Chief Diversity Officer / Title IX Coordinator
Responsible Office – Department:
Center for Diversity & Inclusion
Effective Date of Policy:
July 17, 2023
It is the policy of Daemen University, in accordance with federal and state laws including, but not limited to, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the New York State Human Rights Law, not to discriminate against any person on the basis of membership in any protected classes under federal and/or state law with respect to employment, admission to the University, or in participation in any University program or activity. Also in accordance with these laws, it is the policy of the University to prohibit harassment of any employee or applicant on the basis of the statuses outlined above. All complaints alleging a violation of this policy will be investigated and appropriate remedies will be instituted.
Every person in the University community is responsible for compliance with this policy. The Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Officer/Chief Diversity Officer (DS118, 716-839-8249) has been given management responsibility for implementing this policy.
All grievances or complaints alleging a violation of the University’s nondiscrimination policy and policy prohibiting unlawful harassment should be submitted to the appropriate office. Complaints or inquiries regarding administrative or staff employees should be made confidentially to the Office of Employee Engagement; complaints or inquiries regarding faculty should be made confidentially to the Office of Academic Affairs; complaints or inquiries regarding students should be made confidentially to the Office of Student Affairs. Complaints that allege discrimination and/or sexual harassment will be sent by the notified office to the Chief Diversity Officer, who is the University’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Officer and Title IX Coordinator . Alternatively, the Chief Diversity Officer, who is the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) Officer and/or Title IX Coordinator may be notified directly of a complaint, and will coordinate with the appropriate office for investigation. (DS118, 716-839-8249). Grievance forms are available in the EOAA Office, but any form or format may be used provided it is identified as a grievance. A grievance should contain a statement of the facts identifying the violation and as much supporting documentation as possible. Those filing a grievance should also express their view of a possible resolution to the problem. A grievance should be filed as soon as possible after the alleged discrimination has occurred (usually within 30 days). A delay in filing a grievance may impact the ability of the University to investigate and resolve the grievance.
All persons involved, including complainant(s), respondent(s), and witness(es), will be accorded due process, as outlined below. While the process may vary from case to case depending on the circumstances, an investigation of a report of harassment or other violation of this policy will generally include the following steps:
- Upon receipt of a report of harassment or other violation of this policy, Daemen University will conduct an immediate review of the allegations and take any appropriate interim action required to protect the safety and security of the campus and individuals. A reported claim will be escalated to the appropriate Cabinet member(s) who will determine how the investigation is performed. A trained professional from the office of Employee Engagement, Academic Affairs, or Student Affairs will then be appointed to serve as an investigator, communicating as necessary with the Chief Diversity Officer/Title IX Coordinator (or designee). All matters relating to employment, whether of administrators, faculty, staff, or students, must involve the Office of Employee Engagement. All matters relating to students must involve the Office of Student Affairs. All matters relating to faculty must involve the Office of Academic Affairs. The Vice President and/or Dean over the department(s) in which the investigation is occurring will be notified and kept informed as appropriate. If a Vice President or Dean is under investigation, the President and/or Provost will be kept informed.
- Prior to the investigation commencing, the lead investigator will call a meeting or, at minimum, arrange a communication with all parties who will assist with the process. The main purposes of the communication shall be to create an interview list and timeline that includes interviews with the complainant, respondent, and any relevant witnesses or parties who would have information (for example, gaining access to department manuals, procedures, etc). It will be determined who will lead the interviews and what other parties, if any, will be present. This step is critical if multiple departments are involved. Finally, questions will be drafted for each of the parties identified to be interviewed for a fair and consistent structure.
- The investigation will then commence. Relevant documents and electronic communications will be collected and reviewed, which will include interviews with complainant(s), respondent(s), and witness(es), if applicable. During the investigation, the complainant and respondent shall have the right to present evidence and witnesses.
- Confidential written documentation of the investigation will be created which may also include recordings of interviews and direct transcripts of meetings.
- The information collected from the investigator will be summarized into a formal report and provided to the department Vice President or Dean and, if applicable, Chief Diversity Officer/Title IX Coordinator (or designee) for review. Communication will be sent to both the complainant and respondent informing them of the status of the incident.
- The Vice President, Dean, and/or Chief Diversity Officer/Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will review the information collected and determine appropriate response in conjunction with statutes and legal counsel, if determined necessary. If feasible and not presenting a safety risk to the campus and/or individuals, a meeting will be conducted with the respondent to discuss the matter and share sanctions, if applicable. The complainant(s) will receive word of University response via official written communication, and an in-person meeting, if feasible.
- All records will be kept confidential and maintained in the Office of Employee Engagement and filed for the appropriate amount of time as determined by the University’s record retention policy.
Pursuant to Title IX cases exclusively, if after the decision is rendered, either the complainant(s) or respondent(s) are unsatisfied with the resolution, either party may appeal the matter to the Chief Diversity Officer for review. Such requests may be made at any time, but not later than five (5) days after notification of the decision. The Chief Diversity Officer (or designee) will chair a panel of three to include appropriate, senior-level administrators who have no direct conflict of interest to review the matter and render a final decision. Within thirty (30) days thereafter, the committee, in conjunction with legal counsel if applicable, will complete their review of the matter, which could include additional discussions with already known or newly identified individuals with respect to the grievance. A final decision will be submitted in writing to both the complainant(s) and respondent(s).
Should the President be the accused party, all appeals will be made to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, which will review and rule upon the committee’s decision.