The University of Oxford and by extension, its Development and Alumni Engagement office, is committed to fostering an inclusive culture which promotes equality, values diversity and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all members of the University community are respected [1]. This Code of Conduct applies to all jurisdictions where Development and Alumni Engagement office activities take place, including but not limited to our offices in the UK, Europe, USA, China and Japan.  

The Development and Alumni Engagement office aims to provide an environment free from harassment, and all alumni, associates, supporters and friends have a role to play in supporting this aim. Harassment will not be tolerated on any platform or as part of any activity that is provided by the University, at a University-organised event, or by someone in their position as an official representative of the University. The Development and Alumni Engagement office does not condone harassment in any form, including in person, over the telephone, in writing or online. In addition, all visitors to University property must abide by the University Harassment Policy [2].

Where alcohol is served at events, attendees acknowledge that being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or otherwise intoxicated is not an excuse for lack of courtesy, rudeness, harassment or victimisation of staff, another attendee or guest. All attendees are advised to drink responsibly and are responsible for their own health and behaviour whilst attending a University event, regardless of where the event takes place.

Alumni, associates, supporters and friends must not represent themselves as official representatives of the University nor use University platforms for personal gain or as a podium for the promotion of political, religious, or personal agendas.  In addition, alumni, associates, supporters and friends (including volunteers) should represent themselves accurately and not falsify information, including job or degree status.

The Development and Alumni Engagement office will provide a framework of support for alumni, associates, supporters, friends, staff and other guests who feel they have been subject to harassment or have encountered a breach of this Code of Conduct during a University event, through any activity provided by the Development and Alumni Engagement office, or by someone in their position as an official representative of the University. All complaints will be investigated promptly. 

Activities provided by the Development and Alumni Engagement office include events, meetings, and written and digital communications. Benefits for eligible alumni and associates include discounts with local businesses, access to colleges, and services such as library and online journal access. The activities, benefits and services are provided on a discretionary basis. When participating in these activities, alumni, associates, supporters and friends agree to abide by this Code of Conduct as well as any other stated terms and conditions, and any relevant laws and regulations.

The Development and Alumni Engagement office reserves the right to remove access to these activities, benefits and services, including those provided to alumni groups, if it deems that the relevant terms of this Code have been breached. Details of incidents may be shared with the wider collegiate University as appropriate and in accordance with the alumni, donors and supporters privacy notice [3].

An alumnus/a, supporter, or friend who is convicted of a criminal offence may have their access to the activities provided by the Development and Alumni Engagement office removed either until such time as their conviction is spent, or permanently, at the sole discretion of the Development and Alumni Engagement office.

Complaints may be directed to the Director of Alumni Relations, University of Oxford Development and Alumni Engagement office, Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JD, UK or emailed to


In this document, unless the context otherwise requires, the following words and expressions shall have the following meanings:

  1. ‘University’ refers to the central University of Oxford organisation.  It does not include the independent colleges and permanent private halls.
  2. ‘Alumni’ and ‘Associates’ refer to specific relationships with the University. See our Eligibility page for a full definition.
  3. ‘Supporters’ and ‘friends’ refer to all donors, volunteers, alumni and other associates of the University. This includes individuals who represent donor organisations, such as trusts, foundations and corporates, and alumni groups. 
  4. A person subjects another to harassment where they engage in unwanted and unwarranted conduct which has the purpose or effect of:
  • Violating another person’s dignity, or
  • Creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for another person.
  1. The recipient does not need to have explicitly stated that the behaviour was unwanted.
  2. Harassment may involve repeated forms of unwanted and unwarranted behaviour, but a one-off incident can also amount to harassment.
  3. The intentions of the alleged harasser are not always determinative of whether harassment has taken place. The perception of the complainant and the extent to which that perception is in all the circumstances reasonable will also be relevant.
  4. Harassment can take a variety of forms:
  • Through individual behaviour face to face, either verbally or physically, or electronically
  • directly to the person concerned, or to a third party
  • Through a prevailing culture which tolerates harassment or bullying, for example, the telling of homophobic or racist jokes
  1. Examples of behaviour which may amount to harassment include but are not limited to:
  • Insulting, abusive, embarrassing or degrading behaviour or comments
  • Unwanted physical contact, ranging from an invasion of space to an assault, including all forms of sexual harassment, including:
  1. inappropriate body language
  2. sexually explicit remarks or innuendo
  3. unwanted sexual advances and touching
  • Offensive comments or body language, including insults, jokes or gestures and malicious rumours, open hostility, verbal or physical threats; these include all forms of harassment and abuse on the grounds of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, cultural differences, abilities or religion (or lack of).
  • Bullying is a form of harassment and may be characterised as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.