Professional Workplace Environment

The Department of Political Science is committed to creating a professional and welcoming workplace environment for men and women of every background, including race, ethnicity, creed, sexual orientation, and ideological perspective. The Department is committed to promoting academic freedom and intellectual discourse. At the same time, the Department expects an environment of mutual respect and consideration for colleagues. The primary means for this to occur is for all individuals to use common sense, decency, and respect for others as their guide to interacting with others in the workplace. Thus, this statement does not include any effort to codify speech. The need to create a professional and welcoming workplace environment extends to all of North Hall.

For situations in which problems regarding the working environment arise, the Department encourages the concerned parties to discuss the problem among themselves and seek resolution together. In situations in which this may not be advisable (for example, instances involving a power differential), or if this strategy has not been successful, they are welcome to seek additional assistance from the Chair, the Associate Chair, or the Department liaisons. These Department representatives will make reasonable and timely efforts to help resolve the issue. The Department encourages the concerned parties to meet together, or to have a Department representative meet separately with each party with full information. At the same time, the Department recognizes that there will be cases that call for a different approach. All concerned parties should make every effort to keep communication channels open throughout the process. The Department representatives will report back verbally to the participants at the conclusion of the department-level process. There will be no department record of this process.

This informal department process is designed to assist faculty, staff, and students in the Department of Political Science to maintain a professional and welcoming workplace environment. While the Department does not have the authority to require participation or to impose sanctions, it encourages parties to participate in this problem-resolution process. This informal process is not a substitute for the established university policies or public law on sexual harassment, nor is it a prerequisite for pursuing any claims under such policies or laws.