4: University Regulations

Academic Regulations | Non-Academic Regulations | The Honor System
Department of Parking and Transportation Services | Department of Student Health

Address Changes | Alcohol and Drug Policy | Amplified Music | Bicycle Policy | Computer Usage Policy
Confidentiality of Student Records | Copyright Law | Discrimination Complaint Procedures
Dogs Running at Large | Firearms | Fund-Raising Projects by Student Organizations on University Grounds
Grievance Procedure | Hazing | Misuse of Student IDs at Athletic Events | Residence Hall Visitation
Security Policy | Sexual Assault | Sexual Harassment Policy | Solicitors and Sales Representatives
Statement of Students' Rights and Responsibilities | Use of University Equipment
Use of University Facilities | University Services and Activities

Discrimination Complaint Procedures

Any University of Virginia employee, student, applicant for admission or employment, or other participant in the University's programs or activities who believes he or she has been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of age, citizenship, color, disability, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era may file a complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs (EOP) in accordance with the procedures described below.

Complaints should be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs, Poe Alley, West Lawn, Charlottesville, VA, 22903, (804) 924-3200; Fax: (804) 924-1313. The EOP on-line site can be accessed at www.virginia.edu/~equal/.

Federal and state law and University policy prohibit any form of retaliation against a person who files a discrimination complaint in good faith. Disciplinary action may be taken against any person who files a discrimination complaint in bad faith, or who maliciously or knowingly files false charges. In cases in which allegations of discrimination are not substantiated, the University may, if appropriate, take reasonable steps, such as expungement of records or notification to persons who participated in the investigation of the charge, to restore the reputation of the respondent.

Employees and students are encouraged, where appropriate, to attempt initially to resolve complaints through the administrative structure of the employment unit or academic department. EOP will be available to provide assistance to the employment unit or academic department in order to resolve the complaint. If the complaint cannot be resolved through the appropriate administrative channel, the following complaint procedure applies:

  1. Complaints must be in writing and be filed with EOP within 180 days of the most recent allegedly discriminatory act. At the discretion of EOP, in certain circumstances complaints filed outside of this time limit or that are not in writing may be investigated informally, and all other time limits contained in these procedures may be extended for good cause. In addition to or instead of filing with EOP, the complainant may file a formal charge of discrimination with a state or federal agency authorized by law to receive such claims.
  2. The complaint should include the complainant's name and signature, describe the act or acts complained of, identify the person or persons purportedly responsible, and indicate the date or approximate date on which the act or acts occurred. EOP maintains forms that may be used for this purpose.
  3. If EOP determines that the allegations of the complaint, if true, do not state a violation of federal or state law or University policies, EOP shall notify the complainant in writing normally within five (5) working days of the filing of the complaint. That notice shall explain why the complaint does not state a violation and may inform the complainant of other possible avenues to seek redress, such as the Ombudsman, if appropriate.
  4. Either at the time of filing the written complaint or normally no later than ten (10) working days thereafter, EOP will meet with the complainant to determine the factual allegations on which the complaint is based and to discuss the complaint procedures. If EOP determines that the complaint is suitable for negotiated resolution, that option will be discussed and offered to the complainant, who will be given five (5) working days to decide. Negotiated resolution must also be agreed to by the respondent. If EOP deems the complaint is unsuitable for negotiated resolution, or if either party declines to participate in or to make a decision regarding negotiated resolution, EOP will conduct an investigation.
  5. Within ten (10) working days of the complainant's decision on how to proceed, or of the interview with the complainant if negotiated resolution was not deemed a suitable option, EOP will notify the respondent that he or she has been named in a complaint and the nature of the charges. That notification will also discuss the complaint procedures, and if appropriate, offer the negotiated resolution option to the respondent, who will have five (5) working days after notification to accept or decline.
  6. The EOP reserves the right to refer student complaints to other University mechanisms that may exist to investigate and/or adjudicate complaints.

Negotiated Resolution

  1. Negotiated resolution is a process by which EOP attempts to resolve complaints quickly and to the satisfaction of all parties without reaching formal findings, while protecting confidentiality to the extent possible. At any time during the negotiated resolution process, either party may elect to terminate the process, and the complaint will then be investigated by EOP. EOP reserves the right not to proceed with an investigation if it determines that during the negotiated resolution process a complainant was offered and refused all of the relief to which he or she would be entitled.
  2. Generally, EOP will not involve any person other than the complainant and respondent in the negotiated resolution process, except as it may be necessary to consult with appropriate University officials regarding University policies and procedures. Both parties will be asked to respect the confidentiality of the process. Negotiated resolution should be completed no later than thirty (30) days after the respondent has agreed to this process.
  3. If the complaint is successfully resolved, each party will sign a "Negotiated Resolution Form," prepared by EOP, which describes fully the agreed-upon terms. Following the acceptance of that document by both parties, EOP will discard all other documents and notes except the original complaint. A copy of the complaint and the Negotiated Resolution Form will be available to the complainant and respondent upon request.

Investigation

  1. If EOP determines that negotiated resolution is not appropriate, or it is not agreed to by both parties, or it is unsuccessful, EOP will conduct an investigation in accordance with the following procedures.
  2. The investigation will be conducted by EOP and may include, but not be limited to:
    1. Meetings with material persons who may have relevant information;
    2. Reviewing relevant files and records such as personnel files, departmental and/or unit files, and others;
    3. Comparing the treatment of complainant to that of others similarly situated in the department or unit; and
    4. Reviewing applicable policies and practices.
  3. The investigation shall normally be concluded within sixty (60) working days of its inception and EOP shall issue a written report. The report will make findings of fact and any appropriate recommendations. Copies of the report will be provided to the complainant, the respondent, and the appropriate Vice President.
  4. If EOP concludes that the complainant's allegations are substantiated, the report will recommend that a directive be issued to stop the discriminatory practice, if it is ongoing; recommend disciplinary or other corrective action against the respondent and others; and, if appropriate, recommend provisions for the complainant, such as reinstatement, hiring, reassignment, promotion, training, back pay, or other compensation or benefits.
  5. If EOP concludes that the complainant's allegations are not substantiated, the report may suggest other avenues, both internal and external, for the complainant should he or she wish to pursue the matter and, if appropriate, recommend reasonable steps to restore the reputation of the respondent.
  6. The Vice President to whom the report is sent may accept, disagree with, or modify the findings and recommendations. The Vice President's decision and the reasons therefore will be communicated in writing to the complainant, respondent, and EOP within ten (10) working days after the Vice President receives the report from EOP, unless the Vice President requires additional time for further investigation or other good cause. The Vice President may provide the report to other University officials as he or she deems appropriate. The Vice President's decision is final under these procedures unless another appeal is provided by University policy.


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