University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) is committed to being an institution in which employees can realize their maximum potential in the workplace and students can engage fully in the learning process. Diversity in faculty, student, and staff population is a hallmark of a premier academic and dynamic institution.

Policy

The University of Nebraska Medical Center declares and affirms a policy of equal educational and employment opportunities, affirmative action in employment, and nondiscrimination in providing its services to the public. Therefore, the University of Nebraska Medical Center shall not discriminate against anyone based on race, age, color, disability, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, marital status, Vietnam-era veteran status, or special disabled Veteran status. Sexual harassment and other prohibited harassment on the basis of a person’s protected status, including hostile environment and quid pro quo, shall not be condoned. Prompt and appropriate action shall be taken against any individual found to be in violation of this policy. Prompt and appropriate corrective action shall also be taken in instances of irresponsible, false accusation of sexual harassment and other prohibited harassment.

Enforcement

The University of Nebraska Medical Center reaffirms that all women and men - administrators, faculty, staff, and students - are to be treated fairly and equally with dignity and respect. Any form of discrimination, including sexual harassment and other prohibited harassment on the basis of a person’s protected status, is prohibited. This policy is enforced by federal law and by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents policies. The UNMC Affirmative Action Officer, Carmen Sirizzotti, Division Director of Human Resources – Employee Relations, monitors the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s affirmative action and non-discrimination policies.

Responsibilities of UNMC Affirmative Action Office, Administrators, Faculty, Staff, and Students, and the University

A work and academic environment free of discrimination is the responsibility of every member of the campus community. The UNMC Affirmative Action Officer, Carmen Sirizzotti, Division Director of Human Resources – Employee Relations is responsible for hearing complaints, concerns, reports of problems, and for providing assistance in such matters as the non-discrimination, sexual harassment and other prohibited harassment policies and the UNMC grievance process. University officials (i.e., Vice Chancellor, Dean, Director, Department Chair, Ombuds Team Member) are also responsible for assisting faculty, staff and students in receiving appropriate responses to complaints or issues. Faculty, staff and students are responsible for bringing forward complaints, concerns, problems or issues regarding discrimination, sexual harassment and other prohibited harassment to either the UNMC Affirmative Action Office of Human Resources-Employee Relations or to a University official. Faculty may also report complaints of discrimination, sexual harassment and other prohibited harassment directly to the Faculty Senate Grievance Committee.

Contact:

  •  Kurtis Cornish, Ph.D., committee chair, at 402-559-4372.
  • Campus address: DRC room 5042, 984574 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-4574.

The University reserves the right to take appropriate action against prohibited discrimination affecting the work or academic environment in the absence of a complaint from an individual.

Reporting Complaints

Any employee, applicant for employment, student, candidate for admission, or campus visitor, who believes he or she may have suffered discrimination, sexual harassment or other prohibited harassment should report problems, concerns, complaints, or issues relating to alleged prohibited discrimination by contacting the UNMC Affirmative Action Office. It administers the formal grievance process related to discrimination issues.

Contact:

  • Carmen Sirizzotti, Division Director of Human Resources, at 402-559-2710.
  • Campus office: Room 2000 Administration Center, 426 South 40th Street, Omaha, NE 68198-5470.

Administrators, faculty, staff, and students also may assist parties in bringing forward inquiries or complaints of alleged prohibited discrimination in contacting the UNMC Affirmative Action Officer, Carmen Sirizzotti, Division Director of Human Resources – Employee Relations.

No Retaliation
There shall be no retaliation against any person, who in good faith, participates in the UNMC grievance process, including those called as witnesses in another party’s grievance. Those who engage in such retaliatory behaviors shall receive the appropriate discipline.

Legal Definition of Sexual Harassment
According to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines, sexual harassment is: “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature,” when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of employment or educational status;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting an individual;
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with one’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

General Categories of Sexual Harassment
Communication of a sexual nature, whether oral, pictorial, electronic (whether real or virtual), written, or physical, which in purpose or effect intimidates the recipient or creates an offensive or hostile working or academic environment is prohibited at UNMC. Such communication might be repeated use of greeting or titles offensive to the recipient, i.e., gestures, or physical contact such as touching or pinching (hostile environment).
Solicitation of sexual contact of any nature is also prohibited, when submission to or rejection of such contact explicitly or implicitly imposes either favorable or adverse terms or conditions or employment or academic standing (quid pro quo).

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER CODE OF CONDUCT
University of Nebraska Medical Center faculty, administrators, staff and students comprise an academic health science community. Within this community professionalism is displayed through interpersonal and discipline-specific skills. Professionalism involves developing and demonstrating skills while displaying mutual trust, respect, responsibility and educational accountability. Professionalism thrives in an environment that emphasizes supportiveness, high quality patient care and ethical conduct. Those in formal leadership roles should model the highest standards of professional conduct.

Professionalism embodies legitimate expectations among all members of the academic health science community. For example, the student or employee can expect the teacher or supervisor to provide instruction, guidance, and leadership. Leadership involves helping others to achieve their highest levels of performance, discerning those who need individual assistance, and then facilitating improvement. Similarly, the teacher or supervisor can expect the student or employee to make the necessary investment of energy and intellect to acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills concomitant with being a competent professional. The development of relationships characterized by professionalism is the duty of all faculty, administrators, staff and students. All members of the community can and should expect others to prepare appropriately for the accomplishment of tasks and the fulfillment of responsibilities.

Professionalism is fostered by a supportive climate. All faculty, administrators, staff and students should strive to create an environment characterized by:

  • avoidance of and no tolerance for sexual harassment, demeaning or derogatory remarks, threats, intimidations;
  • no verbal or physical abuse; 
  • acceptance and understanding of individual and cultural differences in race, religion, ethnicity, age, gender;
  • no discrimination based on sexual orientation or disabilities;
  • openness in communication;
  • truthful and positive feedback; 
  • constructive, corrective feedback in a private setting whenever possible;
  • assignment of duties and assignments in an exemplary manner; and
  • an emphasis on solving problems and modifying systems, not blaming people.

Professionalism must be shown in all faculty-student relationships. Learning occurs best in an environment of integrity and mutual respect. As it is expected that students will learn to conduct themselves according to accepted professional standards, faculty must model appropriate professional behaviors in their interactions with students.

In an academic health science community, professionalism must also be shown at all times to patients and their families. Mutual trust, respect, responsibility and accountability should typify the patient-provider relationship. The patient-provider relationship should also model the characteristics of the supportive climate outlined above. Professionalism must be shown in all relationships.

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