The Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy is bound to the University of Oklahoma’s Diversity Statement. Specifically, the department is devoted to achieving a diverse, equitable, and inclusive university community by embracing each person’s unique contributions, background, and perspectives. As a department, we are committed to safeguarding our community from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, disability, citizenship, political beliefs, or status as a veteran in any of our policies, practices, or procedures. Physics and astronomy flourish best when physicists and astronomers can work in an environment of safety, justice, and equity. Therefore, all of us must work vigorously to oppose systemic discrimination and overcome implicit biases.
The Code of Conduct below was approved by the faculty of the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy on 11/10/2020 and applies to all members of the department. Members of the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy include physics, engineering physics, and astrophysics undergraduate students; physics and astronomy graduate students; physics and astronomy postdocs, staff, and faculty; anybody with assigned office space or access to laboratory space in Nielsen and Lin Halls; and visitors to the department.
As members1 of the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics of Astronomy, the University of Oklahoma, and the global scientific enterprise, we share a responsibility to act ethically and professionally. We strive to conduct ourselves in a professional manner that is welcoming to all and free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. Our department values and welcomes individuals of diverse identities and characteristics.2
We recognize our individual and collective obligations to be truthful and to treat each other with respect. We strive to create a collegial, considerate, inclusive, diverse, and professional environment in our classrooms, research labs, offices, and virtual realm. We are cognizant of the particular obligation to model appropriate behavior during interactions that involve the inherent power differentials among department members. Members of the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy must refrain from all forms of discrimination,3 harassment,4 and bullying5 in their professional encounters, as these behaviors have adverse impacts on the learning and career development of students, staff, and scientists; the mental health of members of the department; and the proper conduct of science. Creating a supportive environment to foster academic and scientific progress and ensuring that all members of the department have access to a safe and comfortable working and learning environment is a collective responsibility.
If violations of the principles described in this Code of Conduct are observed or experienced, direct intervention that addresses the problematic behavior can be an effective option. In addition, or as an alternative to direct intervention, we encourage reporting violations of this code of conduct policy to the Department Chair, faculty/instructors, members of the staff, members of the Community and Inclusion Committee, trusted members of the department, the departmental “Drop Box” (available on the departmental website), the Campus Climate & Incident Response Team, or the Title IX Office. The department will respond to reports of disruptive behavior, regardless of whether an official complaint is filed with the University, and intervene (in compliance with federal law, state law, and University policies and procedures6) in situations in which the working/learning environment is adversely affected. Actions may include but are not limited to verbal warning, restriction from participation in designated privileges and activities, and filing a formal complaint with the University. Retaliation for reports of inappropriate conduct will not be tolerated.
1 Members of the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy include physics, engineering physics, and astrophysics undergraduate students; physics and astronomy graduate students; physics and astronomy postdocs, staff, and faculty; anybody with assigned office space or access to laboratory space in Nielsen and Lin Halls; and visitors to the department.
2 These include, but are not limited to race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, disability, citizenship, political beliefs, or status as a veteran.
3 Discrimination is defined as prejudicial treatment of individuals or groups of people based on the characteristics listed in footnote 2 or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.
4 Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. Other types of harassment include any verbal or physical conduct directed at individuals or groups of people because of the characteristics listed in footnote 2 or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, that create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
5 Bullying is unwelcome, aggressive behavior involving the use of influence, threat, intimidation, or coercion to dominate others in the professional environment.
6 When a University employee, with the exception of those designated confidential (OU Advocates; counselors, clergy, attorneys, or physicians engaged in such capacity with the reporter; and the University Ombudsperson), becomes aware of an alleged act of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual exploitation, dating or domestic violence, stalking, or pregnancy discrimination, the employee must promptly share the information with the Title IX Office.