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Code of Conduct

The Ohio State University Department of Linguistics believes in the central importance of ethical conduct in research and in all professional activities.  We are committed to creating a supportive intellectual community for all its members, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age, origin, religion, immigration status, or socioeconomic class, or other personal characteristics. 

Whenever people are working together closely, there is the potential for them to harm each other, through thoughtlessness or malice. A healthy community is one where people are able to work through interpersonal differences, remain open to constructive criticism, and correct inappropriate behavior; where they can receive support when they have been harmed, to find redress for harm done, and to take steps to prevent future harm.

Members of our community are expected to treat each other with respect and consideration. Inappropriate behavior may incur consequences ranging from a discussion with the chair or another department member to expulsion from the department or from specific department functions. Inappropriate behavior includes conduct that is demeaning, derogatory, harassing, offensive, or abusive; unwelcome sexual attention; and unwelcome physical contact. Beyond refraining from inappropriate behavior, we ask that all members of the community make a proactive effort to think about how they engage with others and to help us build a welcoming  and supportive department.


What to do if you experience/witness violations of the Code of Conduct:

In the case of sexual misconduct and sexual assault:

The University has strict policies in regards to Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Assault. The policy can be found here: https://hr.osu.edu/public/documents/policy/policy115.pdf

In particular, you should be aware that all University employees are required to report any cases of sexual assault that are disclosed to them. In addition, all incidents of Sexual Misconduct (defined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy) must also be reported by the following employees:

  • any human resource professionals
  • anyone who supervises faculty, staff, students, or volunteers
  • chairs/directors
  • faculty members

You should also be aware that confidentiality is not always guaranteed in these cases, and you should make sure to request confidentiality when necessary. The only individuals to whom you can disclose violations of the sexual misconduct policy with guaranteed confidentiality are the following:

  • professional counselors
  • pastoral counselors
  • medical professionals

The Student Health Center (shs.osu.edu), Counseling & Consultation Services (https://ccs.osu.edu/), and all Ohio State (and non-Ohio State) Medical Centers provide confidentiality. So do crisis hotlines such as:

Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO): ohiohealth.com/sexualassaultresponsenetwork

 and RAINN: https://www.rainn.org/;  800.656.HOPE (4673); 614.267.7020


In the case of violations other than sexual misconduct or assault:

The Linguistics Department encourages you to let someone know about inappropriate behavior that you experience or witness. You should feel free to talk to your advisor/mentor or someone else you trust as a first step. If you would like a department-internal inquiry to be made, you can report the issue to the chair of the department, the chair of the graduate studies committee, or the chair of the diversity committee.

The faculty member to whom the report is made will discuss the matter with the complainant, and the person or people about whose behavior they are concerned. If necessary, an ad hoc panel of department members will be assembled to decide on an appropriate outcome. Outcomes may include simply making a record of the incident, an arbitrated understanding between the parties involved, within-department sanctions, or the reporting of behavior to the relevant university body.

At any point in this process, you may decide that you would like to talk to someone outside the department. Some Ohio State resources are:

Please be aware that confidentiality is not always guaranteed in reporting. See Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Assault above.



OSU Policies

Graduate Student Grievance Review Guidelines (p. 94) in Program Handbook: https://gradsch.osu.edu/sites/default/files/resources/pdfs/HB_HB20171201.pdf

Policy 1.15 Sexual Harassment Frequently Asked Questions: https://hr.osu.edu/public/documents/policy/resources/115faq-relations.pdf

Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity & Non-Discrimination/Harassment Policy: https://hr.osu.edu/public/documents/policy/policy110.pdf

Code of Student Conduct: http://studentconduct.osu.edu/

Sexual Misconduct Policy: https://hr.osu.edu/public/documents/policy/policy115.pdf

Whistleblower Policy: https://odi.osu.edu/assets/pdf/ODI/policy140.pdf


On-campus Resources

Buckeyes Act: Ohio State's comprehensive plan to combat sexual misconduct and relationship violence. https://www.osu.edu/buckeyesact

Student Complaint and Grievance Systems: https://oaa.osu.edu/complaint-and-grievance-systems

Title IX Office: http://titleix.osu.edu/

Office of Diversity and Inclusion: https://odi.osu.edu/

Student Wellness Center: https://swc.osu.edu/

The Women's Place: http://womensplace.osu.edu

Implicit Bias Information: http://womensplace.osu.edu/implicit-bias-resources.html


Off-campus Resources

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Statement of Professional Ethics: https://www.aaup.org/report/statement-professional-ethics
We highlight the following key points:

  1. The primary responsibility of professors is to seek and state the truth as they see it. They accept the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They practice intellectual honesty. 
  2. As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They avoid any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students. They acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from them. They protect their academic freedom.
  3. As colleagues, professors have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. Professors do not discriminate against or harass colleagues. They respect and defend the free inquiry of associates, even when it leads to findings and conclusions that differ from their own. 

National Academies of Science report “Fostering Integrity in Research”: https://www.nap.edu/read/21896/

LSA Civility Panel: https://www.linguisticsociety.org/sites/default/files/Our%20Linguistics%20Community.pdf

Harvard’s Project Implicit: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/