A Handbook to Freedom of Expression at Pacific University

We are committed to free and open inquiry in matters concerning the advancement of knowledge. In order to carry out our mission, we encourage all community members to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn through a full, open, and civil discussion of ideas. Freedom of expression is vital to our shared pursuit of knowledge.

This document covers academic freedom; civility within the university and classroom; equity, diversity and inclusion; the student code of conduct; the students' academic rights and responsibilities; employee code of conduct; equal opportunity; and, the Pacific University core values.  

This document was endorsed by the Pacific University President's Cabinet December 1, 2018. 

Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018

Admissions Policy


Pacific University admits* students based on their demonstrated preparedness to succeed in the course of study leading to the given degree and, where relevant, in the professions that the degree serves. Within established university protocols respecting requirements by the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities and, where applicable, specialized accreditation requirements, each academic program defines the specific qualifications required for admission and has the authority to make exceptions in order to support the most appropriate admissions decisions based on holistic assessments of applicants.

* Criteria for admissions is distinct from criteria for transfer of credits. Transfer of credits for application to Pacific degrees is governed by the “University Transfer Policy;” undergraduate transfer is additionally governed by the “Undergraduate Transfer Credits Policy."

Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020

Animal Control Policy

POL - U1024

Pacific University campus animal policies shall be in conformity with state, county, and city ordinances and regulations. In conformity with Oregon Health regulations relative to food services, no animals are allowed in the University Center.

The President, or her/his designee, shall duly assign administrative responsibility to implement these policies. Violations of this animal policy may result in calling the appropriate authority requesting removal of the animal.

See other applicable Pet/Animal Policies: Service and Companion Animal Policy

Friday, June 1, 2018

Business Conduct Policy


Committed to the highest standards of moral and ethical behavior, employees are expected to report known or suspected fraudulent or dishonest conduct. Employees reporting known or suspected fraudulent or dishonest conduct in good faith must feel safe and protected from retaliation. Employees found to have been making frivolous claims under this policy will be subject to disciplinary action. The purpose of this policy statement is to provide a formal protocol for communication among relevant parties.

Pacific University will investigate any possible fraudulent or dishonest conduct, including misuse of University resources or property by faculty, staff or students. Anyone found to have engaged in fraudulent or dishonest conduct is subject to disciplinary action by the University up to and including dismissal or expulsion, and civil or criminal prosecution when warranted.

All members of the University community are encouraged to report possible fraudulent or dishonest conduct. An employee should report his or her concerns to their manager. Managers are required to report suspected fraudulent or dishonest conduct to the Vice President of Finance and Administration. If for any reason an employee finds it difficult to report his or her concern to a manager, the employee can report it directly to the Vice President of Finance and Administration (VPFA), the Director of Human Resources, or the University Controller/Assistant VPFA.

Fraudulent or dishonest conduct may include criminal acts, subject to prosecution under the law. The university must safeguard its assets and reputation and protect its funds from theft and misappropriation. This policy provides information on the proper procedures that should be followed to report known or suspected fraudulent or dishonest conduct. These procedures have been developed to achieve confidentiality and consistency. In addition, this policy establishes a central collection point for reporting all known or suspected fraudulent or dishonest conduct so that financial and system controls can be thoroughly and consistently reviewed, evaluated and modified in order to prevent similar irregularities in the future.

See policy for more information. 

Contact Information

Office of the President, 503-352-2123, president@pacificu.edu

Finance and Administration, 503-352-2258

Human Resources, hraccount@pacificu.edu

Friday, May 17, 2013

Change of Information Policy

POL - U1021

It is the responsibility of staff members to update relevant information such as address, telephone number or tax status, in applicable systems and if unable, the staff member shall notify the Human Resource Office of changes.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Charitable Gaming Policy


This policy applies to anyone seeking to conduct a charitable gaming activity to raise money to benefit any part of Pacific University.


  • Charitable gaming: consists of bingo, raffle and Monte Carlo events in which the proceeds are used to fund the activities of tax-exempt nonprofit organizations. Regulated by the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ).
  • Sponsoring party: organization within the university intending to offer a charitable gaming activity, may include employees, parents, students and/or alumni.
  • Charitable donation: A charitable donation is a gift made by an individual or an organization to a nonprofit organization, charity or private foundation. Charitable donations are commonly in the form of cash, but they can also take the form of real estate, motor vehicles, appreciated securities, physical items and other assets or services.


  • Charitable gaming activities sponsored by parties within Pacific University must follow the laws of the state in which the activity is held, regardless of the beneficiary of the activity. Pacific University will not conduct charitable gaming activities in states where such activity is illegal.
  • All charitable gaming activities must be reported to University Advancement— see below for additional details, and University Advancement may forbid such activities if they are not compliant with the laws of the state in which the activity will take place. advancementrequests@pacificu.edu or 503-352-2057.
  • University Advancement will maintain a record of all charitable gaming activity and secure and maintain Pacific University’s charitable gaming license(s).

Please see policy document for more information.
PUNID required to view policy. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Complaint Resolution Procedure - Staff

POL - U1011

In any organization, misunderstandings and problems can develop which require clarification and attention. These disagreements may involve peers or an employee and a supervisor. Each person involved in a disagreement should be treated with respect and a grievance should not be discussed with anyone other than the person(s) involved in its resolution. Pacific University provides each employee with this process for resolving a work-related complaint.

This policy does not apply to complaints related to harassment based on race, color, sex, religion, age, marital status, national origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, sexual orientation or any other basis protected by applicable local, state or federal law. These concerns should be reported immediately following the procedures outlined in the Harassment Including Sexual Harassment policy.

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018

Conflict of Interest

POL - U1012

A conflict of interest is considered to exist if an employee’s actions, activities or practices on behalf of the University result in preferential treatment or an improper gain or advantage to the employee, the individual’s family or business associates, or conversely, has a detrimental effect on the University’s interests. It can include an instance in which an employee fails to exercise due care, skills and judgment on behalf of the University on the performance of the individual’s duties because of a conflict of interest.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Consensual Relationship Policy

POL - U1009

For purposes of this policy, a consensual relationship is a mutually acceptable intimate, romantic and/or sexual relationship between a University employee with supervisory, teaching, evaluation or advisory authority and an employee or student who is supervised, taught or advised by that employee. 

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010

COVID-19 Telework Policy

Any telework arrangement approved under this policy is intended to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, without putting undue burden, undue added expense, or undue operational difficulty on the supervisor, team, department, and/or University. This policy is only applicable during time periods when the University has determined that this policy is necessary because of the Coronavirus situation. The University reserves the right to revoke this policy and the arrangements approved under this policy at any time, based on the University’s sole discretion.

TeleWork Agreement Form (Form only)

Friday, March 20, 2020

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy


To support the health and well-being of our community during a declared pandemic, Pacific University (“Pacific”) is implementing a COVID-19 vaccination policy.

This policy is designed to be consistent with federal, state, and local public health guidance.This policy is a critical part of our overall strategy and commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy working environment in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This policy is designed for use together with, and not as a substitute for, other COVID-19 prevention and mitigation measures outlined in Pacific’s HR Return to Campus Guidelines for Faculty & Staff and corresponding guidance documents provided to students.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy - Spanish

Friday, April 30, 2021

Distance Education Policy


This policy's purpose is to ensure that academic programs defined as distance education or including distance education components have processes through which the program, 1) establishes that the student who registers in a distance education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the course or program and receives the academic credit, 2) protects the privacy of student information in these processes, 3) informs students of these processes and any related costs, and, 4) complies with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations for distance education.

Pacific programs that offer distance education must maintain effective identity verification processes to establish that a student enrolled in distance courses or programs is the same person whose achievements are evaluated and credentialed. The program must ensure that the identity verification process protects student privacy and that students are informed, in writing at the time of enrollment, of current and projected charges associated with the identity verification process. Programs must additionally comply with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations for distance education, including regulations specific to enrolling students who reside outside of Oregon.


Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020

Emergency Closures Policy

POL - U1017

Pacific University will make every attempt to keep offices and services operating inclement weather. However, there are occasions when severe inclement weather may necessitate closure of the university. In that event, the procedures within this policy will be observed. 

In the event of emergency closure, the University’s web site (www.pacificu.edu) will be updated with information about closures and /or late openings at the Forest Grove, Portland, and Eugene campuses. In addition, the University’s main switchboard at 503-357-6151 will have a recorded message if the University is closed. It is the responsibility of each employee to monitor this information. Additionally, information will be placed on local media regarding the University’s closures or late openings, but keep in mind that television and radio stations need extra time to update these messages.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Emergency Response System Policy

POL - U1018

In the event of an emergency the Pacific University Emergency Plan provides the guidelines to minimize the threat to life, health, and property due to natural disasters, medical emergencies, fires, and utility failures. The Pacific University General Emergency Plan is known to the campus community and is distributed to managers, supervisors, and student representatives. Training sessions are provided for all employees and students.

If, in the view of the University President or his/her designee, a condition occurs that might endanger the health and welfare of students, faculty, staff, or property of Pacific University, the Emergency Administrative System (EAS) will be activated by the University President or designee. Identified personnel will proceed immediately to open the Emergency Operations Center and follow established priority objectives and oversee response and recovery activities.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Employment of Relatives

POL - U1013

The University will not prohibit the employment of relatives provided that the employment does not create a conflict of interest and has been based on merit principles and that a member of the employee’s family does not influence the selection process.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Employment Verification Policy

POL - U1031

Pacific University will verify employment and respond to reference requests regarding current and former faculty and staff to outside organizations who request such information for credit or employment purposes.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Equal Opportunity Policy

POL - U1001

The Equal Opportunity Policy provides the framework for upholding inclusion, diversity and equity at Pacific University in all academic and employment practices.

Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016

Faculty and Staff Tuition Assistance Policy


This policy describes the tuition assistance available to benefit eligible employees for graduate/professional programs at Pacific University.

For selected Pacific programs of study that are not already covered by the University employee tuition remission policy, and that are designed for working professionals, such as those with hybrid or distance- based curricula and/or a part time schedule, benefit eligible employees may receive tuition assistance not to exceed the value set annually by the IRS per calendar year as tax exempt, toward their Pacific degree program. Tuition charges and applicable fees in excess of the IRS approved amount will be the financial responsibility of the employee. Employees must be admitted and matriculated into a degree or certificate program to receive this benefit, and must maintain the program standard for academic good standing. Failure to maintain sufficient academic standards will result in a loss of this benefit.

For each new cohort (class) the Colleges may accept eligible and qualified employees as students in each degree or certificate program on a space available basis. Note that each program maintains ultimate decision-making authority on admissions decisions per program policies, procedures. Once an employee is accepted into the program, the tuition assistance will continue until the employee graduates as long as academic good standing is continuously maintained.


  • Employees must be in good standing
  • Employees must have been employed at Pacific for at least one year
  • Employees must be benefit eligible
  • Employees must be admitted to the program BEFORE they can apply for the assistance

Please see full policy for eligible programs. 

PUNID required to view policy. 

Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021

Financial Irregularity

POL - U1014

Committed to the highest standards of moral and ethical behavior, employees are expected to report known or suspected financial irregularities. Employees reporting known or suspected financial irregularities in good faith must feel safe and protected from retaliation. Employees found to have been making frivolous claims under the policy will be subject to disciplinary action. The purpose of this policy statement is to provide a formal protocol for communication among relevant parties.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Floating Holiday Award for Commencement Event Staff Policy and Procedures

Pacific University has adopted a Floating Holiday Award for Commencement Event Staff to recognize the additional duties and contributions for exempt staff when assisting with the May and August commencement ceremonies.  


Floating Holiday Award for Commencement - HR Procedures Document


Tuesday, March 12, 2024