Members of the University community who feel they have experienced discrimination or harassment based upon ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, race, color, religion, creed, sex/gender, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, age, gender identity, military or military veteran status, disability, family medical or genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristic have rights to grievance procedures which should both address their complaints and see that misbehavior is penalized or errant practices corrected.
These Procedures are intended for use in instances where the Respondent is a non-student employee of the University. Instances in which a student is Respondent or in which only students are involved will be handled according to the Student Judicial Process as outlined in the Student Handbook.
These Procedures do not address Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking as those terms are defined in the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking. Instead, the University’s Procedures for Resolution of Complaints of Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking explain how the University assesses, investigates, and resolves complaints of such prohibited conduct against students and employees. The Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct Relationship Violence, and Stalking and Procedures for Resolution of Complaints of Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking supersede any conflicting information contained in these Procedures with respect to complaints of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking.
Unless others in the University community have a need to know about the issues pertinent to the grievance (e.g., in order to protect persons from harm or to fulfill legal reporting obligations), the Office of Human Resources and all those who may become involved in its resolution shall keep their knowledge of the alleged misconduct strictly confidential.
The failure of a Complainant to proceed with a complaint against a Respondent does not relieve the University of its’ obligation to act in accordance with the legal/policy requirements in response to the information provided by the Complainant.
1. Complaint Reporting
A Complainant may initiate a complaint against a staff or faculty member for violating University harassment or discrimination policies. The complainant should make the complaint to any of the following administrators:
Assistant Vice President of Human Resources
Vice President of Finance and Treasurer
Title IX Coordinator
The written complaint should identify the parties involved; describe the harassing or discriminatory behavior, including when and where it occurred and identify by name or description any witnesses and/or evidence. Written complaints should be treated as confidential and should be provided directly and only to the appropriate designated individuals as listed above.
2. Interim Steps
When appropriate, prior to or during the investigation, the University may take reasonable and appropriate interim steps to protect the safety and well-being of members of the University community, maintain the integrity of the investigative and/or resolution process, and deter retaliation.
3. Investigation Process
The purpose of the investigation is to gather facts relating to the incident(s) outlined in the written complaint and to determine whether it is more likely than not that the alleged behavior occurred and, if so, whether it constitutes discrimination and/or harassment. The internal complaint process allows individuals to submit their complaint to one of many offices, although the requisite fact-finding will typically be conducted by the Office of Human Resources, in coordination with the office that has responsibility for the accused. The investigator (or co-investigators, as necessary) will conduct a fact-finding inquiry that may include written statements, interviews and any other sources of evidence the investigator deems appropriate. During the course of the investigation, the investigator may receive counsel from the Provost’s Office, the Office of the General Counsel, or other parties as needed.
While the length of an investigation will depend on a variety of factors, including the nature and scope of the allegations, the number of parties and witnesses, and the availability of parties and witnesses, the investigator will seek to conclude the investigation within 45 business days of receipt of the complaint.
Arcadia University expects faculty, staff and other members of the University community to cooperate fully in the investigation process. Any faculty or staff member who is the subject of, or potential witness regarding, a discrimination or harassment complaint and refuses to cooperate in an investigation is subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment.
Adversarial hearings, including confrontation, cross-examination by the parties, and active advocacy by attorneys or other outside advocates, are neither appropriate nor permitted during the investigation process.
4. Complaint Resolution
At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will prepare a written report. The report will explain the scope of the investigation and whether any allegations in the complaint were substantiated. The written report will be submitted to the Provost Office and/or appropriate Dean (in cases where Respondent is faculty member or academic affairs staff) or Vice President (in cases where Respondent is administrative staff).
The Dean/VP to whom the report is submitted may accept the report, request to review additional information, including summaries of party/witness statements or other information, or return the report for further investigation. The Assistant Vice President of Human Resources, or designee will, for both parties involved (the person who filed the written complaint as well as the person whose behavior is being investigated), summarize the findings (see range of findings below).
Finding of “No Violation” of the University’s Policy on Discrimination and/or Harassment
If there is a determination that the behavior investigated did not violate this Policy, both parties will be so informed. Neither party may appeal such a finding. If retaliatory behavior occurs after the issuance of this determination, either party may bring a complaint under this Policy.
Finding of “Inappropriate Behavior Not Rising to the Level of a Violation” of the University’s Policy on Discrimination and/or Harassment
There may be a determination that the behavior was inappropriate and unprofessional but did not rise to the level of violating this Policy. Such inappropriate behavior may merit discipline, ongoing monitoring, coaching, or other appropriate action. Neither party may appeal such a finding. If retaliatory behavior occurs after the issuance of this determination, either party may bring a complaint under this Policy.
Finding of “Violation” of the University’s Policy on Discrimination and/or Harassment
If there is a determination that the behavior did violate this Policy, the Dean/VP/Provost, in consultation with the appropriate manager or department head and the Office of Human Resources, will determine the appropriate corrective actions to be taken. In addition, where appropriate, the Dean/VP/Provost may implement measures to ensure that the person who filed the complaint is not subjected to further discrimination or harassment, and to remedy the effects of any discrimination or harassment that may have occurred. Remedial steps, at the discretion of the University, may include, but are not limited to, counseling or training, separation of the parties, and/or discipline of the accused, including a written warning, financial penalty, suspension, demotion or termination in accordance with University policy. The process for appealing such a finding is set forth in the section captioned “Appeals” below.
The University’s ability to discipline an individual who is not an employee or student (such as a vendor or contractor) is limited by the degree of control, if any, the University has over such individual. Nonetheless, the University will seek to take appropriate action in response to violations of this Policy.
Any allegation of discrimination or harassment brought to the attention of the University will be discreetly addressed in some manner. Investigations will be conducted in a confidential manner to the greatest extent possible. However, the investigation of complaints may also require disclosure to the accused individual and to other witnesses for the purpose of gathering pertinent information. In such case, disclosures will be limited to the extent possible.
Individuals involved in investigations or disciplinary proceedings under this policy are encouraged to exercise discretion in sharing information in order to safeguard the integrity of the process and to avoid the appearance of retaliation. While discretion regarding the process is important, complainants and respondents are not restricted from discussing and sharing information with others who may support or assist them in presenting their case.
Medical and counseling records are privileged and confidential documents that parties will not be required to disclose.
The following are the only appeals available under this Policy.
Faculty members found to have violated this Policy may, consistent with the Faculty Handbook, file a written appeal pursuant to section 90.28 of the Faculty Handbook, provided the appeal involves “dismissal for adequate cause.”
Academic professionals found to have violated this Policy may, submit a written request for reconsideration to the Provost on the grounds that: (i) there exists substantial relevant information that was not presented, and reasonably could not have been presented during the investigation, or (ii) the imposed penalty does not fall within the range of penalties imposed for similar misconduct.
Staff members found to have violated this Policy may file a written request for reconsideration to the Vice President of Finance and Treasurer on the grounds that: (i) there exists substantial relevant information that was not presented, and reasonably could not have been presented during the investigation, or (ii) the imposed penalty does not fall within the range of penalties imposed for similar misconduct.
D. Protection from Retaliation
The University prohibits any attempt to seek retribution against an individual or group of individuals involved in filing a complaint or report under this policy, filing an external complaint, participating in a disciplinary process, or opposing in a reasonable manner an action believed to constitute a violation of this policy. Retaliation can take many forms, including abuse or violence, threats, and intimidation. Actions in response to a good faith report or response under this policy are considered retaliatory if they have a materially adverse effect on the working, academic or University-controlled living environment of an individual; or if they hinder or prevent the individual from effectively carrying out their University responsibilities. Any individual or group of individuals can engage in retaliation and will be held accountable under this policy.
Prior to the conclusion of an investigation and findings, a complaint of discrimination or harassment does not constitute proof of prohibited conduct. As such, the complaint shall not be taken into account during reappointment, tenure, promotion, merit or other evaluation or review until a determination has been made that the University’s Policy has been violated.
Complaints of retaliation should be reported as violations of this Policy. Retaliatory conduct may result in serious disciplinary sanctions.
E. Protection from Bad Faith Complaints
It is the responsibility of the University to balance the rights of all parties. Therefore, if the University’s investigation reveals that the complaint is malicious or knowingly false, such charges will be dismissed and the person who filed the complaint may be subject to discipline.
F. External Complaints
The procedures set forth herein are internal administrative procedures of the University. As to those forms of Discrimination or Harassment that also violate state or federal law, a Complainant may also file a complaint with the appropriate local, state or federal agency and in a court with jurisdiction.
Please be advised that separate deadlines and time limitations for filing complaints with these external agencies may apply and the University’s investigation does not toll or otherwise suspend these deadlines or time limitations. Please contact the agencies directly for more information about applicable deadlines.
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)