Collective Standards of Conduct and Values

The Department of Romance Studies expects respectful interactions amongst all people who participate in its activities: courses, events, meetings, workshops, exams, etc. In order to maintain an inclusive and just environment, we pledge to:

  • Uphold the highest standards of professional ethics and abide by Duke University’s Statement on Values, its Code of Conduct, and its Community Standard;
  • Communicate respectfully: avoid insulting, dismissive, or hateful remarks and actions;
  • Provide a clear and reliable process for reporting and responding to reports of violations of these standards;
  • Respond to observed cases of inappropriate behavior, acknowledging shared accountability for the climate of respect in our community.

The Department of Romance Studies affirms its commitment to equal opportunity and fair treatment of all members of our community, including undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, visitors, staff, and faculty. We will conduct ourselves in a manner that is welcoming to all and free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or unprofessional behavior. Respect and consideration are necessary to maintain the collegial and inclusive environment that is essential for achieving our individual and collective goals, and to fulfill the expectations of the academic profession.

Department members and visitors will abide by Duke’s Nondiscrimination Statement and its Harassment Policy, avoiding any inappropriate actions or statements based on individual characteristics such as race, color, religion, ethnicity or national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sex, genetic information, or age. Department members and visitors will also avoid any inappropriate actions or statements based on individual or group characteristics such as economic class, rank, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, ability status, or educational background. Disruptive, harassing, or unwanted behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. These behaviors include, but are not limited to, inappropriate or intimidating actions, gestures and language, unwelcome jokes or inappropriate comments, unwanted touching or attention, offensive images, and other nuisance behaviors.

All persons representing the Department of Romance Studies at external events are expected to uphold the principles of this Statement on Conduct at those venues as well. A person is representing the department if there is a reasonable expectation that event participants or observers would identify him/her as being affiliated with Duke University or the Department of Romance Studies.

All members of the community are accountable for their actions. It is important that we collaborate to prevent and to respond to actions that undermine a positive environment for work, education, research and other scholarly or professional activities. Violations of this conduct policy should be reported to a departmental administrator (the Chair, DGS, DUS, or the employee’s manager). When a potential violation is reported, the reporting party can expect to be taken seriously and to be informed of actions taken in response to the complaint, consistent with legal limits on the sharing of information about individual employees or students. Requests to keep the information confidential will be respected whenever feasible; no case will go forward without anonymity, unless with the express request of the complainant. Responses may range from verbal communication or warnings, to notification of appropriate University authorities and restrictions on participation in departmental activities. Retaliation for the reporting of incidents is a violation of this policy and of University policy.  

The expectations and process set out above apply to cases that harm the climate of the department and the wellbeing of its members. The department is legally required to notify University administrators of all complaints or cases of discrimination that violate federal law, including assault, sexual harassment, research misconduct, or asset misappropriation.

Mechanisms for discussing grievances of any type are also available through University channels designed specifically for students, staff members, or faculty members. For details, see: