Code of Conduct

The Institute for Rock Magnetism (IRM) at the University of Minnesota stands firmly against all forms of discrimination and harassment. As a science support organization we value the pursuit and advancement of science and scientific careers within a culture of respect, inclusion, and equity for all. The IRM has created this Code of Conduct to: 

  • Describe our commitment to a safe and respectful environment for all IRM visitors, faculty, researchers, students, contractors, guests, etc;
  • Ensure that all IRM visitors have access to resources and support for addressing and resolving interpersonal conflicts, including gender-based discrimination, harassment, and sexual assault;
  • Detail specific reporting procedures to enable rapid communication and response in the event that any IRM visitor feels unsafe.


Other relevant University of Minnesota and School of Earth and Environmental policies are summarized and available online:   

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Guiding Principles

The IRM strives to create a respectful and safe environment for everyone regardless of their professional position or role in the facility. We affirm as a community that we will each contribute to a facility that is free from exploitation, intimidation, and harassment (including sexual harassment), and free from discrimination based on ethnic or national origin, race, religion or spiritual beliefs, citizenship, language, political or other opinions, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, age, economic class, or any other social, personal, or professional identity. In addition, the IRM opposes all forms of bullying including threatening, humiliating, coercive, or intimidating conduct that causes harm to or interferes with professional activity and careers. We expect all members of our community to conduct themselves according to the highest standards of scientific integrity and professional ethics.

We also value actions that promote mental and physical health and safety of our community members and visitors to the IRM, including during IRM-sponsored events, such as Summer Schools and Conferences.

The guiding principles and expectations of this Code of Conduct are consistent with the principles of academic freedom and appreciation for the value of disagreement, debate, and constructive criticism in all aspects of our work. It is possible to have a flourishing culture of creativity and open discussion while also fostering a climate of respect and a tradition of safety for everyone in our community.


Treat others with professional courtesy and fairness.

  • Be respectful, fair and civil. Speak candidly and truthfully. Engage with others at the IRM openly, honestly, and in the spirit of collegial intellectual debate. We value a diversity of views and opinions;
  • IRM staff, visitors, and partners will adhere to the University of Minnesota Codes of conduct for students (undergraduate and graduate) and employees;
  • All communications involving IRM staff, visitors, and partners should be appropriate for a professional audience. Biased, harassing, racist, or other disrespectful language and imagery is not tolerated. This applies to email, social media posts, and other modes of communication;
  • A hostile working environment is not acceptable. This applies to everyone at the IRM regardless of their role in the facility. All IRM staff, visitors, and partners have the right to be free from discrimination, unlawful harassment, sexual misconduct, and violence. Title IX is a federal law that gives everyone the right to equal access to education and employment in the absence of sexual harassment and gender discrimination;
  • These community policies regarding communication and behavior do not exclude the possibility of criticism or free expression of opposing or controversial views; such expressions can be done in a professional, courteous way that shows respect for the opinions and experiences of others.


IRM staff, visitors, and partners will follow University of Minnesota policies regarding the responsible conduct of research (RCR), including safety protocols and ethical research practices.

  • The IRM respects the right of individuals or groups to file complaints about the workplace climate or violations of this Code, without fear of retaliation;
  • Ethical behavior and safety are everyone’s responsibility. However, leaders in research, teaching, or other IRM-sponsored activities should model best practices, including integrating safety into their teaching and research plans and proactively training participants.


IRM staff, visitors, and partners will follow University of Minnesota policies prohibiting sexual harassment and bullying.

  • IRM staff, visitors, and partners must complete all required training associated with the prevention of sexual harassment and bullying and be aware of policies and reporting procedures;
  • IRM staff, visitors, and partners will strive to eliminate hostile or exclusionary behavior that discriminates – intentionally or unintentionally – against an individual based on their identity, beliefs, or other personal, social, or professional history or characteristics. Some IRM employees have an obligation to report and take action in response to misconduct that they learn about, while all others are encouraged to act as engaged bystanders. An engaged bystander is someone who lives up to the responsibility by intervening before, during, or after a situation when they see or hear behaviors that threaten, harass, or otherwise encourage unacceptable behaviors. We affirm that this can be difficult, particularly if a power differential is involved, and yet such intervention is a powerful way to help stop an incident or pattern of behavior;
  • The regulations of the University of Minnesota must be respected at all times.


Be aware of special responsibilities and dynamics in relationships involving training at the IRM.

  • IRM staff, visitors, and partners will promote an educational experience that is intellectually stimulating and free of harassment for all facility users;
  • IRM staff, visitors, and partners will be supportive, accessible, encouraging, and aware of the power imbalance in trainer–trainee relationships.

Reporting and Confidentiality

If you are the subject of unacceptable behavior or have witnessed any such behavior, then we want you to know about all of the reporting options that are available to you and their associated levels of confidentiality. 

As University of Minnesota employees, all IRM faculty and staff are ‘mandatory reporters’ and must report incidents of sexual harassment, any form of discrimination (including harassment), and relationship violence to the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) office. Sexual violence and sexual harassment include sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, sexual exploitation, invasions of sexual privacy, and retaliation. We want to help all IRM visitors feel safe, but if confidentiality is a concern, then please keep this in mind.  

If, as a student, you feel reluctant to report an incident, consider asking another student to assist in making a report and/or using the anonymous reporting systems described below. 

Options for reporting misconduct of various types include: 

  • The EOAA website: for reporting sexual misconduct, discrimination, harassment, nepotism, or retaliation; this site has a link to the anonymous UReport system. Note that the EOAA can also assist with consultation and informal problem-solving, in addition to more formal investigations that could lead to disciplinary action. Please do not hesitate to contact the EOAA if you want to discuss or report a problem;
  • The Bias Response and Referral Network (BRRN): reporting is anonymous. The BRRN responds to all reports of bias on the UMN-Twin Cities campus and refers those making a report to the best resource for the reported issue. The BRRN is not involved in investigations or discipline, and does not involve the police in complaints. All reports to the BRRN are logged so that UMN leaders can be aware of the numbers and types of incidents reported;
  • The University also has a confidential (anonymous) Ethical Advocate online reporting system. This is only available for UMN staff and students;
  • The Aurora Center for Advocacy & Education provides free and confidential crisis intervention to victims of sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking and harassment. It is a safe and confidential place for victims of sexual misconduct to receive support and advocacy. It is always the victim's/survivor’s decision whether or not to report the incident to the police or to university investigators – the Aurora Center never makes victim/survivors report to authorities.


IRM staff are always available to offer support, including accompanying visitors and activity participants to competent resource centers and/or facilitating any complaint of misconduct.

Possible consequences for violating the Code of Conduct

The IRM will not tolerate harassment, bullying, or discrimination. Some incidents can potentially be addressed by discussion and mediation. If necessary, more significant steps will be taken, as guided by University, College, and/or School/Department policies and input from administrative leaders. As noted above, we affirm the right of any individual to report incidents using whatever mechanism they choose; this choice to a large extent guides the next steps and possible outcomes.

In accordance with  University and Department policy, potential consequences for IRM faculty, staff, and postdoctoral scholars may include:

  • Negative performance evaluations resulting, for example, in loss of a merit raise for a specified period of time; 
  • Disqualification for award nominations for a specified time;
  • Loss of ability to recruit new grad students and/or supervise undergraduate students for a specified period of time; if warranted, supervision of current students may involve additional scrutiny by the appropriate program committee;
  • Required training in relevant workshops or courses;
  • Reassignment of space (office, lab) if necessary as part of the remedy of the problem;
  • Unpaid leave, or in severe cases, termination.


Possible consequences for IRM graduate and undergraduate students include the following, in addition to any required by the Department and University:

  • Negative performance evaluations (graduate students);
  • Loss of eligibility for departmental resources (e.g. travel funds, fellowships or scholarships) for a specified period of time;
  • Loss of access to IRM facility and departmental spaces, such as the undergraduate lounge or a shared graduate office;
  • Removal from a course or activity (such as an IRM field trip or event), with possible academic consequences;
  • Written reprimand, or in severe cases, suspension or expulsion in accordance with University of Minnesota policies.


Consequences for visitors, collaborators, and IRM event participants may include being banned from access to additional IRM activities, spaces, and/or other resources.

Persons deemed to have violated a University or School policy or Code of Conduct will be informed in writing. Depending on the issue, including its severity and how it is reported, communication will be from EOAA, the College of Science & Engineering Dean’s office, the head of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, a center director, committee chair, or other supervisor. In some cases, the individual making the report will not be informed of the specific results of an investigation or decisions about consequences.

Personal Safety while at the IRM

Personal safety is paramount to any good work environment and climate; the Safe Campus website has information and resources related to substance abuse, crime and threats, health emergencies, mental health, sexual misconduct prevention, transportation safety, and workplace (including lab) safety. In addition:

  •  The University of Minnesota Police Department offers a free 624-WALK (+1 612-624-9255) service which provides free walking and vehicle escorts to and from campus locations and nearby adjacent neighborhoods for all students, staff, faculty and visitors (note: vehicles escorts are not always available);
  • The RAVE Guardian Campus Safety App, which provides a ‘virtual escort’: once registered and a user profile is created, one may request a virtual escort by selecting the ‘Virtual Escort’ button, entering the destination location and the time to get there. The app offers the possibility of inviting friends and family to be "Social Guardian” and monitor the user along the way;
  • The University of Minnesota (UMN) Late Night Transportation Map, available during the academic semester and inclusive of QR codes for:

Dissemination and future review of the Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct will be publicly available on the IRM website and sent via email to all IRM members at the University of Minnesota at the beginning of each academic year.

This Code should be shared with all IRM users, visitors, collaborators, or other partners in IRM-sponsored activities; it is the responsibility of the IRM personnel involved in those activities to share the Code.

Communications about the Code of Conduct will make clear that all IRM personnel, students, and visitors are subject to the stated possible consequences for violating the Code of Conduct. IRM members who are subject to annual performance reviews will be asked to confirm in their annual report that they have read the Code of Conduct.

The Code will be periodically reviewed. Responsibility for reviewing and updating the Code rests with the IRM Director, Associate Director, and/or the IRM’s Review and Advisory Committee. Any one of these can initiate a review and present a revised Code for discussion and comment by IRM community members.

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