200 GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY
201 Strategic Plan
Strategic Plan Approved by the University Senate on January 27, 2011
202 History of the University
Georgia State University has evolved from an evening school of commerce to a dynamic urban university. The growth of Atlanta, the diversity of its population, and the prospect of Atlanta as a major communication and transportation hub, as an international city, and as a financial center--all have given the University a new kind of destiny in higher education. The University has experienced extraordinary growth in numbers of students, physical facilities, and quality of education as it seeks to meet the challenges of providing a broad range of educational opportunities in the largest and most diverse population center in the State.
The history of Georgia State University began in 1913 when it was founded as the Georgia Institute of Technology's "Evening School of Commerce." Holding classes in rented space in downtown Atlanta, the School moved its location several times to surroundings that could accommodate the increasing enrollment. Wayne S. Kell, distinguished member of the Georgia Tech staff, directed the School during this early period. Having been appointed by the institution's president and trustees "to take charge of the evening classes in the new science of business," Kell gave much of himself to the institution. Kell Hall is named in his honor.
The institution continued to grow under the direction of two additional directors affiliated with Georgia Tech. In 1918, John M. Watters, a dean of Georgia Tech, served as director of the school until 1925 when Fred B. Wenn, a professor in the school, succeeded him. In 1928, Dr. George M. Sparks became director of the institution at a time when Georgia and the nation moved into a severe depression. He later served as the first president. Sparks Hall, a major building on the campus housing administrative offices and classrooms today, recognizes his contribution to the institution.
The economic circumstances of the state and the nation in the 1930s brought about Georgia State's first period of independence. When the reorganization of state government created a Board of Regents to govern the University System of Georgia, the Regents decided that the Georgia Tech Evening School of Commerce should be an independent college in the new System. Independent throughout the Depression and World War II, the Tech School of Commerce in 1947 was incorporated by the Board of Regents into the program of the University of Georgia. At that time the institution became the "Atlanta Division of the University of Georgia."
By 1955 the Board of Regents came to realize that the Atlanta Division was acquiring a destiny and a unique identity of its own. The Regents separated Georgia State from the University of Georgia; and because its specialty was to be business, it was given the title "the Georgia State College of Business Administration." By 1961, as the functions of the institution had enlarged its mission, the Board of Regents changed the name to "Georgia State College."
This new name was needed to reflect the expansion of the academic program of the institution, which began shortly after 1957 when Noah Langdale, Jr., became second president upon the retirement of Dr. Sparks. Under President Langdale's leadership, the bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees were offered in addition to the undergraduate business degree, and the master of business administration degree began the advanced degree program. These additions were joined by other master's degrees and doctoral programs, the first doctorate being conferred upon a student in 1965.
Following the increase in advanced degree programs, new colleges were added. The original two colleges of the University--the College of Business Administration and the College of Arts and Sciences--were joined by the Colleges of Education, Urban Life, Allied Health Sciences, and General Studies. Later, the Colleges of Urban Life and General Studies were combined to form the College of Public and Urban Affairs, the College of Allied Health Sciences changed its name to the College of Health Sciences, and the College of Law became the sixth college of the University. More recently, the College of Health Sciences was reorganized and became the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions and the Institute of Public Health was finalized.
In recognition of the academic advances made by the institution--and the services it offered both to students and to the community--the Board of Regents in 1969 changed the name once more--Georgia State University.
On July 1, 1987, Dr. Langdale assumed special responsibilities for the Chancellor and Dr. William M. Suttles was appointed acting president. Later the Board of Regents recognized Dr. Suttles' important contributions to Georgia State University for over forty years by naming him Georgia State University's third president. On July 1, 1989, Dr. John Michael Palms became the University's fourth president. At the departure of Dr. Palms, Dr. Sherman Day was appointed Acting President on March 15, 1991. Since that time, Dr. Carl V. Patton was appointed the fifth president of Georgia State University on July 1, 1992 and retired in 2008. Mark P. Becker became Georgia State's next president in January 2009.
The development of a broad concept of a modern urban institution, built upon a sound base of gifted faculty and basic programs, dedicated to bringing the rewards of learning to the community at large through formal and informal programs, and utilizing all communications media, gives Georgia State University a challenge and a spirit of pioneering as the administration, the faculty and the student body carve out its destiny. The early buildings, whose names recall the pioneering spirit of early leaders, are now joined by well-designed new structures that provide a modern setting for Georgia State University's fulfillment of its threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service.
206 University Policies and Procedures
206.01 Crisis Management Plan
206.01.01 Reporting a Crisis
If an actual or perceived crisis occurs or is anticipated, report the situation without delay to:
206.01.02 Executive Summary
Georgia State University Police Department (GSUPD) and Office of Emergency Management (OEM) monitor and receive information from various offices and departments on campus and from external agencies. If GSUPD or OEM confirm there is an emergency or dangerous situation that poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of some or all of the GSU community, OEM and University Relations will collaborate to determine the content of the message and will use some or all of the emergency notification systems described below to communicate the threat to the GSU community or to the appropriate segment of the community, if the threat is limited to a particular building or audience of the population. OEM, and/or University Relations will, without delay and taking into account the safety of the community, determine the content of the notification and initiate the notification system, unless issuing a notification will, in the judgment of the first responders (including, but not limited to: GSUPD, Atlanta Police, Atlanta Fire and Rescue and/or supporting Emergency Medical Services), compromise the efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency.
In the event of a serious incident that poses an immediate threat to members of the GSU community, the University has numerous systems in place for disseminating information quickly. Some or all of the methods of communication may be activated in the event of an immediate threat to the GSU campus community. The methods of communication include:
"Panther Alert" - Multimodal Emergency Notification System -(a remotely hosted mass notification system): this system is designed to send email, texts and/or phone messages to a large audience in a rapid manner. Faculty, staff, and students' contact information is loaded into this system and maintained through their personnel or student record (individuals must sign up to receive text messages, however). While this system is effective for "initial alerts", it is not designed to distribute multiple messages and allow for detailed situational awareness. Therefore, redundant communications measures are needed to supplement this system. This system is tested once every semester.
Outdoor Emergency Broadcast Speaker System - this system allows GSUPD and OEM to notify the GSU community of a sudden emergency or incident that threatens life safety while students, faculty, staff, and guests are moving about the campus. This system has a severe weather warning horn/siren and voice capability and can be activated remotely through command modules currently installed in the Police Communications Center and the Office of Emergency Management. There are a total of six speaker arrays throughout the campus. This system is tested once every semester.
Web Emergency Notification System - this system is a web-based application that allows the University to broadcast an emergency alert banner on the University home page and may serve as a hyperlink to additional information and emergency response procedures. In the event of a significant emergency, this system is one of the primary means to provide updated information about an emergency as the situation changes. All other communications direct the GSU community to this system for additional and updated information. This system is tested once every semester.
Indoor (Remote Activated) Building Public Address System - this system allows GSUPD and OEM to remotely activate select buildings' public address systems throughout campus (all building or floor specific) and provide detailed information and emergency response guidance to the building occupants. This system(s) is tested once every semester.
Police Vehicle Public Address Speakers - select police vehicles are outfitted with loud speaker systems that can be utilized in localized emergencies and to disseminate location or event specific informaiton. This system is tested daily.
GSU community members are informed of these systems and capabilities during new student and employee orientation. Individuals interested in learning more about these systems should visit the Office of Emergency Management website www.gsu.edu/oem, email email@example.com requesting additional information, or call 404-413-0776.
206.01.03 Faculty Response Guidelines
Every University administrator, upon receiving an "emergency/alert notification," is to provide applicable information to those persons under his/her direction, as per the emergency notification system. If possible, it is recommended that the notification be written and delivered in person or by facsimile transmission.
Main and field incident command posts shall be established as required by the situation and shall be equipped with communication systems required to utilize resources (Emergency Management Team and outside agencies).
Trained building/facility coordinators, as appointed by division and department heads, will be contacted to inform all persons under their direction of the emergency and the action required.
Faculty/supervisors shall inform students of the emergency as per the "emergency/alert notifiction" statement and initiate emergency procedures with guidance from the Dean of their respective College and/or the Dean of Students.
The Director of Emergency Management conducts liaison activities with the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and other appropriate agencies as needed.
When the University President declares an end to the "university emergency," a "notification statment" will be issued as appropriate and will follow the emergency notification system. Following the emergency, the University Emergency Management Group and other personnel as deemed appropriate crisis resource team shall gather for a debriefing. The Office of Emergency Management will prepare an emergency appraisal report for review by the Emergency Management Group and the Board of Regents as required.
(For the complete text of the University Emergency Operations Plan, supporting annexes and additional information about the Emergency Management Program, contact the Office of Emergency Management or visit www.gsu.edu/oem.
206 University Policies and Procedures
206.02 Campus Master Plan Principles
Georgia State University is on the move. Guided by a new Strategic Plan, Georgia State continues to pursue a leading position among the nation's premier state-supported urban universities through excellence in instruction, research and service.
The Strategic Plan sets forward two closely related initiatives. The first initiative will "encourage, develop and sustain nationally competitive research, scholarship, and creative activity . . . and . . . maintain and develop nationally competitive instructional programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. . . . In this way the University will become known as a major research institution that offers advanced undergraduate, graduate, and professional instruction of the highest quality in carefully selected areas of central educational importance, strong societal need, and high student interest." The second initiative is the quest for academic distinctiveness which "will be accomplished by the strategic utilization of resources in areas of programmatic strength, and by taking maximum advantage of the urban setting whereby major attention and resources are devoted to issues confronting contemporary life."
Georgia State recognizes that a thriving university and vibrant downtown are interdependent. With a clear vision for itself and a strong commitment to establish partnership with its community, Georgia State is developing a new master plan to take it into the 21st century, a plan which will provide for the university's future, join the institution with its downtown neighbors, and enhance its value to the surrounding city.
The principles of the Campus Master Plan described below capitalize on the advantages of an urban location, enabling the university to seize unique opportunities for development when they arise. The plan, therefore, emphasizes urban design principles and guidelines which support the university's strategic plan, rather than specific projections or projects.
The Platform Campus - A Prior Solution
Georgia State continues to grow from its origins as a small downtown college largely oriented to business education to a major research university. In the 1960s, as the school moved toward university status, plans for a defined Georgia State University campus were developed for the first time. That original master plan evolved through the following decades into a powerful vision for the campus--but one very different from that which guides the university today.
Georgia State's location in the Central Business District of a major city precluded building a traditional campus around a large, central green space. But campus planners desired to create an identifiable campus that would provide refuge from city noise and traffic--situated in town, yet separated from it. The solution was to build a campus above the city, placing it on a platform.
Utilizing bridges and plazas to connect university buildings, the platform concept successfully reinforced the identity of the institution and facilitated the movement of students and faculty through their daily activities.
The Need for Change
The university's success, however, brought its own challenges. The platform design limited campus growth to contiguous buildings or areas. As enrollment grew, the university soon ran out of available adjacent land. Consequently, Georgia State began to acquire buildings that were not contiguous to campus and convert them to useable facilities.
The first departure from the platform plan actually occurred as early as 1982, when Georgia State acquired the Title Building at 30 Pryor Street. Since then, Georgia State has occupied the building at One Park Place South and acquired the building at 35 Broad Street, expanding into the heart of the Central Business District and moving farther away from the principle of a contiguous platform campus.
Georgia State has developed the Rialto Center for the Performing Arts in the Fairlie-Poplar District. It serves as one of the most visible symbols of the institution's new relationship with downtown. In addition, the nearby Standard and Haas Howell buildings houses the institution's School of Music. Such developments demonstrate a clear need for a new approach to master planning. Georgia State University no longer exists only as an enclave, isolated within the city. It is becoming an important and active resident of the Fairlie-Poplar District and downtown Atlanta.
Although the resulting checkerboard footprint has met some of the university's needs for additional facilities, it has revived some of the same concerns that the platform was designed to address: campus identity, security, and ease of movement for the university community. Georgia State has developed a new vision which addresses these challenges by way of integration rather than isolation.
Support for Change
Georgia State's new vision is supported by significant environmental changes. Only 20 years ago, Atlanta's Central Business District, centered at Five Points, was the economic, cultural and entertainment hub of the entire region. Today, it is one of many specialized employment and cultural concentrations in the metro region, such as the Airport, Buckhead and Perimeter Center.
Downtown Atlanta does have several thriving but isolated enclaves including Peachtree Center, the World Congress Center, the federal, state and local government centers, and Underground Atlanta. Five Points, the geographic center of downtown, and its neighbor, the Fairlie-Poplar District, have buildings that are vacant or partially occupied, presenting important opportunities for the future of down and the university.
The 1996 Centennial Olympic Games stimulated significant improvements in the Central Business District and advancements for the university. Included are the construction of the Olympic Village Residence Halls, the redesign and rebuilding of Woodruff Park, the design and construction of Centennial Olympic Park, and major sidewalk and landscape improvements on Peachtree Street and Auburn Avenue. These streetscape and infrastructure improvements, carried out by the Corporation for Olympic Development in Atlanta, provide a model for pleasant connections between the existing campus core and Georgia State's newly acquired and future buildings in the Fairlie-Poplar district.
In addition to these improvements, the Olympic Games stimulated private development in the area, and many developers are seeking ways to extend the life of their investments beyond 1996. This activity creates a climate in which Georgia State can join with the City of Atlanta and others entities to bring lasting benefits to all concerned. These conditions also provide a unique opportunity for Georgia State University to grow and prosper as an urban institution.
An Urban Design Vision: Principles for Georgia State University Master Planning
The new campus master planning principles are based on an urban design vision that blends Georgia State's properties and activities into a vigorous downtown Atlanta. City blocks, streets, sidewalks and parks supplement the elevated pedestrian bridges and plazas of the previous campus plan.
Fairlie-Poplar, the historic center of downtown, with its small blocks, narrow streets and older and architecturally interesting buildings, possesses character unlike any other place in the metro-Atlanta area. It is this distinguishing character that provides the foundation for a colorful, inviting, prosperous and identifiable neighborhood to be built in the heart of town.
Following the principles enumerated below, Georgia State will plan for its expansion within the Atlanta Central Business District in ways that meet its educational mission, preserve the historic character of the heart of the City, and support the economic and social viability of the downtown area.
Principle 1: Integrate institutional buildings and their use into the city environment. Locate Georgia State's academic, administrative and related activities in suitable space in the Fairlie-Poplar and Five Points District.
Principle 2: Use existing and planned structures to help define and connect the institution's spaces. Use existing and planned sidewalks, streets, blocks and parks to connect Georgia State's buildings and spaces to each other and to important sources of current or future pedestrian traffic to and from Georgia State.
Principle 3: Use housing opportunities to attract the population necessary to create a viable community. Encourage downtown housing for students and artists and other professionals in both new and rehabilitated buildings in Fairlie-Poplar and Sweet Auburn.
Principle 4: Support transportation patterns that encourage pedestrian traffic and enhance the safety and convenience of Georgia State students, faculty and staff. Use future parking, the Georgia State shuttle and existing public transit strategically to increase and direct pedestrian traffic near Georgia State University.
Georgia State University's new Campus Master Plan Principles are a dramatic statement about the model urban university of the 21st century, one that reflects a new dynamic for Georgia State as it works toward its twin goals of greater national prominence and enhanced community relevance. At the same time that it pursues its central missions of excellence and distinctiveness in the academic enterprise, the university has the opportunity to take leadership in building a viable, spirited urban neighborhood, one that is alive with intellectual, artistic and commercial activity day and night.
(Approved by the University Senate Planning and Development Committee, 10/19/95)
(Approved by the University Senate, 11/2/95)
206 University Policies and Procedures
206.03 Harassment Policy and Procedures
Part I: Overview
Georgia State University promotes the advancement of knowledge through the opportunity for participation in a thriving artistic, economic, scientific, and social learning laboratory. It serves its students, staff, faculty, other institutions, and society in general through a creative climate of free inquiry and free expression.
Georgia State University is committed to maintaining a work and learning environment in which the respect, dignity, and worth of all are acknowledged. To foster this environment, faculty, students, and staff are expected to practice the highest ethical principles and standards of conduct. (This policy and these procedures apply to university students, agents, and employees, including but not limited to faculty, staff, administrators, and student employees. For the purposes of this policy and procedures, the terms "faculty" or "faculty member" mean all those who teach at the university, and include graduate students with teaching responsibilities and other instructional personnel.) Statements and policies regarding standards of conduct for faculty, students, and staff are listed in Appendix A.
Discriminatory harassment and sexual harassment are highly destructive to the university environment. To establish a clear university policy and to protect and aid all parties, policies and grievance procedures for harassment offenses are described below in detail.
II. Protections for Participants
Retaliation against a person who expresses a complaint in good faith is a violation of state and federal laws and may lead to disciplinary action against offenders.
Complainants and the accused have rights guaranteed by the federal Constitution, state and federal laws, and by the university system policies and procedures.
Efforts will be made by the university to maintain confidentiality of the proceedings and participants as far as legally possible. However, records from procedures relevant to a particular complaint may be obtained under state or federal laws and legal proceedings. Information on record keeping is described in each procedural sub-section of the complaint procedures.
III. Educational Programs
Educational efforts are essential to the establishment of a campus community that respects the dignity and worth of the individual. Such educational programs require special attention on a culturally diverse, urban campus like that of Georgia State University. There are at least four goals to be achieved through education: (1) informing individuals of conduct that is prohibited; (2) ensuring that all university community personnel are aware of their rights; (3) informing administrators about the proper way to address complaints of violations of these policies; and (4) helping educate the university community about the problems these policies address.
The affirmative action officer is charged with distributing information about these policies to all current members of the university community. Faculty and staff will be reminded annually about the policies. Information about the policies will be included in student orientation materials. In addition, copies of the policies will be included and made available in the "Faculty Handbook" and at appropriate campus centers and offices. The assistant vice president for human resources is charged with distributing such information to all new employees.
The affirmative action officer in cooperation with the university ombudsperson, Counseling Center personnel, and a university attorney will develop a series of training sessions for persons who are likely to receive complaints that policies have been violated, including, but not being limited to, such persons as academic advisors, supervisors, and university and college administrators. Academic departments are encouraged to provide training sessions for graduate assistants and other instructional personnel.
The university ombudsperson, affirmative action officer, and university attorney as needed will meet bi-annually for evaluation of procedures.
This document and the work of the university ombudsperson will be reviewed by the Faculty Affairs and Student Life and Development Committees of the University Senate one year after they are put into effect and thereafter as needed.
A. A complaint is an allegation of a misinterpretation, incorrect application, or violation of a policy, practice, or procedure not pursued by the complainant in a forum outside the university. The use of grievance procedures is not available if a formal complaint is filed with a governmental agency or a court action has been initiated based upon substantially similar facts, in which case any investigation then in progress by the university will be terminated relative to the grievance process.
B. A complainant is a university community member who seeks resolution of a complaint through the informal or formal procedures as outlined herein.
C. A respondent is a person against whom a complaint is filed.
Part II: Discriminatory Harassment
Discriminatory Harassment Policy
A university must allow the free inquiry into all ideas and the free expression of opinions by those within it as part of the basic process of education. Yet, in the presence of harassing behavior, a person's learning or working ability may be impaired. This discriminatory harassment policy acknowledges protection for free speech, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, while at the same time requiring that the dignity and worth of the individual be nurtured and protected.
II. Non-Discrimination Policy Statement
The university will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin, or religion. Every student and employee in the university community has the responsibility not to engage in any unlawful discrimination.
The right of free speech, although fundamental to our democratic system of government and essential to the exchange of ideas in a university, is not absolute. The Supreme Court of the United States has held that certain categories of speech are not entitled to First Amendment protection. These categories include obscenity, fighting words, and, to a limited extent, defamation. There is no place on a university campus for speech or other expression that personally vilifies another individual. Such personal vilification is even more distasteful when it involves insults that are based on race, gender, sexual orientation, age, handicap, national origin, or religion.
III. Prohibited Discriminatory Harassment
Harassing behavior can seriously interfere with the work or study performance of the person(s) to whom it is addressed. It is indefensible when it makes the work, study, or service environment hostile, intimidating, or demeaning. In determining whether an act constitutes harassment, the university must carefully review the totality of the circumstances that pertain to any given incident. In addition, protection of individual rights, freedom of speech, and academic freedom must be assured.
Among the factors that will be considered are: repetition or pattern of objectionable behavior; intent of the behavior (ex: words or actions with the intent to injure are prohibited, but words or actions as part of an exchange of ideas, ideology, or philosophy will be protected); location of behavior (different concerns exist between areas used as public forums, classrooms, or other settings); and the degree to which the behavior is commonly considered to be demeaning to members of the group in question who are of average sensibilities.
Discriminatory harassment is prohibited at Georgia State University. Discriminatory harassment is defined as speech or conduct that:
Discriminatory Harassment Grievance Procedures
Complainants who believe that they are victims of discriminatory harassment are encouraged to use the university's internal procedures described in this document to resolve complaints. They may also file discriminatory harassment complaints with appropriate state or federal agencies under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The complainant may elect any of several procedures. The complainant may seek an informal resolution by 1) conferring with the university ombudsperson or 2) consulting with administrators who oversee the respondent. The complainant may also initiate formal procedures as outlined in university documents listed below or through the Affirmative Action Office. The Counseling Center is available for personal counseling.
Complainants are encouraged to explore informal procedures before filing a formal complaint. At the informal stage, efforts can be made to educate both parties about discriminatory harassment including what it does and does not involve. The review can be constructively educational for all parties. For minor violations, an apology and promise not to repeat the offense may be sufficient restitution. However, where a serious violation of the policy is found, or resolution at the informal level is not satisfactory to the complainant or respondent, then the formal procedure may be initiated.
The university offers students, faculty and staff the choice of seeking confidential personal counseling if they desire. Faculty and staff will see a counselor in the Employee Assistance Program. Such counseling lies outside the university's mechanisms for resolving complaints of discriminatory harassment, and is intended solely for the personal benefit of the individual.
Discriminatory Harassment Informal Procedures
VI. University Ombudsperson
The university ombudsperson helps all members of the university community, students, faculty, and staff, on a confidential and informal basis. The ombudsperson can provide information about complaint procedures and rights of appeal and, if requested, may assist in seeking informal resolution between the complainant and the respondent.
Any action by the ombudsperson, beyond simply consulting with the complainant, must include contacting the alleged harasser about the nature of the complaint and allowing the alleged harasser to reply. If the ombudsperson takes action beyond talking to the complainant, the ombudsperson may inform the department chair or immediate supervisor of the respondent about the problem and report to the chair or supervisor about resolutions that have been reached.
Since the mediation procedure is informal and educational in nature, the mediator will only record the number of persons seen, administrative unit(s) they come from, dates, and outcomes in general terms using no names or other identifying information.
Persons who oversee the person against whom the complaint is lodged, such as department chairs, directors, academic deans, dean of students, supervisors, assistant vice president of human resources, and like persons, may be consulted for assistance. In the case of students who have a complaint against a faculty member and of faculty who have a complaint, department chairs, directors, and deans may direct the complainant to appropriate college appeals procedures which contain informal components.
It is the responsibility of each unit to use its complaint process and other resources in a way that minimizes the burden imposed on the person who has complained and that resolves matters in such a way that discriminatory conduct is discouraged.
VIII. Procedures for Monitoring Campus Climate
If a complainant consults someone other than the university ombudsperson, the complainant may also choose to send a statement to the ombudsperson or affirmative action officer about the problem. This statement should name the administrative unit involved and the general nature of the problem without identifying the complaint, the alleged harasser, or details of the behavior, particularly details that would identify the parties involved.
If there are repeated incidents in an administrative unit, the ombudsperson may consult with the affirmative action officer and the administrative head of the unit about the problem, using no information that would identify complainants.
Discriminatory Harassment Formal Procedures
The formal grievance procedure will follow the established university grievance procedures for faculty, students, and staff. Discriminatory Harassment complaints must be filed within ninety (90) days of the most recent alleged offense. If the respondent is a faculty member or an administrator, faculty and student complainants should use procedures outlined in faculty or student appeals procedures of their college. If the complainant or the respondent is a staff member, the complainant may begin formal procedures by consulting with the affirmative action officer (for complaints against faculty) or by initiating procedures outlined in the "Classified Employee Handbook." If a student is the respondent, the complainant should use procedures outlined in the "Undergraduate Co-curricular Affairs Handbook."
Part III: Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures
Sexual Harassment Policy
In its effort to foster a community in which there can be a free and open development of ideas, Georgia State University is committed to maintaining a work and learning environment free of sexual harassment. Faculty, students, and staff will flourish in an atmosphere in which the respect, dignity, and worth of all are acknowledged.
If the highest ethical principles and standards of professional conduct are to be maintained, all members of the university community should understand that there is no place for sexual harassment. The exploitation, coercion, intimidation, and reprisal connected with sexual harassment create an environment that subverts the university's mission. Moreover, primary responsibility for maintaining high standards of conduct resides with faculty and supervisors, since they exercise significant authority and power over others.
II. Sexual Harassment Policy Statement
Sexual harassment of any member of the university community is prohibited and will subject the offender to possible disciplinary action after compliance with due process requirements. Sexual harassment is also prohibited by the University System of Georgia and by state and federal law.
III. Definition of Sexual Harassment
The Equal Opportunity Commission definition adopted by Georgia State University states that unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
IV. Examples of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment involves varieties of behavior that may range in seriousness from persistent sexually oriented remarks, often in the guise of humor, to unwanted physical contact, to criminal assault. Examples of behaviors that have been the subject of sexual harassment court cases may be found in Appendix B.
V. Persons Who May be Involved in Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment most frequently occurs when a person in authority harasses someone with less power, e.g., faculty member and student, administrator and faculty member, supervisor and staff member. However, it is possible for a person with less power to harass a person in authority. Sexual harassment may also take place between persons of the same status, e.g., faculty-faculty, student-student, staff-staff. It may take place between persons of the opposite sex, or between persons of the same sex.
Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure
Summary of Options
Persons who complain that they are victims (referred hereafter as "complainant") of sexual harassment are encouraged to use the university's internal procedures described in this document to resolve complaints. They may also file harassment complaints with appropriated state or federal agencies under Title VII and Title IX.
The complainant may elect any of three university procedures. The complainant may consult informally with a counselor in the university Counseling Center or with the university ombudsperson, or the complainant may submit a formal complaint with the affirmative action officer. In general the counselor is used when the complainant desires individual assistance in dealing with what appears to be a sexual harassment problem. Actions of the ombudsperson focus on communication, education, and possible resolution. Formal complaint procedures focus on investigation and discipline. A complainant may use any of the procedures initially, and may move among them as the situation dictates. All complainants are encouraged to explore informal procedures before filing a formal complaint.
Sexual Harassment Informal Procedures
Any members of the university community who believe themselves to be victims of sexual harassment may consult with a counselor at the university Counseling Center at any time during the complaint procedure. The counselor can work with the complainant to clarify possible experiences of sexual harassment. The counselor can also discuss alternative courses of action, including ways that complainants might address the situation themselves.
Complainants will not be required to reveal the alleged harasser's identity. Records of a complainant's visits will be general in nature and will not mention the type of harassment per se if harassment is involved nor will the contain the respondent's name.
If the complainant, in consultation with the counselor, is not able to resolve the situation, the counselor will remind the complainant about mediation and formal procedures.
The mediation procedure is available to complainants who want action taken in their behalf, but do not wish to use formal route at this time. The complainant does not file a written complaint at this stage.
To use the mediation procedure, the complainant should consult with the university ombudsperson, (See Appendix C) who may be contacted immediately or after the complainant has talked with a counselor. If complainants have first talked with department chairs, supervisors, or other university personnel, such personnel must explain the existence and function of the ombudsperson to the complainant. If use of the ombudsperson is unacceptable to a complainant, the complainant may consult with the affirmative action officer who will follow the same procedures outlines below for the ombudsperson.
The ombudsperson will discuss the matter with the complainant and assist the complainant in determining options for addressing the situation.
Any action by the ombudsperson, beyond simply consulting with the complainant, must include contacting the respondent about the nature of the complaint and allowing the respondent to reply. If the ombudsperson takes action beyond talking to the complainant, the ombudsperson may inform the department chair or immediate supervisor about resolutions that have been reached. If the respondent is a student, the ombudsperson may inform the dean of students.
The ombudsperson will make every effort to resolve complaints within 15 days. If no acceptable resolution can be found, the complainant may file a formal complaint, described below. Since the mediation procedure is informal and educational in nature, there will be no university records at this stage.
Sexual Harassment Formal Procedures
The formal procedure may be initiated in two ways: 1) The complainant may file a signed complaint with the affirmative action officer whether or not informal procedures have been used, or 2) The affirmative action officer may initiate a formal investigation in cases such as the following: if a number of complaints have been received but none of the complaints is willing to be the sole initiator of a formal complaint. Such university initiated investigations will be based on written statements by the complainants. In all cases, the complaints should be as complete as possible, citing any alleged incident(s), date(s), and identifying potential witnesses and considering due process rights of all parties.
Formal complaints must be submitted within one year of the most recent alleged sexual harassment act.
Disciplinary action will be determined as outlined in the Faculty Handbook, Classified Employee Handbook, and student Undergraduate Co-curricular Affairs Handbook. Such disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to warning, reprimand, demotion, suspension, or dismissal.
A copy of the formal complaint will be provided to the person accused and to the appropriate administrator: the accused's first line supervisor (for staff), department chair (for faculty), and the dean of students (for students). If the supervisor, department chair, or other administrator is the person against whom the complaint is brought, the next line supervisor or the appropriate dean or vice-president will be the appropriate administrator cooperating in the investigation and its resolution.
Within ten (10) business days of receipt of the complaint, the alleged harasser or his or her attorney will provide a signed response to the affirmative action officer. A copy of the response will be provided to the complainant and the appropriate administrator. If the alleged harasser fails to respond, it will be presumed that the allegations set forth in the complaint are correct.
If a student accuses another student, the matter will be investigated and determined by the dean of students in accordance with policies described in the Undergraduate Co-curricular Affairs Handbook. Students may appeal under procedures described in the Undergraduate Co-curricular Affairs Handbook.
In all other cases, the affirmative action officer (AAO) will investigate the matter. Within fifteen days of receipt of the signed response, the AAO will consult with the complainant, the appropriate administrator, the person against whom the complaint is made and/or other appropriate persons in an effort to resolve the matter or determine whether further investigation is warranted. Every effort will be made to report the finding within sixty (60) days of receipt of the written complaint.
If for any reason an extension in the above procedures is necessary, the complainant will be informed in writing of the reasons for the extension, the status of the investigation, and the probable date of completion.
If in the course of the investigation, the AAO determines that further action is needed, that office will initiate discussions with the appropriate administrator to attempt to resolve the complaint. A formal investigation can be terminated at any time should a satisfactory resolution be reached before a written finding is made.
Upon completion of the investigation, the AAO will notify the complainant, the alleged harasser, and the appropriate administrator, in writing, of the findings and recommendations.
Should the findings of the AAO indicate the need for disciplinary action against a faculty member, the matter will be taken to the appropriate dean of the college or director of the division. The dean or director, in consultation with the appropriate chair or supervisor, will make the final decision, short of dismissal. The dean or director will refer the matter to the elected executive committee or faculty affairs committee of the college for evaluation before the final decision is made. The committee will review the matter and make a recommendation to the dean or director, but will not conduct a formal hearing on the matter. The faculty member may appeal the decision of the dean or director according to the bylaws or official instructions of the college or administrative unit and in accordance with the policies and regulations of Georgia State University (Statutes of Georgia State University, article XI, section 25 "Other Appeals and Complaints"). The accuser may appeal the decision through the provost and vice president for academic affairs, and then, to the president.
When the dean or director recommends dismissal, the dean or director will act in accordance with the procedures and regulations outlined in the Statutes (Statutes of Georgia State University, article XI, section 24 "Institutional Regulations for Removal of Faculty Members"). Under such procedures at the university level the informal inquiry by an appropriate faculty committee is not to be a formal hearing. The faculty member may request a formal hearing later in the proceedings as outlined in the Statutes.
In cases involving classified employees, disciplinary action will be determined by the first line supervisor in accordance with the policies and procedures outlines in the "Classified Employee Handbook." They may appeal a suspension, demotion, or dismissal in accordance with the classified employee grievance procedure (Appendix. "Classified Employee Handbook").
If the complainant disputes the findings or is dissatisfied with the recommendations, the complainant may appeal such findings or recommendations by filing a complaint with an outside agency within its established time limits.
Appendix A of the Harassment Policy
Statements Regarding Standards of Conduct for Faculty, Students and Staff
1. Policies of the Board of Regents, University System of Georgia:
2. Georgia State University Statutes:
3. Georgia State University Faculty Handbook:
4. Georgia State University Classified Employee Handbook:
5. Georgia State University Undergraduate Co-curricular Affairs Handbook:
6. Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs:
Appendix B of the Harassment Policy
Examples of Sexual Harassment
Sexual attention that is unwanted may constitute sexual harassment. The behavior may be blatant or subtle, explicit or implicit, verbal or non-verbal. Examples of the verbal or physical conduct that may be prohibited by Part 1, Section III include, but are not limited to:
Note that an isolated comment usually does not meet the hostile environment definition of sexual harassment. Hostile-environment harassment usually requires repeated instances of offensive behavior.
Appendix C of the Harassment Policy
The university ombudsperson will be appointed by the provost and vice president for academic affairs. Normally the ombudsperson will be a tenured faculty member who has counseling skills. As candidates apply for the job initially and as replacements, the Faculty Affairs and Student Life and Development Committees of the University Senate will review their qualifications and make recommendations to the vice president.
The university ombudsperson will report directly to the provost and vice president for academic affairs in his or her role as ombudsperson. The ombudsperson will be given adequate release time to carry out the job of ombudsperson and to present sexual harassment education programs as needed.
The university ombudsperson will be provided support services from the university as needed. These might include training opportunities, a private telephone line, and an office space that allows privacy. If is also expected that the university president and other senior administrative officials will support the ombudsperson's role consistently and in a visible way and that they will facilitate access to university attorneys and the Affirmative Action Office.
(Approved by University Senate 4-21-92)
206 University Policies and Procedures
206.04 Alcohol and Drug Policy
206.05 Policy on Smoking
To protect the health of the University Community, smoking is prohibited in all buildings of the Georgia State University campus.
In addition, the University Senate has passed a number of resolutions concerning smoking. The provisions of these resolutions which continue in effect are listed below.
This policy and these procedures apply to university students, agents, and employees, including but not limited to faculty, staff, administrators, and student employees. For the purposes of this policy and procedures, the terms "faculty" or "faculty member" mean all those who teach at the university, and include graduate students with teaching responsibilities and other instructional personnel.