Professional Standards of Conduct Policy


The purpose of this policy is to establish and clarify guidelines for the professional workplace conduct of faculty, staff, administrators, and students; and to provide direction to available resources.


Harassment: Definitions and descriptions of harassment contained in this policy are in addition to and do not supersede those found in Portland State University's equal opportunity policies, non-discrimination policy, sexual harassment policy, policies concerning people with disabilities, policies concerning veterans, or any other policy prohibiting harassment because of an individual's membership in any protected class or grouping of people.

The harassing behavior may be physical, verbal, or nonverbal; and can be between individuals, or be a group targeting an individual, or be an individual targeting a group, and it can be between all types of employees.

Harassment, includes, but is not limited to: (a) verbal or physical conduct by an individual based on an individual's age, disability, national origin, race, color, marital status, religion, sex, veteran status, or sexual orientation that substantially interferes with or prevents a person from conducting his or her customary or usual affairs, puts that person in fear of his or her safety, or causes the person to suffer actual physical injury; (b) conduct less than a physical attack or interference with a person that is unsolicited and unwelcome, such as a verbal threatening action, which is intended to subject another person to offensive physical contact, physical injury, property damage, or cause physical impact, such as making verbal threatening phone calls, sending or posting (electronically or otherwise) threatening letters, or the vandalism or misappropriation of a person's property, or other such action(s) that unreasonably interfere(s) with normal function of, or participation in, a job, course of study, program or activity.

Threatening or violent behavior: (a) an act or conduct which subjects a person to bodily danger or physical harm or to the likelihood of bodily danger and physical harm; or (b) to require, authorize, or permit that a person be subjected to such conduct or act.


It is the goal of Portland State University to maintain a safe, respectful, and productive environment for faculty, students, administrators, and staff. In light of this, harassment and threatening or violent behavior is prohibited. In addition, all persons should be acknowledged for their contributions to the University. In light of this, every effort will be made to create an institutional climate that values and supports the healthy and productive exchange of ideas, beliefs, and practices in a manner that treats everyone with respect, courtesy, and appreciation and where a diverse population can live and work in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect for the rights and dignity of each individual. All employees and students should expect to be treated professionally, respectfully, and with dignity.

It is the responsibility of every member of the Portland State University community to conduct him or herself in accordance with this policy. Each department head, manager, supervisor, employee, faculty member, and student is responsible for creating and maintaining an atmosphere free from harassment, violence, and retaliation.

This policy is not intended to impose unnecessary rigidities on individual styles or on workplace or educational relationships and social interactions. Rather, it recognizes that people with different backgrounds, interests, and friendship groups must get along with each other. Legitimate disagreements and conflicts should be openly discussed in a respectful and productive manner in order to make this institution successful.

Persons who experience harassment and threatening or violent behavior as described in this policy are encouraged to bring the matter to the attention of their chair, department head, supervisor, a union representative, or member of the interpersonal violence network who can then bring it to the attention of the human resources department, student affairs office, office of equity and compliance, office of academic affairs or the president's office. Persons who experience such conduct may bring their concerns directly to the human resources department, student affairs office, office of equity and compliance, office of academic affairs or the president's office. Upon receiving a complaint alleging a violation of this policy, the appropriate office will conduct a timely, fair and impartial investigation of the complaint. During the course of this investigation, the appropriate office will attempt to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of all the parties to the complaint. If the complaint cannot be resolved and a violation of this policy is established, the appropriate office will initiate the appropriate disciplinary processes. Failure to comply with this policy will result in disciplinary action(s) up to and including dissolution of any relationship with Portland State University.


Retaliation of any kind taken against anyone as a result of that person's using, or attempting to uphold, this policy, and any subsequent procedures, or participating in any manner in any actions taken under this policy is prohibited and shall be regarded as a separate and distinct grievable matter. Anyone found to have retaliated against someone is subject to appropriate disciplinary or corrective action up to and including, but not limited to, dissolution of any relationship s/he may have with Portland State University.