Office of the VP for Student Life

Sexual harassment, non-discrimination and Title IX

Sexual harassment, non-discrimination and Title IX

Non-discrimination and non-retaliation

The University of Washington, as an institution established and maintained by the people of the state, is committed to providing equality of opportunity and an environment that fosters respect for all members of the University community (Executive Order 31). This policy has the goal of promoting an environment that is free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. To facilitate that goal, the University retains the authority to discipline or take appropriate corrective action for any conduct that is deemed unacceptable or inappropriate, regardless of whether the conduct rises to the level of unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation.

University policy:

  • Prohibits discrimination or harassment against a member of the University community because of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or military status.
  • Prohibits any member of the University community, including, but not limited to, the faculty, staff, or students, from discriminating against or unlawfully harassing a member of the public on any of the above grounds while engaged in activities directly related to the nature of their University affiliation.
  • Prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports concerns regarding discrimination or harassment, or who cooperates with or participates in any investigation of allegations of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

Sexual harassment and Title IX

Title IX reporting policies

Our University of Washington community is committed to maintaining a civil and compassionate environment. To that end, our community does not condone or tolerate sexual harassment. The University’s non-discrimination policy is guided by state and federal laws that prohibit sexual harassment. These state and federal laws include, among others, the Washington State Law Against Discrimination (RCW 49.60), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.

The University’s policy defines sexual harassment as follows:

“Sexual harassment” is a form of harassment based on the recipient’s sex that is characterized by:

  1. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a person who has authority over the recipient when:
    • Submission to such conduct is made either an implicit or explicit condition of the individual’s employment, academic status, or ability to use University facilities and services, or
    • Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for a decision that affects tangible aspects of the individual’s employment, academic status, or use of University facilities; or
  2. Unwelcome and unsolicited language or conduct that is of a sexual nature or that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it could reasonably be expected to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment, or has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance (Executive Order 31).

Sexual harassment is illegal and sexual violence is also a form of sex discrimination. Faculty, staff, and students who engage in sexual harassment will be subject to corrective or disciplinary action. Violations can lead to severe penalties, up to and including termination of employment or termination from educational programs, as well as possible personal liability.

Because consensual relationships between students employees may present a conflict of interest and could result in creating a hostile environment,

President Cauce issued Presidential Order 54 which addresses Employee-Student romantic relationships and conflicts of interest.

The University will promptly respond to and take appropriate action concerning allegations of sexual harassment. In addition, the University prohibits retaliation against anyone for reporting, cooperating with, or participating in the University’s complaint process regarding allegations of sexual harassment (Executive Order 31).

Each member of the University community is asked to participate fully in our collective effort to maintain the University of Washington’s commitment to prevent and eliminate sexual harassment and discrimination. Toward that effort, the University also provides a number of resources to members of the campus community who either believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment or discrimination or have knowledge that leads them to believe that a member of our community has been subjected to sexual harassment or discrimination.


Consistent with the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations, the University has designated the individuals below as being responsible for coordinating our compliance with Title IX. Faculty, staff or students with concerns or complaints about discrimination on the basis of sex in employment or an education program (including sexual harassment) may contact:

Valery Richardson
Title IX Coordinator

Office of the Title IX Coordinator

Other Resources

Investigation and resolution of allegations concerning the behavior of University employees, including student employees:

University Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office
4311 11th Avenue NE, Suite 320

Campus Human Resources

For complaints concerning the behavior of employees, including student employees:
Phone: 206.543.2354

Investigation and resolution of allegations that a student has violated the sexual misconduct provisions of the Student Conduct Code:

Title IX Investigation Office
4311 11th Avenue, NE Suite 320

Assistance and information for graduate students:

Kelly Edwards
Associate Dean, The Graduate School

Assistance and information involving athletic programs are available by

Erin O’Connell
Senior Associate Athletic Director, Intercollegiate Athletics

Information, support, and an explanation of rights and responsibilities for incidents involving students are available by contacting a confidential advocate.

In addition, consultation, conciliation and mediation services are available by contacting:

Office of the Ombud
339 HUB

Referral to the appropriate Human Resources Consultant/Specialist also is available by contacting:

  • Human Resources Operations, 206-543-2354 (upper Seattle campus, Tacoma, and Bothell)
  • Human Resources Operations, 206-543-9406 (Health Sciences)
  • UW Medical Center Human Resources, 206-598-6116
  • Harborview Medical Center Human Resources, 206-744-9220
  • Academic Human Resources, 206-543-5630 (Faculty, librarians and academic staff)