Student Mistreatment

Rocky Vista University’s Physician Assistant Program (RVU PA) recognizes its obligation to its students, faculty, staff, and community, to maintain the highest ethical standards. As part of this obligation, the RVU PA Program has a responsibility to ensure a safe, respectful, and supportive learning environment free of belittlement, humiliation, or hostility. The PA Program is committed to providing an environment conducive to effective learning by creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and collegiality among faculty, students, staff, and our clinical partners. This policy was developed for all students, faculty, staff and preceptors to ensure this type of environment.

The RVU PA Program has adopted the following definition of student mistreatment: “Mistreatment, either intentional or unintentional, occurs when behavior shows disrespect for the dignity of others and unreasonably interferes with the learning process.” Examples of mistreatment include:

  • public belittlement or humiliation
  • verbal abuse (e.g., speaking to or about a person in an intimidating or bullying manner)
  • physical harm or the threat of physical harm • requests to perform personal services
  • being subject to offensive sexist remarks, or being subjected to unwanted sexual advances (verbal or physical)
  • retaliation or threats of retaliation against students
  • discrimination or harassment based on race, religion, color, creed, sex, gender, gender identify or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, political affiliation, mental or physical disability, genetic information, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic
  • the use of grading or other forms of assessment in a punitive or discriminatory manner.

A suboptimal work or learning environment, although not mistreatment, can interfere with learning, compromise patient care, marginalize students and cause significant distress among students. Student feedback about suboptimal learning environments should be given to course directors, to the Program Director as appropriate, or reported in student course evaluations.

If a student feels that they have been subject to mistreatment in the learning or clinical environment, the student should first communicate with the relevant student, faculty, or staff member in an effort to highlight and resolve the behaviors. Should such communication prove unsuccessful, or should the student feel, such communication would further jeopardize the student’s success in the program, student shall then schedule an in-person meeting with the program director (or the program director’s immediate supervisor, should the concern be with the program director). The program director or the program director’s immediate supervisor shall investigate the student’s concerns and formulate a plan that addresses and resolves the issue. Should this plan prove unsuccessful, the student should then refer to the RVU Student Handbook and Catalog for policies and procedures regarding processing student grievances. Additionally, the RVU PA Program is dedicated to a safe learning environment.

Students, faculty, staff, preceptors, and patients shall be treated with respect and dignity at all times. The Program expressly prohibits all conduct that interferes with the learning and working environment or otherwise creates a hostile, intimidating, or unsafe situation.

If a student feels they have been subject to mistreatment in the classroom or clinical environment, and wishes to make an anonymous report, concerns may be filed through EthicsPoint via phone (844.936.2729) or online reporting.

If a student feels that they have witnessed or been subject to sexual misconduct, or discrimination or harassment based on sex, the student should contact the University’s Title IX Coordinator. (720.874.2481;

If any student complaint is unresolved, appeals may be heard by the provost or University President.