- SCU Home Page
- About SCU
- On Campus
- News & Info
Section 300: Workplace Conduct
301. Attendance and Punctuality
The University depends on employees to report to work regularly and on time. It is the responsibility of employees to notify their supervisor of any expected leaves, absences, or tardiness. In the event of an unexpected absence it is the responsibility of the employee to stay in contact with the supervisor. Departments are responsible for establishing call-in or lateness procedures, to meet operational needs.
Employees are required to notify their immediate supervisor of absences:
Absence Without Notification
Employees who do not notify their supervisor of unscheduled absences may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination. More than three consecutive workdays absence without notice is considered job abandonment. The department may terminate the employee at the close of business on the third day. Job abandonment is treated as a voluntary resignation.
Employees must follow department call-in procedures to notify the department of the reason for lateness and expected arrival time. Excessive unexcused tardiness may be cause for discipline.
All absences must be recorded and reported:
Departments may allow non-exempt employees to make up time, permit the employee to use available paid leave, or deduct pay for time missed due to lateness. Time reported should reflect the lateness accordingly:
Individual departments are responsible for establishing protocols for absence notification. It is the responsibility of supervisors and employees to comply with the guidelines in this policy.
302. Professional Responsibilities
Santa Clara University aspires to be a community of scholars. Academic communities are characterized by members who treat each other as colleagues: their value recognized, their differences appreciated, their rights safeguarded, their responsibilities acknowledged and their opinions respected. Colleagues are supportive of one another’s efforts and committed to the mission and goals of the institution. They contribute to the enterprise by performing their work effectively, with courtesy and integrity, and by conducting themselves as responsible and cooperative members of the academic community. Colleagues recognize and respect that valid differences of opinions and interests will arise in any viable community. Yet they are pledged to address differences and resolve conflicts reasonably, rationally and constructively.
In addition to the satisfactory performance of specific responsibilities enumerated in their job descriptions, all staff are expected to observe the following principles in their daily work and interactions on behalf of the University.
Contact Human Resources if you have questions or if you would like more information about this policy.
Policy Approved: October 23, 1998
Last Updated: October 28, 1998
Maintainer: Human Resources
303. Professional Conduct
Santa Clara relies on employees to maintain a professional, business like manner during work hours, and on University property, or whenever representing the University. Employees may also be accountable for behavior outside of work if it has an impact on their ability to perform their responsibilities at work or the potential to cause discredit or harm to the University. Failure to adhere to Santa Clara University’s norms and standards of professional conduct may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Areas of conduct covered by this policy and standards of conduct include, but are not limited to the following:
It is the responsibility of all University employees to follow the procedures outlined above, other University policies regarding employee conduct, and specific departmental guidelines.
304. Conflict of Interest
Santa Clara University employees are expected to avoid conflicts of interest, or appearances of conflict.
A conflict of interest is considered to exist in an instance where an individual's actions or activities involve both an advantage to the employee and an adverse effect on the University's interests. It can also result when an individual's association or involvement with a third party prevents the employee from exercising care, skill and prudent judgment on behalf of the University in the performance of assigned duties.
A conflict of interest exists if an employee has an existing or potential interest, financial or non-financial, that may impair (or appear to impair) the individual's independent judgment when performing University responsibilities, or if the employee receives or may receive a material, financial, or other benefit from knowledge of confidential or proprietary University information. In addition, a conflict exists if any of the above circumstances exist involving a member of the immediate family of an employee.
A conflict of interest exists when an employee influences or attempts to influence any University business transaction, research activity or other decision in ways which could lead to any manner or form of personal gain for the employee, other than from salary from the University, regardless of source. The conflict extends also to personal gain for the employee's family members. The University will not knowingly do business with any enterprise owned in whole or in part by any employees or members of their families.
Gifts and Entertainment
No employee may solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gift or gratuity that might reasonably be interpreted by others as being of such a nature that it could affect his or her impartiality.
No employee of the University shall authorize for University use any product or service furnished by a firm in which the employee has financial interest that could be enhanced as a result of such recommendation. When requested, employees may provide references on products and services used by the University. The furnishing of such a reference is not to be construed and should not be presented as an official University endorsement but rather a statement of personal opinion or preference.
In the event the employee enters or will enter into a situation creating a conflict of interest, advance consultation with the supervisor is required. The employee is to follow the instructions and further recommendations of the University. In cases of uncertainty, employees in advance must consult supervisors for clarification of conflict of interest.
All University employees must follow the guidelines outlined in this policy. Other University policies may apply to conflicts of interest, such as confidentiality. Please refer to the appropriate policies for additional information.
Contact Human Resources if you have questions or if you would like more information about this policy.
Policy Approved: October 23, 1998
Last Updated: October 28, 1998
Maintainer: Human Resources
305. Confidential Information
The University will safeguard confidential information concerning students, employees, alumni, University business, and other matters. Unauthorized accessing and/or disclosure of confidential information by University employees is prohibited and may result in legal penalties as well as disciplinary sanctions.
Types of Confidential Information
Confidential information includes, but is not limited to information concerning:
Restrictions and Violations
There are specific laws, University policies, and guidelines that govern the release of confidential information. Therefore, University employees may not obtain access to or provide confidential information unless their positions within the University authorize them to do so. Employees who receive requests for confidential information should seek direction from a supervisor before responding. Employees who violate the University’s Confidential Information policy may be disciplined up to and including dismissal. Unauthorized accessing or disclosure of legally protected information may result in civil liability or criminal prosecution.
The University limits the authorized release of reference information on former employees to confirmations of dates of employment , positions held, and salary verification. Any further information provided by individuals is construed to be a personal reference for which the University is not responsible or liable.
Employees are encouraged to seek prior authorization before commenting on University business to representatives of the press (radio, television, electronic or print media). They may not represent themselves as spokespersons for the University unless authorized to do so. Inquiries from campus media should be referred to the appropriate department head or higher level of management.
Subpoenas and any other request or demand for the release of information for legal proceedings must be referred to the appropriate Vice President before release of any information.
Supervisors are responsible for knowing the confidentiality laws, policies, and guidelines that pertain to their area. Supervisors are also responsible for informing employees about restrictions on confidential information. University employees must comply with this policy. When in doubt, they should assume information is confidential and not disclose it until authorized to do so.
Contact Human Resources if you have questions or if you would like more information about this policy. Contact the University Communications Department concerning media contacts or division Vice President concerning subpoenas.
Policy Approved: October 23, 1998
Last Updated: October 28, 1998
Maintainer: Human Resources
306. Electronic Information and Systems
Santa Clara University recognizes the privacy of its employees as well as the confidentiality of those it serves. Within a balance of security and respect lies this policy on electronic information and the privacy of the employee who created it. With changing technology, this policy is applicable to all forms of electronic information, both currently in use, and yet to be developed.
Santa Clara University maintains the rights to the systems it purchases, including but not limited to: software, computer hardware, disks, phone systems, voice mail, e-mail, recorders, and video equipment.
Electronic systems are provided to employees for University use only. Personal use is not strictly prohibited, however inappropriate use and/or abuse (e.g., pornography) of privileges will be disciplined. The University reserves the right, as needed, to access personal electronic records such as e-mail and voice mail. Employees will be notified if and when the University exercises said right.
It is the responsibility of employees to utilize the equipment designated to their positions in a responsible manner, to uphold the purposes of intended use, and not to abuse special circumstances of personal use. Supervisors are responsible to monitor potentially abusive situations.
Contact Human Resources if you have questions or would like more information on this policy.
Santa Clara University considers telecommuting to be a viable work option in certain circumstances which, when properly implemented and administered, benefits both the University and the telecommuter. The University defines telecommuting as the substitution of telecommunication technologies, including, but not limited to, telephones, facsimile machines, computers, electronic mail, and modems for travel to the University’s offices. A telecommuter is an employee who works for the University from a home, or other remote office, for some part of the regularly scheduled workweek.
Telecommuting does not change the basic terms and conditions of employment with the University. All University employees, including telecommuters, are subject to the University’s employment policies and procedures.
The telecommuter’s work schedule must be approved by the supervisor. The telecommuter agrees that he or she will be readily accessible during scheduled work hours while working from his or her home office or any other remote office. A telecommuter who is an overtime or non-exempt employee must complete a daily time sheet. A non-exempt telecommuter must also take his or her required breaks and must obtain pre-approval to work any overtime in accordance with University policy.
The telecommuter is responsible for designating and maintaining a workplace that is free from recognized hazards and that complies with all occupational safety and health standards, rules, and regulations. The telecommuter is responsible for setting up and maintaining an ergonomically correct workstation. Employees requiring assistance in this regard should contact Human Resources. The telecommuter is responsible for any tax implications related to his or her home work space.
The University shall be responsible for the repair and maintenance of University owned telecommuting equipment, office equipment, and furniture in accordance with established procedures. The telecommuter agrees to use all equipment for its intended purpose, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and in a safe manner and to return it promptly to the University at the conclusion of the work.
All office equipment, telecommuting equipment, furniture, and other items used in performance of University business shall be located within the work space designated by the telecommuter and may be used only by authorized employees for intended University purposes. The telecommuter is responsible for insuring University provided equipment under his or her homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.
Contact Human Resources if you have questions or would like more information on this policy. Human Resources will refer technical and/or non-Human Resource related issues to the appropriate departments.
Policy Approved: October 23, 1998
Last Updated: October 28, 1998
Maintainer: Human Resources
308. Solicitation and Distribution
In order to maintain and promote efficient operations, and security, the University has established rules applicable to all employees which govern solicitation, distribution of written material and entry into premises and work areas.
No employee shall solicit or promote support for any cause or organization (e.g., fundraisers) during his or her working time and/or during the working time of the employee or employees at whom such activity is directed without authorization from the appropriate Vice President. Meals and breaks do not constitute working time.
No employee shall distribute or circulate any printed or written non-University, non-work material in work areas at any time during his or her working time and/or during the working time of the employee or employees at whom such activity is directed.
Under no circumstances will non-University employees be permitted to solicit or distribute written materials for any purpose on the University’s premises without prior authorization.
It is the responsibility of the employee initially to distinguish appropriate times and means for solicitation and distribution consistent with this policy, and subject to University review. Outside vendors must obtain prior approval for solicitation and distribution from the appropriate Vice President. All individuals must comply with the terms of this policy.
Contact Human Resources if you have questions or would like more information regarding this policy.
Policy Approved: October 23, 1998
Last Updated: October 28, 1998
Maintainer: Human Resources
309. Conflict Resolution
According to its Statement of Purpose, Santa Clara University is dedicated to a community enriched by men and women of diverse backgrounds, respectful of difference and enlivened by open dialogue, caring and just toward others, and committed to broad participation in achieving the common good.
Santa Clara University recognizes that valid differences of opinions and interests will arise within a vibrant and dynamic working community. It is the responsibility of every member of that community to strive for effective communication and responsible decision making and the resolution of conflicts or disputes with reason, conscience, and compassion.
The purpose of this policy is to provide individual staff members with a process for resolving work-related conflicts. The emphasis of the Conflict Resolution Process ("Process") is on early identification and resolution of disputes with fair consideration of both sides of a conflict. Conflict resolution is seen as a partnership designed to meet some individual and shared needs, result in mutual benefits, and strengthen the relationship.
For the purposes of this document the words conflict, dispute, problem, and complaint will be used interchangeably.
All regular and fixed-term staff members who have successfully completed the introductory evaluation period are eligible to utilize the process. Regular and fixed term staff members who have not successfully completed the introductory evaluation period may utilize the process through the Human Resources review level only. Faculty may choose to engage in this process in the event of a faculty/staff dispute. Students may be allowed to participate in the process in the event of a student/staff dispute. This policy does not apply to staff members of a bargaining unit represented by a union.
Conflict resolution addresses workplace problems, disputes, or complaints which claim a violation or misapplication of University policies, regularly followed practices, Statement of Purpose, Guiding Principles, or Fundamental Values.
Allegations or complaints of civil rights discrimination or related violations of public policy (e.g., whistleblowing) should be resolved according to processes specified by the University's policy on discrimination, discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment and other related compliance subjects (311) and also includes the option of access to neutral arbitration upon request of the staff member.
Individual attempts to resolve a conflict or dispute should begin within 15 calendar days of the decision, action, or event. Informal conflict resolution processes should begin within 45 calendar days of the event. Formal conflict resolution must be invoked within 90 calendar days of the event.
Information and Education: All staff, faculty, and students within the University community shall have access to information and are expected to participate in education. Information and education resources are designed to equip individual members of the community with the skills to develop and maintain effective working relationships in which conflict is addressed and resolved reasonably, constructively, and for the common good. It is the responsibility of all persons to acquire and demonstrate needed conflict resolution skills in their daily work and interactions within the University community. Each member of the community is empowered and encouraged to deal with conflict resolution at the time of the conflict. Many times a small problem will be successfully resolved immediately, rather than allowing it to fester and grow, resulting in a much bigger issue. Persons in conflict are encouraged to use their own skills and campus resources creatively to resolve conflict in a mutually satisfying way.
Conflict Resolution Resources (Informal Process): Issues which are not successfully and satisfactorily resolved at the source may benefit from resources available for informal discussion between the parties. The value of using the following resources to informally resolve conflict is that the parties work in partnership to arrive at and agree upon a mutually acceptable resolution.
Conflict Resolution Process (Formal Process): At this point it is re-emphasized that the goal of this policy is for conflict to be resolved by mutual agreement at the level requiring the least amount of outside intervention. When individual and informal efforts have been unsuccessful in resolving conflict, one or both of the parties may request the formal review process which relies on third parties to determine solutions:
Guidelines for Panel Reviews
At all steps in the review of conflicts under this Policy, individuals should confine their considerations to the facts of the dispute and not to peripheral issues which are not material.
All reviews should be conducted in a timely manner and in accordance with standards of fairness but need not be burdened by the formalities of a judicial hearing.
No adverse action may be taken against the individual bringing the complaint in good faith, or against any persons who furnish him or her with any assistance solely because of their involvement in the complaint.
The decision of the Vice President is final and binding on both the University and the staff member, except that in cases of termination or layoff, the staff member may appeal the Vice President's decision to neutral arbitration (see below) by so advising the Chief Human Resources Officer in writing within thirty (30) days after receipt of the Vice President's decision. If the staff member does not appeal within thirty (30) days, the Vice President's decision with respect to a termination or layoff, the resolution by the Vice President is final and binding.
The staff member and the University will choose any arbitrator by mutual agreement. The arbitrator shall be a qualified professional labor/employment arbitrator. If the parties are unable to agree on the identity of the arbitrator, the staff member shall request a panel of names from JAMS-ENDISPUTE of Santa Clara County. The arbitrator shall be chosen from the given panel of names, by alternate striking of names, beginning with the University, until one arbitrator is left, who shall serve as arbitrator. The staff member and the University will execute a written stipulation designating the selected arbitrator to hear the dispute under the terms of this Policy. The arbitrator shall conduct hearings and issue a final and binding written decision, a copy of which will be delivered to the staff member and the University and/or their respective attorneys. The arbitrator will be authorized to award appropriate remedy under law as to the specific issues submitted; however, the arbitrator shall have no power to add to, subtract from, change, alter, or ignore the provisions of the Policy Manual or of any other University policy. The University shall be responsible for the professional fees of the arbitrator, unless the staff member objects, in which case the University and the staff member shall each be responsible for 5O% of the professional fees of the arbitrator.
Employees and supervisors are responsible for maintaining appropriate confidentiality and for participating in the conflict resolution process outlined in this Policy. It is the responsibility of Human Resources, the Conflict Resolution Review Panel, and the Vice Presidents to employ the means of resolution detailed in this Policy. Any dispute concerning procedures or standards under this Policy is to be resolved by the Chief Human Resources Officer. The University Compliance Officer is responsible for addressing issues of alleged civil rights discrimination (e.g., racial harassment, discriminatory harassment).
Contact Human Resources if you have questions about this policy or if you would like more information.
Policy Approved: October 23, 1998
Last Updated: October 28, 1998
Maintainer: Human Resources
310. Corrective Action for Performance Problems
Santa Clara University needs the very best skills, efforts and performance of its employees to fulfill its mission. Periodically, performance problems may arise and must be addressed by the supervisor and employee involved, or other appropriate University resources (e.g., second level supervisors). Supervisors use a variety of corrective action approaches as needed to address the specific nature of each performance problem. Their goal is to identify and resolve problems as early as possible through timely and effective partnership with employees.
Corrective action includes:
In many circumstances, the performance problems can be corrected through informal conversations between the supervisor and the employee and no documentation is required. In more serious or complex situations, the problem statement and the corrective action expected should be written down by the supervisor and reviewed with the employee to minimize the chance for miscommunication. Contact Human Resources for guidance in composing the document and submit a copy for inclusion in the personnel file.
In some circumstances the problem is so serious that extraordinary measures other than typical corrective action may need to be taken. Examples of such problems include gross misconduct, physical or emotional incapacity or behavior which is threatening or potentially harmful to others. Examples of extraordinary measures include suspension, and/or termination. Contact Human Resources immediately in such circumstances for guidance.
Termination of Employment
If the corrective action is unsuccessful or the problem is so severe as to render corrective action inappropriate or impractical, termination of employment can occur. The supervisor will recommend whether to terminate or retain the employee. Any decision to terminate an employee must be reviewed with Human Resources prior to the employee being informed of that fact. If termination is being contemplated, the supervisor should contact Human Resources as early as possible for guidance.
The employee has the primary responsibility to maintain his or her performance consistent with the supervisor’s expectations and to engage in constructive interaction to correct performance problems. The supervisor has the responsibility to establish and communicate performance expectations and to take appropriate action when problems arise. Human Resources is responsible to be a resource to the supervisor and employee in their efforts to correct performance problems.
311. Prevention of Unlawful Harassment and Discrimination
After many years, the University now has an approved single policy for Unlawful Harassment and Unlawful Discrimination that applies to students, faculty and staff. This approved policy is the culmination of the effort of many people over many years. In the past there was a single policy for faculty and another separate policy for staff and students. We now have a unified policy that applies to all members of the campus community. This new policy has been approved by the Student Affairs Committee, Faculty Affairs Committee, Faculty Senate, Staff Affairs Committee, Staff Assembly Council, the President and Administration, and the Board of Trustees.
Santa Clara University is dedicated to:
Unlawful harassment and unlawful discrimination subvert these University ideals. The University does not tolerate unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination and will take prompt and effective corrective action including, where appropriate, disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or expulsion.
Any behavior constituting unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination by any employee or student of the University, or by any other person engaged in a University activity, toward any employee or student of the University, or any other person engaged in a University activity, is prohibited. This prohibition applies to both: (1) behavior, whether on or off campus, in the course of any University administered class, program, job, or activity; and, (2) behavior in any other context, whether on or off campus, if at the time of the behavior the person engaging in the behavior knows that the other person is an employee or student of the University or a person engaged in a University activity.
Nature of Prohibited Conduct
Unlawful harassment and unlawful discrimination are defined and prohibited by federal and California law, as amended from time to time.
Harassment is conduct that has the natural effect of demeaning, ridiculing, insulting, stigmatizing, frightening, intimidating, or impeding the work or movement of a person to whom the conduct is directed. The form of conduct may be verbal (either oral or written words or symbols), such as epithets, insults, and derogatory comments. The form of conduct may be physical, such as assault or battery, impeding or blocking movement, or any physical interference with normal work or movement. The form of conduct may be visual, such as derogatory posters, cartoons, or drawings.
Unlawful harassment is harassment that refers to or is based upon the protected status of the person or persons being harassed, including race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, age, religious creed, physical or mental disability, medical condition as defined by California law, marital status, citizenship status, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, military or veteran status, or other status protected by law.
Unlawful harassment also includes sexual harassment. Sexual harassment includes any of the following conduct: explicit or implicit requests by one person for sexual favors from another person that condition employment, academic progress, or other University benefit upon the performance of those sexual favors; other unwelcome sexual advances, touching, or propositions; continual verbal expression about an individual's body; sexually degrading words used to describe an individual; the offensive display in the workplace or educational environment of sexual objects or pictures. Sexual harassment also includes other physical, verbal, or visual conduct based on gender when: (1) it has the natural effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive, or abusive environment; or (2) submission to the conduct is an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment, academic progress, or student activity and/or submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for an employment or academic decision.
Unlawful discrimination consists of some kinds of conduct that deny equal opportunities, privileges, or benefits to individuals based upon race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, age, religious creed, physical or mental disability, medical condition as defined by California law, marital status, citizenship status, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, military or veteran status, or other status protected by law.
- Adverse decisions regarding conditions of employment, including recruitment, hiring, placement, transfer, promotion, and termination, decisions regarding recruitment, retention, and participation in programs by students, and academic decisions are unlawful if based on the aforementioned characteristics or status.
- Except to the extent permitted by law (for example, bona fide occupational qualifications) University administration of personnel policies, programs, and activities (such as compensation, promotion, termination, benefits, training, and recreational programs), and University administration of student-related policies, programs, and activities (such as admissions, extracurricular, and recreational programs or activities), are unlawful if based on the aforementioned characteristics or status.
Retaliation by the University, its employees, or its students, against any person who in good faith reports, complains of, files or pursues a complaint about, or requests assistance with respect to unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination, or against any person who provides evidence as a witness in connection with a claim of unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination, is prohibited and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action by the University.
Procedures Relating to Complains or Request for Assistance
Application of procedures to faculty, staff, and students
The procedures specified in this policy apply to all faculty and staff. A member of the faculty or staff participating in a University class or other activity as a student shall nonetheless be considered a member of the faculty or staff, respectively, for purposes of applying this policy to conduct allegedly occurring in such class or other activity.
The Judicial Procedures applicable to enforcement of the Student Conduct Code apply to students, except that the procedures specified in this policy apply to the following cases involving students:
- When a student alleges unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination by a faculty member or staff member or a faculty member or staff member alleges unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination by a student.
- When a student alleges unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination by another student if the student respondent is an employee of the University and the student complainant is not an employee of the University, unless the Director of Affirmative Action determines that it is more appropriate for the case to be resolved by Judicial Procedures applicable to enforcement of the Student Conduct Code.
- When a student alleges unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination by another student if both are employees of the University at the time of the alleged harassment or discrimination and the student complainant is subordinate in the employment relationship to the student respondent, whether or not the complaint is about harassment or discrimination in the workplace.
- When a student alleges unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination by another student if both are employees of the University at the time of the alleged harassment or discrimination, if the student complainant is not subordinate in the employment relationship to the student respondent, and if the complaint relates to behavior of the respondent in the workplace.
If there is doubt about whether cases involving students are covered by either of the two preceding paragraphs (numbered 3 and 4), the Director of Affirmative Action shall make a binding decision, not subject to appeal, as to whether the procedures specified in this policy or the Judicial Procedures applicable to enforcement of the Student Conduct Code shall apply. In reaching such a decision, the Director of Affirmative Action shall begin with the presumption that the procedures specified in this policy apply.
For purposes of applying this policy, a student receiving compensation from the University for teaching responsibilities (including tutoring) shall be considered a student employee rather than faculty or staff.
Initiation of complaint or request for assistance
Any faculty member, staff member, student, or other person protected by this policy who believes that he or she has been the subject of unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination may lodge a complaint or request for assistance. A request for assistance may be made even if the person making the request is uncertain whether, or does not believe that, the conduct of another rises to the level of unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination. To lodge a complaint or request for assistance, the person with a complaint or request for assistance (hereafter "complainant") should submit a complaint or request for assistance as soon as possible following the incident or incidents of alleged harassment or discrimination for which a complaint is filed or assistance is sought.
The complainant may submit the complaint or request for assistance to his or her department head or supervisor, other higher-level University officer, or the University Director of Affirmative Action. A complaint against or request for assistance relating to a department head or supervisor, a higher-level University officer, or the Director of Affirmative Action should be submitted to one of the other persons identified in the preceding sentence. The complaint or request ordinarily should be in writing and ordinarily should include the name of the complainant, the date of the complaint or request, details of the incident(s), the name of the person or persons alleged to have engaged in the conduct (the respondent(s)), the names of any witnesses, and a description of the type of remedy or assistance sought. If the complaint or request for assistance is oral, the person to whom the complaint or request for assistance is made should make and preserve notes identifying the facts specified in the previous sentence to the extent related in the conversation.
University supervisors and managers, including academic personnel with managerial authority on behalf of the University, have the following duties: (1) to report promptly to the Director of Affirmative Action any conduct that they observe that they believe may constitute unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination; and (2) to communicate promptly to the Director of Affirmative Action any report of, complaint of, or request for assistance with respect to unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination made to them. This duty applies even in cases in which the supervisor or manager is asked to or desires to participate in an attempted informal resolution of a complaint or request for assistance. Failure to comply with these duties may result in disciplinary action by the University.
Initial evaluation by Director of Affirmative Action
When a person has filed a complaint or request for assistance, the Director of Affirmative Action shall select the appropriate response from among the following options:
- If the Director of Affirmative Action determines that alleged conduct does not amount to harassment or discrimination that is unlawful, the Director will not initiate informal or formal resolution of the complaint or request for assistance but may nonetheless attempt to assist the parties in resolving the issues presented or refer them to others on campus for assistance. However, the Director may later initiate informal or formal resolution for sufficient reason, such as by virtue of a subsequent complaint or request for assistance with respect to conduct of the same respondent(s) or when additional information comes to light. If the Director of Affirmative Action determines that alleged conduct does not amount to harassment or discrimination that is unlawful, the Director of Affirmative Action shall so inform the complainant and the respondent of that determination in a writing that specifies the reason for the determination.
- If the Director of Affirmative Action determines that alleged conduct, if proven, may constitute harassment or discrimination that is unlawful, the Director shall recommend either informal or formal resolution as more fully described below. When deemed necessary for the protection of others or for the general welfare of the University, the Director of Affirmative Action may require formal resolution even if the person making the complaint or request for assistance does not wish to pursue the complaint or request for assistance or wishes only to pursue informal resolution.
- If the Director of Affirmative Action determines that the conduct complained of requires corrective action through means other than informal or formal resolution, or if the University has knowledge of prior charges of unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination against the respondent(s), the Director need not begin or may discontinue informal or formal resolution and the University may take other appropriate action.
If the Director of Affirmative Action determines that alleged conduct, if proven, may constitute unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination, the Director of Affirmative Action may recommend an attempt at informal resolution to be facilitated by the Director of Affirmative Action, by an appropriate supervisor or manager, or by a neutral third party chosen and agreed to by the complainant, the respondent, and the Director of Affirmative Action. However, any party may decline to participate in or to continue to participate in an attempt to informally resolve the problem. Any party may decline to accept a recommended informal resolution of the problem.
One of the goals of the informal resolution process is to encourage and foster early action to prevent and/or correct conduct that the complainant believes is in violation of University policy. Accordingly, the fact of a respondent's agreement to undertake an informal resolution shall not constitute, shall not be used as, and shall not be construed as an admission that the respondent has violated University policy against unlawful harassment and unlawful discrimination, and the fact of a complainant's agreement to undertake an informal resolution shall not constitute, shall not be used as, and shall not be construed as an admission that the respondent has not violated University policy against unlawful harassment and unlawful discrimination.
The Director of Affirmative Action is an experienced facilitator of informal resolution of these types of matters and the parties are encouraged to accept the Director of Affirmative Action's participation if the Director of Affirmative Action so suggests. The Director of Affirmative Action may also decline to serve as facilitator. If the complainant and respondent desire informal resolution to be facilitated by someone other than the Director of Affirmative Action, the Director of Affirmative Action shall advise them concerning the most appropriate and effective ways to proceed.
If, during informal resolution, the Director of Affirmative Action, a supervisor or manager, or other neutral third person mutually chosen facilitates communication between the complainant and respondent in an attempt to resolve the complaint or request for assistance by agreement, the facilitation process constitutes mediation subject to the protections of confidentiality and against compelled disclosure, and the exceptions to those protections, that are stated in sections 1115 through 1128, inclusive, of the California Evidence Code.
An attempt at informal resolution shall be initiated, if at all, within 10 working days of receipt of the complaint or request for assistance, and should proceed to conclusion (whether successful or unsuccessful) within 20 working days of initiation of the informal resolution process. The facilitator may extend the deadline for informal resolution for one succeeding period of 10 working days if the facilitator reasonably believes that a successful informal resolution is possible within the extended time.
The following are examples of informal resolution:
If the Director of Affirmative Action has not participated in achieving an informal resolution, the parties, the supervisor or manager, or other neutral third person shall inform the Director of Affirmative Action in writing of the results of any attempt at informal resolution within 5 working days of conclusion of those efforts and shall attach any written agreement between the parties
If either the complainant, the respondent, or the Director of Affirmative Action does not agree to informal resolution, if an attempt at informal resolution is unsuccessful, or if the Director of Affirmative Action concludes that appropriate informal resolution is not likely to be reached in a timely fashion, the Director of Affirmative Action shall so inform both parties in writing and specify in writing the charges to be investigated through a formal resolution process.
If the Director of Affirmative Action has not previously attempted to facilitate an informal resolution, the Director of Affirmative Action shall initiate a formal investigation within 10 working days of the decision to do so and shall serve as the investigator. If the Director of Affirmative Action has previously attempted to facilitate an informal resolution, the President of the University or his designee (or the Chair of the Board of Trustees if the complaint is against the President) shall promptly name an alternative qualified person to undertake the investigation. The investigator so chosen must be able to and shall initiate the investigation within 10 working days of being named.
Investigation of the complaint or request for assistance will be thorough and proceed to conclusion within 30 working days of the initiation of the investigation. When the investigation is completed, the investigator will promptly report in writing to the appropriate University officer. The report shall include the investigator's evidentiary findings of the occurrence or non-occurrence of the alleged conduct and the investigator's legal conclusion as to whether conduct that occurred amounted to unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination. The appropriate University officer will then promptly decide upon the resolution, including, if appropriate, a remedy and prompt and effective corrective action.
The appropriate University officer is determined by the role of the parties in the University community (faculty, staff, or student) at the time of the alleged conduct.
- Except for cases described in paragraph E.2 immediately below,
- If the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources is the respondent or is a complainant in a case in which a staff member is a respondent, the appropriate University officer is the Vice President for Administration and Finance. If the Provost or a vice president is the respondent, the appropriate University officer shall be the President. If the President is the respondent, the appropriate University officer is the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
- In a case involving multiple respondents with different roles in the University community at the time of the alleged conduct (e.g. one respondent is a faculty member and one respondent is a staff member), the investigator shall report to the appropriate University officer for each respondent. The appropriate University officers shall consult with one another prior to deciding upon a resolution, remedy, or corrective action to assure that any differences in their decisions will be reasonably related to differences in the conduct of the respondents.
Subject to legal constraints on disclosure (e.g. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and to the extent appropriate considering the privacy of individuals involved, the appropriate University officer will inform the complainant and respondent(s) in writing of the evidentiary findings of the investigator and the resolution of the matter, including any remedy or corrective action to be taken. The complainant, respondent, and the University shall act in conformity with the resolution. An appeal shall stay such action unless the University determines that such action is necessary to prevent additional harm to an aggrieved party or other persons.
Appeal of formal resolution
When a formal investigation is concluded, either the complainant or the respondent may appeal the evidentiary findings of the investigator, the remedy or corrective action, if any, ordered by the appropriate University officer, or both. To appeal, the appealing party, whether complainant or respondent, must submit a written appeal to the appropriate appellate decision maker (with a copy to the other party or parties, a copy to the investigator, and a copy to the University officer to whom the investigator reported) within 10 working days of being informed of the findings and resolution.
The appropriate appellate decision maker is identified in paragraphs F.1 through F.5 immediately below.
- Except for cases described in paragraphs F.2, F.3, and F.4 immediately below,
- Except for cases described in paragraphs F.3 and F.4 immediately below, appeal is to the President in the following cases (in which, at the time of the alleged conduct, the role of the complainant (e.g. staff) and the role of the respondent (e.g. faculty) in the University community differed):
- Prior to rendering his decision, the President may consult with any person who participated in the formal resolution process, including the complainant and respondent, and with any other person whose advice he deems relevant, and shall consult with the following persons:
- An appeal may be taken instead to neutral arbitration only if all of the following conditions are met: both the complainant and the respondent were staff members at the time of the alleged conduct; the complainant did not hold a continuing faculty appointment at the time of the alleged conduct; the complainant and respondent both agree to neutral arbitration. The arbitrator shall be a qualified professional labor/employment arbitrator who is not employed by or affiliated with the University. In cases of agreed referral to a neutral arbitrator, the staff member and the University will promptly choose any arbitrator by mutual agreement. If the staff member and the University are unable to agree on the identity of the arbitrator, the staff member shall request a panel of names from JAMS/Endispute of Santa Clara County. The arbitrator shall be chosen from the panel of names by alternate striking of names, beginning with the staff member, until one is left, who shall serve as arbitrator. The University shall be responsible for the professional fees of the arbitrator, unless the staff member objects, in which case the University and the staff member shall each be responsible for 50% of the professional fees of the arbitrator. The arbitrator will be authorized to award appropriate remedy under law as to the specific issues submitted; however, the arbitrator shall have no power to add to, subtract from, change, alter, or ignore the provisions of the Staff Policy Manual or any other University policy. The decision of the arbitrator shall be binding upon the complainant and respondent(s) and upon the University.
- If the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources is the respondent or is a complainant in which a staff member is a respondent, appeal shall be to the President. If the Provost or a vice president is the respondent, appeal shall be to the Chair of the Board of Trustees. If the President is the respondent, appeal shall be to the Board of Trustees.
- In a case involving multiple respondents with different roles in the University community at the time of the alleged conduct (e.g. one respondent is a faculty member and one respondent is a staff member not holding a faculty appointment) an appeal shall be taken to the appellate decision maker designated above for each respondent involved in an appeal. If, as a consequence, there is more than one appellate decision maker, such decision makers shall consult with one another prior to a decision to assure that any differences in their decisions will be reasonably related to differences in the conduct of the respondents.
Appeals shall be heard promptly. Ordinarily, decisions should be rendered not more than 10 working days after the appellate decision maker has received all evidence and argument. Subject to legal constraints on disclosure (e.g. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and to the extent appropriate considering the privacy of individuals involved, the appellate decision maker shall immediately inform the complainant and respondent of the decision in writing.
If a student covered by these procedures is a respondent, the appeal shall not be subject to the appellate screening mechanisms applied to alleged violations of the Student Conduct Code.
If a person appeals an investigator's evidentiary findings, the appellate decision maker shall affirm the evidentiary findings unless it concludes that those findings were clearly erroneous. If it decides that the investigator's evidentiary findings of the occurrence of conduct found to constitute unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination were clearly erroneous, it shall so inform the parties in writing, shall dismiss the matter, and no further action shall be taken against the respondent(s). If it decides that the investigator's evidentiary findings of the non-occurrence of alleged conduct were clearly erroneous, it shall so inform the parties in writing, and shall refer the matter for resolution (including remedy and corrective action, if any) by the University officer to whom the investigator reported.
If a person appeals the remedy or corrective action ordered by the appropriate University officer, the appellate decision maker shall affirm the remedy or corrective action unless it finds the remedy or corrective action to be arbitrary or manifestly unreasonable. If it finds the remedy or corrective action to be arbitrary or manifestly unreasonable, it shall decide upon the remedy or corrective action if any.
In either case, the decision by the appellate decision maker shall be final, shall be communicated to the parties in writing, and shall be implemented promptly.
Definition of "working days" and extension of deadlines
"Working days" means the weekdays of Monday through Friday except for such days that are University administrative holidays. Any of the deadlines specified in these procedures may be extended by the Director of Affirmative Action (or, in her absence, her designee) if and only to the extent that the Director deems such extension required by exigent circumstances.
Failure of the respondent(s) to comply with the informal or formal resolution of a complaint or request for assistance and failure of a designated witness to cooperate with a facilitator in an informal resolution or an investigator in a formal resolution of a complaint may result in disciplinary action by the University, including the possibility of dismissal or expulsion.
For every case in which the Director of Affirmative Action has received notification of a complaint or request for assistance, the Director of Affirmative Action shall maintain a file that includes the complaint or request for assistance and documentation of the resolution of the matter, including any written agreement between the complainant and respondent(s). The Director of Affirmative Action shall maintain such documentation in the Affirmative Action Office.
Rank and tenure decisions
Notwithstanding any of the foregoing procedures, a faculty member claiming unlawful discrimination in the denial of promotion in rank or in the denial of tenure shall pursue that complaint with the Faculty Judicial Board, which shall follow the procedures specified in 220.127.116.11 of the Faculty Handbook.
- The complainant and respondent(s) are strongly encouraged to preserve the confidentiality of information that in any way relates to the existence, nature, and resolution of a complaint or request for assistance, except to the extent that they wish to share such information in communications that are privileged by law (such as lawyer/client or priest/penitent communications). They should be aware of the damage that unproven allegations might cause another as well as the potential of liability for defamation.
- University personnel and students (other than the complainant and respondent) participating in the resolution of a complaint or request for assistance shall preserve the confidentiality of information that in any way relates to the existence, nature, and resolution of a complaint or request for assistance, except: (a) to the extent necessary to pursue resolution or appeal of a complaint or request for assistance; (b) to the extent that disclosure is required by law; (c) to the extent that disclosure, including disclosure that exculpates, is required by the ordered remedy or corrective action; (d) to the extent that the Director of Affirmative Action reasonably deems disclosure appropriate to effectuate a remedy or corrective action for the benefit of the complainant, other members of the University community, or the University. Failure to maintain confidentiality may result in disciplinary action by the University.
Persons involved in the resolution or appeal of a complaint or request for assistance shall give due consideration to a complainant's request that his or her identity not be disclosed. However, such disclosure may be necessary to resolve the complaint. In such an event, the complainant shall be so notified in advance of the disclosure
If at any point the Director of Affirmative Action determines that conduct of a respondent is likely to recur and cause harm to others, the University may take reasonable steps to prevent such result prior to the initiation or conclusion of the procedures set forth above.
Designee in lieu of Director of Affirmative Action
The President shall designate a qualified disinterested person or persons to fulfill the responsibilities otherwise assigned by this policy to the Director of Affirmative Action if the Director of Affirmative Action is either a complainant or respondent, if the Director of Affirmative action is unable to fulfill responsibilities assigned to her by this policy, or if the President for good cause determines that the Director of Affirmative Action should not fulfill those responsibilities.
To achieve the goals of this University policy, each member of the University community must understand and accept responsibility for fulfilling the ideals of the University Statement of Purpose and for honoring its Guiding Principles. The President, Provost, vice presidents within their areas, together with vice provosts, deans, program chairs, Director of Affirmative Action, managers, and supervisors, are responsible for promoting progress on the ideal of building a diverse, nondiscriminatory community, initiating creative actions to increase diversity, and promoting an environment of mutual respect. Academic deans (for faculty), the Dean of Student Life (for students), and the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources (for staff) are responsible for monitoring implementation of this policy. The Director of Affirmative Action is responsible for responding to inquiries regarding federal and state laws as well as filing reports required by federal and state law.
As appropriate, the University will make available educational programs concerning unlawful harassment and unlawful discrimination.
The University will offer reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities to the extent required by law.
For more information about this policy, including information about the nature of unlawful harassment and unlawful discrimination, contact:
Affirmative Action Office
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
A person aggrieved by unlawful harassment or unlawful discrimination may file a complaint within the time required by law with the appropriate federal or state agency. Depending upon the nature of the complaint, the appropriate agency may be the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal Office of Civil Rights (OCR), or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
Flow Charts depicting lines of formal resolution (PDF 151KB)
Last Updated: January 15, 2014
Maintainer: Human Resources
312. Policy on Consensual Relations between Employees and Students
Click to read Policy 312: Policy on Consensual Relations between Employees and Students
In addition to prohibiting sexual harassment under the Policy on Unlawful Harassment and Unlawful Discrimination (Community Handbook Section 3.6.7), the University prohibits any consensual dating, romantic, or sexual relationship between an employee and a student over whom that employee has any instructional, supervisory, advising, or evaluative responsibility.
Such a relationship is fraught with problems, including the potential for exploitation, favoritism, and conflict of interest. The appearance of impropriety or unfairness may also adversely affect the learning and work environment for other students and employees.
This policy applies to faculty, staff, and student employees. Employees who violate this policy are subject to sanctions for misconduct under the policies of the Faculty Handbook, Staff Manual, or Student Employment Handbook, as appropriate to their employment status.
Employers or students with questions about this policy should contact the Office of Affirmative Action or the Department of Human Resources.
Policy Approved: May 2006
Last Updated: May 7, 2007
313. Patent Policy
The University expands the boundaries of knowledge and insight through research, artistic expression, and other forms of scholarship. Inventions may emerge from basic and applied research endeavors. Patenting an invention is often an essential step to fully realizing societal benefits emerging from new knowledge and technologies. Through this patent policy, the University seeks to encourage the development of new inventions and patents and to recognize that it is primarily through discovering, communicating, and applying knowledge that the University exercises institutional responsibility as a voice of reason and conscience in society.
Invention: any art or process (way of doing or making things), machine, manufacture, design, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, or any variety of plant, which is or may be patentable under the patent laws of the United States.
Inventor: any full- or part-time University faculty, staff, students, postdoctoral fellows and others who use University funds, facilities or other resources, or participate in University-administered research who contributes to the conception of an Invention using any University resources.
Incidental Invention: an Invention that is conceived or reduced to practice in whole or in part making an incidental use of space, facilities, materials or other resources provided by or through the University. Use of an office, the library, and desktop computer is considered to be the incidental use of space, facilities, materials or other resources.
Supported Invention: an Invention conceived or reduced to practice in whole or in part
Assigned Invention: an Invention conceived or reduced to practice in whole or in part as a result of activities related to the Inventor’s assigned employment responsibilities.
Inventors are required to complete and to submit an invention disclosure to the Office of Research Initiatives for any type of Invention. Well before submitting a disclosure, Inventors may notify the Office of Research Initiatives of potential Invention development so that the Office of Research Initiatives can assist in readying the potential Invention for patent application.
Upon review of the disclosure, the Office of Research Initiatives will determine whether the Invention shall be classified as an Incidental, Supported, or Assigned Invention. Ownership will be determined as follows.
Ownership of an Incidental Invention shall remain with its Inventor, subject to any rights owned by the University as required by this policy or voluntarily assigned by the Inventor to the University.
The University owns Supported Inventions and Assigned Inventions. In addition, each Inventor agrees to confirm in writing the Inventor's assignment to the University of all of his/her right, title, and interest in each Supported or Assigned Invention.
Supported Inventions that involve an external sponsor are owned by the University unless otherwise agreed by the University in a separate written third-party agreement between the University and a sponsor. Such a separate agreement may provide some or all rights in the Supported Invention to the third party.
The University ordinarily waives its rights to Inventions by student Inventors developed as part of normal educational activities except when the Invention:
- is a Supported Invention;
- results from a student’s employment with the University;
- involves faculty and/or staff contribution including faculty-mentored academic year or summer research (e.g. undergraduate research projects, thesis research, and faculty-mentored independent projects);
- is by a student who is also an employee of an entity sponsoring the work; or
- is part of a larger University work or specifically commissioned by the University.
Release of Inventions
An Inventor may request release of a University-owned Invention at any time. The University may agree to a release and, in such case, will assign in writing all interest which it holds or has the right to hold in the Invention to the Inventor. In addition, when the University, through the Office of Research Initiatives, determines that it will not file a patent for a University-owned Invention, the Invention will be released to the Inventor.
University Rights in Incidental Inventions
In recognition of the contribution the University community as a whole makes in support of innovation at the University, as of the time University employment begins, Inventors grant to the University an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty free, world-wide right to use an Incidental Invention in the University’s non-profit educational and research activities.
Inventor Rights in Inventions owned by the University
In recognition of the need of the Inventor to be able to use an Invention in the Inventor’s University-related educational and research activities, the University agrees, to the extent permitted by any agreements, patent and licensing restrictions, or other obligations, to grant to the Inventor an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty free, world-wide right to use the Invention in the Inventor’s non-profit teaching and research activities.
Filing and Prosecuting Patent Applications and Licensing
The University, through the Office of Research Initiatives, shall have the sole right, but not the obligation, to prepare, file, prosecute and maintain patent applications and patents worldwide with respect to University-owned Inventions. Through mutual written consent, Inventors of an Incidental Invention may assign ownership to the University so that a patent may be pursued by the University with royalties distributed as described in this policy.
Where royalties are generated as a consequence of licensing an Invention owned by the University, net royalties received by the University will be determined as net of direct and indirect expenses incurred in securing and managing the patent. Of these net royalties, the University will pay 50 percent to the Inventors and the remaining 50 percent will be allocated to a separate University fund to support research and related activities. An agreement with a sponsor that allocate royalties between the sponsor and the University may be entered into with the approval of the Office of Research Initiatives.
To fully realize societal benefits emerging from new knowledge and technologies, a patented Invention may be commercialized through a start-up venture. If an Inventor is interested in launching a start-up venture that involves an Invention owned in whole or in part by the University, then the University will work with Inventors to develop licensing terms that are mutually beneficial. Inventors interested in a start-up venture should contact the Office of Research Initiatives.
Policy Approved: September 7, 2010
Last Updated: September 7, 2010