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Appendix I - Discrimination Complaint Procedures

Western Illinois University has established the following complaint procedures to demonstrate its commitment to non-discrimination on the basis of sex, race, age, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or status as a Vietnam veteran. These procedures also fulfill obligations established by statute. Any member of the University community who believes he/she has been discriminated against on the basis of age, sex, race, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, disability, or status as a Vietnam era veteran may file a complaint under these procedures. These procedures do not supersede any provisions set forth by an applicable contractual agreement.

No retaliation may be taken against any employee or student of the University who seeks redress under this procedure. Retaliatory action shall be regarded as a separate and distinct cause of complaint under these procedures.

Complaints filed against the President will be referred to the Chancellor. In the case of complaints filed against Vice Presidents or other persons who report directly to the President, the President shall substitute for the "appropriate Vice President" in steps 7, 8, and 9 below. Complaints against the Affirmative Actio Officer will be referred to the President, who will appoint a neutral person to carry out the role of the Affirmative Action Officer as outlined below.

All complaints should be filed with the Affirmative Action Office and will be promptly investigated. Information obtained in the review of a complaint will be kept as confidential as possible.

The following steps will be taken to resolve complaints that are filed with the Affirmative Action Office:

  1. An in-depth interview will be conducted by the Affirmative Action Officer with the complainant.
  2. If the complaint is warranted, the Affirmative Action Officer will inform the person(s) against whom the complaint is being filed, send a copy of the complaint, and will also interview that person to ascertain their response to the substance of the complaint.
  3. The Affirmative Action Officer will conduct interviews with the complainant, respondent, and/or both to provide an opportunity for resolution of the complaint.
  4. If resolution has not been reached, then further investigation may be conducted by the Affirmative Action Officer, including possible interviewing of witnesses, confirming information and seeking additional information and/or documentation.
  5. Where there are conflicts of information or opinion, the Affirmative Action Officer will conduct an informational hearing with both parties. The complainant and respondent will receive at least 3 days notice of this meeting. After notifying the Affirmative Action Office either party may bring a person to serve in a supportive role.
  6. When the investigation is completed, an Investigative Report will be drafted by the Affirmative Action Officer. This will include information collected during the investigation, interview and informational hearing process.
  7. The Affirmative Action Officer, the appropriate Vice President, and relevant supervisory personnel will then review the Investigative Report and the Vice President will make a final decision on the complaint.
  8. If the Vice President determines that further information is needed to make a decision, he/she will request that the Affirmative Action Officer conduct follow-up and/or additional interviews.
  9. A written report, setting forth the Vice President's decision of the basis of the evidence gathered during the investigation, will be sent to both parties.
  10. Either party may appeal that decision to the President. The President's decision is final.

If discrimination is found, administrative action will be initiated by the appropriate Vice President. If disciplinary action is proposed as a result of a finding of discrimination, procedures required under relevant collective bargaining agreements, BOT Regulations, or the State Universities Civil Service Statute and Rules will apply. The consideration of a complaint, including investigation of the positions of the person involved, attempts at informal resolution, and the formulation of a final decision ordinarily will be completed within eight calendar weeks, exclusive of holidays, after receipt of a complaint. If consideration cannot be completed in the eight-week interval, the complainant, and other parties as appropriate will be notified as to the delay.

January 1994
Donald S. Spencer, President

Civil Service Handbook

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