Effective October 1, 2022
- Information on how to report discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation to the University
- Information on how to report discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation to law enforcement or government agencies
- Information to contact Campus Security and Local Law Enforcement
- Information to contact Confidential Resources
- Information to contact the Student Affairs Offices
- Information to contact External Government Resources
- Learn more about JHU’s Timely Warning Policy
- Access the University’s Annual Security & Fire Safety Report
- Access the University’s Crime Logs
Section I: Purpose and Scope
The Johns Hopkins University is committed to equal opportunity and providing a safe and non-discriminatory educational and working environment for its students, trainees, faculty, staff, post-doctoral fellows, residents, and other members of the university community. To that end, the university seeks to provide community members with an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex, gender, marital status, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, ancestry or national origin, immigration status, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, veteran status or other legally protected characteristic. The university is also committed to providing individuals appropriate access to all academic and employment programs, benefits and activities on the basis of demonstrated ability, performance and without regard to any protected characteristic.
The university’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy (“Policy”) is essential to its mission of excellence in education and research and applies to all academic programs, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic programs administered by the university, as well as its educational policies, admission policies, and employment policies. This Policy applies to all employment decisions, including those affecting hiring, promotion, demotion or transfer; recruitment; advertisement of vacancies; layoff and termination; compensation and benefits; and selection for training. Consistent with the university’s obligations under the law, the Policy also extends to the maintenance of affirmative action programs for people of color, women, persons with disabilities and veterans.
This Policy and these Procedures apply to all members of the university community, including, but not limited to, students, trainees, faculty, staff, post-doctoral fellows, and residents. It covers prohibited conduct that:
- occurs on campus or other university property;
- occurs in connection with university programs or activities, whether on or off-campus, including academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic and other programs and activities;
- impedes equal access to any university educational program or activity or adversely impacts the education or employment of a member of the university community, regardless of where the conduct occurred; or
- otherwise threatens the health or safety of a member of the university community.
In certain instances, this Policy and these Procedures apply to third parties (e.g., visitors; volunteers; vendors and contractors while on university property, participating in a university sponsored activity, or providing services to the university; applicants for admission to or employment with the university; and former affiliates of the University). This Policy and these Procedures apply regardless of an individual’s sex, gender, marital status, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, veteran status or other legally protected characteristic. All academic and administrative units of the university (including all schools, divisions, campuses, departments and centers) must comply, and ensure that their policies and procedures comply, with this Policy and these Procedures. To the extent there is any inconsistency between unit policies and procedures and this Policy and these Procedures, this Policy and these Procedures control.
The university assigns a high priority to the implementation of its Discrimination and Harassment Policy, and significant university resources are devoted to assuring compliance with all laws prohibiting discrimination, harassment and retaliation in employment and educational programs. Shanon Shumpert, JD, the university’s Vice Provost for Institutional Equity, is responsible for assisting the university President and other university officers in the implementation of equal opportunity and affirmative action programs.
Conduct that is considered inappropriate or unacceptable within the university community may nevertheless not amount to harassment under this Policy. However, when appropriate, the University’s Office of Institutional Equity (“OIE”) will report such conduct to the relevant internal university department(s) or authority(ies) such as Human Resources, Student Conduct and Ethics, or the relevant department or dean to determine and implement appropriate responsive action.
Fundamental to the university’s purpose is the free and open exchange of ideas. It is not, therefore, the university’s purpose in promulgating this Policy to inhibit free speech or the free communication of ideas by members of the academic community. Please follow this link to read the full university Statement on Academic Freedom.
The university may amend this Policy and these Procedures from time to time. Further, the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity, with the approval of the Office of the General Counsel, may from time to time make revisions and updates to this Policy and these Procedures to comply with applicable laws, regulations and governmental guidance and any amendments thereto. Nothing in this Policy and these Procedures shall affect the inherent authority of the university to take such actions as it deems appropriate to further the educational mission of the university or to protect the safety and security of the university community.
Section II: Prohibited Conduct
The university prohibits discrimination and harassment based on any protected characteristic, which includes sex, gender, marital status, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, ancestry or national origin, immigration status, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, veteran status or other legally protected characteristic. The university further prohibits any form of retaliation, intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination or attempts thereof, whether direct or indirect, by any officer, employee, faculty, student, trainee, post-doctoral fellow, resident or agent of the university against a person who makes a complaint or report of discrimination or harassment, participates in any way in the investigation or resolution of such a complaint or report, or exercises their rights or responsibilities under the Policy, these Procedures or the law.
This Policy and these Procedures apply to reports of disparate treatment discrimination based on sex, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression and harassment based on marital status, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, ancestry or national origin, immigration status, age, disability, religion, military status, veteran status or other legally protected characteristic, as well as related retaliation.
Sexual misconduct is addressed under the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures (SMPP). Sexual misconduct includes “Title IX Sexual Harassment” (and includes Title IX sex, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity/expression based harassment) and “Other Sexual Misconduct” (which includes non-Title IX sex, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity/expression based harassment). For reports involving both allegations under the SMPP as well as this Policy, the Vice Provost and Title IX Coordinator will determine the appropriate procedures to be applied to the non-SMPP allegations, which may be these Procedures, the Procedures for Title IX Sexual Harassment or the Procedures for Other Sexual Misconduct.
Any person with a concern or complaint about a violation of this Policy is urged to contact OIE. Each member of the community is responsible for fostering mutual respect, for being familiar with this Policy, and for refraining from conduct that violates this Policy.
Members of the university community, including students, trainees, faculty and staff, and certain third parties (e.g., visitors, volunteers, vendors, and contractors while on university property, participating in a university sponsored activity, or providing services to the university, or applicants for admission to or employment with the university, or former affiliates of the university) may bring complaints of violations of this Policy to OIE.
The university prohibits filing complaints or reports of discrimination, harassment and/or related retaliation that the complainant knows to be false. The filing of intentionally false complaints may result in disciplinary action.
The university will take appropriate remedial action in response to violations of this Policy, up to and including expulsion and/or termination.
Section III: Definitions
Anonymous Complaints: Complaints of discrimination, harassment and/or related retaliation filed with the university, including OIE, may be submitted anonymously, meaning that the complainant may file the complaint or report without identifying themselves. Anonymous reporters are encouraged to speak with an OIE representative to understand the potential limitations of an investigation being conducted based on an anonymous report. See Section IV of this Policy for anonymous reporting options.
Complainant: The term “complainant” refers to the alleged victim of discrimination, harassment and/or related retaliation, whether reported by the alleged victim or a third party.
Confidential Resources: “Confidential Resource” is a formal university designation given to certain university employees/departments exempt from any Responsible Employee obligations under this Policy. Confidential Resources do not have to report discrimination, harassment or related retaliation to the university. Confidential Resources include mental health providers and staff, healthcare providers and staff, pastoral counselors and staff, and any other persons who have a legal obligation to protect confidentiality when acting in a professional capacity unless there is an imminent threat to health or safety, or other basis for disclosure pursuant to law. Confidential Resources designated by the university include providers and staff at the Johns Hopkins Counseling Center, the Johns Hopkins Student Assistance Program, Johns Hopkins EAP, University Mental Health Services, student health centers operated by the university, the Gender Violence Prevention & Education Specialist, as well as chaplains and staff at the Bunting Meyerhoff Interfaith and Community Center. Confidential Resources serve in that role at all times regardless of setting or specific activity. For a list of Confidential Resources, see Appendix B. Confidential Resources are not Responsible Employees (defined below). All university personnel not specifically designated within Appendix B as Confidential Resources are considered non-confidential. If you have any question about whether you are a Confidential Resource or whether someone you would like to speak to is a Confidential Resource, please contact OIE for clarification.
Discrimination: The term “discrimination” means treating a community member or group less favorably than a similarly situated community member or group because they are a member of a “protected class.”
Gender Expression: The external appearance of one’s gender identity, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, haircut or voice, and which may or may not conform to socially defined behaviors and characteristics typically associated with being either masculine or feminine.
Gender Identity: One’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither – how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One’s gender identity can be the same as or different from their sex assigned at birth.
Harassment: For purposes of this Policy, “harassment” is defined as any type of behavior which is based on an individual’s or group’s membership in a “protected class(es)” that is: (a) unwelcome and (b) offensive when:
- Submission to the conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term of the individual’s employment or participation in an education program or activity;
- Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions or advancement; or
- Such conduct unreasonably creates a work or academic environment that a reasonable person would perceive to be abusive or hostile.
The alleged conduct need not be severe or pervasive. The university considers the totality of the circumstances when assessing whether the alleged conduct unreasonably creates an abusive or hostile work or academic environment from the perspective of a reasonable person. This includes consideration of whether the unwelcome and offensive conduct unreasonably interferes with, limits, or deprives a member of the community of the ability to participate in or to receive benefits, services or opportunities from the university’s education or employment programs and/or activities. Although the alleged conduct need not be severe or pervasive in order to constitute an unreasonably hostile or abusive environment, the heightened seriousness of alleged severe or pervasive conduct will be considered during OIE’s process.
Harassment when directed at an individual because of their membership in a “protected class(es)” may include, but is not limited to:
- Conduct, whether verbal, physical, written, graphic, or electronic that threatens, intimidates, offends, belittles, denigrates, or shows an aversion toward an individual or group;
- Epithets, slurs, and/or negative stereotyping, jokes, or nicknames;
- Written, printed, or graphic material that contains offensive, denigrating, and/or demeaning comments, and/or pictures; and
- The display of offensive, denigrating, and/or demeaning objects, e-mails, text messages, and/or cell phone pictures.
Interim Measures: The term “interim measures” means reasonably available and feasible measures, accommodations, or steps the university may take following an incident and/or while a matter under these Procedures is pending to assist, support or protect the complainant, respondent or another person and/or to protect the integrity of the investigation and resolution process. For examples of interim measures, see Section VII below. To discuss or request interim measures, please contact OIE.
Preponderance of the Evidence: The “preponderance of the evidence” means it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred (or did not occur) based on the evidentiary record.
Protected Class: A “protected class” is a group of people with a common characteristic who are legally protected from discrimination on the basis of that characteristic. The university prohibits discrimination on the basis of the following characteristics: race, color, ancestry or national origin, immigration status, ethnicity, age, disability, religion, sex, gender, pregnancy, military status, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, and other legally protected characteristics. See also the University Statement on Equal Opportunity.
Respondent: The term “respondent” refers to the person alleged to have committed discrimination or harassment in violation of this Policy.
Responsible Employee: “Responsible Employee” is a designation given to certain university employees who have a duty to report discrimination, harassment, or related retaliation that they learn of to OIE.
Confidential Resources are not Responsible Employees. Responsible Employees designated by the university include academic administrators, academic advisors, non-confidential employees serving in a supervisory role, department heads and chairs, directors, deans, student affairs staff, OIE staff, faculty, Human Resources personnel, campus security officers, resident advisors, and athletic coaches. Responsible Employees must promptly report all known relevant information to OIE, including the names of the complainant, respondent, and any witnesses and any other relevant facts, including the date, time, and location of the misconduct. Faculty who are also licensed medical providers do not have a Responsible Employee obligation when providing patient care if the patient information that constitutes a report of potential misconduct under this Policy is protected by applicable patient privacy or other laws. If you have any question about whether you are a Responsible Employee or questions regarding your Responsible Employee duties, please promptly contact OIE for clarification.
Retaliation: The term “retaliation” means intimidating, threatening, coercing, harassing, taking adverse employment or educational action against, and/or otherwise discriminating against an individual in any way because the individual made a report or complaint under this Policy or these Procedures, participated in any way in the investigation or resolution of such a report or complaint, opposed conduct that they reasonably believed to be prohibited under this Policy, these Procedures, or applicable law regarding discrimination or harassment, or exercised any right or responsibility under the Policy or these Procedures. Retaliation includes conduct that is reasonably likely to deter an individual from making a complaint or report under this Policy or from participating in the investigation or resolution of a complaint or report, or from opposing conduct that they reasonably believe to be prohibited under this Policy, these Procedures or applicable law regarding discrimination or harassment.
Section IV: Reporting Discrimination, Harassment and/or Retaliation
a. Reporting Options
Reporting to the university: Complaints of discrimination, harassment and /or retaliation may be made to Shanon Shumpert, JD, Vice Provost for Institutional Equity, Linda Boyd, JD, Assistant Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Title IX Coordinator, or their designees by contacting OIE or by completing our online complaint form, as follows:
The Johns Hopkins University
Office of Institutional Equity
Wyman Park Building, Suite 515
3400 North Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21218
Telephone: (410) 516-8075
TTY: Dial 711
Anonymous Complaints: Complaints and reports may be made anonymously using any of the reporting options above. To make an anonymous complaint by any method above, do not provide your personally identifiable information (such as name, e-mail, or phone numbers) when making the complaint or report.
Reporting to Law Enforcement: In an emergency, contact 911 to reach law enforcement. A listing of campus security and local law enforcement contact information is available in Appendix A. Campus security, the Vice Provost of Institutional Equity and the Assistant Vice Provost can also provide assistance with contacting local law enforcement.
Speaking with Confidential Resources: If a complainant does not wish to make a report or complaint to the university, the complainant may contact a Confidential Resource. See Appendix B for a list of Confidential Resources.
b. The Office of Institutional Equity
OIE is responsible for receiving and handling complaints of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. OIE is a neutral resource available to all students, faculty, staff and other university affiliates.
The Vice Provost for Institutional Equity is responsible for OIE and is the university’s senior equal opportunity official.
The Vice Provost and the university’s Assistant Vice Provost work within OIE and coordinate the university’s efforts to comply with state and federal laws governing discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; oversee the university’s related policies and procedures; explain the operation of the complaint resolution process; ensure that the university responds appropriately to complaints of discrimination, harassment and retaliation; coordinate training related to discrimination, harassment and retaliation; and provide or oversee the provision of information to members of the university community, including the complainant and the respondent, concerning discrimination, harassment and retaliation and this Policy and these Procedures, the availability of confidential and other resources and interim measures.
The Vice Provost and the Assistant Vice Provost also coordinate, oversee, or conduct the investigation of discrimination, harassment and retaliation complaints. No employee or student is authorized to investigate or resolve such complaints without the express direction of the Vice Provost or Assistant Vice Provost. If an employee or student is unsure whether particular conduct involves discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation, they should contact OIE.
c. Reports of Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation
The university encourages students, faculty, staff and other members of the community to report discrimination, harassment and retaliation, and to do so as promptly as possible, so that the university can respond effectively. Anyone may meet with or talk to the Vice Provost, Assistant Vice Provost, or a designee to learn more about the process before making a report. Note, Responsible Employees (discussed below) who receive reports or otherwise become aware of discrimination, harassment and retaliation are required to promptly report such information to OIE.
Complainants may ask OIE to keep their identity confidential and/or not to take further action, but OIE will independently determine whether to investigate the allegations, weighing the complainant’s interest in confidentiality against any risk that not investigating the incident may contribute to a hostile environment or pose a threat to the safety and security of the university community.
Reports of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation may be filed anonymously, meaning that the individual submits the complaint without identifying themselves. Anonymous reporters are encouraged to speak with an OIE representative so as to understand the potential limitations of an investigation being conducted based on an anonymous report.
If a complainant is under the age of 18 (i.e., a minor), the university will adhere to its Policy on the Safety of Children in University Programs, as well as to applicable law.
When a third party (e.g., a faculty member, resident advisor, friend, or roommate) reports a discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation incident, OIE will promptly notify the complainant that a report has been received, and this Policy and these Procedures will apply in the same manner as if the complainant had made the initial report.
Upon receiving a report of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation, whether from a third party or directly from the complainant, the Vice Provost, Assistant Vice Provost or a designee will determine if any immediate action or interim measures should be implemented.
If a respondent is not a member of the university community or if the respondent’s identity is not known, the university will still make efforts to assess the alleged discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation. OIE will also assist complainants in identifying appropriate campus and external resources.
The university does not limit the time for submitting a report of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation and encourages all reports irrespective of when the underlying incident occurred. The university’s ability to investigate and respond effectively may be reduced with the passage of time.
d. Notice of Rights
Upon receiving a report of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation, OIE will send the complainant a copy of or link to this Policy and these Procedures and invite them to discuss the matter with an OIE representative.
e. Maintenance and Privacy of Records
The university will maintain a record of all reports of discrimination, harassment and retaliation and related evidence, documents, records, and information pertaining to the investigation and resolution of the complaints. These records will be maintained in accordance with applicable policies, procedures and legal requirements.
f. Reporting to Law Enforcement or Government Agencies
Depending on the facts and circumstances, discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation may involve criminal activity, such as a hate crime. The university encourages students, faculty, staff and other members of its community to report any potential criminal conduct to law enforcement authorities, and the university may do so in a health or safety emergency.
Reporting an incident to law enforcement authorities does not preclude filing a complaint with the university. Individuals may file reports of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation under this Policy before, after, or simultaneously with reporting an incident to law enforcement, or if no report is made to law enforcement at all. Whether or not an incident results in a criminal investigation, prosecution or conviction, the university will decide, pursuant to these Procedures, whether the respondent has violated the Policy and, if so, what sanctions, if any, to impose.
g. Clery Reporting Obligations
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the “Clery Act”) requires the university to record and report certain information about certain crimes (including certain hate crimes) that occur on or near campus. Certain university employees who are designated as Campus Safety Authorities and who receive reports of certain types of crimes are required by the Clery Act and the university to notify Campus Safety and Security about such incidents for statistical reporting purposes. The university reports crimes as required by the Clery Act in its Campus Crime Blotter, Clery Crime Log, and Annual Security and Fire Safety Report available online on the Campus Safety and Security website. The Clery Act also requires the University to issue a “timely warning” when it receives a report of certain crimes that pose a serious or continuing threat to the safety of the campus community. Campus Safety and Security will issue timely warnings in accordance with the university’s Timely Warning Policy. Personally identifiable information about complainants will not be included in any timely warning or security notification, or in any publicly available record-keeping, including the disclosure of crime statistics in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.
h. Other Reporting Options
Inquiries or reports concerning discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation or the university’s handling of such inquiries or complaints may be referred to the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Employee reports may also be referred to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (for Maryland employees) or the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (for Washington, D.C. employees). Contact information is located in Appendix D.
Section V: Obligations of University Employees
All Responsible Employees who receive reports or otherwise become aware of possible discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation are required to promptly report such misconduct to OIE.
Responsible Employees must report all known relevant information to OIE, including the names of the complainant, respondent, and any witnesses and any other relevant facts, including the date, time, and location of the misconduct. Confidential Resources discussed in the section immediately below are exempt from the Responsible Employee reporting requirement.
All University personnel, including Responsible Employees and Confidential Resources, are charged with protecting and respecting the privacy of complainants, respondents and any witnesses to the extent possible. Information about discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation should be shared only with those who have a need to know such information. University personnel must participate in required training on issues of discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
Community members who are not Responsible Employees are encouraged to report any concerns about discrimination, harassment and retaliation as soon as possible to OIE.
No employee is authorized to investigate or resolve reports or complaints of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation without the express direction of the Vice Provost or Assistant Vice Provost. If any Responsible Employee has a question about their designation or duties as a Responsible Employee, please contact OIE.
Section VI: Confidentiality and Confidential Resources
A complainant may request confidentiality, for example that the complainant’s identity not be disclosed to anyone else, including the respondent, or that information about the incident not be shared with others. The Vice Provost or Assistant Vice Provost will consider any requests for confidentiality or requests that an investigation not be pursued in light of the university’s commitment to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all members of the community. For example, if the Vice Provost or Assistant Vice Provost concludes that the allegations about the respondent suggest a threat to the community, create a hostile environment, or otherwise require responsive action by the university, the request for confidentiality may not be granted. If the university honors a request for confidentiality, the university’s ability to investigate and respond to the reported misconduct and pursue disciplinary action against the respondent may be limited. The university will, however, take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with a request that has been honored. If the Vice Provost or Assistant Vice Provost determines that the university will not honor a complainant’s request for confidentiality, OIE will inform the complainant prior to starting an investigation. In all circumstances, the university will make appropriate interim measures available, provide access to resources, and take such other actions as necessary and appropriate to protect the safety and security of the parties and the university community.
If an individual desires to keep the details of any incident(s) of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation confidential, the individual may speak to a Confidential Resource, (fully listed in Appendix B). Information shared with Confidential Resources (listed in Appendix B) does not constitute a report filed with the university.
Section VII: Procedures for Investigation and Resolution of Reports
a. Interim Measures
OIE will work with all affected persons to ensure their safety and promote their well-being. This assistance may include the provision of interim measures following an incident or while a matter under these Procedures is pending in order to assist, support or protect an individual and/or to protect the integrity of an investigation or resolution process. Both complainants and respondents will have equal access to appropriate and reasonably available and feasible interim measures.
Upon receipt of a report, OIE will provide written notice to the complainant of the interim measures that may be available and feasible. Similar notice will be provided to the respondent upon the initiation of an investigation. Interim measures are afforded whether or not the complainant reports the matter to Campus Safety and Security or law enforcement, or files a complaint with the university.
Interim measures will be implemented by a divisional dean or director or other appropriate authority at the individual’s school, division, campus, department, or center, under the direction of the Vice Provost or Assistant Vice Provost. The division dean or other appropriate authorities, in conjunction with the Vice Provost or Assistant Vice Provost, will communicate with other university personnel to ensure that they make appropriate interim measures available. The university will maintain as confidential any interim measures to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the university to provide the measures.
Interim measures may include, but are not limited to:
- Adjusting work schedules;
- Changing academic schedules;
- Changes to division organizational structure;
- Paid/Unpaid Leave;
- Parking and/or transportation accommodations;
- Rescheduling examinations;
- Allowing withdrawal from or re-taking classes without penalty;
- Providing access to tutoring or other academic support;
- Prohibiting attendance at group or organizational informal or formal functions overseen by the university;
- Moving on-campus residences;
- Ban from campus;
- Issuing “no contact” orders;
- Assistance connecting with medical and/or mental health services;
- Change in dining location;
- Access to safety escort services; and
- Assistance connecting with a supporter.
Violations of no contact orders and failures to comply with other interim measures may result in disciplinary action pursuant to the student conduct code or relevant divisional policy for faculty and staff.
b. Investigations of Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Cases
Except as specifically noted herein, these Procedures apply to any report of discrimination, harassment  and/or retaliation across the university, regardless of the status of the respondent.
Complainants and respondents are expected to check their official University e-mail on a regular basis throughout any complaint investigation and resolution process. University e-mail is the primary way in which complainants and respondents will receive communications from OIE. Complainants and/or respondents who are not, or no longer, affiliated with the university should provide OIE with an email address at the outset of the investigation and notify OIE immediately if their contact information changes during the course of the investigation.
i. Investigative Process
When OIE receives a report of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation, the report is evaluated to determine whether or not the allegations are within the purview of any OIE policy and, if so, to determine whether an investigation or other action is appropriate. OIE may engage in limited fact-gathering to determine whether to initiate an investigation, to take other actions (such as informal resolution), or to refer to another university office.
If an OIE case is opened, an OIE representative will notify the complainant and respondent in writing of the alleged violation being investigated. OIE reserves the right to amend or supplement the notice of investigation at any time and will provide the complainant and respondent with notice of any such changes in the scope of the investigation. OIE will also ensure that both the complainant and respondent are updated appropriately and equivalently throughout the process. A complainant and/or respondent may decline to participate in the investigation or resolution process. The university may continue the process without the complainant’s and/or respondent’s participation.
If the facts surrounding a report of discrimination, harassment and/retaliation also involve other alleged violations of university policy, including, but not limited to, student codes of conduct, and human resources policies. OIE may also investigate such other alleged violations or refer them to the appropriate authority, such as Student Conduct or Human Resources. As noted above, for reports involving both allegations under the SMPP as well as this Policy, the Vice Provost and Title IX Coordinator will determine the appropriate procedures to be applied to the non-SMPP allegations, which may be these Procedures, the Procedures for Title IX Sexual Harassment or the Procedures for Other Sexual Misconduct.
ii. Informal Resolution
OIE may determine that certain cases are more suitable for informal resolution. All informal resolutions will be conducted or overseen by an OIE Equity Compliance Investigator. If the informal resolution process is unsuccessful for any reason, OIE will determine whether to conduct a formal investigation. If a matter is resolved through informal resolution, the parties will receive a written notice of the outcome memorializing the terms of the informal resolution.
iii. Conflict of Interest Policy
All persons participating in the investigation or the informal resolution of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation cases should disclose any potential or actual conflict of interest to OIE. If the complainant or the respondent believes that any person involved in the process has a conflict of interest, they may make a request to OIE that the individual not participate. Any such request should include a description of the alleged conflict. If OIE determines that a conflict of interest exists, OIE will take steps to address the conflict in order to ensure an impartial process.
The complainant and the respondent may be assisted and advised by a supporter of their choice, including legal counsel or a union representative, throughout the investigative and informal resolution processes. The supporter may not be any individual who is a potential witness in the investigation and may not be a party to a complaint pending with OIE. The supporter may accompany the party to any meeting held pursuant to this Policy. Prior to participating in the investigation or resolution process, the supporter may meet with an OIE investigator to discuss the process. During any meeting or proceeding under these Procedures, a supporter (whether or not legal counsel) may advise and provide support to the party but may not speak on the party’s behalf or otherwise participate, or address or question the investigator, other parties or witnesses. The supporter may make written submissions on the party’s behalf.
University personnel employed in the offices responsible for the disciplinary proceedings described in these Procedures, along with those in the chain of command above them, personnel employed by the Office of the General Counsel, and others whose participation could create a conflict of interest and/or reasonably call into question the impartiality of the university’s process are not eligible to serve as supporters. If there is a question or concern about a possible supporter, please consult with OIE.
v. Time Frame
The university will seek to resolve cases of discrimination, harassment, and/or related retaliation, as soon as is practicable after an investigation commences. An investigation can only commence when OIE has determined it has authority over the subject matter of the report and the alleged respondent, when the complaining party is fully engaged and available to participate, and OIE has enough information or is able to gather sufficient additional information to address the reported concern.
The investigation of a report is usually completed within 45 days or less, but some investigations take longer to complete depending upon the nature and scope of the allegations; the number of witnesses involved; the availability of the parties, witnesses, or evidence; evidence gathering in a concurrent law enforcement investigation; and the academic calendar (e.g., exam periods, breaks, etc.). The university will not delay its processes to await the conclusion of a concurrent criminal investigation beyond the evidence-gathering phase. The university will provide the complainant, respondent and dean or other relevant authority periodic updates on the status of the investigation.
vi. Fact-Gathering Process
OIE will gather facts related to the allegations of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation. The Vice Provost or Assistant Vice Provost will designate one or more trained internal or external investigators to interview the complainant, respondent, and witnesses. The investigator may conduct additional interview(s) of the complainant, respondent or other witnesses. Investigators will also gather pertinent documents and other evidence identified by either party or a witness, or that otherwise comes to their attention. The investigators will request that the complainant, respondent, witnesses, and other interested individuals preserve any relevant evidence, including documents, text messages, voice messages, e-mails, and postings on social media.
vii. Closing of Investigation
Upon completion of the fact-gathering process, the investigator will consider all relevant evidence and reach a determination. The investigator will review the determination with the Vice Provost or Assistant Vice Provost, and once the determination is final, it will be shared with relevant decision-makers. Thereafter, the investigator will disseminate Closing of Investigation letters to the complainant and the respondent which will articulate the determination.
Depending on their level of involvement with the matter, witnesses may receive a Closing of Investigation letter or simply a notification by email that the investigation has been concluded.
Pursuant to FERPA, student complainants and student respondents may request the portions of the OIE file that constitute their own educational records.
c. Resolution Procedures for all Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Investigations
Resolution of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation complaints in which the respondent is a staff member will be governed by the procedures in the university’s personnel policies, except as provided herein. Resolution, sanctions and appeals of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation investigations in which the respondent is a member of the faculty, post-doctoral fellow, or resident will be processed by the office of the dean of the appropriate division according to the disciplinary procedures established by that division, except as provided herein.
Other divisional or university policies may afford further process following the completion of these resolution procedures.
d. Resolution Procedures for Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Investigations Involving Student Respondents
If the respondent in a complaint of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation is a student, OIE will notify Student Affairs and commence an investigation pursuant to this Policy and these Procedures. OIE will evaluate the facts according to the standards articulated in this Policy and prepare a report, which OIE will issue to Student Affairs. Any resulting disciplinary action will be determined by Student Affairs.
Pursuant to FERPA, student complainants and student respondents may request the portions of the OIE file that constitute their own educational records.
 The university complies with federal, state and local legal prohibitions against discrimination, harassment and retaliation. This Policy sets forth university policy and procedure, which may be broader or more rigorous than what is required by law. Nothing in this Policy is intended to waive any legal protections, arguments or defenses.
 This Policy and Procedures, which will not be applied retroactively, are effective October 1, 2022. For claims based on conduct that occurred prior to October 1, 2022, we will apply the definitions that were in place at the time of the alleged conduct.
 Allegations of harassment based on sex, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression are handled under the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures while allegations of disparate treatment discrimination based on sex, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression fall under this Policy.
 As stated above, harassment matters based on the protected classes of sex, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression will be handled under the applicable procedures set forth in the SMPP.
 In the Clery Act hate crimes are defined as any crime motivated by perpetrator bias against the victim based on race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, and disability (whether actual or perceived).
 The Vice Provost or Assistant Vice Provost may also consider a complainant’s request for confidentiality in conjunction with other legal obligations, such as compliance with court orders, governmental investigations and proceedings, and litigation requests related to the complaint.
 As stated above, harassment matters based on the protected classes of sex, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression are handled under the SMPP.