AUI President’s statement condemning sexual harassment

There has been significant media attention recently to a report about a sexual harassment case by a tenured faculty member at a major university, leading to much introspection within the astronomy community and at research institutions across the country.

Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), the managing organization of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), wishes to take this opportunity to reaffirm its policies promoting workplace trust and respect, and its commitment to diversity and broad participation at our work sites. AUI strongly promotes equal employment opportunity, and prohibits illegal discriminatory practices, including sexual harassment. AUI does not just expect its employees to speak up when they perceive barriers to achieving these goals; our policy requires them to do so.

AUI’s corporate Policy on Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination, appended below, is complemented by specific NRAO policy guidance and procedures. Our policy for reporting workplace concerns includes categorical assurances regarding timely, confidential, and appropriate responses to staff complaints.

AUI reaffirms its prohibition of any acts of sexual harassment, and all negative workplace behaviors that might threaten the atmosphere of trust and respect, creativity and collaboration that we expect at our work sites. I can add my assurance that our commitment to a respectful and positive working environment and our intolerance of harassment applies to each and every AUI staff member, at all levels and at all facilities.

Ethan J. Schreier



 AUI Policy on Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination

AUI is committed to promoting the principles of diversity and broad participation within the workforces of AUI and its Research Centers. Every individual has the right to work in an environment where everyone is treated with respect and dignity, where equal employment opportunities are promoted and where illegal discriminatory practices, including harassment, are prohibited. All relationships among AUI employees, employment candidates, subcontractors, vendors, customers, guests and members of the general public must be business-like and free of bias, prejudice and harassment. Employees are expected to report incidents that are inconsistent with this policy. Allegations of discrimination and harassment will be promptly investigated and, when substantiated by the facts, remedial action will be taken.


AUI’s Commitment and Expectations concerning the workplace and reporting concerns

AUI manages world-class facilities that attract and retain world-class people. AUI is comprised of professionals in our respective fields and we are committed to conducting our business with integrity. This includes treating every person with respect and dignity.

AUI requires and promotes respectful, productive relationships and ethical conduct by its employees, as important institutional values in their own right, but also in order to facilitate continuous improvements in its organizational performance and that of the research centers it manages. AUI cares for its employees as people and wants them to work in an atmosphere of trust, teamwork and success, where they feel they can always speak up. AUI recognizes its employees want to know what’s expected of them, want encouragement and to experience fairness at work. AUI and NRAO provide numerous paths for reporting their concerns, including an Ethics & Integrity Line, accessed via the AUI website, which is designed to assist employees and others, including our partner organizations and any person we work with, regardless of their affiliation with AUI, to report concerns and ask questions in a confidential and secure manner.

AUI wants its employees to speak up if they perceive unethical conduct. Employees’ concerns will always be carefully considered and timely actions taken in response to them. Our employees are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and respectful manner at all times. One of the most important workplace behavior ethics is responsibility. It is each individual’s responsibility to follow through. Employees have the responsibility of following policies and making the right decisions. Leaders must support this ethical behavior in the workplace by their own good example and by holding everyone accountable to productive and fair work standards.

All trustees, directors, officers, managers, supervisors, employees, students, visitors, grantees, or suppliers of goods and services to AUI and/or its research center(s) who reasonably suspect anyone of being involved in any violation of the law, regulations, ethical rules or policies of the organization are expected to report such activity as soon as possible.