3.3 Bringing a Complaint

  1. Persons who believe they have been subjected to discrimination in violation of the policy are encouraged to report it, even if they are not certain whether a violation of this policy has occurred. A complaint that this policy has been violated may be brought to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (EOD), 202 Jessup Hall, through informal or formal channels by any member of the University community, including a third party, or by the University itself. A complaint must state specific and credible allegations of discrimination to warrant an investigation. There is no time limit for bringing a complaint; however, it may be difficult to substantiate the allegations if they are made after significant time has passed. Therefore, prompt reporting of complaints is strongly encouraged.

    Anyone (victims or others) who wishes to consult with someone about a specific situation without making a complaint, or who wishes simply to learn more about enforcement of this Human Rights Policy may contact any of the following offices or organizations:
    1. Office of the Ombudsperson (for faculty, staff, students, and persons not affiliated with the University), C108 Seashore Hall;
    2. Employee Assistance Program (for faculty or staff), 121-50 University Services Building;
    3. University Counseling Service (for students), 3223 Westlawn;
    4. Women's Resource and Action Center (for faculty, staff, or students), Bowman House.
  2. Informal complaints. An informal complaint is a request that the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity seek to reach an informal resolution of the complainant's concerns. The procedures for such complaints are designed to be flexible so as to enable the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity to address an individual's situation in the most effective and expeditious manner possible. Resolutions of informal complaints are accomplished with the assistance of other offices or administrators on campus in the area relevant to the complaint.

    In the case of an informal complaint, the accused party normally will not be informed of the complainant's action or identity without the consent of the complainant unless circumstances require. When allegations are addressed through an informal resolution process, no disciplinary action may be taken against the respondent, and there will be no record of the allegations in the respondent's personnel file or student disciplinary file, unless the person is notified of the allegations and given an opportunity to respond.
  3. Formal complaints. A formal complaint of discrimination involves an impartial investigation of the complainant's allegations by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity. The investigation begins when the Office provides written notice to the respondent of the filing of the complaint, the identity of the complainant, and the general allegations of the complaint. The respondent is then interviewed regarding the specifics of the allegations and given an opportunity to respond fully to the allegations. The Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity may also interview other persons believed to have factual knowledge relevant to the allegations. The purpose of the investigation is to establish whether the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity finds a reasonable basis to conclude, by the preponderance of the evidence, that the respondent violated the Policy on Human Rights.

    The Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity will issue written findings outlining the basis for its conclusions. The written finding normally will be issued within 60 days of when the complaint was filed. When it is not reasonably possible to issue the finding within that time, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity will notify the alleged victim and the respondent that the finding will be delayed and indicate the reasons for the delay. This report is provided to the administrative officials responsible for the area in which the respondent is involved, the alleged victim, the respondent, and the chief administrative officer in the unit (e.g., the Provost in a complaint filed against a faculty member; the vice president or dean for the unit in the case of a staff member; or the Vice President for Student Life in the case of a student) or his or her designee. Third-party complainants will be notified only that the proceedings are concluded.