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Grievance Procedures

Oglethorpe University has adopted an internal grievance procedure providing for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by regulations under Title VI, Title VII, Title IX, Section 504, the Age Discrimination Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The following University officials have been designated to respond to allegations regarding violation of any of these regulations: the Vice President for Campus Life, the Provost, the Director of Human Resources, or Director of the Counseling Center.

Complaints alleging misconduct as defined in this policy on discriminatory and sexual harassment should be reported within 90 days of the alleged offense. Complainants may seek informal or formal resolution. All complainants must complete a written Discriminatory Harassment Incident Report which may be obtained from any of the aforementioned officials.

Complainants are encouraged to explore informal resolution before filing a formal complaint. Informal resolution focuses on communication, education, and resolution while formal procedures focus on investigation and discipline. Informal complaints will be resolved within 15 working days with a written resolution given to each of the parties involved. If the situation results in an impasse, the complainant will be given a notice of impasse within 15 working days from the filing of the incident. If a notice of impasse is given and the complainant wishes to file a formal written complaint, the complainant must do so within 30 working days of the date of notice of impasse unless a waiver in filing time is requested.

When a formal complaint is filed an investigation will be initiated. The alleged harasser will be given 10 days to provide a signed response to the requesting official. A copy will be provided to the complainant. If the alleged harasser fails to respond, the presumption will be made that the allegation(s) in the complaint are true. A written determination will be issued to the complainant within 60 working days of the receipt of the formal written complaint. If the procedure requires an extension of time, the complainant will be informed in writing of the reasons, the status of the investigation, and the probable date of completion.

If the complainant disputes the findings or is dissatisfied with the recommendations, the complainant may request reconsideration of the case to the president, Larry Schall, in writing within 45 working days of receipt of the written determination. Complainants also have the right to file with the appropriate state or federal authorities under Title VI, Title VII, Title IX, Section 504, the Age Discrimination Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Cases that may require disciplinary action will be handled according to the established discipline procedures of the University. Student organizations in violation of this policy may be subject to the loss of University recognition. Complainants shall be protected from unfair retribution.

Nothing in this policy statement is intended to infringe on the individual rights, freedom of speech, or academic freedom provided to members of the Oglethorpe community. The scholarly, educational, or artistic content of any written or oral presentation or inquiry shall not be limited by this policy. Accordingly, this provision will be liberally construed but should not be used as a pretext for violation of the policy.

 

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