Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment of faculty, staff or students is prohibited and will not be tolerated at The Pennsylvania State University. It is the policy of the University to maintain an academic and work environment free of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment violates the dignity of individuals and impedes the realization of the University's educational mission. The University is committed to preventing and eliminating sexual harassment of faculty, staff and students through education and by encouraging faculty, staff and students to report any concerns or complaints about sexual harassment. Prompt corrective measures will be taken to stop sexual harassment whenever and wherever it occurs. (AD85)

Sexual harassment has been defined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made implicitly or explicitly a condition for employment, promotion, grades, academic status, or participation in the University’s activities; or
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment or academic or other decisions affecting an individual; or
  3. Such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to substantially interfere with the individual's employment, education or access to University programs, activities and opportunities. To constitute prohibited harassment, the conduct must be such that it detrimentally affects the individual in question and would also detrimentally affect a reasonable person under the same circumstances.
Any member of the University community who experiences sexual harassment should immediately report the incident to the Affirmative Action Office, a sexual harassment resource person, an administrator in his or her department or unit, or the Office of Human Resources. In cases where an individual reports alleged sexual harassment to an administrator, faculty member, or staff member, the person receiving the complaint should contact the Affirmative Action Office to discuss resolution and ensure consistent responses to issues across units.

The University will make every effort to promptly investigate and resolve complaints of sexual harassment, with due regard for fairness and the rights of both the complainant and alleged offender, and to conduct all proceedings in the most confidential manner possible. If unsuccessful at resolving the issue informally, the Affirmative Action Office may investigate to gather information necessary to reach a formal determination on the merits of the allegations. Investigations will include notifying the alleged offender of the complaint and providing an opportunity to respond to the allegations.

If there is evidence of sexual harassment, the University will make every effort to ensure the harassment immediately stops and does not recur. The complainant will be informed of the corrective measures taken.

All inquiries are confidential.

Affirmative Action Office

Affirmative Action Office
328 Boucke, University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 863-0471
Fax: (814) 863-7799

Questions regarding web issues, please contact Tanya Pasko,

Web page last modified July 14, 2017