What is EOAA's process?

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) is not a confidential reporting resource.  Once EOAA becomes aware of information that may violate the University’s discrimination, harassment, sexual violence, or retaliation policies, we may have an obligation to take some responsive action to prevent further misconduct from occurring.  However, we try to work with individuals to discuss a variety of ways to appropriately address the concerns raised.

EOAA is available to meet with individuals who have concerns about their experiences about our processes.  We invite you to schedule a preliminary meeting to have a general discussion about our processes before deciding if you want to report specific concerns or initiate an investigation.

We also encourage individuals to consult with confidential resources at the University for support. Click here for available resources. Please consult with these offices individually about their ability to meet with you confidentially.

EOAA’s approach varies depending on the circumstances.  Below are examples of how we might typically approach a particular situation.  EOAA retains the ultimate determination about the development and progression of the investigation process.  However, we will continually seek your feedback and make every effort to address serious concerns about safety and retaliation. 

You can find additional information about each of our processes described below:  

Consultations

EOAA usually begins by meeting with the individual who has requested a consultation. In a telephone conversation or in-person meeting, an Equal Opportunity Consultant will:

  • Listen to the individual’s concerns and the circumstances surrounding the situation;
  • Ask questions about the individual’s concerns and the circumstances;
  • Explore different approaches to addressing the situation;
  • Determine if EOAA is an appropriate University resource to address the concerns; and/or
  • Advise the individual of other available University resources for resolution and/or support.

Informal Resolution Process

After an initial consultation, an Equal Opportunity Consultant may be able to address the individual’s concerns without conducting a formal investigation. These efforts may include:

  • contacting other individuals with relevant information and/or those who have a “need to know” because of the nature of their position;
  • gathering relevant information;
  • facilitating or mediating meetings; and/or
  • exploring other resolutions acceptable to those involved in the situation and to the EOAA representative.

Resolutions may include, but are not limited to, discipline, education, training efforts, and agreements as to future conduct.

Formal Investigation:  discrimination, harassment, and retaliation

Depending on the circumstances, a formal investigation may be appropriate, either before or after efforts to resolve the concerns informally.  Typical steps in a formal investigation include:

  • interviewing the individual raising the concerns and other affected parties;
  • interviewing the individuals with information relevant to the situation;
  • informing responsible administrators about the concerns and investigation;
  • interviewing the accused person; and
  • collecting and reviewing documents and other forms of information from the individual raising the concerns, witnesses, Human Resources, administrators, or other individuals with relevant information.

At the conclusion of a formal investigation, EOAA will prepare a summary of the investigation and make a conclusion as to whether University policies against discrimination, harassment, or related retaliation were violated.  EOAA typically sends the report to:  the individual(s) who raised the concerns; the accused party(s); and the responsible administrator(s).  EOAA will also make recommendations for responsive action to the responsible administrator(s).  We may provide recommendations to the responsible administrator whether or not there was a violation of policy.

Sexual harassment and/or sexual violence investigation relating to employee conduct

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence.  University policies also prohibit sexual harassment and sexual violence, including sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence.

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) is responsible for addressing employee conduct that may violate Title IX.  EOAA’s Director, Kimberly Hewitt, is the University’s Title IX Coordinator.

EOAA’s approach to addressing sexual harassment and sexual violence concerns about employee conduct is similar to its approach to addressing other complaints of discrimination and harassment.  In these cases, a formal investigation may be appropriate, either before or after efforts to resolve the concerns informally.  Typical steps in a formal investigation include:

  • meeting with the individual raising the concerns and other affected persons;
  • meeting with other individuals with relevant information about the situation;
  • informing responsible administrators about the concerns and investigation;
  • interviewing the accused person; and
  • collecting and reviewing documents and other forms of information from the person raising the concerns, witnesses, Human Resources, administrators, or other individuals with relevant information.

At the conclusion of a formal investigation, EOAA will prepare a summary of the investigation and make a conclusion as to whether University policies against sexual harassment and/or sexual violence were violated.  EOAA typically sends the report to:  the person who raised the concerns; the accused person(s); and the responsible administrator(s).  EOAA also makes recommendations for responsive action to the responsible administrators.  EOAA may make recommendations regardless of whether EOAA found a violation of policy.

Sexual harassment and/or sexual violence investigation relating to student conduct

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence.  University policies, including the Student Conduct Code, also prohibit sexual harassment and sexual violence, including sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence.

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) and the Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity (OSCAI) are responsible for addressing student conduct that may violate Title IX.  EOAA’s Director, Kimberly Hewitt, is the University’s Title IX Coordinator.

The University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) thoroughly investigates, as a neutral party, reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence, including sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence.

Typical steps in a formal investigation include:

  • talking with the person raising the concerns and/or other affected persons;
  • talking with individuals with information relevant to the situation;
  • informing responsible administrators about the concerns and investigation;
  • talking with the accused person; and
  • collecting and reviewing documents or other forms of information from the person raising the concerns, witnesses, Human Resources, administrators, or other individuals with relevant information.

At the conclusion of a formal investigation, EOAA will prepare a summary and analysis of the investigation and make a conclusion as to whether the Student Conduct Code and University policies against sexual harassment and sexual violence have been violated.  EOAA will forward the report to OSCAI.  Both the reporting student and the accused student may request a copy of the EOAA report from OSCAI.

As part of the University’s informal resolution process, OSCAI will inform both the reporting party and the accused student about:  (1) the outcome of the EOAA investigation; and (2) a proposed resolution.   If both parties agree to the outcome and proposed resolution, the University’s investigative process generally is concluded.

If the reporting party or the accused student disagrees with EOAA’s investigative outcome and OSCAI’s proposed resolution they may initiate the University’s formal resolution process.  In this formal process, the parties are afforded a hearing before a panel drawn from the Campus Committee on Student Behavior.

For more information, please click on the links: https://diversity.umn.edu/eoaa/sites/diversity.umn.edu.eoaa/files/SKMBT_60015040912480.pdf or  https://diversity.umn.edu/eoaa/sites/diversity.umn.edu.eoaa/files/Summary.pdf and consult with OSCAI

Nepotism

The Board of Regents’ Nepotism Policy governs conflicts of interest that result from personal relationships among members of the University community.  The University requires reporting of potential nepotism situations to Human Resources or to EOAA so that appropriate steps can be taken to avoid any prohibited activity.

In most cases, EOAA consults on and engages in the informal resolution of cases of potential nepotism.  EOAA may advise on whether the proposed conduct (e.g., hire, promotion) would violate the Nepotism Policy.  EOAA also may help draft a nepotism agreement that addresses and makes provisions to avoid the conflict of interest.  A template for a nepotism agreement can be found here: http://www.policy.umn.edu/Policies/hr/HRMisc/WORKPLACERELATIONSHIPS_APPA.html  Changes and additions to this template often are required to fit the particular situation.  An EOAA representative must sign the nepotism agreement for it to be compliant with the policy.

EOAA may also investigate complaints about potential nepotism, following the same process described above in the case of discrimination, harassment or retaliation. 

REPORTING DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, RETALIATION, OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE

You can report to EOAA by:

  • Scheduling an appointment with an EOAA representative.  Please call (612) 624-9547 or email eoaa@umn.edu.  We can provide the best assistance by meeting in person or scheduling a telephone call.

            Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

274 McNamara Alumni Center

200 Oak Street SE

Minneapolis, MN 55455

eoaa@umn.edu

fax:  (612) 624-5223

  • Contact UReport (EthicsPoint).  Complaints made through EthicsPoint can be submitted anonymously.  Situations that implicate discrimination, harassment, sexual violence, nepotism, and related retaliation policies will be forwarded to EOAA.  

To file a discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or sexual violence complaint on campuses other than the Twin Cities campus, please contact the following offices:

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