Skip to main content

Work Environment and Behaviors

Northwestern University is committed to creating a welcoming, respectful, accessible, safe, and inclusive environment for all members of its community. An inclusive workforce and environment increases effectiveness and efficiency in the way we work and learn, promotes the development of new ideas, and enhances the University’s ability to continue to be innovative in an increasingly complex, competitive, and diverse world.

As a member of the Northwestern community, if you have knowledge of an action taken by an employee of the University that conflicts with or is in violation of policies, you must act on that knowledge and contact the proper University office.

Reporting misconduct

Responsibility to act

If you believe you have been treated in an inappropriate manner, please contact your supervisor. Your supervisor, department chair, or dean, is responsible to work with the individuals involved in addressing the situation, so that all members of the community can work together in a professional way. Additional assistance is available in Human Resources.


For guidance on identifying potential discrimination, harassment, threatening behavior or violence, and for the best ways to deal with these incidents, contact Human Resources.


Behavioral Consultation Team

Northwestern’s Behavioral Consultation Team considers potential threats and addresses aberrant, dangerous, or threatening behavior that might impact the safety or well-being of the campus community and provides guidance and best practices for preventing violence and providing supportive services.

If you become aware of or are concerned that anyone may pose a threat to the Northwestern community, contact the University Police Communication Center at (847) 491-3456 (Evanston) or (312) 503-3456 (Chicago). For further information about the Behavioral Consultation Team and identifying persons-of concern, review the Northwestern Behavioral Consultation Team Policy.

For guidance on Mandated reporters

All staff members, regardless of your position or assignment, are mandated reporters under the Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act. As such, staff members who have reasonable cause to believe that a child under the age of 18 may be neglected or abused are required by law to report their suspicions immediately to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Reporting shall occur by calling the DCFS hotline at (800) 25-ABUSE, followed by a written report within 48 hours.

For additional information, review the University’s Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect policy.

Any member of the Northwestern community who is involved in or witnesses violent behavior on campus should report the incident as follows:

Alternatively, the observer may report the incident to the Office of the Provost, Human Resources, or the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. Faculty and staff who have reason to believe that a student is missing, or who receive a missing student report, must immediately contact Northwestern University Police at (847) 491-3456. For more information, visit Northwestern's Missing Student Policy


A community member who displays inappropriate conduct is subject to disciplinary action up to and including separation of the offending party from the University, consistent with Northwestern University disciplinary procedures.


Visitors, vendors, contractors, and the families of members of the community are required to display appropriate conduct at all times. Noncompliant behavior will lead to removal from the campus.