The University of Southern California (University) believes that all members of the University community, including students, faculty, staff, patients, and visitors, should pursue their work, education, and engagement in University programs and activities in a safe environment, free from discrimination and harassment based on protected characteristics, and retaliation.
The University is an equal opportunity educator and employer, proudly pluralistic, and firmly committed to providing equal opportunity for persons of all backgrounds and a diverse, inclusive, equitable environment. The University is committed to providing a safe and transparent University community where discrimination, harassment, and retaliation are universally recognized as intolerable, where those who are harmed are provided support and resolution options, and where a fair and impartial resolution process is provided to all parties.
To this end, the University places great emphasis on those values and virtues that connect us as human beings and members of the Trojan Family. Those shared values, as well as the beliefs, actions, and associated behaviors that support those values, contribute to a University culture that prioritizes diversity, inclusivity, accessibility, integrity, respect, and accountability.
In furtherance of these values and in recognition of its responsibility to act as a responsible steward of federal research support, USC adheres to requirements imposed by the NIH, NSF, and NASA to foster a research environment free from sexual and other harassment and to promptly report findings of sexual harassment made against researchers who are supported by them. Please see below for more detail.
Funding Agency Requirements on Sexual & Other Harassment
The Office of Culture, Ethics and Compliance works in partnership with the Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX to fulfill funding agency requirements for reporting findings of sexual and other harassment against researchers supported by the NIH, NSF, and NASA.
NSF Requirements Regarding Sexual Harassment
The NSF requires USC to foster harassment-free environments wherever science is conducted or taught, including at NSF-sponsored conferences, workshops, symposia, and field sites.
USC must report to NSF any findings of sexual or other harassment, or sexual assault committed by an NSF-funded PI or co-PI. The university must also notify NSF of any administrative or disciplinary action related to a harassment investigation or finding. When required, notifications are made by the Office of Research in partnership with the Office of Culture, Ethics and Compliance and the Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX.
Required Notice to NSF-Supported Conference Participants
NSF requires applicants receiving NSF funds to carry out conferences, workshops, symposia, and fieldwork to have a policy or code of conduct that addresses sexual and other forms of harassment that includes clear and accessible means of reporting violations of the policy or code-of-conduct.
Recipients of NSF funds to carry out conferences, workshops, symposia, or fieldwork must disseminate this policy or code of conduct to event participants prior to attendance and make it available at the event itself.
Message to Participants
The message below complies with the above NSF requirements and has been approved for distribution by the Office of Culture, Ethics and Compliance and the Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX. This message must be provided to all participants prior to and during any NSF-supported conference, symposia, and workshops.
Nondiscrimination & Anti-Harassment Notification
By participating in conferences, fieldwork, or other programs sponsored by federal funds awarded to the University of Southern California (the University), you are agreeing to abide by policies in place to ensure a safe and productive academic research environment. These include University policies related to sexual misconduct, discrimination and harassment based on protected characteristics, and related retaliation.
The University’s Notice of Non-Discrimination Statement prohibits discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, religion (including religious dress and grooming practices), creed, sex, age (40 years and over in the employment context), marital status, national origin, citizenship status, employment status, income status, shared ancestry and ethnic characteristics, partnership status, medical condition (including cancer and genetic characteristics), pregnancy (including childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), disability, political belief or affiliation, domestic violence victim status, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance in any of the University’s educational programs and activities, and in the employment (including application for employment) and admissions (including application for admission) context, as required by applicable law.
This Policy applies to all students, staff, faculty, and third parties.
The University also prohibits retaliation against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by University policy or law, or because the individual makes a good faith report or formal complaint, testifies, assists, participates, or refuses to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the University Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation.
Reporting Harassment or Discrimination
The University encourages anyone who has experienced Prohibited Conduct to report it directly to USC’s Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX (EEO-TIX). Any individual may make a report under this Policy regardless of affiliation with the University and regardless of whether the individual reporting is the individual alleged to be the subject of the conduct. Reports can be made in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail, or by any other means that results in EEO-TIX receiving the verbal or written report. A report may be made at any time (including during non-business hours) using the telephone number, email address, or office mailing address for the VP of EEO-TIX, listed below:
Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX
Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX
USC Credit Union Building
3720 South Flower Street, 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0704
firstname.lastname@example.org (for all inquiries, reports, or complaints regarding this Policy, Title IX, sexual harassment, or other forms of Prohibited Conduct)
email@example.com to reach the VP of EEO-TIX
NIH Requirements Regarding Sexual Harassment
Recipients of NIH funds must proactively notify NIH of changes in status for principal investigators or other senior key personnel. Examples of changes in status include employment modifications or leaves of absence during an investigation of alleged sexual misconduct. USC is required to seek advance approval for the replacement of employees. Notifications will be handled by the Office of Research in coordination with the Office of Culture, Ethics and Compliance and Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX.
Policy and Procedures Notices
NIH recipients of conference grant funding must take steps to maintain a safe and respectful environment for all attendees by demonstrating an institutional commitment to ensuring that proper policies, procedures, and oversight are in place to prevent discriminatory harassment and other discriminatory practices as described in the NIH funding announcement for conferences and scientific meetings (Parent R13).
NASA Requirements Regarding Sexual Harassment
NASA is committed to promoting safe, productive research and education environments for current and future scientists and engineers. The PI, any Co-I, and all personnel supported by a NASA award are considered to be in a position of trust and must not engage in harassing behavior during the award period of performance, whether at the recipient’s institution, online or outside the organization, such as at field sites or facilities, or during conferences and workshops.
The University of Southern California is required to report to NASA any findings/determinations of sexual and other forms of harassment, or sexual assault by a NASA-funded PI or Co-I. USC is also required to report to NASA if the PI or Co-I is placed on administrative leave, if USC has imposed any administrative action on the PI or Co-I, or any determination of an investigation of an alleged violation of USC’s policies or codes of conduct, statutes, regulations or executive orders relating to sexual harassment, other forms of harassment or sexual assault. Notifications will be handled by the Office of Research in coordination with the Office of Culture, Ethics and Compliance and Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX.