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Frequently Asked Questions

Please contact the Institutional Equity Office.  See the bottom of this page for contact information.


Q:  What Is the Best Way to Prevent Sexual Harassment?

A:  Know your rights. Members of our University community have the right to work and learn in an environment that is free from verbal or physical sexual conduct that interferes with an individual's performance, or creates a work or educational climate that is hostile, intimidating, or offensive, based on sex or gender, whether that conduct originates with an instructor, a supervisor, a peer or a third party associated with the University.


Q:  What are Some Examples of Sexual Harassment?

A:  See the Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination and Harassment Policy.


Q:  Who Should I Talk to if I Am Being Harassed?




Health Sciences Center




*Confidential Reporting Resource

Q:  How Are Sexual Harassment Complaints Resolved?

A:  The SMO (Sexual Misconduct Office) utilizes both informal and formal procedures for resolving sexual harassment complaints. We encourage early reporting of concerns or complaints regarding sexual harassment.  Typically, complaints can be resolved at the earliest possible stage. Resolution options depend on the circumstances and may include education programs for particular individuals and mediation between the parties only if both desire mediation and issues of sexual violence do not exist. Where informal resolution is unsuccessful or inappropriate, a formal complaint may be filed and a formal investigation undertaken.  There is no prescribed sequence.

Choosing one option first does not prevent a complainant from choosing a different option for resolution later.  Individuals may seek advice or assistance without filing a complaint.

If an Informal Solution Is Not Appropriate or Possible, the SMO Will Initiate a Fact-Finding Investigation with the Complainant's Permission.

For information on fact-finding investigations for both sexual assaults and sexual harassment, please see the "policies" link on the home page.

Go to "Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination and Harassment Policy"


Q:  What Do I Do if I Am Being Accused of Sexual Harassment?

A:  If the behavior is brought to your attention, ask for a description of what was offensive and who found it offensive.

Consider the Following Actions:

  • If you realize that you have been inappropriate, you may wish to consider apologizing as soon as possible, and determining if some form of mediation offered through the SMO or EOO would be appropriate.
  • Change your behavior.
  • Recognize that other steps may need to be taken.
  • Be careful of inappropriate advice that would lead you to minimize or ignore this issue.
  • Seek the advice of appropriate University resources.
  • Attend sexual harassment training.
  • Know the policy on sexual harassment.
  • Avoid behavior that could be construed as retaliation.

Q:  Is the Complaint Process Confidential?

A:  Any person needing assistance about sexual assault or sexual harassment may call or make an appointment with the SMO or EOO.  You will not be required to give your name or anyone else's name to receive information and advice on your options and referrals. Resources are available for advice and information regarding reports of sexual harassment or sexual assault that are confidential.

Examples of Confidential Resources Include

  • Counselors in the Employee Assistance program for employees and at counseling centers on the respective campus; OU Advocates (405) 615-0013 (advocates trained through the Gender + Equality Center).
  • Individuals who consult confidential resources must be advised that their discussions in these settings will not be considered reports of sexual harassment and will not, without additional action by the individual, result in any action by the University to resolve their concerns.

Procedures provide for protecting the privacy of individuals involved in a report of sexual harassment to the extent allowed by law and University policy.  A report of sexual harassment may result in the gathering of extremely sensitive information about individuals in the University community. Although such information is considered confidential, state law regarding access to public records and disclosure of personal information may require disclosure of certain information regarding a report of sexual harassment. In such cases, every effort will be made to redact the records in order to protect the privacy of individuals.

Individuals wishing to make reports of sexual harassment must understand that certain University employees, such as the SMO or EOO, managers, supervisors, and other designated employees responsible for reporting or responding to reports of sexual harassment, have an obligation to respond to reports of sexual harassment, even if the individual making the report requests that no action be taken. The express wishes of individuals regarding the confidentiality of reports of sexual harassment will be considered in the context of the University's legal obligation to ensure a working and learning environment free from sexual harassment and the rights of the accused to be informed of the allegations and their source. Some level of disclosure may be necessary to ensure a complete and fair investigation, although requests for confidentiality will be maintained to the extent posssible.

Q.  What Is Sexual Misconduct?

A.  Sexual misconduct is a general term which covers a range of crimes, including rape and sexual violence.  See the Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination and Harassment Policy.


Q.  How Can I Help Change the Culture or Learn More?

A.  Visit our website ( and attend one of the Our Voice campaign trainings under the "How You Can Help" tab.


Main Office
Five Partners Place, 201 Stephenson Parkway, Suite 4300
Norman, Oklahoma 73019


Satellite Office
Walker Center, 1406 Asp Ave., Room W220
Norman, Oklahoma 73019

Office: (405) 325-2215  ~  Fax:  (405) 325-1057