Grievance Procedures

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1 Grievance Procedures for Discrimination & Harassment Effective January 1, 2010 Revised: July 5, 2013

2 CONTENTS 4 Northeastern University s Equal Opportunity Policy 4 Contact Information 5 Who Can Bring a Complaint? 6 Definitions 7 Myths and Realities of Sexual Harassment 8 If You Think You Are Being Harassed 9 If You Are a Supervisor 10 If You Are a Peer or Colleague 11 If You Observe Inappropriate Behavior 11 Important Information You Should Know 11 Confidentiality 11 Jurisdiction of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion 12 Complaints Addressed by Others 12 Against Whom May Complaints Be Brought? 12 Consensual Relationships 13 Process for Reporting a Complaint of Discrimination 13 Memorializing Complaints 13 Filing Deadlines 13 Timeline Standards 14 How Long Should an Investigation Take? 14 Failure to Cooperate 14 Inaction by Complainant 14 Each Party s Responsibility 15 Evaluating the Evidence 15 Additional Resources 2

3 15 Assessment and Problem Solving 15 Pre-Grievance Counseling 16 Mediation/Informal Resolution Process 16 Steps in the Mediation/Informal Resolution Process 18 Investigation/Formal Review Process 18 Steps in the Investigation/Formal Review Process 19 Appealing a Finding of Discrimination 19 Giving Notice of Appeal 19 Review Committee 20 Conflicts of Interest 20 The Appeal Procedure 3

4 EQUAL OPPORTUNITY POLICY Northeastern University is committed to providing equal opportunity to its students and employees, and to eliminating discrimination when it occurs. Northeastern University does not condone discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, religious creed, genetics, sex, gender identity*, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, veteran or disability status; all such forms of discrimination or harassment within the University community are unacceptable and will not be ignored. Nor is it acceptable for any member of the Northeastern community to engage in any form of retaliatory activity against any person who brings a complaint of discrimination or harassment, or who cooperates in a complaint investigation. CONTACT INFORMATION The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion is responsible for handling questions and concerns regarding the University s Equal Opportunity Policy. Please direct all questions and concerns to: Mary Ann Phillips Compliance Officer Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion Northeastern University 360 Huntington Avenue 125 Richards Hall Boston, Massachusetts Phone: Fax: Copies of the University s Equal Opportunity Policy and procedures may be obtained at 4

5 WHO CAN BRING A COMPLAINT? Every member of the Northeastern University community, including students, faculty, staff, contractors, alumni, parents, and visitors may have: The right to bring a complaint of discrimination or harassment. The duty to refrain from engaging in unlawful discriminatory or harassing behavior. The responsibility to report discriminatory or harassing behavior which may come to his or her attention. The obligation to cooperate fully in the investigation of such complaints. The duty to keep information confidential. The University reserves the right to address any behavior which it considers inappropriate or inconsistent with University expectations, standards or values, even though such behavior may not rise to the level of discrimination pursuant to this policy or under state or federal law. Nothing in this policy is intended to limit the authority of Northeastern University to take appropriate action against any individual who violates University rules or policies, whether or not the conduct constitutes an Equal Opportunity Policy violation. The University may assume the role of a Complainant and pursue a report or complaint of discrimination or harassment either informally or formally. A determination of whether conduct is considered discriminatory or harassing in violation of the University s policies is dependent upon the totality of the circumstances, including the pervasiveness and severity of the conduct. 5

6 DEFINITIONS What constitutes discrimination at the University? Disparate Treatment Less favorable treatment of similarly situated individuals based on their protected class status (i.e. race, color, religion, religious creed, genetics, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, veteran or disability status). Disparate Impact Policies and practices that are neutral on their face but may have a disparate impact on protected classes. Discriminatory Harassment Verbal or physical conduct by a member of the faculty, staff or student body based on protected categories listed in the University s Equal Opportunity Policy that adversely affects a term, benefits or condition of an individual s education, employment, housing, or participation in a University activity. What is sexual harassment? Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature is sexual harassment when: 1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual s employment, education, benefits, housing, or participation in a University activity. 2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is considered or used as the basis in decisions affecting that individual s employment, education, benefits, housing, or participation in a University activity. 3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual s employment or educational performance by creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for that individual s employment, education, benefits, housing, or participation in a University activity. 4. Whenever the word discrimination is used in these procedures, it is intended to include not only complaints of discrimination, but also complaints of harassment, including sexual harassment, and complaints of retaliatory behavior of any kind. 6

7 Examples of Harassment Unwelcome electronic communications of a discriminatory or sexually inappropriate nature, including s, sexting (sexually explicit text messages), message boards, instant messages, social networking sites, and other modes of electronic communications. Unwelcome verbal or written statements, including dirty jokes, comments about physical attributes, rumors, etc. Unwanted personal attention, letters, telephone calls, visits, pressure for sexual favors, pressure for dates, etc. Unwanted physical or sexual advances. Leering, whistling and/or sexually insulting comments. Inquiring into one s sexual experiences, preferences, or other sexual conduct. What is Retaliation? It is unlawful to take adverse actions against any member of the Northeastern community for filing a complaint of harassment or discrimination, or for cooperating in an investigation of such a complaint. Retaliation against a member of the Northeastern community who, in good faith, reports alleged harassment or who participates in an investigation is a violation of our policy and is subject to appropriate discipline. Retaliation may have an adverse impact in the following areas: hiring, firing, promotions, demotions, compensation, benefits, grading, pressure to withdraw from class, ignoring, refusing requests for assistance. This list is not exhaustive. MYTHS AND REALITIES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT Myth: If I am not a supervisor, I cannot be held liable. Reality: Sexual harassment can occur between peers, across or outside any department or unit boundary. Myth: If I dress modestly and I am over 40, I do not have to worry about sexual harassment. Reality: Victims and perpetrators of sexual harassment come in all ages, genders, sizes, colors, and physical appearance. It can occur across genders or the same gender. 7

8 Myth: Most sexual harassment complaints are false charges filed to "get back" at a person who is disliked. Reality: Most people report incidents of sexual harassment because they do not want it to happen to someone else. Myth: If I do not hear the word "NO," it is okay to continue with my advances because they are not offensive and are welcome. Reality: The standard for demonstrating sexually charged conduct is that the behavior is "unwelcome." Unwelcomed behavior may be easier to discern if the victim has clearly said, "NO." However, if there are circumstances that make saying "NO" difficult, the definition is met by showing that the Complainant's other conduct demonstrated that the behavior was unwelcomed. It is expected that you should read obvious body language and facial expression. Myth: Most men and women agree on the types of behaviors that constitute sexual harassment. Reality: Perceptions differ. In most workplaces, men and women generally do not agree on how much harassment exists or what types of behaviors constitute sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can be blatant or more subtle, and especially in hostile work environment cases, perceptions of men and women differ. The legal standard is what a "reasonable person" would consider harassing behavior. WHAT TO DO... If you think you are being harassed: Any member of the Northeastern community who believes that he or she has been harassed is encouraged to report the incident promptly. Community members are urged to bring any concerns or complaints of harassment or discrimination to the University's attention through the supervisor, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Human Resources Management (HRM), Public Safety, University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS), and/or the Sexual Harassment Network. Whether harassment comes from a person in authority, a colleague or peer, it is always inappropriate. Any gesture or remark regarding a protected category that makes you feel uncomfortable, threatened, intimidated or pressured may be a sign that you are experiencing harassment. Trust your instincts. If you are harassed, do not blame yourself. Do not remain silent. Act quickly; do not delay. 8

9 You may want to: Tell the person that his or her behavior toward you is making you uncomfortable. Tell someone; a friend, a colleague, or your supervisor. Request an intervention from a third-party. Speak to the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion to explore your options or find help by contacting the appropriate office. Keep a record of events with dates, places, witnesses and the nature of the harassment. Save any letters, cards, electronic communications, gifts, pictures or other objects in a safe place. Document your work and evaluations so that you can attest to the quality of your performance if the accused harasser questions your abilities. File a grievance with the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. If you are a Supervisor: Someone may come to you with a complaint about another person. As a supervisor, both you and the University can be held legally responsible for allegations of harassment and discrimination involving those who report to you if you knew or should have known about the conduct and fail to act appropriately. The law requires that you take prompt and effective action to address this situation; you should seek help in deciding how to respond. Immediately notify the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and/or another resource listed in this document for advice and instructions on how to proceed. Do not blame the Complainant. Get the facts. Do not act or judge hastily. Document the complaint. Include who, what, where and when in your documentation. Be sure to follow-up. Consult with the Complainant before taking any actions or speaking with other parties involved in the dispute. Take the initiative if you suspect or know someone is experiencing harassment or discrimination. Immediately request help from appropriate resources. Do not ignore the issue. Arrange for an educational program to inform the people for whom you are responsible about harassment and its consequences. Information on appropriate resources is available at the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. Be a role model so others will see acceptable behavior. Consider your own conduct. You are expected to behave responsibly. If you evaluate the performance of faculty, students, and/or staff, or possess the ability to influence a person's professional future, be careful not to misuse the power that has been entrusted to you. Employers may be legally held responsible for incidents involving managers or supervisors regardless of whether the employer knew or should have known of their occurrence. "No" means "No." Do not repeat behavior that you have been told is not welcome. For example, unwanted persistent requests for dates or repeated remarks or physical overtures of a sexual nature can be illegal. 9

10 Do not interpret someone's silence as consent. Retaliating when someone complains of harassment is unacceptable, unlawful, and will not be tolerated. Remember, an individual with supervisory or academic authority may be held accountable by the institution if a sexual relationship develops that later result in a harassment complaint. In general, if you treat every person with respect and dignity it is less likely that something you do or say will be misunderstood. If you are a peer or colleague: Harassers are not just people who have or appear to have authority and power. Some verbal and/or physical actions between peers or colleagues, when unwelcomed may be interpreted as discrimination or harassment. Also, conduct which is in "poor taste" or inappropriate, but not illegal, can still be offensive to the recipient. Everyone can benefit from trying to improve the environment in our community. You can: Ask if you think something you do or say is being perceived as unwelcome. If the answer is yes or you are uncertain, stop it. Be aware that certain remarks or offensive conduct relative to a protected category may make some people uncomfortable even if you would not feel this way yourself. People are different. Learn to respect these differences. Do not repeat behavior if you have been told that it is unwanted. Do not take the risk of discovering that your behavior is, indeed, objectionable to another. If you are in doubt, stop the behavior. 10

11 If you observe inappropriate behavior: If you witness repeated, unwanted, or offensive conduct of related to a protected category this may be discrimination or harassment. While you may not have a legal obligation to do anything, you might have a responsibility under the University policy, so: Ask the person you think is being harassed how you might be helpful. Consult the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion or ask one of the other resources suggested in this document for guidance. Tell the person who you feel is being offensive about your own uneasiness with his or her behavior. It is reasonable for you to expect that your school or work environment should be free from an atmosphere that permits or promotes discrimination and harassment of others. Most people just want offensive behavior, of any kind, to stop. If it is unwanted behavior relative to a protected characteristic, failure to stop may be illegal. IMPORTANT INFORMATION YOU SHOULD KNOW The following information applies to all complaints of possible discrimination brought to the attention of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion under either the informal or formal grievance process. Confidentiality All reasonable efforts shall be made to treat information concerning complaints, investigations and resolutions on a confidential, need-to-know basis. The following policies and procedures apply solely to complaints concerning discrimination. A confidential record of all complaints, including the nature of the complaint, the Complainant s and Respondent s name, and the final disposition of the grievance will be maintained by the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. Jurisdiction of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion Because Northeastern is responsible for providing a learning and work environment free from discrimination, the University reserves the right to pursue any allegation of discrimination or harassment about which it becomes aware. If at any time during the course of resolving or investigating a complaint of discrimination, the Vice Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion determines that a complaint is not within the jurisdiction of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, the complaint and the Complainant shall be referred to the appropriate office and the matter shall be considered concluded for the purposes of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. 11

12 Complaints Addressed By Others The Vice Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion reserves the right to decline to investigate any matter which he/she believes is being or has been addressed in a sufficient and reasonable manner by another department or office within the University. Against Whom May Complaints Be Brought? A complaint of unlawful discrimination may be brought against any Northeastern student or employee. If your complaint concerns behavior by a vendor, contractor, visiting professor, or some other individual who may not be a member of the Northeastern University community, but who may have a recognized connection to Northeastern, you may bring your concerns to the attention of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and they will assist you. Note to Students on Co-op: If you are experiencing or have experienced discrimination during your co-op, please report those concerns to your co-op advisor immediately. He or she will assist you. CONSENSUAL RELATIONSHIPS Unprofessional Relationships and Abuse of Authority Amorous relationships that might be appropriate in other circumstances have inherent dangers when they develop between any University faculty, staff, student or official, and any person over whom he/she has a professional responsibility (e.g. a teacher, advisor, preceptor, or supervisor). Such relationships are fundamentally asymmetric, unprofessional, and potentially an abuse of authority. In addition, such relationships must be avoided because they may create an impression on the part of colleagues and/or students of inappropriate or inequitable academic or professional advantage or favoritism that is destructive to the learning or working environment. Faculty, staff, students, and officials should be aware that any romantic involvement with students, junior colleagues or staff members over whom they have a professional responsibility makes them liable to complaint and formal action under these procedures. Under no circumstances can an individual exercise supervisory authority over another with whom he/she is involved in an amorous relationship. Even when both parties have initially consented to such a relationship, it is the more senior individual, who by virtue of his or her responsibility, will be held accountable for the unprofessional relationship or abuse of authority. If an amorous relationship develops between members of the University community, the professional relationship, whether as supervisor, teacher, preceptor or advisor, must be reported promptly to a more senior person. A supervisor is someone who has the authority to execute or recommend tangible decisions affecting the education or employment of an individual. Supervisors have the ability to direct the daily work activities of students or employees, by using independent judgment in exercising this authority. 12

13 PROCESS FOR REPORTING COMPLAINTS OF DISCRIMINATION Northeastern s process serves to manage, resolve, investigate and end unlawful discrimination, and to prevent retaliation against those who bring a complaint or cooperate with a complaint investigation Pre-grievance counseling, Mediation/Informal Resolution and the Investigation/Formal Review processes are intended to balance the rights of those bringing complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation (the Complainant ) with those against whom such claims are brought (the Respondent ). Students and employees are strongly encouraged (but are not required) to use the Assessment/problem solving, Pre-grievance counseling, and/or Mediation/Informal Resolution Process for resolving their complaints prior to proceeding with the Investigation/Formal Review Process. Memorializing Complaints Complaints do not have to follow a particular form or format, but a written complaint is preferred. Complaints should be as detailed as possible and should include the following information whenever possible: A description of the incident(s). Date of the incident(s). Your reaction to the incident(s). Names of persons who may have witnessed the incident(s) or have other relevant knowledge. Names of others who may have experienced the same type of behavior. Names of those within the University with whom you have discussed your concerns. Any documentation that you may have to support your complaint. Description of the outcome you seek. Filing Deadlines So that memories are fresh and to provide adequate opportunity for investigation, response, and resolution, a complaint of discrimination must be reported as soon as possible and no more than 300 days after the last incident occurred, consistent with state and federal laws. The time limit is consistent with MCAD and EEOC reporting guidelines. Complainants are encouraged to report as soon as possible and promptly inform the Vice Provost of any extenuating circumstances that may prevent him or her from filing the complaint in the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion within the 300 day time frame. Timeline Standards Time limits set forth for filing and appealing grievances must be strictly followed by the Complainant. 13

14 When both parties in a formal grievance request it, the time clock for the grievance procedure may be stopped for a reasonable period to allow for a good faith attempt to resolve the conflict through mediation, but should not exceed the established filing, investigation and appeal time frames. How Long Should an Investigation Take? Within the constraints of the academic schedule, the University strives to conclude the investigation promptly so that a decision can be rendered within 45 days of receipt of the complaint. If this is not possible, the Complainant and the Respondent will be informed of the status of the investigation within 45 days. The University may extend this period due to extenuating circumstances that may arise during an investigation. Failure to Cooperate All members of the Northeastern University community are obligated to be immediately available to investigators and to be truthful and forthcoming. Lack of cooperation may subject the individual to disciplinary action. If the Respondent refuses to cooperate and/or respond in a timely manner, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion may forego an investigation and recommend corrective action or sanction, or the Office may take any specific action it deems necessary and appropriate to address the situation. Failure to cooperate in the review of a complaint of discrimination may be grounds for a recommendation of discipline, suspension or termination. Inaction by Complainant If at any time during an investigation, a Complainant declines to cooperate with the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, or if the Vice Provost determines that the Complainant no longer wishes to pursue his/her complaint, the Vice Provost may consider the matter closed and take no further action. Each Party s Responsibilities The University s formal review procedures are not designed to replicate an external judicial process. Consequently: Complainants and Respondents are expected to meet with representatives of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and/or a Review Committee as needed and as requested. Neither a Complainant nor a Respondent may have legal counsel present in any such meetings. Legal counsel retained by a Complainant or a Respondent may not participate or be present at any meeting convened by the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, or by the Review Committee. Respondents and Complainants are expected to communicate with the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and/or the Review Committee directly, not through legal counsel or other intermediaries. 14

15 Evaluating the Evidence In reaching its findings, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion shall evaluate the conduct alleged to have been discriminatory by considering the totality of the circumstances, including the nature, frequency, intensity, context, and duration of the conduct. Although repeated incidents may appear to support a claim of discrimination, one serious isolated incident can present sufficient grounds for a finding of a policy violation. Additional Resources From time to time, with discretion and confidentiality, the Vice Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion may call upon others inside and outside of the University community for assistance in resolving a complaint of discrimination. During the course of an investigation, a representative from the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion may work collaboratively with other appropriate University Offices. For example, if a faculty member is involved in a complaint with an academic dean, a representative from the Provost s Office may be consulted. Similarly, if a staff member is involved, Human Resources Management or the appropriate department head may be consulted. ASSESSMENT AND PROBLEM SOLVING The flexibility of informal discussions often results in solutions to problems more easily and quickly than do formal procedures. When a concern surfaces regarding a potential equal opportunity policy violation the individuals involved should discuss the concern with the most appropriate supervisory authority. Depending on the nature of the issue, discussions with a Human Resources Management representative or with a representative from the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, the Disability Resource Center, the Office of Environmental Health and Safety or other appropriate offices may be helpful in clarifying the issues the employee wishes to discuss. PRE-GRIEVANCE COUNSELING When harassment or discrimination is alleged, a representative from the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion will be available to counsel those who believe they have a grievance. The role of the representative is to help the grievant identify the source of the problem and provide the grievant with information concerning University resources, policies and procedures. 15

16 MEDIATION/INFORMAL RESOLUTION PROCESS Problems are often easier to discuss and to resolve in an informal atmosphere. The University s Mediation/Informal Resolution Process offers a way to discuss, evaluate and resolve a complaint of discrimination without initiating a comprehensive Investigation/Formal Review. Note: Mediation shall not be used in cases of sexual assault. In keeping with the nature and spirit of Informal Resolution, no official findings of fact are made about the alleged behavior, which may be discriminatory and/or violate University policy. Rather, emphasis is placed on: Identifying the source of the problem(s) between the Complainant and Respondent. Exploring ways the complaint can be resolved. Implementing solutions to effectively address the current problem(s) and eliminate the possibility of similar issues occurring in the future. If the Informal Resolution Process fails to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of both the Complainant and the Respondent, either party may request that the University conduct a Formal Review of the charge within 10 business days of concluding the Informal Resolution Process. Steps in the Mediation/Informal Resolution Process The following steps shall be taken in an effort to resolve complaints in an informal manner. Step 1 Upon receipt of a complaint, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion shall notify and meet with the Respondent to discuss it. Note: During the Informal Resolution Process students and employees are strongly encouraged to submit their complaints in writing but are not required to do so. If a University member wishes to put his/her complaint in writing, but needs assistance, please consult with a representative in the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. Respondents are also encouraged to put their responses in writing, but they are not required to do so. Step 2 In an effort to fully understand the facts and positions of both the Complainant and the Respondent, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion shall take whatever steps it deems necessary to gather additional information from the parties or from others in the University community. Step 3 The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, working with the appropriate University official, shall make every reasonable effort throughout the process to resolve the matter informally. An Informal Resolution may take any form that is acceptable to the parties and to the University. Depending on the situation, an informal resolution may take the form of: Separate meetings with the Complainant and Respondent. 16

17 Joint meetings between the Complainant and Respondent with a representative from the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion serving as a facilitator. A meeting with the Complainant s and/or Respondent s supervisor. A written agreement or memorandum of understanding approved by University Counsel and signed by one or both parties. Mandated training(s) for the Respondent or the departmental unit in the area of discrimination. A letter of apology from the Respondent. A verbal warning to the Respondent. A written warning to the Respondent. No further action at the request of the Complainant. This list is not exhaustive and other forms of resolution may be appropriate although not listed here. In keeping with the nature of the informal process, the representative from the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion Officer is not required to prepare or distribute a written report of each complaint, investigation or resolution. At the end of the informal process, any one of the following actions may be taken: The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion may place a confidential written report in its file. The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion may prepare and distribute a written report to the Complainant, Respondent and any other parties who may need to know how the complaint was resolved. The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion may refer the matter to another University department or administrator for further review. Step 4 If the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion cannot resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of the Complainant and the Respondent at the end of the Mediation/Informal Resolution Process, either party (or both) may request, within 10 days, that the Investigation/Formal Review Process be commenced by the appropriate University officials pursuant to the University s Investigation/Formal Review Process. This deadline will be strictly enforced and the University will consider the matter closed if the deadline passes. Within 10 days of receiving the request for Investigation/Formal Review, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion representative who attempted to resolve the matter will prepare a written report memorializing both parties positions, the attempts that were made to resolve the matter, the reasons why the proposed resolution(s) did not work, and any other relevant information that may be useful to investigators during the Formal Review Process. If the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion representative determines that the alleged conduct is severe and pervasive, the Vice Provost has the independent discretion to proceed immediately to the Investigation/Formal Review Process. 17

18 INVESTIGATION/FORMAL REVIEW PROCESS A Complainant may elect to proceed immediately to an Investigation/Formal Review of his/her complaint of discrimination. Complainants are not required to explore an informal resolution prior to proceeding with the Formal Review Process. Within the constraints of the academic schedule, the University strives to conclude the investigation promptly so that a decision can be rendered within 45 days of receipt of the complaint. If this is not possible, the Complainant and the Respondent will be informed of the status of the investigation within 45 days. The University may extend this period due to extenuating circumstances that may arise during an investigation. A formal review typically consists of conducting an investigation and fact-finding exercise, determining whether sufficient credible evidence exists to support the allegation(s) and if so, making a recommendation for corrective action. If the parties utilized the University s Informal Resolution Process, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion may consider the statements, materials, and information submitted and gathered during that process. Steps in the Formal Review Process Step 1 The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion will forward a copy of the complaint to the Respondent(s). A representative from the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion will meet individually with the Complainant and Respondent(s) to review the Investigation/Formal Review Process procedures, and to advise the Respondent(s) that he or she has ten (10) days to submit a written response which will be shared with the Complainant. Step 2 The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion will meet with the Complainant and the Respondent(s), as needed, to consider their positions and to ascertain facts. The Complainant and the Respondent each have the right to submit documentation in support of their positions and to review all documentary evidence presented. The Complainant and Respondent may also submit the names of individuals they believe have knowledge or information relevant to the complaint. The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion may, in its discretion, meet with anyone it believes has information which may be useful to the investigation. Step 3 Upon conclusion of its investigation, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion will prepare a written report. This report shall contain the Complainant s allegation(s), the Respondent s response, the Office s findings (including its evaluation of the credibility of the parties and witnesses), any evidence supporting its findings, and recommendations for corrective action and/or sanctions, if evidence supports the complaint allegations. 18

19 Note: A copy of the report will be shared with the Complainant, Respondent and individuals within the University whom the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion determines needs to be made aware of the findings and conclusions. Step 4 Sufficient, Credible Evidence If sufficient, credible evidence to support the allegation of discrimination is found, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion will recommend corrective action and/or sanctions to the appropriate University official. These recommendations will vary depending on the totality of the circumstances, including the nature, type, and severity of the case. Corrective action may include, but is not limited to: reprimand, mandatory counseling, probation, suspension, termination of employment, non-renewal of contract, or involuntary withdrawal from a program of study. The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion may also refer the matter to another department or administrator in the University for further review. Insufficient Credible Evidence If there is insufficient credible evidence to support the allegation(s) of discrimination, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion will dismiss the complaint and the University shall take no further action. There is no right of appeal when the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion determines that there is insufficient reasonable, credible evidence to support the allegation(s) of discrimination. APPEALING A FINDING OF DISCRIMINATION Either party may appeal a finding of discrimination, but may not appeal a recommendation for corrective action. Giving Notice of Appeal Either party who seeks to appeal a finding of discrimination must provide the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion a written explanation of the rationale supporting the basis for the appeal within ten (10) business days of the date the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion issues its report. Review Committee Appeals shall be considered by a Review Committee consisting of three (3) individuals who shall be selected by the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. These individuals shall be selected from a standing panel of persons appointed by the President or his designee who have received appropriate training under the auspices of the Office of Institutional Diversity and 19

20 Inclusion. Members of the panel shall serve two-year staggered terms with half of the members appointed each year. Conflicts of Interest The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion shall solicit information from each prospective panel member concerning any factors which might prejudice an objective evaluation of the evidence and shall disqualify any potential member if a conflict or potential conflict emerges. The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion shall notify the Complainant and Respondent of the selected Review Committee members. If either the Complainant or the Respondent raises concerns about the objectivity of a member of the Review Committee, he or she must raise those concerns with the Vice Provost within three (3) business days of being notified about the identities of those selected for the Review Committee. THE APPEAL PROCEDURE Step 1 The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion shall convene the first meeting of the Review Committee, and will make available to Committee Members all materials and information it has received or compiled during its investigation of the complaint. Step 2 After the initial meeting, the Committee Members will arrange a schedule of meetings, and will meet individually with the Complainant and the Respondent. Step 3 Upon conclusion of its interviews with the Complainant and Respondent, and its review of the record, the Review Committee will determine whether the findings made by the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion were supported by sufficient, reasonable, credible evidence. If the Review Committee concludes that there is sufficient, reasonable, credible evidence to support the findings of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, that conclusion shall be communicated to the Vice Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion in a written report. After distributing a copy of the Committee s written report to the Complainant and the Respondent, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion will immediately forward its recommendation for corrective action or sanction to the appropriate University official(s). If the Review Committee concludes that there is insufficient reasonable, credible evidence to support the findings made by the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, the Committee will communicate its conclusion and grounds in a written report to the Office of the Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, and will send a copy of the report to the Respondent and the Complainant. The matter shall then be considered concluded and no further action will be taken by the University. No further appeals are available or will be allowed. 20

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