14.6 Investigation of Formal Complaints

(Amended 5/15; 7/15; 7/1/17; 9/18; 1/20)

Effective January 2020, this policy has been revised. For individual changes, see the redlined version.

  1. A formal complaint pursuant to this policy must be brought to one of the following offices for investigation depending upon the status of the responding party and the nature of the allegations:
    1. Protected class harassment. If the complaint alleges harassment based on a classification covered by II-3 Human Rights (race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, associational preferences, or any other classification that deprives the person of consideration as an individual), a formal complaint should be brought to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (202 Jessup Hall, 319-335-0705) regardless of the status of the responding party.
    2. Other harassment. If the complaint alleges harassment that is not based on a classification covered by II-3 Human Rights (race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, associational preferences, or any other classification that deprives the person of consideration as an individual), a person should bring a formal complaint to one of the following offices depending on the status of the responding party:
      1. Faculty or instructor. If the responding party is a faculty member, teaching assistant, or other instructor, a formal complaint should be brought to the responding party's collegiate dean or to the Office of the Provost (111 Jessup Hall, 319-335-3565);
      2. Staff member. If the responding party is a staff member, a formal complaint should be brought to the Senior Human Resources Leadership Representative for the unit employing the responding party;
      3. Student. If the responding party is a student, a formal complaint should be brought to the Dean of Students (135 Iowa Memorial Union, 319-335-1162) or the Dean of the Graduate College (201 Gilmore Hall, 319-335-2143).
  2. A formal complaint may be brought after an informal resolution was not successfully reached, or may be brought immediately without pursuing informal resolution.
  3. The purpose of the investigation is to establish whether there is a reasonable basis for believing that a violation of this policy has occurred. In conducting the investigation, the investigating office will make reasonable efforts to interview the impacted party, the reporting party (if other than the impacted party), and the responding party, and may interview other persons believed to have pertinent factual knowledge, as well as review any relevant documentary evidence. At all times, the investigating office will take steps to ensure confidentiality to the extent possible.
  4. When a formal complaint is brought, the responding party will be informed of the allegations, the identity of the impacted and/or reporting party, and the facts surrounding the allegations. The investigation will afford the responding party an opportunity to respond to the allegations and evidence provided by the reporting party and/or impacted party, and to provide a statement of the facts as perceived by the responding party.
  5. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigating office will issue a written finding which will summarize the evidence gathered and state whether or not there is a reasonable basis for believing that a violation of this policy has occurred. The written finding will normally be issued within 60 days of when the complaint was filed. When it is not reasonably possible to issue the finding within 60 days, the investigating office will notify the impacted party and the responding party that the finding will be delayed and indicate the reasons for the delay. The impacted party and the responding party will receive a copy of the written finding, which is to remain confidential as defined below by II-14.12c. Third-party reporters will be notified only that the proceedings are concluded.
  6. If the investigating office finds a reasonable basis for believing that a violation of this policy has occurred, the matter will be referred to the appropriate administrator for further consideration as outlined in II-14.7 below.