The University of Montana is committed to providing an environment that emphasizes the dignity and worth of every member of its community and that is free from harassment and discrimination based upon race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Such an environment is necessary to a healthy learning, working, and living atmosphere because discrimination and harassment undermine human dignity and the positive connection among all people at our University. Acts of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, and retaliation will be addressed consistent with this policy.
Consistent with state and federal law, reasonable accommodation will be provided to persons with disabilities.
It is important that members of the University community understand that the law does not just prohibit discrimination and harassment of employees by employers. The law also prohibits discrimination and harassment between members of the University community more generally: for example, between an instructor and a student, between two students, or between a student and an applicant or campus guest. The policy applies in all University programs and activities, including, but not limited to, discrimination in athletics, instruction, grading, university housing, and university employment. In addition, the law prohibits retaliation against an individual for opposing any practices forbidden under this policy, for bringing a complaint of discrimination or harassment, for assisting someone with such a complaint, for attempting to stop such discrimination or harassment, or for participating in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a complaint of discrimination or harassment. It is central to the values of this University that any individual who believes they may have been the target of unlawful discrimination or harassment feel free to report their concerns for appropriate investigation and response, without fear of retaliation or retribution.
This policy shall not be construed or applied to restrict academic freedom at the University of Montana, nor shall it be construed to restrict constitutionally protected expression, even though such expression may be offensive, unpleasant, or even hateful.
All complaints or any concerns about conduct that may violate this policy and retaliation should be filed with the Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action Director/Title IX Coordinator (“EO”):
Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Title IX Coordinator
University of Montana
University Hall 020
Missoula, Montana 59812
Upon receiving a complaint, the EO will follow the procedures described in the Discrimination Grievance Procedures.
Important Note! Please do not wait to report conduct of concern until harassment becomes sufficiently serious (i.e., severe, pervasive, or persistent) to create a hostile environment. The Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action/Title IX Coordinator, designees , and other University officials can take proactive steps to prevent harassment from continuing and perhaps escalating and to protect or otherwise assist the person harassed. For example, the University can arrange for no-contact orders, counseling and changes in class schedules, living arrangements, class requirements, and testing schedules as needed. The EO office and designees can also provide expertise and advice to help identify conduct that might be a warning sign of or constitute sexual harassment or hostile environment harassment prohibited by this policy and address any concerns or complaints appropriately.
Harassment violates this policy when it creates a hostile environment, as defined in Section II.B, below.
Sexual Harassment can include unwelcome: sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including sexual assault. Sexual harassment, including sexual assault, can involve persons of the same or opposite sex.
Consistent with the law, this policy prohibits two types of sexual harassment:
This type of sexual harassment occurs when the terms or conditions of employment, educational benefits, academic grades or opportunities, living environment or participation in a University activity is conditioned upon, either explicitly or implicitly, submission to or rejection of unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, or such submission or rejection is a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a University program or activity. Generally, perpetrators will be agents or employees with some authority from the University.
Sexual harassment may create a hostile environment as defined in section II.B below.
A Hostile Environment based on race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services, veteran status, sex, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation exists when harassment:
Harassment that creates a hostile environment (“hostile environment harassment”) violates this policy.
A hostile environment can be created by anyone involved in a university program or activity (e.g., administrators, faculty members, students, and even campus guests). Mere offensiveness is not enough to create a hostile environment. Although repeated incidents increase the likelihood that harassment has created a hostile environment, a serious incident, such as a sexual assault, even if isolated, can be sufficient.
In determining whether harassment has created a hostile environment, consideration will be made not only as to whether the conduct was unwelcome to the person who feels harassed, but also whether a reasonable person in a similar situation would have perceived the conduct as objectively offensive. Also, the following factors will be considered:
Consent is informed, freely given, and mutual. If coercion, intimidation, threats, or physical force are used there is no consent. If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that such person cannot understand the fact, nature or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent; this includes impairment or incapacitation due to alcohol or drug consumption, or being asleep or unconscious. There is no consent when there is force, expressed or implied, or use of duress or deception upon the victim. Silence does not necessarily constitute consent. Past consent to sexual activities does not imply ongoing future consent. Whether an individual has taken advantage of a position of influence over an alleged victim may be a factor in determining consent.
Conduct that occurs off campus can be the subject of a complaint or report and will be evaluated to determine whether it violates this policy, e.g. if off-campus harassment has continuing effects that create a hostile environment on campus. Allegations of off-campus sexual misconduct are of particular concern and should be brought to the University's attention.
In order to enable the University to respond effectively and to stop instances of sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct involving students at the University proactively, all University employees must, within 24 hours of receiving the information, report information they have about alleged or possible sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct involving students to the EO. Employees who are statutorily prohibited from reporting such information are exempt from these reporting requirements, including licensed health-care professionals. Please note that this policy does not reach curriculum or in any way prohibit or abridge the use of particular textbooks or curricular materials.
Upon receiving a report of alleged or possible sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct, the EO will evaluate the information received and determine what further actions should be taken. The EO will follow the procedures described in the Discrimination Grievance Procedures. The EO will take steps, either directly with the complainant or through a reporting employee, to provide information about the University’s Discrimination Grievance Procedures, as well as available health and advocacy resources and options for criminal reporting.
Violations of this policy will be addressed through the Discrimination Grievance Procedures. Consequences for violating this policy will depend upon the facts and circumstances of each particular situation. Sanctions and Corrective Action could include: a requirement not to repeat or continue the discriminatory, harassing, or retaliatory conduct, a reprimand, a no-contact order, denial of a merit pay increase, reassignment, suspension or termination. The severity of sanctions or corrective action will depend on the frequency and severity of the offense and any history of past discriminatory, harassing or retaliatory conduct. A finding of discrimination, harassment that creates a hostile environment or results in a tangible employment or educational action, or sexual misconduct may be cause for disciplinary action, up to and including the discharge of employees and the expulsion of students, in accordance with applicable University procedures and collective bargaining agreements. The University may also take appropriate action if it does not find discrimination or harassment that creates a hostile environment or results in a tangible employment or educational action, but (a) the University found that the respondent engaged in disruptive behavior or (b) to prevent the creation of a hostile environment.
The University strongly encourages students to report instances of sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct involving students. Therefore, students who report information about sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct involving students will not be disciplined by the University for any violation of the University’s drug or alcohol possession or consumption policies in which they might have engaged in connection with the reported incident.
The University of Montana has a long tradition of, and a deep commitment to, academic freedom. The welfare and strength of the University and of society at large depend upon the ability to engage in free expression in the search for meaning. To this end, the University of Montana recognizes and protects full freedom of inquiry, teaching, research, discussion, study, publication, and for artists, the creation and exhibition of works of art, without hindrance, restriction, equivocation, or reprisal. This right extends to other facets of campus life to include the right of a faculty member or student to speak on general educational questions or about the Administration and operation of his/her own institution and the Montana University System.
Constitutionally protected speech and traditional notions of academic freedom are valued in higher education. These ideals help to create the stimulating and challenging learning environment that should characterize higher education. In the spirit of a true university environment, individuals are encouraged to invite, rather than inhibit, discourse on ideas. In addressing all complaints and reports under this policy, the University will take all permissible actions to ensure the safety of students and employees while complying with free speech requirements for students and employees. While the University will vigilantly protect students’ and employees’ rights against sex discrimination under this policy, this policy does not apply to curriculum or in any way prohibit or abridge the use of particular textbooks or curricular materials.
If you filed a complaint with the EO and believe the University’s response was inadequate, or you otherwise believe you have been discriminated against by the University on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, including sexual harassment, disability, age, or retaliation, you may file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education based in Seattle or the Educational Opportunities Section (EOS) of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department of Justice, and a complaint based on religion with EOS of the U.S. Justice Department.
As a student or employee, if you filed a complaint with the EO and believe the University’s response was inadequate, or you otherwise believe you have been discriminated against by the University on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, including sexual harassment, disability, age, religion, creed, pregnancy, marital status, familial status (housing only), or political beliefs, or retaliation, you may file a complaint with the Montana Human Rights Bureau: http://erd.dli.mt.gov/human-rights-bureau.html, 406-444-4356.
 While sexual assault and other sexual misconduct is often considered a subset of "sexual harassment," for purposes of this policy and the consequences that may result from violating this policy, the terms are distinct.
 For more information about free speech requirements in the context of sexual harassment complaints, please see U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 2001 Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/shguide.html at section XI.