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Policies and Procedures

UC Merced's policies and codes of conduct spell out the rights and responsibilities of students and employees in ensuring that UC Merced is a safe environment, and how the University addresses reports of discrimination, harassment, sexual violence and sexual harassment.

University of California Policies

Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment (SVSH)

This Policy addresses the University’s responsibilities and procedures related to sexual violence, sexual harassment, retaliation, and other prohibited behavior as those terms are defined in this Policy (together, “Prohibited Conduct”) in order to ensure an equitable and inclusive education and employment environment. The Policy defines Prohibited Conduct and explains the administrative procedures the University uses to resolve reports of Prohibited Conduct.

Discrimination and Harassment

The University is committed to maintaining a community dedicated to the advancement, application, and transmission of knowledge and creative endeavors through academic excellence, where all people who participate in University programs and activities can work and learn together in an atmosphere free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. 

The Anti-Discrimination Policy applies to all employees, students, and third parties, and addresses the University’s responsibilities related to Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation, as defined in this Policy (together, “Prohibited Conduct), and explains the administrative procedures used to resolve reports.

The Protected Categories (an identity protected by federal or state law) covered by this Policy include: race, religion, color, citizenship, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, lactation or related medical conditions), gender, gender identity, gender expression, gender transition, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability (including having a history of a disability or being regarded as being disabled), medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), predisposing genetic information (including family medical history), marital status, age (at least 40 years of age), or veteran or military status.

Affirmative Action

UC Merced is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and compliance with all laws and regulations pertaining to both. The university hires, assigns work, promotes, compensates, and retains employees only on the basis of their qualifications, performance, and our business needs.

Affirmative Action is the set of public policies and initiatives designed to help eliminate past and present discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. While California Constitutional provisions, better known as Proposition 209, prevent targeting any specific group based on protected categories, the idea of fostering a rich and diverse workforce and student body remains a critical value at UC Merced.

Gender Recognition & Lived Name

Gender identity is fundamentally personal, and the University of California should ensure that all individuals have university-issued identification documents and displays of personal identification information that recognize their accurate gender identity and lived name (first name, middle name and/or last name or surname). As a public research university, the collection of gender identity data is necessary for federal reporting and assessing gender equity. As such, this policy also provides guidance on the collection and reporting of gender identity, lived name and sexual orientation.

Abusive Conduct in the Workplace

The University is committed to promoting and maintaining a healthy working environment in which every individual is treated with respect. This policy addresses the University’s responsibilities and procedures related to Abusive Conduct and Retaliation for reporting, or participating in, an investigation or other process provided for in this policy. This policy will be implemented in a manner that recognizes rights to freedom of speech and expression. However, freedom of speech and academic freedom are not limitless and, for example, do not protect speech or expressive conduct that violates federal and state anti-discrimination laws.

If the conduct reported under the Abusive Conduct Policy is sex-based or based on one or more Protected Categories, the reports are forwarded to OPHD for review and to determine the appropriate action in accordance with the SVSH and Anti-Discrimination policies.  

Protecting Minors on Campus

UC Merced is committed to protecting the safety and welfare of minors who visit our campus or who are included in a variety of programs and activities sponsored by the University or by third parties using University facilities or resources. In addition many of our undergraduate students are under the age of 18.

Clery Crimes and Reporting Obligations

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998 (Clery Act) requires colleges and universities to report campus crime data, support victims of violence, and publicly outline the policies and procedures they have put into place to improve campus safety. The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires institutions to disclose statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus and/or in certain off-campus buildings or property owned, leased, or controlled by the university.

UC Merced Values, & Principles of Community

  • Statement of Ethical Values and Standards of Ethical Conduct 
    Members of the University of California community are committed to the highest ethical standards in advancing our mission of teaching, research and public service. We recognize that we hold the University in trust for the people of the State of California. Our policies, procedures and standards provide guidance for application of the ethical values stated below in our daily life and work as members of this community.

  • Principles of Community reflect our ongoing efforts to increase access and inclusion and to create a community that nurtures lifelong learning and growth for all of its members. We encourage every member of the UC Merced community to join us in our collective pursuit of these principles.

Federal Laws, Regulations and Guidelines

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Title VI

Title VII

Title IX

Related UC Merced Sites

  • The Campus Advocacy, Resources, & Education (CARE) Office  provides free and confidential advocacy services for those affected by sexual violence, dating/domestic violence, and stalking.  CARE also provides prevention education for the UC Merced community.  CARE welcomes students, staff and faculty of all gender identities, sexual orientations, races/ethnicities, classes and abilities.

  • The Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities oversees the student disciplinary system for reports of suspected student misconduct, both academic and nonacademic (e.g., computer misuse, alcohol and other residence hall violations, theft, and conduct that threatens health and safety)

  • Human Resources:  oversees all personnel processes for staff. 

  • Academic Personnel Office: oversees all personnel processes for academic appointees, especially recruitment, advancement, leaves, and retention.  We ensure that such processes align with University of California policies, and update policies as needed.