs and activities”). Harassment, whether verbal, non-verbal, or physical, that is based on any of these protected status constitutes a form of discrimination if it denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from Rockhurst University’s programs and activities. This policy covers employees, students, applicants for employment or admission, contractors, vendors, visitors, guests, and participants in Rockhurst-sponsored programs and activities. The academic or work relationship sometimes extends beyond the Rockhurst University campus. Therefore, in some situations, this policy may apply to allegations of discrimination or retaliation that occurs off campus or during after-hours functions sponsored by Rockhurst University.
Rockhurst University complies with federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws and strives to keep the workplace free from all forms of illegal discrimination and retaliation.
As part of its commitment to equal opportunity, Rockhurst University is committed to providing qualified individuals with disabilities, reasonable accommodation. Any applicant or employee, who requires reasonable accommodation to complete the application process, and/or to perform the essential functions of the job, should contact the Director of Human Resources. Any student with a disability, who requires assistance to ensure access to educational opportunities, should contact the Assistant Dean of Students.
Consistent with the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972* and its implementing regulations, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973* and its implementing regulations, Rockhurst University has designated three individuals responsible for coordinating Rockhurst University’s Title IX and Section 504 compliance. Students, employees, or other persons with concerns or complaints about discrimination on the basis of sex or disability in employment or an education program or activity may contact any one of the following Title IX/Section 504 coordinators:
Director of Human Resources
Deputy Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator
Conway 102, Finance & Human Resources
Dean of Students
Deputy Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator
Massman Hall, Student Development Office
Vice President, Academic Affairs
Senior Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator
Individuals may also contact the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education by visiting www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html or calling 1-800-421-3481.
*Title IX and its implementing regulations require that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. It is the policy of Rockhurst University to comply with Title IX, which prohibits discrimination (including discrimination in the form of sexual harassment and sexual violence) based on sex in Rockhurst University’s programs and activities. Title IX also prohibits retaliation for asserting claims of sex discrimination.
* Section 504 requires that no otherwise qualified individual in the United States shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
The purpose of this policy is to uphold Rockhurst University’s mission in preserving the fundamental dignity and rights of all individuals involved in campus activities.
Prohibited discrimination, harassment and retaliation are contrary to the education and employment values of Rockhurst University. Preventing prohibited discrimination, harassment and retaliation is the responsibility of all members of the Rockhurst University community, and violations of this policy should be reported as soon as possible (a “Concern”) after the perceived inappropriate conduct to designated personnel as stated in this policy. Every effort will be made to respond to Concerns of perceived prohibited conduct in a reasonable, thorough and timely manner. If any one feels that Rockhurst University has not met its obligations under this policy, that person should contact the Director of Human Resources, Dean of Students, or Vice President of Academic Affairs.
It is a violation of this policy to discriminate on the basis of a protected status in any of Rockhurst University’s programs and activities.
Harassment consists of unwelcome verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an employee or person because of protected status. Harassment constitutes a form of prohibited discrimination if it denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from Rockhurst University’s programs and activities (“discriminatory harassment”). Rockhurst’s University’s prohibition on discriminatory harassment applies to all individuals who work for or with Rockhurst University, including parents, relatives, associates of a student, vendors, suppliers or other persons doing business with Rockhurst University.
Examples of conduct prohibited by this policy may include, but are not limited to, jokes or pranks that are hostile or demeaning with regard to a person’s protected status or have the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, abusive or offensive work environment.
c. Sexual Harassment.
Sexual harassment is a particular type of harassment that consists of any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is a form of prohibited discrimination if it denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from Rockhurst University’s programs and activities (“discriminatory sexual harassment”). Sexual harassment constitutes discriminatory sexual harassment when (1) submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of any educational program, activity or employment; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for any education or employment decision affecting such individual; or (3) such conduct is severe or pervasive such that, considering all relevant circumstances, the conduct denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in Rockhurst University’s programs and activities.
Some examples of sexual harassment may include:
- Pressure for a dating, romantic, or intimate relationship
- Unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging or massaging
- Pressure for or forced sexual activity
- Unnecessary references to parts of the body
- Remarks about a person’s gender or sexual orientation
- Sexual innuendoes or humor
- Obscene gestures
- Sexual graffiti, pictures, or posters
- Sexually explicit profanity
- Stalking or cyberbulling
- E-mail and Internet use that violates this policy
Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment. Sexual violence includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to use of drugs and/or alcohol or to an intellectual or other disability. Some examples of sexual violence may include rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. Even a single incident of sexual violence can be so severe as to limit a person’s ability to participate in Rockhurst University’s programs and activities and, therefore, constitute discriminatory sexual harassment.
Rockhurst University prohibits retaliation against anyone for reporting discrimination/harassment, assisting in raising a Concern, or cooperating in an investigation. Retaliation prohibited by this policy includes, but is not necessarily limited to, disparaging comments, uncivil behavior, or other negative treatment of an employee because a Concern has been raised pursuant to this policy or otherwise cooperated with Rockhurst University’s investigation. Anyone who believes he/she has experienced or witnessed retaliation should immediately notify the Director of Human Resources, the Dean of Students, or the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
All Concerns will be held in confidence to the extent practicable. However, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. To the extent possible, participants in any Concern are encouraged to respect confidentiality to protect the privacy and reputations of all individuals involved. Any breach of confidentiality may result in disciplinary proceedings up to and including expulsion from Rockhurst University and discharge from employment under this or other applicable Rockhurst University policies.
Rockhurst University will take prompt, appropriate action to address any violation of this policy. Anyone that believes there has been discrimination, harassment, or retaliation of any kind in violation of this policy is encouraged to bring the Concern to the immediate attention of the Director of Human Resources, Dean of Students or Vice President of Academic Affairs who will designate an appropriate member of the Rockhurst University faculty or staff to coordinate investigation and resolution of the Concern. Any Rockhurst University employee who is notified of a Concern from a student or third-party should notify the Director of Human Resources promptly. If the Concern is with respect to conduct of the President of Rockhurst University, the investigation shall be coordinated and resolved by the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
a. Any student, faculty, staff or other person is encouraged to bring a Concern within 180 days of the perceived discrimination, harassment or retaliation.
b. All Concerns of inappropriate conduct will be promptly and thoroughly investigated by the appropriate Rockhurst University official. The investigation will be conducted in an adequate, reliable, and impartial manner, and utilize the preponderance of the evidence standard. As part of the investigation, both the complainant and respondent to the Concern will have an equal opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence. Should the investigation involve disputed material facts requiring resolution, an evidentiary hearing will be held before a panel of three hearing officers designated by the Rockhurst University official leading the investigation, except that, in the case of a Concern with respect to the conduct of the President of Rockhurst University, the hearing panel shall consist of at least 2/3 of the members of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. The hearing panel shall resolve disputed material facts, but appropriate discipline and/or remediation shall be determined by the Rockhurst University official responsible for coordinating and resolving the investigation in consultation with the Director of Human Resources, Dean of Students, or Vice President of Academic Affairs, as appropriate. If such an evidentiary hearing is held, both the complainant and respondent will have similar and timely access to any information that will be used at the hearing. While the time for completing an investigation will vary depending on the complexity of the investigation and the severity and extent of the alleged violation of this policy, an investigation will typically be completed no later than sixty (60) calendar days after a Concern is raised. During the investigation, all parties to the Concern will be given periodic status updates.
c. Rockhurst University will act to ensure that any improper conduct ceases immediately and corrective action is taken to remedy the effects of any inappropriate conduct on the complainant and others, as well as to prevent its recurrence. Any student, faculty, staff or other person doing business with Rockhurst University will be subject to the full range of corrective action, up to and including recommending discharge or expulsion from Rockhurst University. Rockhurst University will notify the complainant and the respondent in writing of the outcome of the investigation within seven (7) calendar days of the investigation’s conclusion.
d. All Concerns will be treated confidentially to the extent practicable for effective resolution. No person will suffer direct employment or educational consequences as a result of making a good faith report or taking part in the investigation of a Concern. An individual who knowingly alleges a false or frivolous Concern against another will be subject the full range of corrective actions, up to and including expulsion and/or termination from Rockhurst University.
e. Any persons are advised that, regardless of whether they raise a Concern pursuant to this policy, they have the right to file a complaint with law enforcement officials with respect to any conduct that may constitute a crime.
These procedures apply to Concerns raised by students against Rockhurst University employees, other students, and third parties.
a. Basis for Appeal.
Appeals of decisions, including corrective action if any, on a Concern may be taken by either the complaint or the respondent on the following basis:
There is substantial likelihood that newly discovered information, not available at the time of presentation of information, which supports or opposes the Concern would result in a different decision.
b. Where and When to Bring an Appeal of a Concern.
i. Appeals of Concerns Against Students.
The appeal procedures are outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and are incorporated by reference in this policy.
ii. Appeals of Concerns Against Faculty.
The complainant or respondent may appeal a decision, including corrective action if any, to the Vice President for Academic Affairs within a reasonable period of time, typically within ten (10) business days of the decision, absent extenuating circumstances. The decision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs is final.
iii. Appeals of Concerns Against Staff including Administrators.
1. The complainant or respondent may appeal a decision, including corrective action if any, to the Vice President for Finance and Administration within a reasonable period of time, typically within ten (10) business days of the decision absent extenuating circumstances. The decision of the Vice President for Finance and Administration is final.
2. If the decision involves a Concern with respect to the conduct of any vice-president, the complainant or respondent may appeal the decision, including corrective action if any, to the President of Rockhurst University within a reasonable period of time, typically within ten business (10) days of the decision absent extenuating circumstances. The decision of the President is final. If the decision involves a Concern with respect to the conduct of the President, the complainant or respondent may appeal a decision, including corrective action, if any to the entire Board of Trustees within a reasonable period of time, typically within ten (10) business days of the decision, absent extenuating circumstances. The decision of the Board of Trustees is final.
c. Appeals must be in writing and contain the following information:
i. Name, address and email address of complainant.
ii. Name, address and email address of respondent.
iii. A statement of all decisions, including corrective action if any, at all levels in the process.
iv. A detailed statement of the basis for the appeal including the specific facts and circumstances in support of the appeal.
v. Requested action, if any.
d. Appeal Process.
The Rockhurst University official responsible for the appeal may take any and all actions that he/or she determines is in the interest of a fair and just decision. The complainant or respondent may request a meeting with the Rockhurst University official responsible for the appeal. However, the decision to grant a meeting is at the discretion of the Rockhurst University official. If a meeting is granted to either the complaint or respondent, the Rockhurst University official shall also grant a meeting to the other party. The Rockhurst University official may uphold, reverse or modify any decision or corrective action, forward the matter for action under any applicable university policy, or take any other action in the interest of a full and fair resolution of the appeal. The Rockhurst University official will make her/his decision and notify complainant, respondent, underlying decision maker, and others on a need to know basis in writing as soon as practicable under the circumstances.
Equal opportunity extends to all aspects of the administration of educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletics, and other school-administered policies and programs, and in its employment related policies and procedures.
An instructor may require any person present in the classroom during instruction, or at any other academically-assigned activity for that class supervised by the instructor, to leave the classroom or other academically-assigned activity for that class or activity period if the person’s behavior or other activity, in the judgment of the instructor, is disruptive or obstructive of the academic process. Appeal under this policy is to the Dean of the college or school in which the course is offered.
Whenever a student is dismissed from a class by the instructor, the faculty member should report that dismissal and the circumstances surrounding the dismissal to the appropriate academic Dean as soon as possible following the class period (not to exceed 24 hours) in which the incident occurred.
It is presumed that the dismissal from class applies only to that class period or class related activity in which the disruptive behavior occurs. If the situation warrants permanent dismissal from the course may occur (see #5 below). The faculty member and the student are encouraged to meet as soon as possible prior to the next scheduled class period to discuss the situation to insure that the academic process continue without further disruption.
If the faculty member and the student are unable to work out an arrangement that would allow the academic process to continue, the faculty member will inform the appropriate academic Dean. The Dean (or someone designated by the Dean) will consult with both the student and the faculty member and issue a report, which may include one or more of the following actions:
1. Student may return to class without any additional conditions.
2. Student may return to class under specified conditions.
3. Faculty member may provide the student with the opportunity to make-up assignments, examinations and to cover material missed as a result of the dismissal.
4. The Dean’s office may authorize an administrative withdrawal from the course.
5. In the case of a forced administrative withdrawal, a disciplinary action may be initiated by the appropriate Academic Dean.
The Dean’s report should be made within 24 hours after meeting with the faculty member and the student. If it is determined that a meeting is not possible and/or advisable then the report should be made within 24 hours following that determination.
The University strives to balance the concerns for the health and safety of individual students with those of the larger campus community. When a student’s conduct is disruptive or dangerous to campus life or in the University’s opinion a student’s continued presence on campus or participation in an educational program/activity of the University presents a direct threat to the health/safety of the student or others, the University may intervene.
In some cases, the Dean of Students, in consultation with Counseling Center Staff, may offer the student, or the student may request, the option of obtaining a psychological assessment with a licensed mental health professional through the an approved agency, institution or practitioner external to the institution pending other action. Recommendations regarding the assessment venue will be made on a case-by case basis. A student engaging in assessment will be required to sign a release of information authorizing the University to access assessment results and to discuss these results with the health care professional conducting the assessment. The University will use assessment information in consultation with the student to determine whether the student can be reasonably accommodated to permit him/her to participate in University educational programs and activities, including living in the residence halls, without causing an undue hardship or presenting a direct threat to the health or safety of other members of the University community. If a student chooses not to obtain an assessment, the Dean of Students may ask the student to leave the University or restrict the student’s access to educational programs and activities, University services, and University property.
A student may be permitted to continue at the University under conditions developed by the University in light of the recommendations of the assessing agency/practitioner and in consultation with the student. The student will be required to sign a statement authorizing the University to monitor compliance with the any treatment plan and the conditions of his/her continued participation in educational programs and activities of the University including living in the residence halls. The student will be responsible to pay the costs of treatment, including those associated with the initial assessment. Failure to adhere to the treatment plan or any condition, further endangerment to the health or safety of others within the University community, further disruption of the campus environment or other violation of the student Code of Conduct may result in the student being asked to leave the University. A student otherwise permitted to continue at the University will be required to comply with all restrictions set by the University on the student’s continued participation in University educational programs and activities, including living in the residence halls. Failure to comply with all restrictions may result in the student being asked to leave the University. For information on conduct related to disruptive or dangerous conduct affiliated or associated with substance abuse, please see either the University’s Alcohol Policy or Substance Abuse Policy.
Weapon Free Policy
Missouri’s Concealed Carry Law permits individuals to obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun; however, a permit holder cannot carry a concealed firearm on to “any higher education institution or elementary or secondary school facility without the consent of the governing body” [R.S.Mo. 571.107.1(10).] In addition, there continues to be a national awareness of the harmful and destructive potential of other weapons including any and all firearms, ammunition, explosives/incendiary devices, dangerous chemicals, hazardous materials, or flammable materials.
In the interest of maintaining a safe academic and employment environment free of violence and danger for all students, faculty, staff and visitors, Rockhurst University prohibits the possession, transportation, storage, or use of any and all weapons including firearms, ammunition, explosives/incendiary devices, dangerous chemicals, hazardous materials, or flammable materials on any University owned or leased property (including in motor vehicles) or at any University sponsored function (regardless of whether or not the party has a permit to carry a concealed firearm). The policy applies to all University students, faculty, staff , contract employees, vendors, and visitors on University property or at any University-sponsored function. This policy does not apply to any law enforcement personnel engaging in official duties.
- “Any Rockhurst property” includes the main campus, all academic and administrative buildings, all residence life facilities, all recreational facilities, all parking areas, and any and all other property owned or leased by Rockhurst.
- “Any and all weapons” includes without limitation any firearm, knife, or other agents/instruments (i.e. explosives/incendiary devices, chemicals, hazardous materials, flammable materials, etc.) capable of lethal use - whether in plain view or concealed, and whether with or without a concealed carry endorsement, permit, or license. Should anyone have a question regarding whether an item is covered by this policy, they should contact Security, Human Resources, or the Dean of Students Office.
- “Explosives/incendiary devices” includes any and all devices capable of driving or bursting out with violence/noise or capable of causing destruction/injury - whether or not detonated or capable of being detonated on site/from a remote location.
If students, faculty, or staff believe another person covered by this policy possesses a concealed handgun or other weapons in violation of this policy, they will immediately report this information to the Security Department. Students, faculty and staff should be aware that the enforcement of this policy might involve confronting individuals carrying dangerous weapons. They should not take any unnecessary risks or compromise their safety in enforcing this policy.
Failure to abide by this policy, or to report knowledge of a possible violation of it, will subject a student or faculty/staff member to disciplinary action including, but not limited to, expulsion from the University (student), termination of the faculty/staff member (in accordance with Code of Conduct and Employee Handbook guidelines), and disclosure of the incident to appropriate law enforcement authorities.
The University reserves the right to search all personal and college-owned or leased vehicles, packages, containers, briefcases, purses, backpacks, lockers, desks, enclosures, offices, or other University owned/leased property for the purpose of determining whether any weapon has been brought onto its premises in violation of this policy. These searches will only be conducted in the event of probable cause or reasonable suspicion, and will be conducted in accordance with appropriate search procedures.
The President, President’s Staff, Deans, Department Chairs, Directors, and other managers/supervisors are responsible for assuring compliance with this policy. The Security Department, Office of Human Resources, and Dean of Students Office are jointly responsible for the administration of the policy.