Policy on Workplace Violence & Threatening Behavior


Barnard College is committed to maintaining the safety and security of all members of the Barnard community, including faculty, staff, students, alumnae, vendors, and visitors. The College will not tolerate any act of violence or behavior that is perceived to be violent or threatening from any employee or individual hired to provide services for the College.

Any act of violence or threatening behavior toward another individual(s) will result in immediate disciplinary action that may include removal from the workplace and/or termination of employment.

An employee who is found to have committed violent or threatening behavior may also be required to participate in an assessment and professional counseling through the College’s Employee Assistance Program as a condition of continued employment. Failure to cooperate with a required treatment plan may also result in further disciplinary action, up to and including termination. The College also reserves the right to initiate criminal/civil prosecution, depending on the severity of the actions.

Violent or threatening behavior includes the following:

  1. Physical attacks – e.g., fighting, hitting, shoving, inappropriate touching, throwing objects
  2. Intimidation – e.g., angry or hostile behavior intended to frighten or control; loud and inappropriate language or physical activity
  3. Bullying, aggressive language or actions with the intent of humiliating, intimidating, or demeaning another individual
  4. Threat –  verbal or physical intent to perform a harmful act; includes verbal or written suicidal threats
  5. Stalking — harassment by electronic, physical, verbal or written communication; physically following or inducing emotional or psychological harm to another individual
  6. Property damage –  intentional destruction of College property or property belonging to another
  7. Weapons – possession of a weapon; intent to do harm to oneself or others with a weapon.


Barnard College prohibits the unauthorized possession or use of weapons, explosives, and dangerous materials on its premises or in conducting its business, unless specifically authorized by the department of Public Safety. Employees should report violent or threatening behavior, suspicious activities or persons, and other prohibited conduct immediately to a manager or supervisor, and/or the department of Public Safety.


All employees of the College are required to report any incidents of violence or threatening behavior without fear of retaliation from managers or co-workers.

Employees are encouraged to be as specific and detailed as possible when making a report.

If in doubt, please contact the Office of Public Safety or the Office of Human Resources to make a confidential report. Employees should not attempt to intervene during an incident, nor place themselves in a possibly dangerous situation.


The Chief Operating Officer has recently created a Threat Assessment Committee, comprised of representatives from the Office of General Counsel, Office of Human Resources, Dean of the College, Office of the Provost, Campus Services & Department of Public Safety. The committee meets on a regular basis to review incidents, analyze behaviors and make recommendations regarding the safety of the workplace. Members of the committee will be responsible for communication of workplace violence protocol and policy, development and presentation of staff training, and determining appropriate responses to reports of threatening or violent behavior.

updated 1/28/14 - Human Resources