Sexual Harassment

Policy statement

“Respect for dignity and worth of individual students, faculty, staff and the academic community as a whole is essential to the mission of our University. Sexual harassment subverts this mission, is unlawful and cannot be tolerated at Binghamton University. The University regards any form of sexual harassment as a violation of the standards of conduct required of all persons associated with the institution. Accordingly, those inflicting such behavior on others are subject to the full range of internal institutional disciplinary actions.

“Because faculty make critical decisions about a student’s advancement, inappropriate faculty-student interactions assume exceptional significance. No non- academic or personal ties should be allowed to interfere with academic integrity of the teacher-student relationship. With respect to sexual relations in particular, what might appear consensual, even to the parties involved, may not in fact be so. Any instance of sexual relations between a faculty member and any student, undergraduate or graduate, when the faculty member is in a direct supervisory role with that student shall normally be deemed unprofessional conduct.”

This statement on sexual harassment and consensual relations was adopted by the Faculty Senate in May of 1990 and subsequently accepted as University policy by former President Lois B. DeFleur. Students, faculty and staff are urged to report incidents of sexual harassment promptly to Andrew Baker, Sr. Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator, Library South G514, 7-2486 or Karen A. Jones, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Library South G546, 7-4775.

Legal authority

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for employees and under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 for students. Sexual harassment is also illegal under New York State Human Rights Law and under New York State Executive Order #19.


Binghamton University’s policy against sexual harassment accords with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines originally issued in 1980 and updated in 1990. The EEOC defines sexual harassment as “Unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individuals, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.” While EEOC guidelines apply specifically to the rights of employees under Title VII, they are interpreted as applying to the rights of students as well under Title IX.

Sexual harassment may involve the behavior of a person of either gender against a person of the same or a different gender. It may occur among co-workers or peers as well as between supervisors and subordinates, and it may take place on University property or in off-campus settings.

Sexual harassment resources: