Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Nondiscrimination Policy
Lincoln Memorial University is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action educational institution. In support of its Mission Statement, LMU is committed to equal opportunity in recruitment, admission, and retention for all students and in recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, and retention for all employees. In furtherance of this commitment, Lincoln Memorial University prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in all University programs and activities. Lincoln Memorial University prohibits retaliation against any individual for 1) filing, or encouraging someone to file, a complaint of discrimination; 2) participating in an investigation of discrimination; or 3) opposing discrimination. “Retaliation” includes any adverse action or act of revenge against an individual for filing or encouraging someone to file a complaint of discrimination, participating in an investigation of discrimination, or opposing discrimination. The Office of Institutional Compliance investigates allegations of prohibited discrimination, harassment, and retaliation involving members of the LMU community.
This policy is widely disseminated in University publications, including the employee handbook and all LMU student catalogs and handbooks. All members of the University community bear responsibility for compliance with this policy. Compliance is monitored and reported annually through the offices of the Vice President for Academic Affairs; the Vice President for Enrollment, Athletics, and Public Relations; the Vice President for Academic and Student Support Service; the Office of Human Resources; and the Institutional Compliance Office.
This policy is in compliance with federal and state law, including the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Executive Order 11246, the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974 as amended by the Jobs for Veterans Act, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, as amended, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and the Tennessee Human Rights Act.
The Office of Institutional Compliance
The Office of Institutional Compliance oversees the University’s compliance with federal law and handles all complaints of discrimination. The Title IX Coordinator is designated to oversee the University’s compliance with Title IX and provides consultation, investigation, and disposition of all inquiries and complaints of alleged discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse, intimate partner violence, domestic violence, stalking, and any other forms of discrimination on the basis of sex.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and/or gender in federally funded education programs.
LMU employs a Title IX Coordinator responsible for:
- Providing notification and education of Title IX rights and responsibilities
- Consultation, investigation, and disposition of all inquiries and complaints of alleged discrimination, harassment and/or sexual misconduct
- Providing victim services as necessary
- Providing institutional monitoring and compliance assurance
Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct
Freedom and liberty from unwanted, unwelcome, or coerced sexual contact is the right of every member of the campus community. Individual responsibility and recognition of the intrinsic value of high moral and ethical standards are guiding principles for every member of the campus community to foster an atmosphere that does not tolerate unwanted sexual contact or sexual violence.
LMU does not tolerate sexual misconduct or other sexual violence committed on or off campus by or against any sector of the campus community, faculty, staff, students, or third parties. LMU responds to and investigates any report of sexual misconduct and cooperates with investigations conducted by law enforcement agencies. LMU will investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct, even if the appropriate criminal justice authorities choose not to prosecute. Sexual misconduct that is in violation of University policy, even if such conduct does not violate criminal law, will lead to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University.
Persons of any gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity, can be the victim or perpetrator of sexual misconduct or other sexual violence. All members of the campus community have the right to be free from sexual misconduct or other sexual violence regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The University encourages all members of the University community to be aware of both the consequences of sexual misconduct and the options available to victims. The University urges victims to seek assistance using appropriate resources.
What constitutes Sexual Misconduct?
Sexual misconduct incorporates a range of behaviors including sexual assault, sexual harassment, intimate partner (domestic) violence, stalking, voyeurism, and any other conduct of a sexual nature that is nonconsensual, or has the purpose or effect of threatening, intimidating, or coercing another person. Making photographs, video, or other visual or auditory recordings of a sexual nature of another person without express permission of all parties being recorded, constitutes sexual misconduct, even if the activity documented was consensual. Similarly, sharing such recordings or other sexually harassing electronic communications without consent of all parties is a form of sexual misconduct.
- Sexual Assault: sexual contact without another person’s consent by force, intimidation or through the use of a victim’s mental capacity, a state of intoxication, physical inability, physical helplessness (i.e. due to alcohol, drugs, unconsciousness, etc.), or the victim is under the age of 13. It includes, but is not limited to, rape (sexual penetration of any body orifice without consent), attempted rape, forcible sodomy, or intentional touching of a person’s intimate parts (genitals, groin, breast or buttocks).
- Consent: the act of willingly agreeing to engage in specific sexual behavior. Consent requires
that every party have the choice and ability to say “yes” or “no” to such behavior,
conduct or action at any time.
- A person whose capacity is diminished because of drugs or alcohol may not be able to consent.
- A person who is under the age of consent, as defined by state law, cannot consent.
- A person with a mental defect may not be able to consent.
- Silence or non-communication cannot be interpreted as consent.
- Consent given in response to coercion, violence, or threat of violence is not consent.
- A current or prior dating or sexual relationship does not constitute consent.
- At any point during a sexual encounter, a party may withdraw consent. After consent is withdrawn, further sexual contact is sexual assault.
- Stalking: unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual towards another person that instills fear in the person who is the subject of the attention. Stalking behaviors may include persistent patterns of leaving or sending the other person unwanted items or presents, following or laying wait for the other person, damaging or threatening to damage the other person’s property, defaming the other person or harassing the other person via social media, email or text messaging.
- Domestic Violence: abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to harm, gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.
- Dating Violence is abusive behavior in a dating relationship that is used by one partner to harm, gain or maintain power and control over another person. Dating violence can be verbal, physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.
- Sexual harassment: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical
contact of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment refers to behavior that is not welcome,
is personally offensive, is debilitating to morale and interferes with academic or
work effectiveness. It frequently (though not necessarily) occurs as an abuse of authority
where the parties are in an unequal power relationship. This conduct constitutes unlawful
sexual harassment when:
- Submission to this conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic success;
- Submission to or rejection of this conduct is used as the basis for an employment or academic decision; or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
- Sexual harassment may take different forms. One specific form is the demand for sexual
favors. Other forms of harassment can include:
- Verbal: Sexual innuendoes, suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions implied or explicit threats, and offensive or obscene language.
- Non-Verbal: Sexually suggestive objects, graffiti, cartoons, posters, calendars, writings, pictures, graphic commentaries, suggestive or insulting sounds, leering, whistling, stalking, staring and making obscene gestures.
- While sexual harassment may typically involve members of the opposite sex, it also
includes “same sex harassment,” (i.e., males harassing males and females harassing
females because of the recipient’s sex).
- Sexual harassment may be subtle or overt. Some behavior that may be appropriate in a social setting is not appropriate in the workplace or in an academic environment. Regardless of the form it takes (verbal, non-verbal or physical), sexual harassment is inherently destructive, insulting and demeaning to the recipient and will not be tolerated at LMU.
Complaint and Reporting Procedure
Individuals who experience, witness or are otherwise informed that an incident of
sexual misconduct has occurred should, with the victim’s permission, contact local
law enforcement, LMU Campus Police, an LMU security officer, or a University official
as soon as possible. Prompt reporting is important in order to preserve available
evidence, to obtain necessary treatment and support for the victim, and to prevent
further harm to others. If possible, a victim of sexual assault should not shower or change clothes before receiving medical
treatment. Complaints of any kind of sexual misconduct will be investigated with regard for
the confidentiality and protection of all persons involved in the case.
Complaints or reports should be directed to:
- Jeana Horton, Title IX Coordinator/Institutional Compliance Officer
- Troy Poore, Deputy Title IX Coordinator
|Submit complaints via email to titleixcomplaints@LMUnet.edu|
|CLICK HERE to complete an online incident form.|
In determining whether any alleged behavior constitutes a violation of LMU’s Sexual Harassment and Misconduct policy, consideration will be given to the record of the incident as a whole and the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the incidents occurred.
Reporting to Campus Police
A person who believes they are a victim of sexual assault should notify the LMU Police Department at (423) 869-6911 or the Claiborne County Sheriff (911). University personnel will arrange transportation to the emergency room for medical care and evidence collection. LMU employs a police officer certified in Advanced Domestic Violence, Child Abuse and Sexual Assault investigation.
|LMU Campus Police and Security: (423) 869-6911|
Anonymous Reporting to Campus Police
The LMU Campus Police has established a confidential tip line through which individuals can share information anonymously. Telephone calls received on the tip line are recorded on a voice message system but callers will not be identified unless the caller leaves their identifying or contact information in their recorded message.
LMU Tip Line: (423) 869-7159
Text: Text your report to 50911, type keyword LMUtip, followed by your information.
Assistance for Victims
A Counselor or Advocate with expertise in working with victims of sexual assault is available at the hospital emergency room. If a Counselor or Advocate is not available, the University will make arrangements for this service to be provided to the victim. The Counselor/Advocate can discuss options and alternatives and will help identify the most appropriate support services.
The University will assist victims in notifying the appropriate legal authorities should the victim wish to do so. The University will also assist victims in finding alternate on-campus housing accommodations, if requested, and in making any additional accommodations to remedy the effects of the misconduct, including changes to academic or work situations.
It is important that a victim understand the value of obtaining and/or receiving help in dealing with the impact of being a victim of a crime or of sexual misconduct. Existing counseling, mental health or student services for victims of sexual assault include:
LMU Counseling Services: (423) 869-6401
Additional local and national resources are listed HERE.
Sex Offender Notification
Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to visit the appropriate Sex Offender Registry for information about registered sex offenders living near an LMU campus.
- The Tennessee Sex Offender Registry: https://www.tn.gov/tbi/general-information/tennessee-sex-offender-registry.html
- The Kentucky Sex Offender Registry: http://kspsor.state.ky.us/
- The Virginia Sex Offender Registry: http://sex-offender.vsp.virginia.gov/sor/
- The Florida Sex Offender Registry: http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/
In all cases of alleged sexual misconduct, LMU will take immediate steps to protect the accused and accuser pending the outcome of the investigation and any disciplinary proceeding. Such interim steps include but are not limited to: changes to campus housing assignments, changes to academic or work schedules, the ability to withdraw from a class without penalty, no contact orders, increase security on campus, security escorts around campus, etc.
All LMU faculty and staff are mandatory reporters. If any faculty or staff learns of sexual misconduct, discrimination, or sexual assault, they must take prompt action to report to the Title IX Coordinator.
LMU will make every reasonable effort to protect the privacy of individuals involved in all consultations, investigations, and hearings, insofar as is it feasible, considering the University’s duty to investigate the complaint and take appropriate action. If a victim discloses an incident to an employee but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the University will weigh that request against the University’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all community members, including the victim. If the University honors the request for confidentiality, a victim must understand that the University’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the alleged violator(s) may be limited. However, LMU may still take steps to limit the effects of the alleged sexual misconduct and prevent its recurrence. Such steps could include but are not limited to: increased monitoring, supervision or security at the site of the alleged misconduct, additional training or educational programming for students or employees, etc. A request for confidentiality does not negate LMU’s responsibility to include the incident in any required statistical summary, such as the Annual Security Report, required by law.
Although rare, there are times when the University may not be able to honor a victim’s request in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students. LMU has designated the Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with appropriate University personnel, to evaluate requests for confidentiality once a mandatory reporter is on notice of alleged sexual violence. LMU will retain confidential documentation of all allegations and investigations and will take appropriate corrective action to remedy all violations of the confidentiality policy.
Intimidation and Retaliation
Intimidation of or retaliation against any complaining individual, any witness, or anyone involved in a sexual misconduct, harassment, or discrimination complaint is strictly prohibited. LMU will monitor any complaint or investigation, as appropriate, to ensure that no intimidation or retaliation occurs. Individuals should immediately report any perceived intimidation or retaliation to the Title IX Coordinator, the Director of Human Resources, the Dean of Students or the Associate Dean of Students. The University will not tolerate intimidation or retaliation and will take prompt and immediate steps to eliminate it and prevent any reoccurrence.