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Complaint Procedures

Sexual harassment concerns can often be resolved by the person who feels he or she is being harassed by informing the alleged offender of such harassment that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. The complainant should do so as soon as possible after the incident occurs. As time passes, it may become more difficult to investigate and resolve complaints. In addition, because there are time limitations for filing external complaints with state and federal agencies, prompt action by the complainant is important.

In some circumstances, however, this course of action may not be feasible, may be unsuccessful, or the complainant may be unwilling to deal with the matter in this manner. To encourage persons experiencing alleged sexual harassment to come forward, the University provides both informal and formal complaint resolution procedures. Questions about the Sexual Harassment complaint procedures involving employees or vendors should be referred to the assistant to the president for Social Equity, B17 Susan Snell Delaney Hall at 724-357-3402.

The procedures for processing a sexual harassment complaint against a student (student to student or allegations where the alleged offender is a student) are described in and governed by the IUP Student Handbook, Student Behavior section. To report a sexual harassment complaint against a student and discuss options, contact the Office of Student Conduct, 102 Pratt Hall, at 724-357-1264.

Reports of sexual assault and other crimes are always to be directed to the Office of Public Safety regardless of whether the matter is also reported as sexual harassment. To report sexual assault, contact the Office of Public Safety, University Towers, at 724-357-2141. In addition, after notifying the Office of Public Safety, employees are to notify his/her immediate supervisor who in turn will report the sexual assault incident to the vice president for Administration and Finance and the president of the university.

Informal Complaint Resolution Procedure

If the complainant is unwilling to inform the alleged offender that the behavior is unwelcome, the informal complaint resolution procedure requires the complainant to report the complaint, either verbally or in writing, to one of the following: the complainant’s immediate management supervisor or academic dean; or the alleged offender’s management supervisor or academic dean, (hereafter referred to collectively as “informal investigator”); the associate vice president for Human Resources; or the assistant to the president for Social Equity. The informal investigator receiving the complaint must report it immediately to the assistant to the president for Social Equity who will work with the informal investigator to facilitate a resolution of the sexual harassment complaint. A complaint against the assistant to the president for Social Equity must be reported to the associate vice president for Human Resources, G-8 Sutton Hall, at 724-357-2431. The informal complaint resolution process provides an opportunity for the sexual harassment complaint to be resolved by mutual agreement between the complainant and the alleged offender of sexual harassment. The implementation of this informal process is the responsibility of the informal investigator. To ensure compliance with the University’s legal obligations, and/or as otherwise determined to be appropriate by the complainant or the assistant to the president for Social Equity, the complainant or the assistant to the president for Social Equity may move a complaint from Informal Complaint Resolution to Formal Complaint Resolution at any time.

The informal investigator is expected to review the complaint expeditiously and explore avenues for informal resolution with the complainant. The university recognizes that it must balance the complainant’s right of privacy and the need to be fair to the alleged offender by notifying the alleged offender of the allegation. The written complaint or a summary of the complaint will be provided by the informal investigator to the alleged offender. The informal investigator has the discretion to determine whether the situation warrants a meeting(s), either jointly with the complainant and the alleged offender or separately. Any person involved in the informal resolution discussion may be accompanied by an individual or appropriate union official if he/she so desires. The complainant may not be compelled to meet with the alleged offender. The informal investigator has the discretion to determine whether investigation of the complaint requires interviewing other persons who may have witnessed the alleged behavior or might have information that would be helpful.

Informal investigators should attempt to resolve sexual harassment complaints expeditiously, but in a manner that is consistent with the severity or complexity of the matter. To the extent possible, it is expected that the informal resolution process will be completed in a timely manner. If informal resolution fails to resolve the matter to the complainant’s satisfaction, the complainant may file a formal complaint.

At the conclusion of the informal investigation, all records from the informal resolution process will be forwarded to the assistant to the president for Social Equity to be maintained in a confidential file for seven years as advised by legal counsel.

Formal Complaint Resolution Procedures

If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the informal resolution or if the complainant prefers to file his or her complaint directly at the formal complaint level, he or she may do so by filing a written complaint with the assistant to the president for Social Equity or the associate vice president for Human Resources (hereafter referred to collectively as “formal investigator”). If the complaint is against the assistant to the president for Social Equity, the formal complaint must be filed with the associate vice president for Human Resources. If the complaint is against the associate vice president for Human Resources, the formal complaint must be filed with the assistant to the president for Social Equity. A complaint against the president or a member of the council of trustees may be directed to the Office of the Chancellor or to the assistant to the president for Social Equity who will forward the written complaint to the Office of the Chancellor for investigation. The written complaint describes the incident or incidents as completely as possible. The complainant may seek guidance regarding the formal submission of the complaint from the formal investigator. The formal investigator will conduct the investigation including notifying the alleged offender, providing a copy of the written complaint to the alleged offender, conducting interviews with the complainant and the alleged offender, and with anyone who might have witnessed the behavior or who might have information that would be helpful. Any person involved in the formal resolution discussion may be accompanied by an individual or appropriate union official if he/she so desires. The formal investigator will conduct the investigation expeditiously, but in a manner consistent with the complexity and severity of the matter. At the conclusion of the investigation, the formal investigator will prepare a report of findings and submit the report to the president or his or her designee. The president or designee will determine what appropriate action, if any, will be taken. A pre-disciplinary conference will be held if sufficient evidence is found in the report of findings. If disciplinary action is taken as a result of the pre-disciplinary conference, the alleged offender may appeal the decision as provided in the grievance procedures of their respective collective bargaining agreement or the Management Merit Principles Policy, whichever is applicable.

Once the president or designee has rendered a decision and notified the alleged offender in writing, the formal investigator shall notify the complainant in writing of the results of the investigation and the action taken by the university to resolve the complaint. At the conclusion of the formal investigation, all records will be maintained by the assistant to the president for Social Equity in a confidential file for seven years as advised by legal counsel.

Records of investigations will not be maintained in personnel files unless formal disciplinary action is taken. Upon filing of a complaint outside the University, information gathered in the course of the investigation may be disclosed to the investigating agency.

Responsible Parties

While it is the responsibility of the University to disseminate this Policy, it is the responsibility of each member of the University community to read the Policy and to become familiar with its provisions. Failure to follow the procedures set forth in this Policy may inhibit or prevent the University from properly investigating an instance of alleged sexual harassment, or from taking appropriate remedial action. Any administrator, supervisor, faculty member, staff member, or student having knowledge of conduct involving sexual harassment or receiving a complaint of sexual harassment that involves a member of the university is urged to take immediate steps to deal with the matter appropriately. These steps are outlined in the Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures section.

It is imperative to maintain an environment free from sexual harassment. To provide such an environment, the following actions shall be taken:

  • Deans, directors, department heads and supervisors shall inform all employees that sexual harassment is prohibited. The Sexual Harassment Policy shall be emphasized by the deans at college meetings and explained by department chairs to academic staff and classified employees. Managers and directors shall discuss the issue in staff meetings. Those who have questions about the policy shall be referred to the assistant to the president for Social Equity immediately.
  • The assistant to the president for Social Equity shall distribute and disseminate pamphlets and educational materials for display in every department and college office.
  • The assistant to the president for Social Equity shall ensure the policy is placed in appropriate publications including the undergraduate and graduate catalogs and appropriate university websites.
  • The assistant to the president for Social Equity shall be responsible for distributing the Sexual Harassment Policy annually to all employees and for coordinating sexual harassment training for all employees.
  • The assistant to the president for Social Equity shall ensure the Sexual Harassment Policy is distributed to appropriate offices that will distribute the policy to outside vendors.
  • All resident directors and community assistants shall display posters, distribute pamphlets and discuss the information with residents in their residence halls.
  • Deans, department chairs, directors, managers, and resident directors shall be encouraged to invite the assistant to the president for Social Equity to talk to others concerning IUP’s Sexual Harassment Policy.
  • Social Equity Office
  • B17 Susan S. Delaney Hall
    920 Grant Street
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-3402
  • Fax: 724-357-3404
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.