Other Frequently Asked Questions

I experienced discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or sexual violence.  I want it to stop, but I don’t want to participate in an investigation because I don’t want my name to be a part of it.  Can you keep what I reported confidential?

EOAA cannot promise confidentiality.  In some cases, EOAA may have an obligation to act on reports of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.  However, we also value the perspective of the reporting person and will discuss different options before conducting a formal investigation.

In most cases of sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence, EOAA will not investigate if the reporting student does not want an investigation or wants their identity to remain confidential.  We value a reporting student’s wishes in this situation.  Failure to investigate may limit the steps the University can take in response to the report.

In limited cases such as where there is a threat of future violence or to the safety of the University community, EOAA may be required to investigate despite the reporting party’s desires.

If you have additional questions about the confidentiality, please contact us directly.

Reports also can be made anonymously through UReport (EthicsPoint).  However, EOAA’s ability to address concerns raised through UReport (EthicsPoint) may be more limited. 

Someone reported discrimination, harassment, or sexual assault to me.  What do I do?

If you are a supervisor and you become aware of alleged discrimination or harassment, you have an obligation to address it appropriately and promptly.  Please consult with your supervisor, Human Resources, and/or EOAA.

If you have supervisory or advising responsibilities, you must report to EOAA any incidents of sexual violence, including sexual assault, stalking, or relationship violence involving any staff, faculty, or student that you learn about. We recommend that you report to EOAA even if you are not sure where the alleged sexual violence actually occurred, if the alleged conduct occurred off-campus, and regardless of how you learned about the report.  You should make clear to students in advance that you have an obligation to report sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence so that students can make informed decisions about whether to disclose information to you.  If you do not have supervisory or advising responsibilities, you should report such incidents to your supervisor.

If you have any questions about your obligations to report, please consult with EOAA.

With whom does EOAA consult or collaborate and who can be the subject of an investigation?

EOAA consults with University students, employees, Human Resources professionals, supervisors, administrators, unit heads, or community members about possible discrimination, harassment, nepotism, or retaliation concerns that they experience, that they observe, or about which they become aware at or related to the University.

EOAA can consult on or investigate individual employee conduct, as well as University programs, policies, and facilities.  Except in sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence cases, student conduct is addressed through the University’s Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity.

EOAA consults on and investigates Title IX concerns whether an employee or student engaged in the alleged conduct.  Title IX concerns include:  discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, relationship violence, and other forms of sexual violence.

EOAA primarily consults on and investigates conduct related to the Twin Cities campus, but is available to discuss conduct on University system campuses, as well.  University system campuses resources are also available. 

System campus EOAA information

Duluth Campus:  http://www.d.umn.edu/umdoeo/

Morris Campus: http://www.morris.umn.edu/hr/staff/

Crookston Campus: http://www3.crk.umn.edu/humanresources/Contact_HR.htm

Rochester Campus: http://r.umn.edu/administration/eoaa/

 

System campus student conduct information

Duluth Campus: http://www.d.umn.edu/conduct/

Morris Campus: http://www.morris.umn.edu/stu_affairs/

Crookston Campus: http://www3.crk.umn.edu/administration/StudentAffairs/

Rochester Campus: http://r.umn.edu/administration/umr-leadership/vice-chancellor

What standard of evidence do you use in your investigations?

EOAA uses a preponderance of the evidence standard in determining whether a University policy has been violated.  In other words, we determine whether it is more likely than not that a University policy was violated.

How quickly does EOAA address concerns?

Consultations, inquiries, and complaints will be addressed by EOAA in a timely and appropriate manner.  The length of time for the investigatory or resolution process varies depending on factors such as the complexity of the situation, office workload, or whether the situation involves actual or imminent loss of employment or academic standing, potential physical harm, or an ongoing relationship between the involved individuals. 

Is the EOAA process a legal process?  Do I need a lawyer?

The EOAA process is not an administrative or judicial hearing or a legal process, but it could lead to discipline or other employment or academic consequences.

You are not required to have a lawyer.  While you may consult with legal counsel or a union representative, you are expected to directly respond to EOAA inquiries. You may bring a lawyer or union representative to a meeting with EOAA.  Students may have access to an advocate through the Student Conflict Resolution Center or the Aurora Center. 

EOAA does not generally permit other individuals to attend EOAA interviews. However, EOAA will consider, on an individual basis, requests from complainants and from students in Title IX cases (e.g., sexual harassment or sexual assault) to have a support person in an EOAA interview.

EOAA does not represent an individual or department, but advocates on behalf of the University's goals of equal opportunity and nondiscrimination. 

Is there a time limit on when I can bring forward a concern?

There is no time limit for bringing concerns about possible discrimination to EOAA.  However, individuals are encouraged to contact EOAA as soon as possible.  Alternate University and external options for addressing discrimination may have strict time limits, which can prevent filing a complaint with those entities.

I work at the University but not on the Twin Cities campus.  Can EOAA help me?

EOAA can consult on and investigate cases on any of the University campuses.  All system campuses also have their own reporting processes. 

Duluth Campus:  http://www.d.umn.edu/umdoeo/

Morris Campus: http://www.morris.umn.edu/hr/staff/

Crookston Campus: http://www3.crk.umn.edu/humanresources/Contact_HR.htm

Rochester Campus: http://r.umn.edu/administration/eoaa/

Who receives an investigation report and any recommendations for responsive action at the conclusion of an EOAA investigation?

In cases where EOAA investigates employee conduct and concludes that the respondent has violated a University policy, EOAA sends an investigation report to the complainant, respondent and a responsible authority that could include a Human Resources Representative, Department Chair and/or other supervisor.  

In cases where EOAA makes recommendations for responsive action, including discipline, EOAA sends a separate letter to a responsible authority who can implement any recommendations. 

In some cases where EOAA determines that no University policy has been violated, EOAA sends a letter summarizing the findings and conclusions to the complainant and the respondent only. 

What if a student raises a complaint about something I said during a class or the materials I used that implicates my academic freedom? 

EOAA believes that a person about whom a complaint is made should be informed of the complaint and have an opportunity to respond.  If a reporting party complains of discrimination or harassment based on a protected identity, EOAA will schedule a meeting with you, even where academic freedom may be implicated. 

The purpose of the meeting is to make you aware of the complaint and to allow you to provide a response for our file.  EOAA gives academic freedom serious consideration when determining the extent and outcome of any inquiry or investigation.  

Is there a formal appeal process for employees (staff, faculty)?  

No. 

If you believe that mistakes were made in the investigation process (e.g., important information was overlooked), you can submit a written statement to EOAA. 

After reviewing the statement, EOAA will consider the need for additional investigation or an amendment or correction to the investigation report. 

If you feel that there was a problem with the process, but not the substance of the report, you may raise your process questions to the Associate Vice President for the Office for Equity and Diversity. 

I am an Assistant Professor and I was the subject of an investigation where the EOAA Office determined that there was no violation of University policy, but I am concerned about the implications for my tenure prospects of being accused of discrimination or harassment and being part of an EOAA investigation.  What can be done to address my concerns?  

At the conclusion of an investigation, EOAA typically sends a letter to both parties summarizing the facts found and making a conclusion as to whether or not a University policy was violated. 

Upon request, EOAA can also prepare a short letter that states that you were not found in violation of the University policies against discrimination and/or harassment. 

The letter will not include any details regarding the allegations or other facts of the complaint. 

You can present the letter to anyone who might express a concern about your involvement in the EOAA process.