Responsibilities

Any member of the University community who believes he/she has been discriminated against may file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Office. The EEO Office is responsible for conducting investigations of alleged discrimination and sexual harassment complaints. Any employee or student may at any time contact the EEO Office for purposes of advice, discussion of an alleged discrimination complaint and/or assistance in undertaking a formal or informal resolution of a complaint. An investigation leading to a formal determination will normally be undertaken by the EEO Coordinator or his/her designee upon receipt of a written complaint. If there are multiple reports of allegedly illegal harassment or discrimination or of a single allegation of particularly grievous harassment or discrimination, the EEO Coordinator may, after consultation with the President (or President's designee), initiate an investigation in the absence of receipt of a written complaint. Complaints should be submitted as soon as possible after the alleged discrimination has occurred in order to permit prompt and equitable resolution. In situations that require immediate action because of safety or other concerns, the University may take any necessary action (e.g. suspension with pay) in order to facilitate the investigation.

The investigation shall be completed as thoroughly and expeditiously as possible.Any University staff and/or faculty member in a supervisory role has the duty to report to the EEO Office any known alleged sexual harassment and/or discriminating behavior based on sex, race or other basis (referenced above) that creates a hostile environment, whether or not a complaint has been made by an alleged victim.A complaint of alleged discrimination, including sexual harassment, against the University President should be filed with the Chair of the University Board of Trustees. Complaints against the EEO Coordinator or Officer should be filed with the President, who will appoint a neutral party to carry out the role of the EEO Office as outlined below.

Complaint Procedures

  1. Complainant will be asked to complete an in-take form which will include a description of the alleged discrimination and the nature of the remedy desired. Any investigation may be assigned by the EEO Officer to the EEO Coordinator and/or any appropriate designee.
  2. A private interview will be conducted by the Coordinator with the complainant.
  3. The Coordinator will notify and interview the person(s) named in the complaint (respondent) to apprise them of the charges and afford them an opportunity to respond.
  4. The investigation by the Coordinator will include interviewing witnesses, collecting documentation, and seeking any additional information necessary. In conducting the investigation, the Coordinator shall have unrestricted access to all pertinent materials, records, reports and documents in possession of any University personnel, and shall be afforded the opportunity to interview all persons possessing relevant information.
  5. The Coordinator may assist in the informal resolution of the complaint. With the consent of both parties involved, the Coordinator will arrange for information to be shared between the parties regarding applicable issues and appropriate remedies. Failure to reach a resolution will result in the continuation of the investigation.
  6. The Coordinator will prepare and forward a written report of the investigation and findings to the EEO Officer. The EEO Officer will then determine whether there exists substantial evidence to support the alleged complaint.
  7. A final written determination, setting forth the EEO Officer's decision will be sent to both the complainant and the respondent.
  8. If disciplinary action is required as a result of a finding against the respondent, procedures under the relevant collective bargaining agreements, Board of Trustees Regulations, State Universities Civil Service Status and Rules, or University Student Conduct Code will be followed.
  9. A review of the final determination of the EEO Officer may be requested of the President.
  10. Complainant has the right to file with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at any time during an investigation. Be aware that IDHR and EEOC have time limitations for filing a charge of discrimination. Any retaliatory action taken by a University employee against a complaining party as a result of that party's seeking redress under these procedures is prohibited and shall be regarded as a separate and distinct cause for complaint under these procedures.It is a violation of this policy for anyone to knowingly make false accusations of discrimination or harassment. Failure to prove a claim is not equivalent to a false allegation. Sanctions will be imposed for making false accusations of discrimination or harassment.