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Policy Statement on Sexual Harassment

Department of Human Resources


Vice President, Student Affairs


Policy Statement

University of North Georgia is committed to maintaining a fair and respectful environment for living, work and study. To that end, and in accordance with federal and state law and Board of Regents’ policy, the University prohibits any member of the faculty, staff, administration, student body, or visitors to campus, whether they be guests, patrons, independent contractors, or clients, and regardless of the sex of the other party, from sexually harassing any other member of the University community. Reports of sexual harassment will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University.


Sexual harassment constitutes discrimination and is illegal under federal and state law, and Board of Regents policy. For the purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined, as in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines, as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example:

  1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment; or
  2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or
  3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working and/or learning environment, or of interfering with one’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity.

Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not so subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include, but are not limited to: unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendos; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s clothing or body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.

Retaliation Also Prohibited

University of North Georgia encourages the reporting of all perceived incidents of sexual harassment. It is the policy of University of North Georgia to investigate such reports. University of North Georgia prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports sexual harassment or participates in an investigation of such reports.

Individuals and Conduct Covered

This policy applies to all faculty, staff and students whether related to conduct engaged in by fellow employees or someone not directly connected to University of North Georgia (e.g. an outside vendor, consultant or customer). Conduct prohibited by this policy is unacceptable in the workplace and in any work-related setting outside the workplace, such as during business trips, business meetings and business-related social events.

False Complaints are Prohibited

False and malicious complaints of sexual harassment as opposed to complaints which, even if erroneous, are made in good faith, may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Sexual Harassment

Procedures – Submitting a Complaint

  1. Any faculty member, staff member, or student who believes that he or she is a victim of sexual harassment should convey clearly his/her discomfort with the conduct to the alleged offender.
  2. If the conduct continues, the complainant should promptly report the matter to the appropriate university official designated to handle such complaints. The appropriate university official to whom a complaint should be made is the Director of Human Resources for the faculty and staff, and the Vice President for Student Affairs for students.
  3. The initial discussion between the complainant and the appropriate university official will be kept confidential to the greatest extent possible and dissemination of any information relating to the case will be limited, in order that the privacy of all individuals involved is safeguarded as fully as possible. The University will take steps to protect the complainant from retaliatory action based upon the filing of the complaint. The foregoing notwithstanding, the appropriate university official will inquire into all reports of alleged sexual harassment brought to his or her attention.
  4. During the initial meeting with the appropriate university official, a written summary of the complaint will be made and should be signed by the complainant.
  5. The appropriate university official will inform the alleged offender (“respondent”) of the allegation and of the identity of the complainant, will provide him or her with a written summary of the complaint, and will proceed as set forth in the following section.
  6. If the complainant has reason to be uncomfortable reporting as directed by this policy, the complainant should report the offensive behavior to any administrator (not a subordinate of the alleged offender) with whom the complainant feels comfortable. The administrator then has the responsibility of helping the complainant with the procedure.

Resolution of a Complaint

  1. When a complaint is submitted, the appropriate university official will discuss the matter with the parties promptly, will notify the appropriate dean or vice president of the charge, and will initiate whatever steps he or she deems appropriate to effect an informal resolution of the complaint acceptable to both parties. If an informal resolution is reached, it will be documented in writing, approved by the appropriate university official and signed by the complainant, the respondent and the appropriate university official.
  2. If an informal resolution satisfactory to the parties is not reached within 15 workdays after an incident is reported, or if, in the opinion of the appropriate university official, an informal resolution is not possible, the appropriate university official will institute a full investigation. The investigation may include interviewing witnesses identified by the parties and such other inquiries, as the appropriate university official may deem necessary. A report of the investigation results along with a recommendation with regard to a resolution of the complaint and/or disciplinary action will be made to the Director of Human Resources or the Vice President for Academic Affairs as appropriate, within 30 workdays of the date the investigation was initiated.
  3. The Director of Human Resources or the Vice President for Academic Affairs will review the results of the investigation to determine if sexual harassment occurred; and, if so, take or recommend appropriate disciplinary and/or other action. Individuals subjected to disciplinary action may exercise their appeal rights pursuant to the procedures set forth in the Faculty Manual, the Staff Handbook or the Student Code of Conduct as appropriate.

Nondiscrimination Statement

University of North Georgia does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, creed, national origin, age, disability, genetics or protected veteran status in its programs and activities, including in the administration of its admissions policies, educational policies, employment policies, or any University governed program or activity. The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies: Director of Human Resources, 82 College Circle, Dahlonega, Georgia 30597, 706-864-1440; and Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students, 82 College Circle, Dahlonega, Georgia 30597, 706- 864-1818.

Policy Statement on Sexual Harassment brochure

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