University revises non-retaliation policy to explicitly include students


Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Provost Jonathan Holloway speaks at Faculty Senate. The University revised its non-retaliation policy to broaden its scope.

Erica Snow, Campus Editor

The University amended its non-retaliation policy to better protect students and clarify its language, Northwestern faculty said.

The previous version of the policy encouraged faculty and staff to report alleged wrongdoings, but did not explicitly mention students. The revised policy includes students and expands its audience to encompass visitors, contractors and volunteers.

The policy and its revisions, added Sept. 5, protect students, faculty and staff against retaliation for reporting or inquiring about alleged misconduct.

The University may revise the policy based on feedback received from the community through Oct. 20, according to its website. The revisions, in part, were adopted to encourage people to report alleged misconduct and to “provide a strong statement emphasizing the University’s commitment to promoting an ethical institutional culture.”

The revised policy includes relevant definitions and details consequences for violating it, including termination of employment or academic dismissal.

Provost Jonathan Holloway told The Daily last week he was not involved in the revisions because he assumed his role in the summer, but fully supports the changes.

“What the intent was … is to be much more consistent, to have our policies line up with what we want our ethos to be,” Holloway said.

Terminating employment, reducing a grade or removing someone from an organization are all actions that can constitute retaliation, according to the policy. Engaging in “harassing conduct” that can create a perceived hostile environment can also be retaliatory, the policy said.

Linguistics Prof. Jennifer Cole and Feinberg Prof. Lois Hedman presented the policy and its changes at Faculty Senate on Wednesday, asking faculty to submit their recommendations.

Cole said the revisions were made to “broaden the scope” so it covered all members of the NU community and became consistent with other policies.

“Our committee looked at the proposals, and we’re generally feeling quite positive about the policy and the proposed revisions,” Cole said at Faculty Senate.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @ericasnoww