HEC policy guidelines against Sexual Harassment in Institutions of Higher Learning

HEI’s are dedicated to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge. Their members enjoy certain rights and privileges essential to these twin objectives. Central among these rights and privileges is the freedom, within the law, to pursue what seem to them fruitful avenues of inquiry; to teach and to learn unhindered by external or non-academic constraints; and to engage in full and unrestricted consideration of any opinion. Thas freedom extends not only to members of the HEI’S but to all who are invited to participate in its forum. All members of the HEI’s must recognize this fundamental principle and must share responsibility for supporting, safeguarding and preserving this central freedom. Behavior which
obstructs free and full discussion, not only of ideas which are safe and accepted but of those whach may be unpopular or even abhorrent, vitally threatens the integrity of the HEl,and cannot be tolerated.
Suppression of academic freedom would prevent the HEI from carrying out its primary functions. In particular, as an autonomous institution HEI is protected from any efforts by lhe state or its agents to limit or suppress academic freedom. Likewise, neither offlcers of the HEI nor private individuals may limit or suppress academic freedom.The common good of society depends upon the search for knowledge and its free exposition. Academic freedom does not require neutrality on the part of the individual; on the contrary, academic freedom makes commitment to a position or course of action possible. Academic freedom carries with it the duty to
use that freedom in a manner consistent with the scholarly obligation to base research and teaching on an honest search for knowledge. ldeally, the Higher Education Institutes (HEls) are places where administrators, faculty, employee/staff, and students (all levels/categories) work and learn in an environment free from intimidating, offensive, and hostile behaviors. Sexual harassment vitiates such an environment. Therefore, each member of the HEI campuses must have mechanisms to provide their members with the opportunity to develop intellectually, professionally, personally, ethically, morally and socially in an environment free of intimidation and harassment.