University Discrimination and Bullying Policy Steering Committee and Working Groups Charge

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee for University Discrimination and Bullying Policies is asked to provide guidance and input into the progress of the three working groups described below and will ultimately make recommendations to the President, Provost, and Deans on (1) University policies addressing discrimination and bullying, as defined in the charges for each working group, and (2) procedures for investigating and addressing violations of these policies when they occur.
Each working group will be chaired by a member of the Steering Committee and will focus on one of the three policy areas under the steering committee’s charge. Working groups will review current policies and procedures, solicit input from faculty, staff, and student members of the Harvard community, and make recommendations to the steering committee on relevant policies and procedures.

Title IX Policy and Other Sexual Misconduct Policy Working Group

The Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and Other Sexual Misconduct Policy Working Group is asked to review these interim policies and make recommendations to the Steering Committee regarding the amendment (if any) and adoption of these policies by the University. The working group will aim to ensure that these policies are as effective and inclusive as possible while remaining compliant with federal regulations.

In view of the expectation that the new administration at the Department of Education will quickly begin a process to change the regulations enacted by the previous administration, the working group is asked to consider and make a recommendation on whether the interim policies should be revised at this time or kept largely the same in anticipation of a need for revisions when new regulations are issued. In view of it having been expressed as an urgent priority by student groups, the working group is asked to consider whether or not an affirmative consent definition should be adopted as part of our policies. In examining this question, the committee shall consider whether any changes to our consent definition should be implemented for all faculty, students, and staff covered by the University policies, or for a subgroup of the population such as undergraduate or undergraduate and graduate students.

Non-Discrimination Policy Working Group

The Non-Discrimination Policy Working Group is asked to make recommendations to the Steering Committee regarding what might be included in a University-wide policy to address complaints about forms of illegal discrimination, other than those covered in the Title IX and Other Sexual Misconduct policies, and will suggest procedures by which such complaints will be investigated and resolved. This group’s work will include a comprehensive review of existing University policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of:

  •  race
  •  color
  •  sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as pregnancy, but excluding matters covered in the Title IX and Other Sexual Misconduct policies)
  •  religion
  •  creed
  •  national origin
  •  age
  •  ancestry
  •  veteran status
  •  disability unrelated to job requirements
  •  genetic information
  •  military service

Discrimination on the basis of other legally protected categories is also prohibited. Furthermore, University policy prohibits retaliation for asserting one’s rights to a work and/or educational setting free of discrimination on these bases. The Working Group will make recommendations about how these policies, as well as mechanisms to address violations, could be made more visible and accessible to members of our community.

Anti-Bullying Policy Working Group

The Anti-Bullying Policy Working Group is asked to make recommendations to the Steering Committee about a new University-wide policy and procedures to address complaints about power-based harassment and other misconduct by individuals who hold supervisory or other authority over others, including bullying, retaliation, or hostile working conditions, that is not covered in the other policies that are the subject of this process but which nonetheless may be abusive and/or intimidating to members of the Harvard community.


charges_to_discrimination_and_harassment_steering_committee_and_working_groups_dec_2020.pdf127 KB