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Non-discrimination Policy

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Non-discrimination Policy

Prohibition of Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation (ATSU policy 90-210)


The purpose of this general order is to provide an employment and learning environment at A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (“ATSU” or “the University”) free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Discrimination, harassment, or retaliation by anyone-managers, administrators, supervisors, co-workers, students, or non-University personnel including clients, vendors, and suppliers-on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law is a violation of University policy and is prohibited by ATSU.


ATSU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in its programs and activities. Dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault (e.g., non-consensual sexual contact/intercourse), stalking, harassment, and retaliation are forms of discrimination prohibited by ATSU.

Any person who witnesses or has knowledge of incidents of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or any other situation prohibited by this policy should report such information to the persons listed in this general order. All reporting parties are protected from adverse action or retaliation under the provisions of this policy and by ATSU Policy No. 10-216: Whistleblower. Good faith reports, even if erroneous, will not result in punitive action. Deliberately false and/or malicious accusations of harassment are just as serious an offense as harassment and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

To report violations of ATSU’s nondiscrimination policies, request information, or for assistance filing a police report, contact the following persons:
Employees, members of the public, or beneficiaries should contact:

Arizona Campus
Tonya Fitch
Director of Human Resources
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
5850 East Still Circle
Mesa, AZ 85206-3618

Students should contact:
Arizona Campus
Beth Poppre
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
5850 East Still Circle
Mesa, AZ 85206-3618

Missouri Campus
Donna Brown
Assistant Vice President of Human Resources
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
800 West Jefferson Street
Kirksville, Missouri 63501

Missouri Campus
Lori Haxton
Vice President for Student Affairs
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
800 West Jefferson Street
Kirksville, Missouri 63501

Alternately, discrimination complaints, reports, or questions may be directed to the ATSU Title IX Coordinator:
John Gardner
Title IX Coordinator
800 West Jefferson Street
Kirksville, MO 63501

Arizona Campus:
Emergency - 911 (off-campus)
Emergency -911 (on-campus)
Security Office - *7 (on-campus)
Non-Emergency Security - 480.341.9075
Mesa Police Department - 480.644.2211, opt. 2

Missouri Campus
Emergency - 911 (off-campus)
Emergency -911 (on-campus)
Security Office - 33 (on-campus)
Non-Emergency Security - 660.626.2380/660.349.9513
Kirksville Police Department - 660.785.6945

On-campus confidential resources are available for students through:

ATSU Counseling Services
Arizona campus - Art Matthews, 480.219.6170,
Missouri campus - Thom Van Vleck, 660.626.2424,

To anonymously and confidentially report situations or behavior prohibited by this policy, call the 24-hour service at 1-855-FRAUD-HL or use our secure online reporting form at Reference our Company ID (“ATSU”) when making a report.

Off-campus counseling and victim support is available through:
National Sexual Assault Hotline – 800.656.4673
Victim Support Services, Inc. (Missouri) – 660.665.1617
Mesa Victim Services Unit (Arizona) – 480.644.4075

Complaints regarding potential violations of Title IX, the Clery Act, or Title VII may be directed to:

Title IX and Clery Act:
U.S. Department of Education
One Petticoat Lane
1010 Walnut Street, Suite 320
Kansas City, MO 64106
816.268.0550 fax

Title VII:
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Robert A. Young Federal Building
1222 Spruce Street, Room 8.100
St. Louis, MO 63103
314.539.7894 fax
800.669.6820 TTY

  • Anti-Harassment
    • Prohibited conduct includes unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, non-verbal, physical, or visual, that is based on or relates to an individual’s race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law, and
      • Has the effect of creating a hostile environment;
      • Has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or student’s performance; or
      • Otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment or education opportunities.

    • A hostile environment is any situation in which there is harassing conduct sufficiently severe, pervasive, or objectively offensive to alter the conditions of employment or limit, interfere with, or deny educational benefits or opportunities, from both a subjective (the alleged victim’s) and an objective (a reasonable person standard) viewpoint.

    • The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” will be based upon the circumstances, including:

      • Frequency of the conduct;
      • Nature and severity of the conduct;
      • Whether the conduct was physically threatening;
      • Whether the conduct was humiliating;
      • Effect of the conduct on the alleged victim’s mental or emotional state;
      • Whether the conduct was directed at more than one person;
      • Whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct;
      • Whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with the alleged victim’s educational or work performance;
      • Whether the statement is an utterance of an epithet which engenders offense in an employee or student, or offends by mere discourtesy or rudeness;
      • Whether the speech or conduct deserves the protections of academic freedom or the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

    • Examples of prohibited conduct include but are not limited to: jokes, epithets, slurs, insults, negative stereotyping, written or graphic material (including emails), or any threatening or intimidating acts, that denigrate or show hostility toward an individual and that relate to race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law.

    • Prohibited behavior also includes any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature such as sexual advances and propositions; requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes, comments, suggestions, or innuendo; foul or obscene gestures or language; display of foul, obscene, or offensive printed or visual material; unwelcome physical contact of a sexual nature, such as bodily contact with the breast, groin, or buttocks; patting, pinching, hugging, or brushing against another individual’s body; and any other unwelcome verbal, non-verbal, physical or visual conduct of a sexual nature where:

      • Submission to such conduct is an explicit or implicit condition of employment or education; or
      • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment-related or academic-related decisions such as a promotion, discharge, performance evaluation, pay adjustment, discipline, work assignment, or any other condition of employment or career development or academic development; or
      • Such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, abusive, or offensive working or educational environment.

    • Non-consensual sexual contact and non-consensual sexual intercourse are explicitly prohibited by this policy.

      • Non-consensual sexual contact is any unwelcome intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a man or woman upon a man or woman.
      • Non-consensual sexual intercourse is any unwelcome sexual intercourse, however slight, with any object, by a man or woman upon a man or woman, without consent and/or by force.
      • Consent is clear, knowing, and voluntary. It may be given by words or actions, but silence itself cannot be interpreted as consent. Consensual words or actions create mutually understood, clear permission regarding willingness to engage in sexual activity.
      • Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation, and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent.
      • Sexual activity with someone whom one knows to be, or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be, mentally or physically incapacitated, constitutes a violation of this policy.

    • This policy applies universally to all University employees and students in their dealings with each other and to all University employees and students in their dealings with third parties. Any University employee or student who violates this policy will be subject to corrective action up to and including termination or dismissal. University employees or students may be disciplined, up to and including termination or dismissal, for engaging in behavior that is disrespectful, disruptive, or otherwise prohibited by this policy, regardless of whether such behavior constitutes harassment prohibited by law.

  • Discrimination, harassment, and retaliation grievance procedures

    • Any individual who feels s/he has witnessed or experienced behavior prohibited by this policy, or who has questions, concerns, or information regarding violations of this policy, should immediately report the circumstance(s) or incident(s) to his/her supervisor or one of the contact persons described in this policy.
    • Upon receipt of a report of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, the University will conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation, evaluating all relevant information and documentation relating to the report.
      • If a report is made, an ATSU investigator will meet with the reporting party to discuss allegations and/or circumstances. Objectives of this initial meeting will be to reduce the report to writing, stop the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and take steps to remedy its effects in the interim.
      • If, following this meeting, it is determined no potential policy violations exist, the investigator will produce a report stating such conclusion, including all elements of the initial meeting and interim remedial steps taken.
      • Interim remedial steps may include course or work adjustments, no contacts orders, temporary suspension of the alleged perpetrator, or any other reasonable measure to facilitate the end and prevention of harassment.
      • If, after an initial meeting between an ATSU investigator and a reporting party, it is determined any part of this policy may have been violated, a full investigation will be conducted. Investigators will be appropriately trained and will not have a conflict of interest or bias against the reporting party or respondent. Such investigation will be concluded promptly, typically within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the report by the appropriate personnel. Investigations may, however, take longer based on a number of factors and variables, such as: nature and detail of the notice received, complexity of the investigation, and cooperation level of the parties and witnesses. In almost all cases, investigations will be completed within sixty (60) business days, though this timeline may be extended for appropriate cause as determined by the investigator.
      • Parties will be regularly updated as to the projected timeline for completion of the investigation. During the process, the reporting party and respondent will be given timely notice of any meetings at which either or both may be present, and will have equal opportunity to present witnesses, provide evidence, and have others present, including an advisor of their choice. Reporting party, respondent, and appropriate officials will be given timely and equal access to information to be used during informal and formal disciplinary meetings and hearings.
      • Investigators use “preponderance of evidence” (more likely than not) standard when determining whether or not there is a violation.
      • Simultaneous written notice to the parties describing findings of the investigation, including determination of responsibility and sanctions, and available appeal procedures, will occur within five (5) business days of the completion of the investigation.
        • Sanctions for employees may include a disciplinary warning to be added to the employee’s permanent file, probation, suspension with or without pay, and/or termination.
        • Sanctions for students may include reprimand, a disciplinary warning to be added to the student’s permanent file, probation, suspension, and/or dismissal.

      • Parties will have the right to appeal within five (5) business days of receiving the findings. If the appeal is not timely or substantively eligible, the original findings and sanctions will stand, and the decision will be final. If the appeal has standing, the documentation will be forwarded for consideration. The party requesting the appeal must show error as the original findings and sanctions are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately. The only grounds for appeal are:

        • A procedural (or substantive) error that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures).
        • To consider new evidence, unavailable during the original hearing or investigation, which could substantially impact the original findings or sanctions. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included.
        • Sanctions imposed are substantially disproportionate to those previously imposed for similar violations. Right to appeal under this provision is for the responding party only. No other party has the right to appeal sanctions.

      • Appeals must be submitted for review to the Title IX coordinator to determine standing. Appeals with standing will be forwarded to the ATSU Equity Grievance Pool (EGP).
      • Upon receipt of a written appeal, an appellate panel consisting of three (3) members of the ATSU Equity Grievance Pool (EGP) will be selected to rule on the appeal.

        • EGP members are appointed by the ATSU president.
        • EGP members include the Title IX administration team, two (2) faculty members nominated by University Faculty Senate and two (2) staff members nominated by University Staff Council.
        • Whenever feasible, at least one member of the EGP will complement the institutional status of the appealing party (i.e., the panel will have at least one faculty member if the appealing party is a faculty member).

      • The appellate panel will rule on the appeal within fifteen (15) business days. Any extension of time beyond fifteen (15) business days will be communicated to both parties along with an updated timeframe for the ruling.

      • Any sanctions imposed at the conclusion of an investigation will remain in effect during the appeals process.

      • In the event an appeal is upheld by the appellate panel, the panel’s report will be submitted to the investigators for redetermination based on the panel’s findings. Written notice to the parties describing the revised findings of the investigation, including determination of responsibility and sanctions, will occur within five (5) business days of receipt of the appellate panel report.

  • Anti-retaliation

    • The University will not retaliate against, nor permit retaliation against, any individual who opposes discrimination or harassment, makes a complaint of discrimination or harassment, and/or participates or cooperates in a discrimination or harassment investigation, proceeding, or hearing.
    • Examples of retaliation:
      • After a whistleblowing incident, an employee may suddenly find herself being assigned to different duties or even moved into a different position. The new role often involves duties below the employee’s capabilities or even demeaning in nature. The supervisor may make the new role as difficult as possible by harshly critiquing results or implementing unreasonable time constraints for completing projects. The supervisor may also limit access to resources the employee needs to complete his/her assigned tasks.
      • Employers may retaliate by excluding the employee from normal activities, attempting to create a sense of isolation. A supervisor may refuse to invite the employee to an important meeting or a social activity such as a group luncheon or outing. S/he may also exclude the employee from training sessions that could enhance the employee’s job performance or opportunity for advancement. Exclusion can occur by relocating the employee to an area where s/he has little contact with other workers.

  • Amnesty for drug/alcohol possession and consumption violations

    • ATSU strongly encourages students and employees to report potential violations of this policy. Therefore, good faith reporters to appropriate authorities regarding potential violations will not face University disciplinary action for their own drug/alcohol possession or consumption in connection with the reported incident.
    • Amnesty for persons making a report in good faith does not include substance abuse counseling and/or rehabilitation which may be necessary for employees or students with clinical responsibilities or patient contact.


  1. The assistant vice president of human resources and the director of human resources are responsible for responding to and monitoring all complaints of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation from employees.
  2. The vice president for student affairs and the associate vice president for student affairs are responsible for responding to and monitoring all complaints of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation from students, members of the public, or beneficiaries.
  3. The Title IX coordinator is responsible for all sex- and gender-based harassment and discrimination awareness, prevention, training, monitoring, reporting, investigation, and resolution at ATSU.

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