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File code: PRES.DISCRIM.POL
Approval Date:2/06/09
Approved By: President

Policy on Discrimination Complaint Procedures

Western Illinois University has established the following complaint procedures to demonstrate its commitment to non-discrimination on the basis of age, sex, race, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, gender identity, gender expression, religion, disability, or status as a veteran. These procedures also fulfill obligations established by laws, statutes, and other non-discrimination guidance. Members of the University community who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of age, sex, race, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, gender identity, gender expression, religion, disability, or status as a veteran may file a complaint under these procedures.

Retaliation taken against any employee or student of the University who seeks redress under this procedure or who supports individuals in seeking redress is strictly prohibited. Reports of retaliatory action shall be regarded as a separate and distinct cause of complaint under these procedures.

Complaints filed against the President will be referred to the Board of Trustees legal counsel for investigation and preparation of a report to be submitted to the Board of Trustees. In the case of complaints filed against Vice Presidents or other persons who report directly to the President, the President shall substitute for the appropriate Vice President in step 7 below. Complaints against the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access will be referred to the President, who will appoint a neutral person to complete the investigation.

All complaints filed with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access will be investigated as soon as practicable under the circumstances. Information obtained in the review of a complaint will be kept as confidential as possible. Individuals may also contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access to discuss possible informal avenues of resolution. Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement may request union representation during this process.

The consideration of a complaint, including the investigation, attempts at informal resolution, and the formulation of a final decision will ordinarily be completed within eight calendar weeks, exclusive of holidays, after receipt of a complaint. If consideration cannot be completed in the eight-week interval, the complainant, respondent, and other parties as appropriate will be notified as to the delay.

If action is proposed as a result of a finding of discrimination, procedures required under relevant collective bargaining agreements, Board Regulations, or the State Universities Civil Service Statute and Rules will apply.

The following steps will be taken to resolve complaints filed under these procedures:

  1. Complainants must file a written statement outlining the nature of the complaint, naming the respondent(s), and indicating the remedy sought.
  2. The complainant will be interviewed by the Investigating Officer, at which time all materials provided by the complainant will be reviewed. Following this interview, the investigator will evaluate the complaint (including materials submitted) to determine if the allegation warrants further investigation under these procedures. If it is determined that there is insufficient evidence to support the allegation, the complainant will be notified in writing. The complainant may appeal this decision to the President.
  3. If it is determined that the complaint justifies further investigation, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access will send notice to the individual(s) named as respondent(s) in the complaint. The respondent(s) will be required to submit a written response, and an interview will be conducted by the investigator to review their response to the complaint. If needed, the investigator will conduct additional interviews with the complainant, respondent, or other individuals deemed appropriate to obtain additional information related to the charge.
  4. Where there are conflicts of information or opinion, the investigator may elect to conduct an informational meeting including both parties. The complainant and respondent will receive at least three (3) working days notice of this meeting. After notifying the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, either party may bring a person to serve in a supportive/observer role.
  5. When all the information has been reviewed, an Investigative Report will be prepared by the investigator. This report will include a finding of whether or not the University's non-discrimination policies have been violated. The finding will be provided to both parties in writing.
  6. If it is determined that discrimination has not occurred, no further action will be taken. Either party may appeal this finding to the President.
  7. If it is determined that discrimination has occurred, the investigator, the appropriate Vice President, and other relevant supervisory personnel will then meet to review the Investigative Report. The Vice President will determine what appropriate action will be taken. The Vice President will inform the respondent of action to be taken. If the respondent is a member of a bargaining unit, action will be taken in accordance with the appropriate collective bargaining contract.
  8. Either party may appeal the finding to the President. Appeals must be filed within 10 days of the receipt of the finding. The President's decision is final.