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Personnel Handbook: Anti-Discrimination Complaint Procedures

Policy Statement

As set forth in Marywood University’s Anti-Discrimination Policy, Marywood University (“the University”) is committed to maintaining a fair and respectful environment for living, working and studying.  To that end, and more fully expressed in the Anti-Discrimination Policy, the University prohibits any member of the faculty, staff, administration and student body as well as volunteers on and visitors to campus from engaging in harassing and/or discriminating behavior based on one’s race, sex (including sexual harassment and sexual violence), color, gender, national or ethnic origin, age, creed, ancestry, religion, disability or any other legally protected status. 

The University’s Anti-Discrimination Policy and Complaint Procedures applies to all faculty, staff, administration, supervisors, employees, students, volunteers and visitors both on and off campus property.  Off-campus property includes, but is not limited to, University programming, internships, study abroad programs and University athletic events. 

Anyone believing s/he has been the victim of or a witness to, or otherwise has reason to believe or become aware of, discrimination, harassment or assault by, or involving, any member of the University community, guests or visitors, on University property or any property controlled by the University, including off-campus University sponsored events, should report the incident as soon as possible after the conclusion of the incident to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator or a member of the University faculty, staff or administration.  University faculty, staff and administrators who know, or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known, of harassment or discrimination and fail to appropriately handle the report of harassment or discrimination may be subject to disciplinary action.  The University strongly encourages and expects all members of the University community to report suspected or actual incidents involving harassment and violence. 

Any individual who believes s/he has been subject to discrimination on the basis of disability should file a grievance consistent with the University’s Disability Grievance Procedures. 

In furtherance of Marywood University’s commitment to its duties and obligations, regular training on harassment, discrimination and related topics is provided for managers and supervisors in the University community.

Procedures

Complaint Process  

 1.  No one should assume that the University knows, or has reason to know, about a particular situation involving discrimination, harassment and/or assault.  The University encourages any person believing s/he has been the victim of or witness to discrimination, harassment or assault to report the incident as soon as possible, but not later than 30 working days, except in unusual circumstances, after the alleged incident(s) occurs, to one of the following individuals: 

Dr. Patricia E. Dunleavy, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
Ttitle IX Coordinator
dunleavy@marywood.edu
570-348-6220
570-961-4740 fax
86 Liberal Arts Center

Dr. Amy Paciej-Woodruff, Dean of Students
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
apaciej@marywood.edu
570-340-6016
570-340-6037 fax
107C Nazareth Student Center

Dr. Alan M. Levine, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Levine@marywood.edu
570-348-6232
570-961-4743 fax
200 Liberal Arts Center

Ms. Ann Boland-Chase, Vice President for Enrollment Management
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
chase@marywood.edu
570-961-4728
570-961-4790 fax
102 Liberal Arts Center

Complaints against students should be reported to the Dean of Students, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, who will assist in filing complaints through the Marywood University Conduct Process.   

Complaints against faculty should be reported to the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator, or the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Deputy Title IX Coordinator. 

Complaints against other members of the staff and administration should be reported to the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator, or the Vice President for Enrollment Management, Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

The Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with the President, will decide the appropriate course of action in cases where a conflict of interest is evident or possible.

Any administrator or faculty member who knows, or in the exercise of reasonable care should know, of an incident of discrimination, harassment or assault must report the information to the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator. 

2.      During the initial discussion between the complainant and the University administrator, the complainant will be informed of his/her right to confidentiality and to not pursue the complaint, whether formally or informally.  If the complainant requests confidentiality or will not consent to a complaint being pursued, the University will take all steps reasonable and necessary to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality and/or request not to pursue the investigationHowever, the University has an obligation to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment.  Therefore, should the complainant elect to not pursue the complaint or request confidentiality, depending on various factors, including the seriousness of the complaint and number of victims, the University may nonetheless undertake the investigation on its own.  The University cannot guarantee confidentiality; however, it will take reasonable steps to ensure confidentiality in accordance with its obligations to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment.

 3.      During the initial discussion, the complainant will also be informed of his/her right to proceed formally or informally.  In situations when the complainant elects to proceed informally, the University administrator will determine the steps to take to resolve the issue.  The parties may elect to resolve the matter through mediation, unless the situation involves sexual assault and/or violence.  Should the complainant elect to proceed informally, s/he may elect to stop the informal process at any time and proceed through the formal process. 

4.      If the complainant, after the initial meeting with the University administrator or after opting out of the informal process, decides to proceed formally, the complainant should submit within ten (10) working days a formal complaint, preferably in writing, to an appropriate University administrator.  The complaint must include detailed factual information concerning the incident(s), and should include what the victim feels will correct the situation. 

Cases involving alleged discrimination, harassment and sexual assault are particularly sensitive and demand special attention to issues of confidentiality.  Dissemination of information relating to the case is to be limited, so as to insure, as fully as possible, the privacy of the individuals involved.

 5.      Within five (5) working days after receipt of a formal complaint, the University administrator will commence a thorough investigation.  Investigations will be conducted as expeditiously as possible and are usually completed within 30-60 days after the formal complaint is filed.  This timeframe may vary, however, depending on confidentiality requests, availability of witnesses, the scope of the investigation and any unforeseen circumstances. 

 6.      Within ten (10) working days after the initiation of the investigation, and every ten (10) working days thereafter until receipt of the final outcome from the University administrator, the University administrator must provide a written summary of the complaint and the proceedings to date to both the complainant and the alleged offender.   

7.      Upon conclusion of the investigation, the University administrator will determine, based on a preponderance of the evidence, whether the accused violated the Anti-Discrimination Policy.  The University administrator will then provide his/her conclusions and disciplinary recommendations to the appropriate University office.  After a decision is made concerning resolution of the complaint and any disciplinary actions to be imposed, the University administrator investigating the complaint will notify the complainant and the accused in writing of the outcome of the investigation. 

 8.      Appropriate remedial action may be taken at any stage of the process and will be determined by the University administrator after consultation with executive officer(s) and/or legal counsel, if deemed necessary.  Action will be taken to eliminate the discriminatory or harassing conduct, including but not limited to warning, no contact order, suspension, transfer, community service, discipline, discharge or dismissal of the offender or anyone making a knowingly false complaint.  The remedial action may also include offering assistance/training to the victim and/or the offender.  Any remedial action taken will not inconvenience the complainant. 

9.      Either party, if not satisfied with the final outcome proposed by the University administrator, will have ten (10) working days after receipt of the outcome to file an appeal.  Appeals must be in writing and submitted to the President of the University.  Within five (5) working days, the President will direct the appeal to the appropriate University body, described below.  The appeals committee will have 30 working days to review and make a recommendation to the President of the University.  The appeals committees may review the initial investigation as well as independently investigate the claim.  Within ten (10) working days after receipt of the recommendation from the appeals committee, the University President will provide a written response to the appellant.  The decision of the University President is final and binding.

Claims against Faculty Members including Librarians, Administrators, Professional Staff, and Support Staff

The President of the University will appoint and convene a committee of five (5) employees comprised of professional staff, administrators and/or faculty who are independent of the claim.

Claims against Students

The President of the University will refer the appeal to the Vice President for Student Life who will convene an Appeal Board.  The Appeal Board will review the complaint and make a recommendation to the Vice President for Student Life who will notify the President of the recommendation.

 External Process

Victims or the University may choose to file a report with the proper law enforcement authorities also.  Marywood University has personnel on staff who can explain criminal complaint procedures and assist victims in beginning the process.  Additionally, if necessary, University administrators will notify the appropriate law enforcement officials in accordance with any obligations under federal, state and local laws.  Police investigation and legal prosecution are conducted outside of and in addition to University procedures.

 Retaliation Not Permitted

Anyone who reports an actual or suspected incident of harassment or discrimination, or who participates in an investigation, will not be subjected to retaliation.  If a complainant or witness believes s/he is the victim of retaliation, the complainant or witness should contact the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator or the Dean of Students, Deputy Title IX Coordinator.  Anyone found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action. 

 Resources

A list of Marywood University and community resources is available at the Human Resources Office and the Student Life Offices.

Students are encouraged to use the services of the Counseling and Student Development Center, the Student Health Services Office, and the Students with Disabilities Services Office.

Revision approved by the President of the University 02/27/12

 

Comments to the Human Resources Pagemaster: krukovitz@marywood.edu