SAFETY-104: Campus and Workplace Violence Prevention Policy

Impact Area: SUNY Morrisville (Morrisville campus, Norwich campus, EOC)

Author: University Police / Human Resources

Policy Summary

SUNY Morrisville is committed to providing a safe learning and work environment for the college community. The College will respond promptly to threats, acts of violence [1], and acts of aggression by employees, students and/or members of the public against employees and members of the campus community. This document sets forth standards for all members of the campus community and guidelines for reasonable precautions. The accompanying procedures outline response to threats or violence, should they occur in the workplace.

Prohibited Conduct

  1. SUNY Morrisville will not tolerate any act or threat of violence made on college property, or while in work status.
  2. No person may engage in violent conduct or make threats of violence, implied or direct, on college property or in connection with SUNY Morrisville business. This includes but is not limited to:
    1. The use of force with the intent to cause harm, e.g. physical attacks, any unwanted contact such as hitting, fighting, pushing, or throwing objects;
    2. Behavior that diminishes the dignity of others through sexual, racial, religious, or ethnic harassment;
    3. Acts or threats which are intended to intimidate, harass, threaten, bully, coerce, or cause fear of harm whether directly or indirectly;
    4. Acts or threats made directly or indirectly by oral or written words, gestures or symbols that communicate a direct or indirect threat of physical or mental harm.
  3. No person, except Police Officers in the line of duty, may carry, possess, or use any dangerous weapon on college property or SUNY Morrisville buildings or facilities without permission of the campus President.


Retaliatory action against anyone acting in good faith who has made a complaint of workplace violence, who has reported witnessing workplace violence, or who has been involved in reporting, investigating, or responding to workplace violence is a violation of this policy. Those found responsible for retaliatory action will be subject to discipline up to and including termination.

Incidents of violence, threats of violence, or observations of violence in the college community are not to be ignored by any member of the SUNY Morrisville community. Workplace violence should promptly be reported to the appropriate SUNY Morrisville official (see below). Additionally, all members of the college community are encouraged to report behavior they reasonably believe poses a potential for workplace violence, in order to maintain a safe working and learning environment.

Reporting Procedures

  1. Any person experiencing or witnessing imminent danger or personal injury or violence involving weapons or actual violence should call the University Police at 315-684-6410 or 911 immediately.
  2. Any person who is the subject of a suspected violation of the Workplace Violence Prevention Policy involving violence without weapons or personal injury, or is a witness to such suspected violation, should report the incident to his or her supervisor, or in lieu thereof, to University Police.
  3. Employees and students are expected to report any threat or act of violence that they have witnessed, received, or have been informed of, to University Police and
    1. if an employee is involved, also notify the supervisor or manager; or

    2. if a student is involved, also notify the Vice President of Student Affairs and the Coordinator of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
  4. Every threat must be reported.

  5. Any individual who makes a substantial threat, exhibits threatening behavior, or engages in violent acts on college property shall be subject to removal from the premises as quickly as safety permits, pending the outcome of an investigation, and/or civil or criminal prosecution as appropriate.


  1. All employees are responsible for helping to maintain a safe work and educational environment and are urged to take reasonable precautions to prevent violence and other unsafe conditions in the workplace and report indicators of increased risk of violent behavior including but not limited to the following examples:


  • In response to telephone inquiries, do not release information about coworkers’ schedules, home telephone numbers, or other personal information.
  • In the event of suspicious conduct, request the credentials of any stranger who enters your office to do repair or other service work. If necessary, verify the work request with the building manager.
  • Never leave money, credit card travel documents or anything else of value in an unlocked desk or cabinet.
  • If something is stolen, report it immediately to University Police.

Indicators [2]:

  • Direct or veiled threats of harm;
  • Intimidating, belligerent, harassing, bullying, or other inappropriate and aggressive behavior;
  • Numerous conflicts with supervisors and other employees;
  • Bringing a weapon to the workplace, brandishing a weapon in the workplace, making inappropriate references to guns, or fascination with weapons;
  • Statements showing fascination with incidents of workplace violence, statements indicating approval of the use of violence to resolve a problem, or statements indicating identification with perpetrators of workplace homicides;
  • Statements indicating desperation (over family, financial, and other personal problems) to the point of contemplating suicide;
  • Drug/alcohol abuse; and
  • Extreme changes in behavior.
  1. Employees and students are expected to notify University Police whenever an order of protection is granted which mentions SUNY Morrisville property, or involves a SUNY Morrisville employee, or a person working at or attending SUNY Morrisville, and provide a copy of the order. Appropriate efforts will be made to protect the privacy and sensitivity of the information provided. Employees should also notify their supervisor.
  2. Victims of domestic violence who believe the violence may extend into the college community, students or employees who believe that domestic or other personal matters may result in their being subject to violence extending into the workplace, are encouraged to notify their supervisor, or the University Police. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible.

  3. All employees have an obligation to report any incidents of violence and/or inappropriate conduct or behavior to their supervisor or University Police immediately. 
  4. Any employee or representative of employees who believes that a serious violation of a workplace violence protection program exists or that an imminent danger exists shall bring such matter to the attention of a supervisor in the form of a written notice. If, following a written notice, the matter has not been resolved and the employee or representative still believes that a violation of a workplace violence prevention program remains, or that an imminent danger exists, the employee or representative should submit the complaint to the appropriate vice president.


  1. Students are expected to adhere to the rules set forth in the Code of Conduct for Students.
  2. Students are expected to report any threat or act of violence that they have witnessed, received, or have been informed of, to University Police and
    1. If a student is involved, notify the Vice President of Student Affairs and the Coordinator of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

    2. If an employee is involved in a complaint involving a student, the employee should notify the supervisor.


  1. Each dean, director, department chairperson, administrator, or other person with supervisory responsibility (hereinafter “supervisor”) is responsible within his/her area of jurisdiction for the implementation of this policy.
  2. Supervisors are required to contact the University Police immediately in the event of imminent or actual violence involving weapons or potential physical injuries. 
  3. Supervisors must report to the University Police any complaint of workplace violence made to him/her and any other incidents of workplace violence of which he/she becomes aware or reasonably believes to exist. Supervisors are expected to inform their immediate supervisor promptly about any complaints, acts, or threats of violence even if the situation has been addressed and resolved. After having reported such complaint or incident to the University Police and immediate supervisor, the supervisor should keep it confidential and disclose it only as necessary during the investigation process and/or subsequent proceedings.
  4. Every supervisor is obligated to report any knowledge of such conduct to the Office of Human Resources immediately. Failure of a supervisor to investigate and initiate appropriate action may result in administrative action including possible discipline.

University Police

  1. University Police is responsible for:
    • responding to;
    • intervening; and documenting [3] all incidents of violence in the workplace.
  2. University Police will immediately log all incidents of workplace violence and will notify the respective supervisor of an incident with his/her employee or notify the appropriate University official of an incident with a student.
  3. University Police will maintain an internal tracking system of all threats and incidents of violence. Annual reports will be submitted to the President detailing the number and description of workplace violence incidents, the disposition of the incidents, and recommend policy, training issues, or security procedures that were or should be implemented to maintain a safe working and learning environment.

  4. When informed, University Police will maintain a record of any Orders of Protection and will provide escort service to members of the college community within its geographical confines, when sufficient personnel are available. Such services are to be extended at the discretion of the Chief of Police or designee. Only the President, or designee, in his/her absence, can authorize escort service outside of the geographical confines of the College. Employees need to contact University Police to set up escort services.

Office of Human Resources

  1. The Office of Human Resources (HR) is responsible for:
    • assisting the Chief of Police and supervisors in responding to workplace violence;
    • facilitating appropriate responses to reported incidents of workplace violence;
    • notifying the University Police of workplace violence incidents reported to HR; and
    • consulting with, as necessary, counseling services to secure professional intervention.
  2. The Office of Human Resources is responsible for providing new employees or employees transferred to the University with a copy of the Workplace Violence Policy and Procedure and ensuring that employees receive appropriate training pursuant to NYS Labor Law §27b.

  3. The Office of Human Resources will also be responsible for annually disseminating this policy to all employees, as well as posting the policy throughout the campus and on the University’s website, as appropriate.

[1] For what constitutes Workplace Violence see the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) definition in New York State Department of Labor Division of Safety and Health’s, Workplace Violence Prevention Requirements for New York State Public Employers

[2] Identified by the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, Profiling and Behavioral Assessment Unit) in Dealing with Workplace Violence: A Guide for Agency Planners by the United States Office of Personnel Management, Workforce Relations, February 1998

[3] For recordkeeping requirements see NYS Labor Law § 27-a. Safety and health standards for public employees.