GSE Equal Opportunity & Harassment Policies

People are GSE’s most important resource and we are committed to creating and sustaining learning and working environments that take full advantage of our diversity and are respectful of differences. President Gutmann has stated that "[i]n a democracy and at great universities, diversity and excellence go together." Cross-cultural conversations and interactions help to ensure that GSE is educating leaders who will be successful in both local and global settings. The University has policies and resources to underscore its commitment to equal opportunity in a community that also values open expression and academic freedom, including those listed below.

Nondiscrimination Statement

The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Pennsylvania does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status in the administration of its admissions, financial aid, educational or athletic programs, or other University-administered programs or in its employment practices. Questions or complaints regarding this policy should be directed to the Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Suite 228, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106; or (215) 898-6993 (voice) or (215) 746-7088 (fax).

Policy on Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

Penn is committed to ensuring that all of its programs and activities are available on an equitable and nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class. The University’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy can be found here.

Respect for Others in the Workplace

Penn recognizes that people are the most important resource for achieving eminence in accomplishing our mission in the areas of teaching, research, community service, and patient care. Penn is an institution that values academic freedom, diversity and respect for one another. Penn is committed to the principle of nondiscrimination and does not tolerate conduct that constitutes harassment on any basis, including sexual, racial, ethnic, religious, or gender harassment. For additional information, go here.

Sexual Harassment Policy

The University defines sexual harassment as: "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes harassment when:

  • Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or participation in academic activities;
  • Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or study environment."

The full policy, which includes resources available to respond to questions, provide support or investigate complaints, can be found here.

Consensual Sexual Relations Between Faculty and Students

The relationship between teacher and student is central to the academic mission of the University. No non-academic or personal ties should be allowed to interfere with the integrity of the teacher-student relationship. Consensual sexual relations between teacher and student can adversely affect the academic enterprise, distorting judgments or appearing to do so in the minds of others, and providing incentives or disincentives for student-faculty contact that are equally inappropriate. For more information is available here.

Policy Against Retaliation

University policy prohibits retaliation for, among other things, making a good faith report regarding a possible violation of its policies, including those related to on equal opportunity or sexual harassment. The policy can be found here.

University Resources for Resolving Informal Complaints

The University has resource offices that will provide information, support and advice to individuals who have questions or concerns regarding University policy, including the following:

Formal Complaints and Reporting Offices

An individual who wishes to report an allegation of discrimination or harassment may contact Dean Porter, his or her department chair, or one of the designated University resource offices. If a report is made to one of the offices listed below, the staff of that office is responsible for ensuring that appropriate action is taken by the University.

Support within GSE

GSE offers information and support to any student, faculty, or staff member who has concerns or believes he or she has been treated in a discriminatory manner. The following members of the GSE community are available to provide support and information: