Skip to main content

Newly Added Policies

Policy on Sexual Misconduct

Added September 12, 2018

The University recently revised its Policy on Sexual Misconduct.  The revised Policy has three components – policy, resources (including on and off-campus confidential resources), and the complaint resolution process.  The primary goal of the revision process was to make the Policy easier to navigate and understand.  The revisions to the Policy fall into three main categories: 1) incorporating comments received from students, faculty, and staff during the open review and comment period in the spring of 2018;  2) updating the Policy to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and guidance;  and 3) streamlining and clarifying the Policy, particularly the Sexual Misconduct Complaint Resolution Process. 

Key revisions include:

The University also updated the Sexual Misconduct Complaint Resolution Process for student cases that have the potential to result in separation from the University.  Going forward, investigators in the Office of Equity will make a determination as to whether the preponderance of the evidence shows a violation of the Policy on Sexual Misconduct.  Both parties will have the opportunity to review the investigation report before it is finalized and provide the investigators with additional feedback and information.  If the Office of Equity concludes there was a violation of the Policy on Sexual Misconduct, the Office of Student Conduct will convene a University Hearing and Appeals System (UHAS) Sanctioning Panel to determine the appropriate sanction.  Both parties have the opportunity to appeal the results of the Office of Equity’s investigation and any sanction imposed by the UHAS Sanctioning Panel. 

Several members of our community have asked whether the University will investigate allegations of sexual misconduct involving members of our community that occur off-campus.  As stated in the Jurisdiction Statement of the Policy, the answer to this question is yes.  If the accused individual is not a member of the University community or is no longer affiliated with the University at the time of the complaint (including when they have graduated or left the University), the University may be unable to conduct an investigation or take disciplinary action. However, for every report, the Office of Equity will review the circumstances of the reported conduct to determine whether the University has jurisdiction over the parties involved and take steps within its control to eliminate, prevent, and address the reported conduct. The University will also assist in identifying external reporting options and/or provide appropriate resources to impacted individuals (including assisting individuals who wish to report to law enforcement).

Individuals impacted by sexual misconduct may always contact the Office of Equity to receive support, resources, and information even if they do not wish to move forward with the Complaint Resolution Process described in the Policy.  As noted in the Policy, there are also many confidential on and off-campus resources available to our community. 

Northwestern remains committed to fostering an environment in which all members of our community are free from sexual misconduct. If you have questions or would like to learn more, please visit the Office of Equity’s website at https://www.northwestern.edu/equity/ or call (847) 467-6165.

Minors at Northwestern

Added June 6, 2018

The University recently adopted a new Minors at Northwestern Policy, which supersedes the Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect Policy. In addition to revising mandatory reporting obligations in the Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect Policy to align more closely with Illinois state law requirements, the new policy requires youth programs at Northwestern to register with the University and ensure that all faculty and staff engaging with minors in youth programs undergo a background check and complete online training.

The policy has been developed together with a new Youth on Campus website that provides guidance on implementing the policy’s requirements as well as centralized tools and resources to support the administration of youth programs at Northwestern.

Pursuant to the University Policy Development Guidelines, the policy is currently posted to a password-protected page on this website for 45 days of review and comment from the University community (through Friday, July 20). Any questions or comments regarding the policy should be directed to:

Rachel Heyman, Compliance, Audit & Advisory Services ((847) 467-6239 or rachel.heyman@northwestern.edu)

All feedback on the policy will be considered. Additional changes to the policy may be made based on the comments received.

Update:  Based on community input, the Minors at Northwestern Policy has been revised and is now available on the University Policies page.

Demonstration

Added May 24, 2018

The University amended its Demonstration Policy to better reflect Northwestern’s commitment to free expression and peaceful demonstration. Key revisions include:

Pursuant to the University Policy Development Guidelines, the policy is currently posted to a password-protected page on this website for an extended, 60-day period of review and comment from the University community (through Monday, July 23). Any questions or comments regarding the policy should be directed to the following individuals:

Todd Adams, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students ((847) 491-8430 or todd.adams@northwestern.edu); and

Rachel Heyman, Compliance, Audit & Advisory Services ((847) 467-6239 or rachel.heyman@northwestern.edu)

All feedback on the policy will be considered. Additional changes to the policy may be made based on the comments received.

Update:  The community review period has passed.  The final version of the Demonstration Policy is now available on the University Policies page.

Behavioral Consultation Team

Added February 20, 2018 (see update below)

The University recently revised its Behavioral Consultation Team Policy.  In addition to reformatting, updating, and editing the policy, the revisions define prohibited behaviors on campus, make explicit an expectation to report threats of violence, and provide additional guidance on reporting.

Pursuant to the University Policy Development Guidelines, the policy is currently posted to a password-protected page on this website for 45 days of review and comment from the University community (through Friday, April 6). Any questions or comments regarding the policy should be directed to the following individuals:

Michelle Hoy-Watkins, PsyD, Northwestern Police Director of Threat Assessment, (847) 467-5375 or mhoy@northwestern.edu); and

All feedback on the policy will be considered. Additional changes to the policy may be made based on the comments received.

Update:  The policy was updated since the community review period; the final version of the BCT Policy is now available on the University Policies page.

Export Controls Compliance

Added February 15, 2018

The University recently amended its Export Controls Compliance Policy. In addition to reformatting the policy, the policy’s definition of Fundamental Research was updated to conform to applicable regulations.

Questions regarding the revisions may be directed to Lane Campbell, Director, Office for Export Controls Compliance, at (847) 467-4063 or exportcontrols@northwestern.edu.

Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment

Added February 1, 2018

The University recently amended its Policy on Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment. The principal substantive changes to the policy are as follows:

 The policy revisions are incorporated into the annual conflict of interest disclosure process that begins on February 1. Any questions regarding the policy revisions may be directed to Kate Cosgrove Booth, Interim Director of the Conflict of Interest Office, at (847) 491-4163, or k-cosgrove@northwestern.edu.

Research Data: Ownership, Retention, and Access

Added February 1, 2018

The University recently amended its Research Data: Ownership, Retention, and Access Policy. In addition to reformatting and updating the policy, clarifications were made to the policy’s definition of research data and to the mandatory data retention period in the policy.

 Questions regarding the revisions may be directed to Lauran Qualkenbush, Director, Office for Research Integrity, at (312) 503-0054, or nu-ori@northwestern.edu.

Sustainable Waste Management

Added October 18, 2017 (see update below)

The University recently adopted a new Sustainable Waste Management Policy. The policy establishes a solid waste management program on campus, provides guidelines to the community on waste management requirements, and identifies responsibilities of various units for policy implementation.

Pursuant to the University Policy Development Guidelines, the policy is currently posted to a password-protected page on this website for 45 days of review and comment from the University community (through Monday, December 4). Any questions or comments regarding the policy should be directed to:

Kathia Benitez, Director, sustainNU ((847) 467-3772 or kathia.benitez@northwestern.edu); and

All feedback on the policy will be considered. Additional changes to the policy may be made based on the comments received.

Update:  The policy has been revised based on community input; the final version of the Sustainable Waste Policy is now available on the University Policies page.

Non-Retaliation

Added September 5, 2017  (see update below)

The University recently amended its Policy on Non-Retaliation. Among other things, the purpose of the revisions is to provide a strong statement emphasizing the University’s commitment to promoting an ethical institutional culture and encouraging the reporting of misconduct; to adopt a uniform and consistent definition of retaliation across policies and handbooks; and to clarify that the policy also covers students. References to retaliation in other policies and handbooks will be revised to conform to this policy.

Pursuant to the University Policy Development Guidelines, the policy is currently posted to a password-protected page on this website for 45 days of review and comment from the University community (through Friday, October 20). Any questions or comments regarding the policy should be directed to:

Sarah Wake, Interim Associate Vice President for Equity ((847) 491-7458 or sarah.wake@northwestern.edu)

All feedback on the policy will be considered, and any necessary changes to the policy will be implemented based on the comments received.

Update:  The policy has been revised based on community input; the final Policy on Non-Retaliation is available on the University Policies page.

Sexual Misconduct

Added September 5, 2017

The University recently amended its Sexual Misconduct Policy. Many of the revisions are formatting, organizational, or drafting changes that do not alter the policy’s substance (for example, consolidating all references to potential sanctions to a section near the end of the document). Others reflect an alignment necessitated by changes or updates in various state and federal laws. Key substantive revisions to the policy include:

In fall 2017, the Office of Equity, in collaboration with the Policy Review Committee, will initiate the process of gathering input from stakeholders on the revisions to the policy to be implemented in 2018.

Any questions regarding the policy may be directed to Title IX Coordinator at TitleIXCoordinator@northwestern.edu.

Patent and Invention

Added September 1, 2017

Effective today, the University amended its Patent and Invention Policy (please note the URL for the policy has changed). Although the policy has been reformatted and edited, the only substantive change made to the policy is to reduce the percentage of royalty proceeds paid to the Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO) from 20% to 15%. (Royalty proceeds refers to the revenue the University receives from inventions and discoveries. INVO traditionally has received 20% of the proceeds to help cover its operating expenses, but from now on will receive only 15%.)

Any questions regarding the policy may be directed to Andrea Minogue, Senior Director of Finance and Administration, INVO, at (847) 467-3096 or invo@northwestern.edu.

Research Visitors

 Added August 15, 2017

The University recently amended the Research Visitors Policy to exclude from its scope appointments made through Argonne National Laboratory Institute of Science and Engineering (NAISE). NAISE, a University Research Institute, handles visitor appointments through an independent process.

 Any questions regarding the policy may be directed to Claire Landis, Associate Director of Administrative Services in the Office for Research, at (847) 491-2101, or researchvisitors@northwestern.edu.