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K-State Today

August 26, 2020

K-State's Anti-Discrimination Policy: Reporting, Cooperation and Confidentiality

Submitted by Office of Institutional Equity

K-State's Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Harassment, and Procedure for Reviewing Complaints was revised on Aug. 14 and is published in chapter 3010 of the University’s Policy and Procedures Manual, PPM 3010. The Office of Institutional Equity, or OIE — 103 Edwards Hall, 1810 Kerr Drive, 785-532-6220, TRS 711, equity@k-state.edu — is responsible for PPM 3010's administration and Scott Jones is the OIE director and Title IX coordinator.

This is the second in a series of five consecutive articles from OIE on various aspects of PPM 3010. View the first announcement

Responsibilities of Persons Subject to the Policy — Reporting and Cooperation
Supervisors (within their area of supervision) and administrators must make reports of possible violations of this policy to OIE as soon as practicable upon notification (including by email if after regular business hours), must keep reports confidential, and must protect the privacy of all parties involved in a report. Failure to do so is a violation of this policy. Employees who have information relevant to a report that they are not a party to may be required to provide that information in connection with the processes under this policy.

All parties to matters covered by this policy are encouraged to cooperate fully in administrative reviews, investigations and, in Title IX Sexual Harassment cases, grievance hearings, and to provide information, including official personnel or student files and records, and other materials that OIE and/or the ART deems necessary to complete a thorough review of complaints. If an individual declines to cooperate, the university will proceed under this policy based on the information available to it and, when appropriate, may issue sanctions under the policy.

Parties are prohibited from any conduct that interferes with or could be seen as interfering with the processes under this policy. This includes, but is not limited to, coercing or bribing witnesses or tampering with evidence.

Any person who knowingly files a false report or complaint, who knowingly provides false or misleading information, or who violates the confidentiality provisions of this policy, is subject to disciplinary action. No action will be taken against an individual who makes a good faith report or complaint, even if the allegations are not substantiated.

Vendors on campus or for university programs or activities must comply with this policy. Depending on the circumstances, vendors — with the approval of OIE — may conduct investigations of their own employees and/or participate in determinations regarding alleged violations of this policy. Prior to, during and after such an investigation, the vendor will provide information as requested by OIE. OIE may require a vendor to include an OIE staff member as part of an investigation if OIE believes participation is necessary to ensure that the university's interests under this policy are appropriately addressed.

The university endeavors to keep reports and other information obtained through this Chapter 3010 process confidential to the extent possible. To protect the privacy of the parties and the integrity of the process, parties, witnesses and any others involved are encouraged to limit their discussion of the matter except as necessary for a party to gather or present evidence relevant to the matter or otherwise seek resources. Employees who are witnesses to misconduct shall not disclose information about the matter or their involvement in the case to anyone who does not have a need to know in connection with the policy process.

A party or witness may be questioned about any conversations they have about the matter, and those conversations may be considered as evidence in the case, except to the extent they are protected under a legally recognized privilege.

Reports and other information may be disclosed to state or federal anti-discrimination agencies for investigations or audits and during litigation.