EOAA Policies & Procedures Update & FAQs

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) works to prevent and respond to discrimination and harassment by developing and implementing policies and procedures that address discrimination, harassment, gender-based misconduct, in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws.

The U.S. Department of Education’s recently made changes to Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972 (“Title IX”), the law that prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions. We’ve revised our policies and procedures to comply with those changes. In addition, EOAA used this as an opportunity to take a fresh look at all our policies and procedures. We are proud to share the updated EOAA Policies & Procedures

EOAA Policies & Procedures still reflect the University’s commitment to providing a learning, living, and working environment free from discrimination and harassment. Our policy is simple: the University does not tolerate unlawful discrimination, harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual exploitation and all such conduct is forbidden. Our procedures continue to provide for an unbiased, thorough, and fair process that ensures due process for all parties.

What’s New?

One Set of Policies, Two Sets of Procedures

In the updated EOAA Policies & Procedures, you will find a section that sets out EOAA policies. These are the policies that EOAA enforces. Our policies prohibit discrimination, harassment, and gender-based misconduct; identify employee reporting requirements; outline prohibited romantic and sexual relationships between faculty and undergraduate, graduate students, and other relationships; and detail University accommodation policies.

You may also notice that there are now two different sets of procedures: the EOAA Discrimination & Harassment Procedures and the Interim Title IX Grievance Process. When EOAA receives a report, it will evaluate the allegations and determine whether the report should be reviewed under the EOAA procedures or the Title IX process. Only allegations that meet Title IX’s new narrow definition of sexual harassment and gender-based misconduct will go through the Interim Title IX Grievance Process.

New Title IX Definitions

The federal government’s recent changes to Title IX limit what constitutes sexual harassment and gender-based misconduct only under Title IX. But this doesn’t change EOAA’s policy, other federal laws that prohibit sex discrimination, sexual harassment, gender-based misconduct, or state and local laws --  all discrimination, sexual harassment, and gender-based misconduct is still prohibited. 

Advisors

All parties may be accompanied by one advisor of their choice from the beginning of the reporting process through the resolution of the report. Parties participating in a Title IX Grievance Hearing are required to have an advisor for the hearing.

What’s the Difference Between these Procedures?

Both sets of procedures provide for a thorough, fair, and unbiased review of the allegations, due process for all parties, and an advisor. The key difference is that the Title IX Grievance process requires a hearing with cross-examination of parties and witnesses.

How Do I Know Which Set of Procedures Applies?

It is not the responsibility of the person making a report to determine which procedures apply. All reports should be directed  to EOAA, as always. You can also consult with EOAA or the Title IX Coordinator if you have questions about the procedures and how they apply.

Revised Format?

The updated EOAA Policies & Procedures is now provided in a simpler, straightforward format that includes a hyperlinked table of contents and navigation panel. All Title IX-related content is in shaded text boxes so that you can easily distinguish between EOAA’s definitions and procedures and Title IX definitions and procedures.

When Do the New Procedures Go Into Effect?

EOAA Policies & Procedures, including the Interim Title IX Grievance Process, go into effect August 14, 2020 and will apply to any report made on or after that date, regardless of when the alleged incident occurred. Unresolved but pending cases will be resolved under the procedures in place at the time the matter was reported.

What if I Have Other Questions?

You can always reach out to EOAA with questions about our policies and procedures.