Students, staff & faculty can login to access personalized content.

Parent & Guardian Access is located here.

Forgot your password?

Harassment

Maryland Institute College of Art is committed to providing its staff, faculty, and students the opportunity to pursue excellence in their academic and professional endeavors. This can only exist when each member of our community is assured an atmosphere of mutual respect, one in which they are judged solely on criteria related to academic or job performance. The College is committed to providing such an environment, free from all forms of harassment and discrimination. Each member of the community is responsible for fostering mutual respect, being familiar with this policy, and refraining from conduct that violates this policy.

Maryland Institute College of Art will not tolerate any type of harassment or discrimination toward or by any member of the College community. All complaints of such behavior will be taken seriously and will be investigated promptly and thoroughly. The College prohibits acts of reprisal against anyone involved in lodging a complaint of harassment or discrimination. Conversely, the College considers filing intentionally false reports of harassment or discrimination a violation of this policy. It is illegal to harass others on the basis of their sex, age, race, color, national origin, religion, marital status citizenship, disability, or any other status protected by law. Individuals found guilty of harassment or discrimination toward another employee, student, or faculty member will be subject to disciplinary actions up to, and including, immediate termination or expulsion from the College, when appropriate.

Harassment or discrimination (as defined by Title VII, Title IX, or other applicable laws) can take many forms— including but not limited to slurs, jokes, statements, gestures, electronic communications (including e-mail), pictures, or cartoons regarding a student’s, faculty member’s, or employee’s race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, citizenship, disability, or any other status protected by law.

Fundamental to the College’s mission is the free and open exchange of ideas. It is not, therefore, the College’s purpose in promulgating this policy to inhibit free speech or the free communication of ideas by members of the academic community.

Sexual Harassment Policy

Sexual harassment is a violation of the law and a violation of the College’s policy. This policy on sexual harassment applies to the entire College and to the conduct of students, faculty, staff, and vendors both on campus and at College-sponsored events and activities.

Sexual harassment toward a student is a violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. Students who believe they have been subject to sexual harassment at the College are instructed to contact the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Sexual harassment toward an employee is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Title VII is the primary legal basis for sex discrimination claims of employees. It protects both men and women and includes, but is not limited to, discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

If you feel that you are being sexually harassed, or are aware of the occurrence of sexual harassment, you should immediately contact one of the following and The College will investigate the matter promptly and take appropriate steps to equitably resolve the matter:

  • Vice President for Student Affairs, J. Davidson "Dusty" Porter - Office of Student Affairs, Bunting Center 260, 410.225.2422
  • Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies & Faculty, Jan Stinchcomb - Office of Undergraduate Studies, 1210 Mt. Royal Avenue, 410.225.2362
  • Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, Gwynne Keathley - Office of Graduate Studies, Graduate Studio Center 127, 410.225.5242
  • Associate Vice President for Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer, Estevanny Turns - Office of Human Resources, Bunting Center 310, 410.225.2362

Sexual harassment is unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that is offensive to students, staff, or faculty. Sexual harassment includes but is not limited to:

  • Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal or physical contact where submission to the conduct is made a term or condition of instruction, employment, or any College activity or is used as the basis for academic decisions or employment
  • Unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, which unreasonably interferes with a student, staff, or faculty member’s work or creates a hostile or demeaning employment or educational environment

Some examples of prohibited harassment include:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances. This includes patting, pinching, brushing up against, hugging, cornering, kissing, or any other physical contact considered unacceptable by another individual.
  • Requests or demands for a sexual relationship. This includes subtle or blatant unwanted flirtations, advances, propositions, expectations, or requests for any type of sexual relationship.
  • Verbal abuse or teasing that is sexually oriented or based on gender or sexual preference. This includes comments about an individual’s body or appearance, off-color jokes, or any other offensive comments, innuendoes, or actions with which someone may be uncomfortable (where such comments go beyond an isolated innocuous compliment).

Consenting romantic and sexual relationships between faculty/staff and student or between supervisor and employee, while not expressly forbidden, are generally deemed inappropriate, particularly relationships between individuals of unequal status. In the view of the College, the relationship between a student and instructor or staff member is that of client and professional. The respect and trust accorded an instructor by a student, as well as the power exercised by the instructor in giving praise or criticism, grades, recommendations for further study, or future employment greatly diminish the student’s actual freedom of choice should sexual favors be included among the instructor’s demands. Therefore, instructors are warned against the possible costs of even an apparently consenting relationship in regard to the academic efforts of both faculty member and student. A faculty member or staff member who enters into a romantic relationship with a student, or a supervisor with an employee where a professional power differential exists, must realize that if a charge of sexual harassment is subsequently lodged, it will be exceedingly difficult to establish that there has been no violation of the policy on grounds of mutual consent. The College administration and the Harassment Review Board investigating a charge of sexual harassment shall be expected, in general, to be unsympathetic to a defense based upon consent when the facts establish that a professional faculty/staff-student or supervisor-employee power differential existed within the relationship.

Making a Complaint

Faculty/Staff

A faculty or staff member of the College who believes that he or she is being harassed in violation of this policy, or who becomes aware of harassment of a coworker and wishes the College to take action on his or her behalf or on the behalf of others, is required to immediately bring the matter to the attention of either their department chair/supervisor, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, or the Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer. An employee is not required to bring a harassment complaint first to their department chair or supervisor. If preferred, the complaint may be made directly to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer. All complaints will be investigated in accordance with the Grievance Procedure described in this policy. Any supervisor who receives a complaint or who observes harassing conduct must inform the Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer immediately. An official record of the complaint will be made.

Students

If a student of the College believes that he or she is being harassed in violation of this policy or becomes aware of possible harassment and wishes the College to take action, he or she should bring the matter immediately to the attention of one of the following parties: the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Associate Vice President of Human Resources/ Equal Opportunity Officer, or the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Any student who wishes a confidential discussion regarding harassment should contact a member of the Counseling Center staff at 410.225.2367.

All complaints of harassment will be promptly investigated. The College will not tolerate retaliation against any member of the College for bringing a complaint or for cooperating with an investigation. When the investigation finds that harassment occurred, the College will take prompt corrective and disciplinary action (up to and including discharge from employment or expulsion from the College, when appropriate).

Investigative Procedures

Any complaint of harassment should be expressed to the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, or the Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer. If a student has a complaint, it should be discussed with the Vice President for Student Affairs. A staff member’s complaint should be discussed with the Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer, and a faculty member’s complaint should be discussed with the Vice President for Academic Affairs. If a department chair or other MICA community member receives a complaint, this complaint must be forwarded to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer within two working days of receiving the complaint.

Informal Investigation and Resolution

Once a complaint has been made, counseling, informal discussion, and mediation are often the first phase of the complaint process. In some cases the complaint may be resolved by simply arranging for a meeting between the involved parties. If the complainant is not satisfied that the issues related to the alleged harassment have been resolved through the informal process, the Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer will initiate a formal process of investigation.

Formal Investigation and Resolution

Maryland Institute College of Art has established a standing Harassment Review Board (see Definitions section that follows) for the purpose of conducting formal investigations into allegations of harassment and making recommendations on the basis of its investigation. In the formal investigation process, the Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer will convene the full board or a sub-group to review the complaint and determine whether the allegations constitute harassment. If the board or sub group finds that the elements of the complaint fall under the definition of harassment, the Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer will consult further with this group to determine a schedule and organization of a formal investigation by the full Harassment Review Board. The Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer has twenty working days to complete the process. If the Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer cannot complete the process within this time frame, the person making the complaint will be notified in writing of the expected time frame for completion of the initial investigation and reason for delay.

The Harassment Review Board will conduct a formal investigation, which includes interviews with witnesses and a review of all information deemed relevant to the matter. Both the accuser and the accused will be given an opportunity to appear before the Harassment Review Board. The Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer will maintain a confidential record of the proceedings and prepare a report of the findings for the Administration. In the absence of the Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer, a selected member of the Harassment Review Board will assume these responsibilities.

Complaints should be presented as promptly as possible after the incident occurs. The individual who presents the complaint may postpone an investigation for a reasonable time. In the case of a complaint brought by a student, postponement is limited to sixty days from the end of the academic semester in which it occurred. The reason for postponement should be stated in writing and submitted to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer.

If the Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer refers a complaint to the Harassment Review Board, the Harassment Review Board will have a goal of completing its investigation within twenty working days of the date on which it receives the complaint. If the Harassment Review Board determines that it cannot complete its investigation within this time frame, the person making the complaint and the accused will be notified in writing of the expected time frame for the completion of the Harassment Review Board’s investigation and reasons for delay.

After a full fact-finding investigation by the Harassment Review Board, a written report will be presented to the President of the College and a summary of findings presented to both parties. If the Harassment Review Board finds that harassment has not occurred, the report and evidence will be held for three years, then destroyed from institutional files. In the event that the Harassment Review Board determines that harassment occurred, the College will take prompt corrective and disciplinary action (up to and including discharge from employment or expulsion from the College, when appropriate). If the investigation involves a student, the findings will also be presented to the Vice President for Student Affairs for disciplinary action if appropriate. If the investigation involves a faculty member, the findings will also be presented to the Vice President for Academic Affairs for disciplinary action if appropriate.

Definitions

"Confidentiality"

The College is sensitive to the need for privacy for the complainant and the accused; therefore, in investigating complaints of harassment, the College will be as discreet as possible. It is most important that all parties (accuser, accused, witnesses, and Harassment Review Board members) involved in the investigation maintain confidentiality. If the confidentiality is breached, the individual responsible for the breach may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion from the College, when appropriate.

"Discipline"

The College will take disciplinary action as it deems necessary and appropriate. This may include but is not limited to warning, suspension, and immediate discharge or expulsion from the College. Immediate discharge or expulsion may be taken as a first or last disciplinary step.

"Harasser"

Hostile environment claims do not require that the harasser be a supervisor or faculty member. The harasser can be a student classmate, a staff member, a vendor, a customer, or other non-employees.

"Harassment Review Board"

The Harassment Review Board will be selected by the President or his designees in consultation with the Equal Opportunity Officer. The Harassment Review Board will consist of three staff members, three faculty members, the Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer, and a designated note taker. The Harassment Review Board shall be composed of persons who reflect the College’s diverse population. The Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer serves as coordinator in order to centralize the responsibility of the Harassment Review Board and to facilitate administrative matters. Selection is aimed at forming a group that will offer continuity, experience, and sensitivity to concerns of those who believe they have become a victim of harassment on the basis of their sex, age, race, color, national origin, religion, marital status, citizenship, disability, or other legally protected status. The Harassment Review Board members shall be appointed for a three-year term and may be reappointed. Any member who has a connection to a complainant or the alleged harasser should be excused from this process. The Harassment Review Board members’ function is to work as a diverse group to investigate complaints to determine whether alleged conduct constitutes harassment of any type. A Harassment Review Board member may also participate in mediation between parties. After a full fact-finding investigation by the Harassment Review Board, a written report will be presented to the President. If the investigation involves a student, the findings will also be presented to the Vice President for Student Affairs; if the investigation involves a faculty member, the findings will also be presented to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

"Hostile Environment"

Unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct—which occurs because of a person’s legally protected status and unreasonably interferes with a student, staff, or faculty member’s work or creates a hostile or demeaning employment or educational environment—constitutes a hostile environment.

"Retaliation"

Submission of a good-faith complaint will not affect educational endeavors, work assignments, academic career, or an employee’s future employment with the College. No retaliatory action will be taken against any person because they make a complaint of harassment. If the complainant believes he or she is being retaliated against for making a complaint or participating in an investigation, he or she should immediately report such retaliation to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer.

"Sexual Harassment"

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s instruction, employment, or participation in any College activity
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting such individual
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive College environment