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Policy Prohibiting Identity Based Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation (Interim)


In keeping with its values, University of the Pacific considers students, employees, applicants for admission or employment, and those seeking access to university programs on the basis of individual merit.  The university does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived: race; ethnicity; color; national origin; citizenship status; hair texture and protective hairstyles; ancestry; language, caste, sex*; gender*; gender identity*; gender expression*; sexual orientation*; status as a victim of domestic violence, assault, or stalking*; pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions* **; parenting status; marital or relationship status; religious, spiritual, and secular identities; creed; age (40 and over); medical condition (including cancer or genetic characteristics); AIDS/HIV status; disability: physical or mental**; genetic information; height and weight or body size; Care-giving status; military service or veteran status; political affiliation or belief; or any other status protected by law (hereinafter defined as “Protected Classes").

*The Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination and Retaliation will be utilized to address potential violations related to sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. **The ADA Grievance Policy will be utilized to address potential violations related to disability.


The purpose of this Policy is to:

  • Affirm the university's commitment to preventing identity-based harassment and discrimination
  • Define Misconduct that includes Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation based upon identity
  • Identify resources and supportive measures for parties involved in complaints of identity-based harassment and discrimination
  • Establish prompt, fair and equitable procedures for filing and handling complaints of identity-based harassment and discrimination
  • Assure that all Responsible Employees (exclusive of Confidential Resources as listed in this Policy) are required to report all knowledge of identity-based harassment and discrimination to the Director of Equitable Rights & Responsibilities.


This policy applies to all Pacific community members, including faculty, staff, administrators, students, postdoctoral scholars, researchers, visitors, consultants, contractors, volunteers and others who participate in Pacific's programs and activities including, Pacific affiliates providing services to Pacific such as mentors and other third parties, such as contractors and vendors. Its application includes Pacific programs and activities both on and off-campus, including global programs.

For university employees, nothing in this Policy changes the at-will status of their employment or creates any right of continued employment.

When the Respondent or Complainant is not a Pacific Student or employee, a grievance process may still be available.
Mandated Reporters and Responsible Employees

Failure of a Mandated Reporter or Responsible Employee, as described within this Policy and associated Procedures, to report an incident of Harassment or Discrimination of which they become aware is a violation of university policy and can be subject to disciplinary action for failure to comply.

The university community may report suspected violations of this policy to the Director of Equitable Rights and Responsibilities or the Office of Compliance and Ethics. Contact information (including links for anonymous reporting) and including at the end of this policy.

The university's prohibition of Identity-Based Misconduct includes conduct occurring on campus or off campus, including online and electronic communication or other conduct, when the university determines there is a nexus to the university and the university has a substantial interest. Regardless of where the conduct occurred, the university will address notice/complaints to determine whether the conduct occurred in the context of its employment or educational program or activity or has continuing effects on campus or in an off-campus sponsored program or activity. The university has a substantial interest in conduct when it:

  • Occurs at university-related events
  • Occurs during study abroad, clinical, internship or other academic programs
  • Constitutes a violation of local, state or federal law; including repeat violations of any local, state, or federal law committed in any county where the university is located
  • Indicates that the individual may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of themselves or others
  • Significantly threatens the rights or property of those protected by this Policy, or significantly breaches the peace or causes social disorder
  • Is harmful to the educational mission of the university
  • Involves individuals covered by this Policy at a non-university event

University policies and procedures apply to conduct that takes place once a person becomes a Student or employee of the university, including periods during academic breaks and between semesters/academic terms. This Policy applies to and protects visitors to the university. Visitors may file a Complaint for alleged violation(s) of university policies and procedures committed by members of the Pacific community. Pacific community members may be held accountable for the conduct of their guests.


Terms in this Policy that are capitalized (e.g., “Complainant" or “Respondent") are defined below. Additional terms below are further defined in the associated Procedures.

ComplainantAn individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute harassment or discrimination based on a protected class; or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity.
Complaint (formal)A document submitted by a Complainant or by the Director of Equitable Rights & Responsibilities alleging Harassment or Discrimination based on a protected class or Retaliation for engaging in a protected activity against a Respondent and requesting that University of the Pacific investigate the allegation.
Confidential ResourceAn employee who is not a Mandated Reporter of Notice of Harassment, Discrimination, or Retaliation (irrespective of Clery Act Campus Security Authority status).
ConfidentialityConfidentiality exists in the context of laws that protect certain relationships, including those who provide services related to medical and clinical care, mental health providers, counselors, and ordained clergy. The law creates a privilege between certain health care providers, mental health care providers, attorneys, clergy, spouses, and others, with their patients, clients, parishioners, and spouses. University of the Pacific has designated individuals who have the ability to have privileged communications as Confidential Resources. When information is shared by a Complainant with a Confidential Resource, the Confidential Resource cannot reveal the information to any third party except when an applicable law or a court order requires or permits disclosure of such information. For example, information may be disclosed when: (i) the individual gives written consent for its disclosure; (ii) there is a concern that the individual will likely cause serious physical harm to self or others; or (iii) the information concerns conduct involving suspected abuse or neglect of a minor under the age of 18, elders, or individuals with disabilities. Non-identifiable information may be shared by Confidential Resources for statistical tracking purposes as required by the federal Clery Act. Other information may be shared as required by law.
DiscriminationLess favorable treatment because of a person's membership in a Protected Class.
Discriminatory HarassmentIncludes unwelcome conduct by any member or group of the community on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a Protected Class.
FacultyThe President, the Provost, academic deans, other administrators who hold faculty rank, professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, adjunct professors, lecturers, and clinical faculty, whether serving in teaching, scholarly and artistic activity, or administration appointments, whether serving part-time or full-time, and whether in an active or emeritus capacity.
Hostile EnvironmentA hostile environment is one that unreasonably interferes with, limits, or effectively denies an individual's educational or employment access, benefits, or opportunities. This discriminatory effect results from harassing verbal, written, graphic, or physical conduct that is severe, or pervasive or objectively offensive.
FERPAFamily Education Rights and Privacy Act which protects the Privacy of student education records.
InvestigatorThe person or persons charged by University of the Pacific with gathering facts about an alleged violation of this Policy, assessing relevance and credibility, synthesizing the evidence, and compiling this information into an investigation report and file of directly related evidence.
Identity-Based MisconductProhibited conduct based on Protected Class including but not limited to Discriminatory Harassment, Threatening or causing physical harm, Discrimination, Intimidation, Identity-Based Hazing, Identity-Based Bullying, Violation of No Contact/Supportive or Protective Measures, Attempts, and Retaliation.
NoticeAn employee, Student, or Third-Party informs the Director of Equitable Rights & Responsibilities or the Chief Compliance Officer of the alleged occurrence of Harassing, Discriminatory, or Retaliatory conduct.
Pacific CommunityIncludes, but is not limited to Students, registered student organizations, Faculty, Staff, and Third Parties.
PartiesInclude the Complainant(s) and Respondent(s), collectively.
PrivacyInformation related to a Complaint will be shared with a limited number of University of the Pacific employees who “need to know" in order to assist in the assessment, investigation, and resolution of the report. All employees who are involved in the university's response to Notice under this Policy receive specific training and guidance about sharing and safeguarding private information in accordance with state and federal law. The Privacy of Student education records will be protected in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA"), as outlined in the university FERPA policy. The privacy of employee records will be protected in accordance with Human Resources policies.
Protected ClassesSee definition in Background section above.
RespondentAn individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute harassment or discrimination based on a protected class; or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity.
Responsible EmployeeAn employee who knows, or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known, that Misconduct has occurred. Responsible Employees have the obligation to report incidents of Misconduct to the Director of Equitable Rights & Responsibilities or their designee. Except Confidential Resources, all employees at the university are Responsible Employees.
SanctionA consequence imposed by the University of the Pacific on a Respondent who is found to have violated this Policy.
Staff Member or StaffA salaried or hourly person employed by the university, including applicants.
StudentIncludes all full and part‐time undergraduate, professional, and graduate  Students from the time of application for admission to the time of the conferral of a  degree and includes periods prior to the start of classes, after classes have ended,  between terms, and when a student is not officially enrolled but has an ongoing  relationship with Pacific.
Third PartyIncludes but not limited to guests, visitors, vendors, volunteers, and invitees.
Director of Equitable Rights & ResponsibilitiesThe official designated by University of the Pacific to ensure compliance with the university's Policy Prohibiting Identity-Based Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation.
DEI TeamDirector of Equitable Rights & Responsibilities and any deputies.
UniversityRefers to University of the Pacific.


Policy Statement

Students, staff, administrators, and faculty are entitled to an employment and educational environment that is free of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation based on membership or perceived membership of a Protected Class. This Policy is not meant to inhibit or prohibit educational content or discussions inside or outside of the classroom that include germane but controversial or sensitive subject matters protected by academic freedom.

The sections below describe the specific forms of Identity-Based Misconduct prohibited under university policy.

1.      Discriminatory Harassment

Harassment based on Protected Class that creates a Hostile Environment. A Hostile Environment is one that unreasonably interferes with, limits, or effectively denies an individual's educational or employment access, benefits, or opportunities. This effect results from harassing verbal, written, graphic, or physical conduct that is severe, or pervasive or objectively offensive.

2.      Threatening or causing physical harm
Verbal, emotional, or psychological abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person based on Protected Class. 

3.      Identity-Based Discrimination
Giving preferential or detrimental treatment to a person to the disadvantage of one who identifies or is perceived to be a member of a Protected Class.

 4.      Intimidation

Actual or implied threats or acts based on Protected Class that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another.

5.      Identity-Based Hazing

Words or actions based on Protected Class that are likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the Pacific community, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity (as defined further in the Hazing Policy).

6.      Identity-Based Bullying

Any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act of conduct based on Protected Class, including communication made in writing or by means of electronic act, and including one or more acts committed by an individual or a group of individuals directed toward one or more individual that has or has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one of the following:

    1. Placing a reasonable person in fear of harm to that person or property
    2. Causing a reasonable person to experience a substantially detrimental effect their physical or mental health
    3. Causing a reasonable person to experience substantial interference with their academic or work performance
    4. Causing a reasonable person to experience substantial interference with their ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by Pacific.

7.      Violation of No Contact/Supportive or Protective Measures

Failure to comply with the requirements of a no contact order or other Supportive or protective Measures.

8.      Attempts
Conduct that, if successful, would constitute or result in the prohibited conduct.

9.      Retaliation

Protected activity under this policy includes reporting an incident that may implicate this Policy, participating in the Grievance Process, supporting a Complainant or Respondent, assisting in providing information relevant to an investigation, or acting in good faith to oppose conduct that constitutes a violation of this Policy.

It is prohibited for the university or any member of the Pacific community to take materially adverse action by intimidating, threatening, coercing, harassing, or discriminating against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by law or policy, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this Policy and associated procedure.

Protected Speech

When speech or conduct is protected by academic freedom or Leonard's Law, it will not be considered a violation of university policy, though supportive measures will be offered to those impacted.

Violations of Policy

Violation of any other university policies may constitute a Civil Rights Offense when a violation is motivated by actual or perceived membership in a protected class, and the result is a Discriminatory limitation or denial of employment or educational access, benefits, or opportunities.

In accordance with the procedures associated with this policy, sanctions for the above-listed Offenses range from warning through dismissal/termination.

Amnesty for Complainants and Witnesses
University of the Pacific encourages reporting of alleged violations of the Policy Prohibiting Identity-Based Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation. The university will ensure that an individual who participates as a Complainant or witness in an investigation of this Policy will receive amnesty and will not be subject to disciplinary sanctions for a violation of the university's student conduct policies regarding drug or alcohol use at or near the time of the incident, unless the university determines that the violation was egregious. Egregious violations include acts that place the health or safety of any other person at risk. The university reserves the right to require individuals to participate in health and safety assessments or educational programs.

It is in the best interests of the university community that Complainants choose to report potential violations of the Policy to university officials, that witnesses come forward to share what they know, and that all parties be forthcoming during the process.

Amnesty does not apply to more serious allegations such as physical abuse of another or illicit drug distribution. The decision not to offer amnesty to a Respondent is based on the fact that collateral misconduct is typically addressed for all students within a progressive discipline system, and the rationale for amnesty – the incentive to report serious misconduct – is rarely applicable to a Respondent with respect to a Complainant.

Students: Sometimes, students are hesitant to assist others for fear that they may get in trouble themselves (for example, an underage student who has been drinking or using marijuana might hesitate to help take an individual who has experienced Harassment to the Public Safety).

The university maintains a policy of amnesty for students who offer help to others in need. While policy violations cannot be overlooked, the university may provide purely educational options with no official disciplinary finding, rather than punitive sanctions, to those who offer their assistance to others in need.

Employees: Sometimes, employees are hesitant to report harassment or discrimination they have experienced for fear that they may get in trouble themselves. The university may, at its discretion, offer employee Complainants amnesty from such policy violations (typically more minor policy violations) related to the incident. Amnesty may also be granted to Respondents and witnesses on a case-by-case basis.

Contact Information

Director of Equitable Rights & Responsibilities209.946.7770


Chief Compliance Officer209.946.7446Compliance@pacific.edu

Individuals with Disabilities

If you are a student with a disability who requires accommodations, please contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities located in the McCaffrey Center, Room 137. Phone: 209.946.3221. Email: Online:

If you are an employee or employment applicant, please contact Human Resources on your home campus, available at the numbers below.

Stockton Human Resources – 209.946.2124

Sacramento Human Resources – 916.739.7031

San Francisco Human Resources – 415.929.6468

Related Information

University Links 



Through the Office of Equitable Rights and Responsibilities


Through the Office of Compliance & Ethics

Related Links 
Procedures  Standards for University Investigations Policy  

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About This Policy
Last Updated
Original Issue Date

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