University Policies


This site is intended to serve as a repository for University policies. A University policy is defined as one with broad application throughout the University, that helps ensure coordinated compliance with applicable laws and regulations; promotes operational efficiencies; enhances the University's mission; or reduces institutional risk. Many important school, department or unit policies serve similar purposes but are unit-specific and are not included on this site (see School policies). Northwestern offices and units are encouraged to link to this site rather than creating their own pages with University policies. This will help ensure that everyone in the University is referencing the most current versions of University policies.

What's New

New Policy – Institutional Conflict of Interest in Research

Northwestern’s Conflict of Interest Office (NUCOI) announces the issuance of the Institutional Conflict of Interest in Research policy.

This policy enables Northwestern to maintain an environment of objectivity in its research through the identification and mitigation of situations in which the financial interests of the institution or of institutional officials compromise or reasonably appear to compromise Northwestern’s research mission. 

The policy requires that real or perceived institutional conflicts of interest in research be referred to the Conflict of Interest Oversight Committee for adjudication. 

This policy relates to conflicts at the institutional -- not individual -- level, and is separate and distinct from the Conflict of Interest in Research policy for which individual investigator disclosures are required. 

Please familiarize yourself with this policy by visiting

Please direct questions about this policy to NUCOI at (847) 467-4515 or, or to the Policy Review Committee

New Policies Announcement

We are pleased to share two new University policies with you. Each of these policies has been in development for some time, and members of the Northwestern community have provided valuable input throughout the process.

The first policy, entitled Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationships Between Faculty, Staff and Students, expands our former policies that prohibited Northwestern faculty and staff from having evaluative authority over persons with whom they are romantically or sexually involved. Our expanded policy helps ensure that Northwestern’s academic, research and all other University environments remain free from real or apparent conflicts when individuals in positions of unequal power at the University are involved in consensual romantic or sexual relationships. With this expanded policy, Northwestern joins a growing number of peer institutions in prohibiting faculty and coaches from engaging in romantic, dating, or sexual relationships with Northwestern undergraduate students, regardless of whether there is a supervisory or evaluative relationship between them. As was stated in the former policy, relationships between graduate students and their faculty supervisors are prohibited. The new policy also provides that relationships between a faculty member and a graduate or professional student in the same department or program must be disclosed to the department chair so that a plan to manage the potential conflict of interest can be developed. Other types of relationships are also addressed in this new policy, see the Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationships Between Faculty, Staff and Students policy here.

The second policy is entitled Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, and Dating and Domestic Violence. Northwestern is committed to fostering an environment in which all members of our community are safe, secure, and free from sexual misconduct of any form, including, but not limited to, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking, and dating and domestic violence. The new policy also incorporates Northwestern’s current sexual harassment policy. This policy, which we believe exemplifies best practices under Title IX and the new Violence Against Women Act Amendments, is applicable to students, faculty, staff, and others in the Northwestern community. A key point of this policy is that, unless exempted by a specific, recognized privilege, all faculty and staff are obligated to report sexual misconduct of which they become aware to one of the offices listed in the policy. Information on available counseling, medical, and advocacy services for all Northwestern community members is also contained in this policy, see the Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, and Dating and Domestic Violence policy here.

Daniel Linzer, Provost

Patricia Telles-Irvin, Vice President for Student Affairs

Pam Beemer, Associate Vice President for Human Resources

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