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POLICY AGAINST HARASSMENT, DISCRIMINATION AND RETALIATION AND COMPLAINT RESOLUTION PROCEDURES


I. Commitment to Non-Discrimination, Non-Harassment and Non-Retaliation and Reporting

Discrimination, harassment and retaliation on the basis of protected status (see the Notice of Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity for a definition of “protected status”) are strictly prohibited. Persons who engage in such conduct are subject to discipline up to and including termination or dismissal.
Preventing prohibited discrimination, harassment and retaliation is the responsibility of all members of the University Community. All University employees, supervisors, and administrators who have not been designated as confidential employees because of professional or pastoral confidentiality, are considered responsible employees under the policy and must immediately report any complaints, reports, observations, or other information of alleged discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, to the designated University employee, even if that University employee is investigating the alleged discrimination as part of the University’s student or employee disciplinary process. Employees, supervisors and employees should provide complainants with information for filing a complaint of discrimination. Faculty, staff, and third parties should report a potential violation of this policy as soon as possible to the Human Resources Operations Coordinator at:

Tammie Lorden
Human Resources Operations Coordinator
650 Maryville University Drive
St. Louis, MO 63141
314-529-9315
tlorden@maryville.edu

Students and prospective students should report a potential violation of this policy as soon as possible to the Assistant Dean for Compliance and Recruitment and Title IX Coordinator at:

Karlla Dozier
Assistant Dean for Compliance and Recruitment and Title IX Coordinator
650 Maryville University Drive
St. Louis, MO 63141
314-529-9981
kdozier@maryville.edu

The University will respond to reports of potential prohibited conduct in an adequate, reliable, impartial manner, as set forth below. If the University determines that discrimination has occurred, appropriate corrective and remedial actions will be taken.

II. Scope

This policy applies to reports of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of protected status, other than discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of sex, which are governed exclusively by the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy. (https://www.maryville.edu/policies/sexual-harassment-policy/).
This policy governs reports of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in all the University’s programs and activities and applies to all members of the University Community. It applies to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation that occurs on campus, during or at an official University program or activity (regardless of location), and to off campus conduct when the conduct could deny or limit a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs and activities.

III. Prohibited Conduct

A. Discrimination

Discrimination is adverse treatment of an individual based on protected status. It is a violation of this policy to discriminate on the basis of a protected status in any of the University’s programs and activities. A list of protected statuses is set forth in the University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity.
B. Harassment
Harassment consists of unwelcome verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an employee, student, or other members of the University Community, including third-parties, because of protected status. Harassment constitutes a form of prohibited discrimination if it denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs and activities (“discriminatory harassment”).
Examples of conduct prohibited by this policy may include, but are not limited to, inappropriate gestures, inappropriate written or electronic material, threats or intimidating or hostile conduct, physical acts of aggression, assault, or violence, criminal offenses, jokes or pranks, name-calling, offensive objects or pictures that are hostile or demeaning with regard to a person’s protected status or have the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, abusive or offensive working or academic environment.

C. Retaliation

The University prohibits retaliation against anyone for reporting discrimination or harassment, assisting in making a report, cooperating in an investigation or proceeding or otherwise exercising his or her rights or responsibilities under this policy and applicable federal, state, and local laws. Retaliation prohibited by this policy consists of materially adverse action, such as disparaging comments, uncivil behavior, or other negative treatment of an employee, student, or other member of the University Community because a report has been made pursuant to this policy or because an individual otherwise cooperated with the University’s investigation.

D. Sexual Misconduct

The University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy (https://www.maryville.edu/policies/sexual-harassment-policy/) governs the reporting, investigation, and determination of reports of sex discrimination, harassment, and other forms of sexual misconduct.

All reports of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence; domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking; and related retaliation will be investigated and resolved pursuant to the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.

IV.Investigation and Resolution Procedures

A. Commencement of Investigation

When a report of alleged discrimination, harassment, or retaliation is received, the report will be referred to the Human Resources Operations Coordinator and/or the Assistant Dean for Compliance and Recruitment and Title IX Coordinator for investigation and resolution. The University strives to resolve complaints of discrimination, harassment or retaliation within 60 days of a report. If, based on the complexity of the complaint, time to resolution will exceed 60 days, the reasons will be communicated to the complainant and the respondent. If any person involved in investigating or resolving reports of discrimination, harassment or retaliation under this section determines that he or she cannot apply them fairly because of a conflict of interest, another individual will be designated to fulfill his or her responsibilities. The University will not delay its investigation, even if an outside entity or law enforcement agency is investigating a complaint involving the same facts and allegations, and the University will not wait for the conclusion or outcome of a criminal investigation or proceeding to begin an investigation required by this policy and procedure.
Examples of possible interim measures during the pendency of an investigation may include, but are not limited to, any necessary counseling, academic support or transcript modification for students, and schedule adjustments of academic, extracurricular, employment, or other activities. Any adjustments will be designed to minimize the burden on access to the University’s educational, employment or other programs and activities.

B. Content of Investigation

Under this procedure, the Human Resources Operations Coordinator or the Assistant Dean for Compliance and Recruitment and Title IX Coordinator will designate an investigator to investigate the complaint or may serve as the investigator. During the investigation, both the complainant and respondent will have the opportunity to identify witnesses and evidence and to provide all information they would like considered. Investigations will be handled discreetly, with information shared only with those persons who need to know the information in order for there to be a full and fair investigation. Interim measures during the pendency of the investigation may be implemented to protect and separate the parties. The need for interim measures will be discussed with the parties to the investigation.

C. Informal Resolution

The complainant or respondent may request to resolve the complaint informally. If both parties voluntarily agree to attempt informal resolution, the process will be facilitated by the Human Resources Operations Coordinator, the Assistant Dean for Compliance and Recruitment and Title IX Coordinator, or a designee. At any point during the informal process, either party may initiate the formal complaint procedure and abandon informal resolution. However, an informal resolution process will not delay the University’s duty to conduct a prompt investigation of a complaint of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

D. Formal Resolution

At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will prepare a written report summarizing the factual findings of the investigation. The written report with the factual findings will be provided to the Vice President for Student Life. The Vice President for Student Life will review the factual findings set forth in the investigator’s report and will determine if any additional investigation steps need to be undertaken.

The Vice President for Student Life will make a determination as to whether or not the complaint is substantiated by applying a preponderance of the evidence standard. Put another way, the Vice President for Student Life will determine whether it is more likely than not that discrimination, harassment or retaliation occurred.

If the complaint is substantiated, the Vice President for Student Life, in consultation with other appropriate University officials if appropriate, will determine what measures will be taken to address, stop and prevent recurrences of the misconduct, including discipline for the respondent or initiation of disciplinary proceedings pursuant to other applicable University policies.

Substantiated incidents of conduct prohibited by this policy can lead to discipline up to and including dismissal and termination. The Vice President for Student Life will communicate the determination to the complainant and respondent in writing. This written notice will include: (1) a summary of the allegations and facts, (2) an analysis of the appropriate legal standards applied to the specific facts, (3) findings regarding whether discrimination occurred using a preponderance of the evidence standard, and (4) if a finding is made that discrimination occurred, the recommended remedies necessary to eliminate discrimination, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects.

In addition to referring a matter for disciplinary proceedings, additional measures to eliminate discrimination, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects include, but are not limited to, counseling, training, academic support or transcript modification for students, and schedule adjustments of academic, extracurricular, employment, or other activities.

V. Special Procedures

The following procedures will apply to reports made against the President, a Board Member, the Human Resources Operations Coordinator, or the Assistant Dean for Compliance and Recruitment and Title IX Coordinator, or other administrators ranked higher than the Human Resources Operations Coordinator or the Assistant Dean for Compliance and Recruitment and Title IX Coordinator.

If a complaint involves alleged misconduct on the part of the University’s President, the University’s Board of Trustees will designate the investigator. Based on the information gathered during the investigation, the Board of Trustees or designee will prepare and issue the written report determining the outcome of the complaint. The determination of the Board of Trustees is final and not subject to appeal.

If a complaint involves alleged conduct on the part of a member of the Board of Trustees, the remaining members of the Board of Trustees will designate the investigator. Based on the information gathered by the investigation, the remaining members of the Board of Trustees or designee will prepare and issue the written report determining the outcome of the complaint. The determination of the remaining members of the Board of Trustees is final and not subject to appeal.

If a complaint involves alleged conduct on the part of the Human Resources Operations Coordinator the Assistant Dean for Compliance and Recruitment and Title IX Coordinator or any administrator ranked higher than the Human Resources Operations Coordinator or the Assistant Dean for Compliance and Recruitment and Title IX Coordinator, the University President will designate the investigator. Based on the information gathered during the investigation, the designated investigator will prepare and issue a written report determining the outcome of the complaint. The determination of the designated investigator is final and not subject to appeal.

The written notice after an investigation using these special procedures will include: (1) a summary of the allegations and facts, (2) an analysis of the appropriate legal standards applied to the specific facts, (3) findings regarding whether discrimination occurred using a preponderance of the evidence standard, and (4) if a finding is made that discrimination occurred, the recommended remedies necessary to eliminate discrimination, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects.

VI.Appeals

A. Process

The complainant or respondent may appeal the determination of a complaint only on the following grounds: (1) there is a substantial likelihood that newly discovered information, not available at the time evidence was presented to the investigator, would result in a different decision; (2) there was a procedural error significant enough to call the outcome of the investigation into question; (3) there was a clear error in factual findings; (4) there was bias or prejudice on the part of the investigator or the Vice President for Student Life; or (5) the punishment or the corrective action imposed is disproportionate to the offense.

Appeals must be filed with the Vice President for Academic Affairs, in cases where the complainant is a student or faculty member, or with the Vice President for Finance and Facilities, in cases where the complainant is a non-faculty University employee, (“Appellate Officer”), within 10 University business days of receipt of the written report from the Vice President for Student Life determining the outcome of the complaint. The appeal must be in writing and contain the following: (1) name of the complainant; (2) name of the respondent; (3) a statement of the determination of the complaint, including corrective action, if any; (4) a detailed statement of the basis for the appeal including the specific facts, circumstances, and argument in support of it; and (5) requested action, if any.

The appellant may request a meeting with the Appellate Officer, but the decision to grant a meeting is within the Appellate Officer’s discretion. However, if a meeting is granted, then the other party will be granted a similar opportunity.

B. Resolution

The Appellate Officer will resolve the appeal within 10 University business days of receiving it and may take any and all actions that he/she determines to be in the interest of a fair and just decision. The decision of the Appellate Officer is final. The Appellate Officer shall issue a written statement of the resolution of the appeal, including any changes made to the previous written determination. The written statement shall be provided to the complainant and respondent within 5 University business days of reaching the resolution.

VII.Duties and Responsibilities

The Human Resources Operations Coordinator and the Assistant Dean for Compliance and Recruitment and Title IX Coordinator responsible for coordinating the University’s compliance with discrimination laws, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
It is their responsibility to: (1) receive complaints under this policy; (2) coordinate dissemination of information and education and training programs; (3) assist members of the University Community in understanding that discrimination, harassment, and retaliation are prohibited by this policy; (4) answer questions about this policy; (5) appoint investigators, or investigate, and ensure that they are trained to respond to and investigate complaints of discrimination, harassment and retaliation under this policy; (6) ensure that employees and students are aware of the procedures for reporting and addressing complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; (7) oversee the appropriate implementation of the policy; (8) document all reports of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation under this policy and establish a protocol for recordkeeping.

VIII. Exclusive Remedy

This policy and the procedures set forth herein are the exclusive means for addressing complaints of conduct covered by this policy. This policy takes priority over and displaces any other University policies and/or procedures that may otherwise apply to complaints and/or situations covered by this policy.

September, 2016