6. Improve the Process for Discrimination Complaint Intake

The university commits to enhancing student service through an improved intake process for discrimination complaints and grievances.

Status: Launched

The Action Team reviewed and approved an updated discrimination complaint form presented by Stephanie Lott, Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) director and Title IX coordinator. The new form seeks more complete data regarding the discrimination complaint and provides information related to the investigation process. These changes address concerns raised about too many touchpoints previously involved in the process for collecting information.

OIE updated its communication procedures and committed to respond to submitted complaints within two business days and provide parties directly involved in a case with regular updates on the status of an investigation and next steps in the process. OIE also made changes to better utilize existing case management software to assist in the communication and improvement of overall office effectiveness and efficiency in case management.

Timeline and Milestones

  • 8-18-2021 Action Item Update

    • Feedback from the OIE meetings with constituent groups across campus has been very positive in building trust and creating more awareness for the services provided by OIE staff. In addition, the revised OIE processes to improve communications, and the timeliness of investigations and case resolution is also showing positive results.

  • May 12, 2021 meeting update:
    • Action Team reviewed and approved the revised discrimination complaint form and revised OIE staff processes to improve communications, investigations and case resolution.
    • Stephanie Lott and the OIE staff developed a plan to meet with constituent groups across campus and participate in more campus events to rebuild trust and create more awareness for the services provided by OIE staff.
  • Feb. 18, 2021 meeting update:
    • Action Team identified several areas to address in the discrimination grievance intake process:
      • There appear to be numerous touchpoints in the grievance process to collect information, which can create frustration and resurface trauma for the parties involved.
      • Concerns were also identified related to communications on receipt of complaints within the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE), the status of the investigation and timeliness in resolving the filed grievances.
      • Due to the identified concerns, there is a lack of trust in the process by numerous constituent groups on campus
  • General milestones:
    • Determine if there is sufficient feedback to understand the overall concern and prevalence of the concerns.
    • Evaluate the OIE complainant reporting form and the third-party process for collecting information and identifying areas for improvement.
    • Review the OIE process for processing complaints to address touchpoints and identify areas for improvement in communications and timeliness.
    • Develop recommendations for improvement in the process and related communications, seek buy-in for the changes and establish a timeline for implementing changes.
    • Develop a plan for rebuilding trust in the process.

Accountable Administrators and Action Team

This initiative is led by a core leadership team. The lead administrator identified below is responsible for initiating and reporting on the progress of the initiative overall.

Core leadership team

  • Linda Cook, Chief of Staff and Director of Community Relations, lead administrator
  • Shari Crittendon, General Counsel
  • Be Stoney, Interim Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
  • Kristin Anders, Asst. Professor, Human Development and Family Sciences
  • Nathan Bothwell, Speaker of Student Senate, Student Governing Association
  • Brandon Haddock, Student Services Coordinator, LGBT Resource Center
  • Roberta Maldonado-Franzen, Instructor, Cargill Fellows Administrator – Leadership Studies
  • Stephanie Lott, Director and Title IX Coordinator, Office of Institutional Equity