Policy on Abusive and/or Intimidating Behavior or Bullying

At the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, we are committed to tolerance, sensitivity, understanding, and mutual respect everywhere within our community, across all academic ranks, business functions, and stakeholder groups. The School is firmly committed to maintaining an environment free from abusive and/or intimidating behavior (i.e. bullying or harassment), such as words or actions that humiliate, degrade, demean, intimidate, and/or threaten an individual or group.  Violations of this policy typically involve severe, pervasive, or persistent mistreatment such that a reasonable person would find the behavior creates inhospitable working conditions and/or impairs their ability to carry out responsibilities to the institution.

Such behavior may include, but is not limited to:

  • Abusive expression (including spoken, written, recorded, visual, digital, or nonverbal) directed at another person in the workplace, such as derogatory remarks or epithets that are outside the range of commonly accepted expressions of disagreement, disapproval, or critique in an academic culture and professional setting that respects free expression;
  • Unwarranted physical contact or intimidating gestures;
  • Conspicuous and unwarranted exclusion or isolation having the effect of harming another person’s reputation in the workplace and hindering another person’s work;
  • Sabotage or threatened sabotage of another person’s work or career advancement;
  • Abuse of authority, or using threats or retaliation in the exercise of authority, supervision, or guidance, or impeding or attempting to impede another person from exercising rights under any of Harvard’s policies or procedures.

This policy is not intended to interfere with ordinary working relationships, including those involving the  solicitation or delivery of constructive negative feedback where appropriate. It simply affirms your right to conduct professional activities in an environment free from abusive behavior. 

If department or team level efforts to address abusive and/or intimidating behavior have failed, please contact Associate Dean Jennifer Ivers (ivers@hsph.harvard.edu) for additional resources to facilitate dispute resolution.

Additional resources: