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Equal Opportunity

The University of San Diego is dedicated to advancing academic excellence and creating a diverse and inclusive community. As an institution with a Catholic identity, the university is committed to creating and maintaining a work and educational environment that recognizes the dignity of each university community member.

The university is an equal opportunity educational institution. All student-related programs and services, including but not limited to admissions, financial aid, academic programs, housing, athletics and other extracurricular activities, will be administered without regard to the student’s or applicant’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, pregnancy, age, physical disability, mental disability, or other characteristic protected by federal or state law. Reasonable accommodations will be made for qualified individuals with disabilities in all such programs and services, unless the accommodation would create an undue hardship for the university.
Similarly, the university is an equal opportunity employer. All employment-related decisions, including but not limited to decisions relating to recruitment, hiring, promotion, transfers, benefits and any other terms and conditions of employment, will be made without regard to the employee’s or applicant’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, pregnancy, age, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, covered veteran status, genetic information or other characteristic protected by federal or state law, unless a particular characteristic is a bona fide requirement of the position. Reasonable accommodations will be made for qualified individuals with disabilities, unless the accommodation would create an undue hardship for the university.
The university may take affirmative steps in a manner consistent with applicable law to advance its mission and to promote equal opportunities for its students, faculty, staff and applicants. The university does not by this equal opportunity statement disclaim any right it might otherwise lawfully have to maintain its commitment to its Catholic identity or the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Student inquiries regarding the university’s equal opportunity policy should be directed to the Vice President for Student Affairs (619-260-4590). Employee inquiries regarding the university’s equal opportunity policy should be directed to the Chief Human Resources Officer , (619-260-4594).

Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment

The University of San Diego is committed to upholding standards that promote respect and human dignity in an environment that fosters academic excellence and professionalism. It is the policy of the university to maintain an educational and work environment free from all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment.

To that end, the university prohibits and does not tolerate unlawful discrimination against or harassment of its employees, students or applicants for employment or admission on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, pregnancy, age, physical disability, mental disability, or other characteristic protected by federal or state law, unless a particular characteristic is a bona fide requirement of the position.

All members of the university community are expected to uphold this policy. Engaging in unlawful discrimination or harassment will result in appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the university.

Definitions

Discrimination

Unlawful discrimination may occur when an individual is treated less favorably with respect to the terms and conditions of employment or education, or with respect to the individual’s receipt of employment or educational benefits, because of his or her membership in a protected class. Accordingly, all employment-related decisions, including but not limited to decisions relating to recruitment, hiring, promotion, transfers, benefits and any other terms and conditions of employment, will be made without regard to the employee’s or applicant’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, pregnancy, age, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, covered veteran status, genetic information, or other characteristic protected by federal or state law. Similarly, all education-related programs and activities, including but not limited to admissions, financial aid, academic programs, research, housing, athletics and other extracurricular activities, will be administered without regard to the student’s or applicant’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, pregnancy, age, physical disability, mental disability, or other characteristic protected by federal or state law.

The university does not by this non-discrimination statement disclaim any right it might otherwise lawfully have to maintain its commitment to its Catholic identity or the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Harassment

Harassment includes verbal, physical or visual conduct when the conduct creates an intimidating, offensive or hostile working or educational environment, or unreasonably interferes with job or academic performance. Verbal harassment may include but is not limited to epithets, derogatory comments or slurs based upon one of the individual’s characteristics noted above. Physical harassment may include but is not limited to assault, impeding or blocking movement, or any physical interference with normal work or movement, when directed at an individual because of the individual’s protected characteristic. Visual forms of harassment may include but are not limited to derogatory posters, cartoons or drawings based on an individual’s protected characteristic.

In addition, prohibited sex discrimination covers sexual harassment, including sexual violence. Sexual harassment includes any request or demand for sexual favors that is implicitly or expressly a condition of employment, continued employment, receipt of an employment benefit, admission to the university, participation in educational programs or activities, or evaluation of academic performance. Examples of conduct that could give rise to sexual harassment, include but are not limited to: sexual advances or suggestions; unwelcome sexually-oriented remarks; dirty jokes; the display or distribution of offensive photographs, e-mails, posters or cartoons; any unwelcome, intentional touching of the intimate areas of another person’s body; or physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is unable to give consent.

Complaint Procedure

The university encourages any person who feels that he or she has been unlawfully discriminated against or harassed, or observes or is otherwise aware of an incident of unlawful discrimination or harassment, to report the incident promptly. To assist in the investigation, the university requests that a complaint be made in writing with a detailed description of the facts giving rise to the complaint, the names of any individuals involved, including any witnesses and copies of any documents that support or relate to the complaint. Although the university requests the submission of a written complaint, an oral complaint is sufficient to initiate the procedures set forth under this policy.

Complaints should be made to any of the following people who are the university’s designated officers for handling the complaints and implementing the university’s policy against unlawful discrimination and harassment:

1. Complaints Against Administrators or Staff:
Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action and Title IX Coordinator
Maher Hall, Room 101
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 260-4594

2. Complaints Against Students:
Vice President for Student Affairs
Hahn University Center 232
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 260-4588

Dean of Students
Hahn University Center 232
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 260-4588

3. Complaints Against Faculty:
Executive Vice President and Provost
Hughes Administration Center 214
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 260-4553

Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Founders Hall 114
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 260-4545

Dean, School of Business Administration
Olin Hall 341
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 260-4886

Dean, School of Leadership and Education Sciences
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall 205
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 260-4540

Dean, School of Law
Warren Hall 200
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 260-4527

Dean, School of Nursing and Health Science
Hahn School of Nursing
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 260-4550

Dean, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies
Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice 113
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 260-7919

If for any reason the person making the complaint does not feel comfortable directly reporting the incident to the appropriate individual identified above, the complaint may be reported through alternative channels. In the case of a complaint by a university employee, the complaint may be made to the employee’s supervisor, manager, the Human Resources department, a dean, a vice president, or the president. If the complaint involves the employee’s supervisor, the employee is not required to report the complaint to the supervisor. In the case of a complaint by a student, the complaint may be made to a dean, the vice president and provost, or the president.

A supervisor or manager who receives a complaint of unlawful discrimination or harassment, or observes or is otherwise aware of an incident of unlawful discrimination or harassment, shall promptly inform the appropriate university’s designated officer, as set forth above.

In cases involving potential criminal conduct, the university will determine whether appropriate law enforcement or other authorities should be notified.

Investigation and Corrective Action

The university will investigate every reported complaint of unlawful discrimination or harassment. The investigation will be conducted in a thorough, prompt and professional manner.

If the conclusion of the investigation is that unlawful discrimination or harassment occurred, the university will initiate corrective action, as appropriate under the circumstances. For employees, the corrective action may range from verbal warnings up to and including termination from employment. For students, the corrective action will be imposed in a manner consistent with the university’s Student Code or other applicable procedures. If the individual found to have engaged in the unlawful discrimination or harassment is not an employee or student of the university, corrective action within the reasonable control of the university and as appropriate under the circumstances, will be initiated.

If termination of a faculty member is contemplated, the applicable rules governing dismissal for serious cause will be followed.

The employee or student who raised the complaint will be advised of the results of the investigation, unless doing so is prohibited by FERPA or other applicable law. Similarly, an employee or student who is accused of the unlawful discrimination or harassment will be advised of the results of the investigation.

Retaliation Prohibited

The university prohibits and does not tolerate retaliation against any individual who in good faith files a complaint of unlawful discrimination or harassment or is involved as a witness or participant in the complaint or investigation process. Engaging in unlawful retaliation can result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the university.

The university encourages any individual who believes he or she has been subject to unlawful retaliation, or observes or is otherwise aware of an incident of unlawful retaliation in violation of this policy, to report the incident promptly pursuant to the complaint procedure identified above. The investigation and corrective action procedures set forth above will similarly apply in the case of a complaint of unlawful retaliation in violation of this policy.

Right to Appeal

An employee or student who is found to have engaged in unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation in violation of this policy shall have the right to appeal the decision. Similarly, a complainant may appeal the decision.

If a vice president was the university’s designated officer responsible for handling the complaint, the appeal must be made to the president or the president’s designee. If someone other than a vice president was the university’s designated officer responsible for handling the complaint, the appeal must be made to the vice president to whom that designated officer reports. The appeal may address the decision of whether unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation occurred and it also may address the corrective action imposed.

The appeal must be submitted in writing within ten (10) working days after written notification of the results of the investigation. The appeal should describe with specificity why the findings or corrective action imposed were not reasonably based upon the evidence and information made available to the investigator and/or the university official who made the decision regarding the corrective action.

The president or vice president who is deciding the appeal may receive or consider additional information if he or she believes such information would aid in the review of the appeal. This right to appeal shall not entitle the appellant to a new or second investigation. The appeal should be granted only if the president or the vice president who is deciding the appeal concludes that the findings were not reasonably based upon the evidence and information available to the investigator, or that the corrective action imposed was not reasonably based upon the evidence and information available to the university official who made the decision regarding the corrective action.

The president or the vice president who is deciding the appeal will provide the decision to the individual who submitted the appeal within 45 days of receipt of the written appeal. The decision of the president or the vice president who is deciding the appeal is final.

During the time of the appeal and review, any corrective action taken as a result of the original complaint may be implemented and enforced.

If the decision was made pursuant to the procedures identified in the Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities, the appeal procedures identified in the Student Code shall apply.

Acts of Intolerance

The University of San Diego’s mission statement affirms the institution’s commitment to advancing academic excellence and creating a diverse and inclusive community. An act of intolerance is an affront to a community that values diversity and strives to create an inclusive environment.

Under the university’s Acts of Intolerance Response Procedures, an act of intolerance is conduct that adversely and unfairly targets an individual or group on the basis of one or more of the following actual or perceived characteristics: (1) gender or gender identity; (2) race or ethnicity; (3) disability; (4) religion; (5) sexual orientation; (6) nationality; or (7) age.

Some acts of intolerance rise to the level of a hate crime. Under California law, a hate crime means a criminal act committed, in whole or in part, because of one or more of the following actual or perceived characteristics of the victim: (1) disability, (2) gender, (3) nationality, (4) race or ethnicity, (5) religion, (6) sexual orientation, or (7) association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Hate crimes are not separate distinct crimes, but rather are traditional offenses motivated by the offender’s bias. Hate crimes may include crimes involving not only offenses against persons but also offenses involving damage to property, such as breaking windows of religious institutions, spray painting walls with offensive words and/or symbols, or defacing or burning property. It is a violation of both California law and university policy to commit a hate crime.

The conduct underlying some acts of intolerance may violate university policy, even if the conduct does not rise to the level of a hate crime. Some acts of intolerance may involve protected speech, but still are inconsistent with the university’s community values, and in those circumstances the university may elect to respond through education and/or through other corrective or responsive action. Acts of intolerance will be addressed by the university on a case-by-case basis.

The university encourages the prompt reporting of all acts of intolerance. A supervisor or manager who receives a complaint related to an act of intolerance, or observes or is otherwise aware of an incident involving an act of intolerance, shall promptly inform the appropriate university’s designated officer as described in the university’s Acts of Intolerance Response Procedures.

USD expects all members of the university community to comply with the law and applicable university policies, including the Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities and the Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment. For more information, please see the university’s Acts of Intolerance Response Procedures which can be obtained through the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs or through the Department of Human Resources.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA, or the “Buckley Amendment”) protects the privacy of all enrolled students and former students and it requires that students be notified annually of their rights under the law.

FERPA applies to education records, which are records that are directly related to a student and maintained by USD or a party acting on its behalf. There are two types of education records: directory information and non-directory information.

Directory information consists of the student’s name, USD email address, student’s photograph, major field of study, dates of attendance, participation in officially recognized activities and sports and degrees, honors and awards received. USD will disclose directory information to third parties unless the student has submitted a Request to Restrict Directory Information to the appropriate registrar’s office. Doing so restricts the release of all directory information.

All other education records are non-directory information. USD will not disclose non-directory information to a third party unless: 1) the student has provided written consent for the disclosure; or 2) the disclosure falls into one of the exceptions from the requirement for prior written consent under FERPA.

Parents and legal guardians do not have the right to view a student’s education records. The university may release such records with the written consent of the student or if the student is the parent’s or legal guardian’s dependent as defined in the Internal Revenue Code. Parents or guardians who wish to obtain access to a dependent student’s education records may file a Request for Release of Education Records form with the appropriate registrar’s office. This form must be filed annually. Students may grant their parents (or others) permission to access their education records by filing an Authorization to Release Education Records form with the appropriate registrar’s office. This form remains in effect until rescinded by the student in writing.

The university provides students the right to inspect and review their educational records within 45 days of written request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate school official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

Students may amend or correct their records if information there is inaccurate, misleading, or incomplete. Students have the right to a hearing if the records are not corrected. If a student is dissatisfied with the results of a hearing, he or she may place a statement in the records to that effect. If a student feels that the institution has not fully honored his or her privacy rights under FERPA, a written complaint may be filed with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.

Please refer to the USD FERPA website for additional information, www.sandiego.edu/registrar/ferpa.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states, “No otherwise qualified person with a disability in the United States…shall, solely by reason of…disability, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

A “person with a disability” includes “any person who (i) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities; (ii) has a record of such an impairment; or (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment.”

A “qualified person with a disability” is defined as one who meets the requisite academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in the post-secondary institution’s programs and activities. Section 504 protects the civil rights of individuals who are qualified to participate and who have disabilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is the civil rights guarantee for persons with disabilities in the United States. It provides protection from discrimination for individuals on the basis of disability. The ADA extends civil rights protection for people with disabilities to employment in the public and private sectors, transportation, public accommodations, services provided by state and local government, and telecommunication relay services.

A “person with a disability” is anyone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. In addition to those people who have visible disabilities — persons who are blind, deaf, or use a wheelchair — the definition also includes people with what are sometimes called invisible disabilities. These include psychological/psychiatric concerns, learning disabilities, ADHD, and some chronic health impairments such as epilepsy, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, cardiac problems, HIV/AIDS, and others.

Grade Grievance Procedures

The instructor’s/professor’s judgment is presumed to be correct. Therefore, the burden of qualifying a grievance rests with the student. Thus, at every level in the proposed grievance procedures this “presumption” should be understood by all participants.

It is assumed that grievances will be resolved by the instructor and student.

Grading criteria, requirements, content, etc. are established by the instructor. The presumption is that students have been given ample opportunity for clarification of class requirements at the beginning of a given course.

The procedure for a grade grievance is as follows:

  1. Initial grade/grievance must be addressed to the instructor in the course.
  2. In those rare circumstances when no agreement is reached in number 1 (above), the student may seek advice from the department chair.
  3. If the matter is not satisfactorily settled at number 2 (above), the student then may seek advice from the dean who will refer the matter to a standing faculty committee (e.g. academic affairs).
  4. The committee will hear the student’s grievance and make its recommendations to the parties involved. At every level in this grievance procedure, the instructor must be apprised of the situation.

Responsibility of Students

Students enrolled at USD are responsible for adhering to all regulations, schedules, and deadlines outlined in this course catalog and in any handbooks, contracts, or guideline sheets pertinent to their program. Students have the further responsibility of ensuring that all graduation requirements are met. Questions on these matters should be directed to the student’s faculty advisor.

Student Conduct

Students attending USD are accountable to the Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities, which is published online at www.sandiego.edu/conduct. The purpose of the code is to maintain a safe environment for the campus community, support the academic goals of the university and to foster the personal development of students. Included in the code are the rules of conduct, disciplinary process and sanctions, university policies and procedures, and the academic integrity policy. Parking regulations are available at parking services.