Discrimination and Harassment

Unlawful discrimination and harassment has no place on the CU Denver | CU Anschutz Campus and offends the University’s core values, including a commitment to equal opportunity and inclusion. All University employees, faculty members, students and community members are expected to join with and uphold this commitment.

Robust discussion and debate are fundamental to the life of the University. Consequently, this policy shall be interpreted in a manner that is consistent with student academic freedom policy as defined in Regent Law, Article 5D.

Read the full Nondiscrimination Policy here.


Discrimination occurs when an individual suffers an adverse consequence on the basis of a protected characteristic. An adverse consequence is when someone is deprived of or denied a material benefit. Examples include failure to be hired or promoted or denial of admission to an academic program based on a protected characteristic.

Harassment means verbal or physical conduct related to a protected characteristic(s) that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment.

Whether a hostile environment exists is determined from both a subjective and an objective perspective. The subjective perspective evaluates whether or not the reporting party (complainant) experienced unwelcome conduct (based on a protected characteristic). The objective perspective evaluates whether or not the unwelcome conduct was, from the perspective of a reasonable person in the alleged reporting party’s (complainant's) position, sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits or deprives an individual from participating in or benefiting from the University’s education or employment programs and/or activities.

Harassment becomes prohibited by this policy where enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued participation or receipt of benefits from the University’s education or employment programs and/or activities. Mere offensive conduct, such as petty slights and annoyances, such as stray negative comments in an otherwise neutral evaluation, “snubbing a colleague,” or negative comments that are justified by an individual’s poor performance or history are not enough to create a hostile environment. Although repeated incidents increase the likelihood that harassment has created a hostile environment, a single or isolated incident of discrimination or harassment may be sufficient.


What categories of identity are protected characteristics? 

Under University policy, protected characteristics include race, color, national origin, pregnancy, sex, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and its expression, veteran status, and political affiliation, and political philosophy.

Read the definitions of each protected characteristic here.


What accommodations is the University required to provide?

The University is required to provide reasonable accommodations for students, staff, and faculty related to disability, religion/creed, and pregnancy. Find more information related to pregnancy, religion, and disability-related accommodations here.


Why do we have this policy?

This policy and the required campus complaint process and procedures are intended to comply with the requirements of the following federal laws, their implementing regulations and related federal agency guidance, as well as relevant state laws and the Laws of the Regents:



What if I am experiencing bullying or harassment that is not based on a protected characteristic?