Overview of Stanford Policies
These university policies address sexual harassment, prohibited sexual conduct, Title IX, and consensual romantic or sexual relationships at Stanford. Collectively, the policies apply to all students, faculty, staff, and others who participate in Stanford’s programs and activities. One or more of these policies may apply to your concern.
Harassment and Discrimination Policy (Admin Guide 1.7.1)
Where sexual harassment has occurred, the University will act to stop the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and discipline or take other appropriate action against those responsible.
The Harassment and Discrimination Policy includes the following sections:
- Definition of Sexual Harassment
- What to Do about Sexual Harassment
- Procedural Matters
This policy went into effect in 1993. It is subject to periodic review, and has been amended as needed to remain relevant and timely. Last updated April 13, 2023.
Stanford’s 2020 Sexual Harassment/Assault Policies and Procedures
In 2020, Stanford developed new sexual harassment and assault policies and pilot procedures to comply with federal regulations issued on May 6, 2020 by the Department of Education. Stanford Administrative Guide 1.7.1 defines what conduct is expected of all Stanford community members, including conduct that the federal government has defined as Title IX prohibited conduct, as well as conduct that the federal government did not address but Stanford chose to prohibit. Stanford also developed three procedures that describe the manner in which Stanford investigates and adjudicates alleged violations of Administrative Guide 1.7.1 – the Title IX Procedure (effective August 14, 2020), the SHARE Hearing Procedure, and the SHARE Investigation Procedure. The facts and circumstances of each complaint brought to the SHARE Title IX Office – including the nature of the conduct alleged, the location where it occurred, the date of occurrence, and who is involved – dictates which process applies.
Consensual Sexual or Romantic Relationships in the Workplace and Educational Setting (Admin Guide 1.7.2)
- highlights the risks in sexual or romantic relationships at Stanford between individuals in inherently unequal positions;
- prohibits certain relationships between teachers and students;
- in other relationships: requires notification and recusal from supervision and evaluation.
Specific sections of the policy cover in detail relationships with students, between students, and in other contexts. Last updated November 21, 2017.
Equal Employment Opportunity, Non-Discrimination, and Affirmative Action Policy (Admin Guide 1.7.4)
This policy applies to all who participate in Stanford's programs and activities, both on and off campus. It includes information about university resources for reporting alleged discrimination, harassment or retaliation, as well as options for external reporting. Last updated August 19, 2022.
Staff Grievance Policy (Admin Guide 2.1.11)
This policy resolves staff employee complaints at Stanford through a formal grievance process and is designed specifically for regular employees. The Staff Grievance Process is intended to supplement, not replace, routine and informal methods of responding to and resolving employee complaints.
Post Doc Grievance Policy (Chapter 10.3 of the Research Policy Handbook)
This policy outlines formal procedures for resolving both academic and non-academic grievances of postdoctoral scholars at Stanford. This grievance procedure is designed to supplement, not to replace, the routine and informal methods of responding to and remedying postdoctoral scholars' problems and complaints.
Prohibited Sexual Conduct Memo
Prohibited Sexual Conduct is a severe form of sexual harassment. This Guide Memo outlines Stanford's definitions and policies relating to Prohibited Sexual Conduct: sexual misconduct, sexual assault, stalking and relationship violence.
In addition to defining terms relating to Prohibited Sexual Conduct, sections of this Memo cover
- Getting Help and Reporting
- Education and Prevention
- University Response and Resources
- Other relevant topics
Sexual Violence Support & Resources
Sexual Violence Support & Resources is a comprehensive University web page dedicated to sexual violence awareness, prevention, response and support. The web page contains a list of resources and describes reporting options.
According to the Office for Civil Rights, sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will, or where a person is incapable of giving consent. Examples of acts of sexual violence include:
- sexual assault
- sexual battery
- sexual abuse
- sexual coercion
In addition to University disciplinary actions, someone who engages in Prohibited Sexual Conduct may be subject to criminal prosecution and/or civil litigation.