OIE Annual Report Glossary


General Terms 

OIE: The Office of Institutional Equity

EO/AD: Refers to Tulane’s Equal Opportunity/Anti-Discrimination Policies (EO/AD Policies)

Administratively Closed: A case is administratively closed when there is a lack of sufficient information or evidence necessary to conduct an analysis or review  under the equal opportunity/anti-discrimination policies and/or any other Tulane school policies. For example, the report may be submitted anonymously without enough detail to verify a violation , the reporting party may decide not to move forward with a formal investigation or there may not be enough information to identify the accused party to find them responsible(i.e. a graffiti incident found after the fact).

Complainant / Reporting Party: May refer to the person who experienced alleged misconduct or the person who is reporting the alleged misconduct on someone else's behalf. Depending on which department is handling the incident, this party may also be referred to as the victim or complainant.

Discrimination: The unequal treatment of members of various groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, social class, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion, national origin, age, physical/mental abilities and other categories that may result in disadvantages and differences in provision of goods, services or opportunities.

Equity: The condition under which individuals are provided the resources they need to have access to the same opportunities as the general population. Equity accounts for systematic inequalities, meaning the distribution of resources provides more for those who need it most.

Equality: The condition under which every individual is treated in the same way, and is granted the same access, rights, and responsibilities, regardless of their individual differences.

Harassment: The use of words or actions that can be perceived as offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, demeaning and unwelcome.

Informally Resolved: Matters that conclude without a formal investigation are informally resolved. In forma l resolutions can vary and require agreement of all parties. Some examples of  of informal resolutions include conflict resolution, mediation, facilitated conversation with management, training or other restorative practices. Please note that in some cases informal resolution is not an available outcome.

Preponderance Standard: An evidentiary standard, meaning the evidence must show an event was more likely than not to have occurred.

Protected Class: The groups protected from discrimination by law. 

Protected-Class Discrimination and Harassment: Includes discrimination and/or harassment that is related to a person’s age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or veteran status. Also includes nonsexual gender-based discrimination and pregnancy discrimination.

Quid Pro Quo: A Latin phrase meaning “something for something.” Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when an authority figure or someone in a position of power offers something in return for meeting their sexual demands. It also occurs when an authority figure offers not to reprimand or punish someone in exchange for sexual favors.

Respondent: The party about whom a concern was made. Refers to the person alleged to have committed misconduct or other protected-class discrimination and harassment.

Retaliation: Action or words intentionally taken against an individual because of the individual’s participation in a protected activity such as reporting discrimination and/or harassment.

Sanction: A penalty administered for not complying with policies. he Office of Student Conduct (OSC) may administer and enforce sanctions for students  and registered student organizations. The Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) may recommend sanctions and the Office of Human Resources works with leadership to administer or enforce sanctions for employees. 

Sexual Misconduct: Includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking.

Violation: Disregarding or failing to abide by stated policies. OIE and OSC work to determine whether respondents have acted outside of the university's policies and/or equal opportunity/anti-discrimination policies


Definitions of Protected Status Classification

Age: The number of years from the date of a person’s birth. With respect to employment, individuals who are forty (40) years of age or older are protected from discrimination and harassment. There is no age threshold for students or other participants in educational programs or activities.

Color: An individual’s skin pigmentation, complexion, shade, or tone.

Disability: A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. A person with a disability is any person who has such an impairment, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment. A qualified person with a disability must be able to perform the essential functions of the employment or volunteer position or the academic, athletic, or extra-curricular program, with or without reasonable accommodation. Temporary, non-chronic impairments that do not last for a long time and that have little or no long-term impact usually are not disabilities. The determination of whether an impairment is a disability is made on a case-by-case basis.

Gender: An individual’s socially constructed status based on the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with societal attribution of masculinity and femininity, typically related to one’s assigned sex at birth.

Gender expression: How someone expresses gender through appearance, behavior, or mannerisms. A person’s gender expression may or may not be the same as the gender identity or assigned sex at birth.

Gender identity: The gender with which an individual identifies psychologically, regardless of what gender was assigned at birth.

Genetic information: Information about: (a) an individual’s genetic tests, (b) the genetic tests of family members of such individual, and/or (c) the manifestation of a disease or disorder in family members of such individual. Genetic information includes, with respect to any individual, any request for or receipt of genetic services, as well as participation in clinical research that includes genetic services by such individual or any family member of such individual.

Marital status: A person’s state of being single, married, separated, divorced, or widowed.

Military status: A person’s past, current, or future membership, service, or obligation in a uniformed service. Uniformed services include the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Army National Guard, Coast Guard, Air Force, Air National Guard, or Public Health Service commissioned corps. Certain disaster work also counts as uniformed service and qualifies an employee for protection under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”).

National origin: An individual’s actual or perceived country or ethnicity of origin. Tulane prohibits discrimination or harassment against an individual because of their ancestor’s place of origin; the individual’s physical, cultural, or linguistic characteristics relating to a particular national origin group; the individual’s marriage to or association with members of a particular national origin group; or because of the individual’s name or spouse's name is associated with a particular national origin.

Pregnancy: A person’s state of being pregnant, having children, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) forbids discrimination based on pregnancy when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits such as leave and health insurance, and any other term or condition of employment.

Race: An individual’s actual or perceived racial or ethnic ancestry or physical characteristics associated with a person, such as skin color, hair, facial features, height, and weight.

Religion: All aspects of a sincerely held religious observance, practice, and belief.

Sex: An individual’s biological status of male or female, including pregnancy. Conduct of a sexual nature is by definition based on sex as a protected status.

Sexual Orientation: The inclination or capacity to develop intimate emotional, spiritual, physical, and/or sexual relationships with people of the same sex or gender, a different sex or gender, or irrespective of sex or gender.

Veteran status: Covered veterans include disabled veterans, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, and other protected veterans as defined by federal and state law.