Bryant University Principles
Bryant believes that the most successful institutions of higher education work hard at building community. This effort is guided by several principles that shape our shared experiences. The fostering of these principles helps our University prepare its students to achieve their personal best in life and their chosen professions. To enter Bryant University is to become a member of a community, which is both a privilege and an opportunity. Participation in and support of this community is a responsibility shared by all. The search for community represents a process and a journey dedicated to helping students succeed. These guiding principles* are as follows:
- Bryant University is an educationally purposeful community – a place where faculty, staff, and students work together to strengthen teaching and learning on campus.
- The campus is a place where high standards of civility are set and violations are challenged. Bryant University is a community whose members speak and listen carefully to each other.
- Bryant University is a place where the sacredness of each person is honored and where diversity is aggressively pursued.
- Bryant University clearly states both its academic and social expectations. All must accept their obligations as citizens of the Bryant community and expect to be held accountable for behavior as individuals and members of groups.
- The University is a caring community where the well-being of each member is supported and where service to others is encouraged.
- Bryant finds opportunities to affirm both tradition and change. Orientation, Homecoming, Commencement, and other activities are examples of celebratory activities. Good traditions must be preserved, new ones established, and others must sometimes end.
*Principles outlined in Ernest Boyer’s book Campus Life: In Search of Community form the basis for the Bryant Pledge. These principles represent the shared commitments of students, staff, and faculty toward a successful learning experience.
Bryant University Mission
Educate and inspire students to discover their passion, become innovative leaders with character and make a difference around the world.
Commitment to Diversity
Bryant University recognizes that its position as a leader in higher education is greatly determined both by the diversity of its campus community and its intellectual endeavors. Its commitment to link academic and social diversity for the benefit of the learning and living environment reflects its belief that excellence and diversity are mutually reinforcing objectives.
We also understand diversity as a global issue. We provide an education that offers our students the knowledge and skills to thrive in an age of global complexity and change. Our policies and programs nurture a pluralistic environment that honors human dignity, integrity, and the rights of others.
Bryant University encourages members of its community to be independent, tolerant thinkers who possess the courage and patience to grow in their understanding of differences – whether they be ethnic, intellectual, physical, political, cultural, sexual, religious or economic. Doing so on a personal level reaffirms the critical role that divergent voices play in making Bryant University a world-class institution dedicated to teaching, learning, and producing new knowledge.
Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”)
Affirmative Action Program (“AAP”)
Reaffirmation of policy: It is the intention of Bryant University (“Bryant”) to make all efforts reasonably possible to live up to its EEO Policy and the commitments made in its AAP. The Program has been prepared to accurately reflect Bryant’s current status, its actions to date, and its intentions for the future.
Overall responsibility for fulfillment of the EEO Policy and the AAP is assigned to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources. The Associate Vice President will periodically conduct analyses of all personnel actions to ensure that Bryant is living up to its stated intentions. The management of Bryant is responsible for the ongoing monitoring of all personnel actions in their respective areas of supervision and will carry out the intentions of the EEO Policy and the University’s AAP to the fullest extent possible.
Bryant has established employment policies and practices that are non-discriminatory and are solely based upon factors that are job-related. Factors such as an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual preference or orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, ethnicity, disability, veteran or marital status are not job-related and play no part in Bryant’s employment practices. Bryant’s AAP is designed and established in order to promote affirmative action and provide equal employment opportunity, and to provide guidance to management with respect to Bryant’s commitment to the full implementation of its EEO policy. The AAP is further designed to monitor and report on all related procedures, including but not limited to:
- recruiting, hiring, training, promoting, and transferring applicants and employees in job classifications without discrimination;
- basing decisions on employment so as to further the principle of equal employment opportunity;
- ensuring that no employee or applicant for employment is subject to harassment, intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination for filing a complaint or assisting in an investigation, compliance review, or hearing related to any law requiring equal opportunity for covered individuals;
- ensuring that promotion and transfer decisions are in accord with principles of equal employment opportunity by imposing only valid, job-related requirements for such opportunities; and
- ensuring that all other personnel actions, such as compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, return from layoffs, company-sponsored training and educational assistance and social and recreational programs will be administered without discrimination.
Bryant does, and will continue to, provide all applicants for employment and all employees with equal opportunity for employment and promotion regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual preference or orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, ethnicity, disability, veteran or marital status. This commitment to equal employment opportunity includes all other personnel actions, such as, transfers, disciplinary actions and procedures, layoffs, Bryant-sponsored training, social and recreational programs or activities, rates of pay, educational assistance (tuition reimbursement), and all other conditions of employment. Management at all levels will abide by federally mandated regulations in incorporating affirmative action into its procedures. There will be a good faith effort to increase the consideration, promotion, hiring, and effective utilization of minorities and females in all job categories and organizational units/departments in accordance with the goals set forth in the University’s AAP. Minorities and females are encouraged to take the fullest advantage of the opportunities available at Bryant. Bryant intends to fulfill the spirit of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action by ensuring that its relationships with prospective and present employees are open and free from bias.
The complete EEO Policy/AAP is on file with the Human Resources Department.
Conflict of Interest Statement
The Board of Trustees (“Board”) of Bryant University (“University”) has established a Conflict of Interest Policy (“Policy”). The Policy calls for disclosure, to the Board, of any material interest or affiliation on the part of the trustees, officers, or key employees of the University, which is likely to conflict with the duties of such persons. Each trustee, officer, or key employee of the University shall sign a conflict of interest statement and the Secretary of the Corporation shall maintain a file of information disclosed by trustees, officers or key employees of the University. The full Policy is on file with the President’s Office.
Bryant University prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on its property or as part of any of its activities. Where there is evidence of violation of the law, law enforcement officials will be contacted immediately.
Any employee or student found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to applicable legal sanctions under local, state, and federal law for the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol as well as disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or separation from the University.
Substance abuse is a problem that poses a serious threat to employees and students. The use of alcohol and illegal drugs endangers the health and safety of the abusers and all others around them. Bryant University is committed to making a good-faith effort in maintaining a drug-free workplace.
As a condition of employment, an employee or student must:
- Abide by the terms of this statement;
- Notify the Human Resources Department (or the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs) of any criminal drug statute conviction for any violation occurring on University property no later than five days after such a conviction.
Any University office receiving a federal grant must notify the federal or granting agency within ten days after receiving notice from an employee or student of a conviction for violation of any criminal drug law on University property. Copy of such a notice must be forwarded to the Human Resources Department or the Vice President for Student Affairs. This notification applies to all employees and students who are directly engaged in the performance of work pursuant to the provisions of a federally sponsored grant or contract.
You Can Contribute to a Bryant University Drug-free Workplace
A drug-free workplace means no drugs: no alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, speed, PCP, heroin, or other drugs at work. Even cigarettes and some prescription drugs can be a danger. We maintain a drug-free workplace because drugs keep you from doing your best on the job, and the effects can be dangerous to others as well.
Did You Know . . .
- One out of every ten adults in the U.S. is addicted to alcohol.
- Because addiction runs in families, many children of addicts are likely to become addicts themselves.
- Alcohol and other drug abuse can lead to unsafe sexual behaviors that result in contracting the HIV virus or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
- Marijuana can cause people to lose interest in hobbies, work, friends, and family. It can cause loss of drive and motivation. Also, on-the-job accidents are more likely to occur because people who use marijuana cannot react as fast.
Where to Begin
It is important to notice the signs of abuse and addiction early so that you can seek help. Addiction to alcohol or other drugs may be a serious disease. The longer you wait to find help, the harder it is to get better. In other words, the chances of staying healthy are higher when alcohol abuse is stopped early. Changing your alcohol or other drug use is a decision only you can make.
Know the facts about alcohol and drugs. If you have never used them, don’t start. If you think your use is causing problems, think about stopping and seek help. Ask your doctor about the effects of using alcohol or other drugs. Read about it, go to a lecture, or take a class.
Using alcohol and other drugs can lead to addiction. Addictions are chronic diseases that mean that once you have the disease, you will have to live with it for the rest of your life. With treatment, however, you can control the disease and live a healthy and productive life. Millions of Americans are now recovering from alcohol and other drug addictions. Their lives are back on track. You can join them.
Recovering from alcohol/drug addiction is a process. You can start by staying away from alcohol and drugs one day at a time. The goal is to be sober, which means learning to live without alcohol or other drugs. Often, the support of other people is needed. Family members, friends, support groups, and therapists, to name a few, can help you to accomplish your goal.
Avoid temptation to use again. Relapse occurs when you return to your old pattern of alcohol or other drug use. Although relapse is part of the disease, it does not have to happen to you.
Contacts: Helping You Help Yourself
Members of the Bryant community who believe they have a problem with drug abuse may receive confidential information on prevention and treatment from a variety of sources, on or off campus.
- Health Services: 232-6220
- Human Resources: 232-6010
- Counseling Services: 232-6045
- Butler Hospital: 455-6220
- CODAC: 461-5056
- Community Counseling Center: 723-1915
- Family Resources: 766-0900
- Roger Williams Medical Center/Substance Abuse Center: 456-2363
- RIEAS, Bryant’s Employee Assistance Program: 800-445-1195
Protection from Harassment
Bryant University is committed to maintaining a working and learning environment which supports respect for the individual and for academic freedom, where all members of the community can work and learn in an atmosphere that is free from sexual or other types of harassment.
It is the policy of Bryant University that no member of the University community, including faculty, staff, students, volunteers, interns, and third party contractors, may subject another to sexual or any other type of harassment. Harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual preference or orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, ethnicity, disability, veteran or marital status undermines the basic principles of the Bryant community and will not be tolerated.
Harassment is defined as unwelcome verbal and/or physical conduct directed toward an individual or regarding an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual preference or orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, ethnicity, disability, veteran or marital status that has the purpose or effect of:
- humiliating and/or intimidating an individual or
- impeding and/or interfering with work performance, academic status, or college life.
In particular, sexual harassment is defined as unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and all other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature where:
- submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic status: or
- submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual; or
- such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment in which to work or learn (situations that have the effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s professional or academic performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or offensive working or learning environment, even if no job or promotion loss results).
Bryant University considers harassment a very serious matter. Any person found to be engaging in harassment, including sexual harassment, or who aids and abets or incites such conduct, will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Further, any retaliation against an individual for filing a complaint or for cooperating in an investigation of such a complaint is similarly prohibited and will not be tolerated.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment may occur regardless of the intention of the person engaging in the conduct. The following are some examples of conduct, which, if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment, depending upon the totality of the circumstances, including the severity of the conduct and its pervasiveness:
- sexual advances, whether they involve physical touching or not;
- requests for sexual favors in exchange for actual or promised job or academic benefits such as favorable reviews, salary increases, promotions, grades, increased benefits, or continued employment;
- sexual jokes;
- use of sexual epithets, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life, comments on an individual’s body, sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess;
- displaying sexual objects, pictures, cartoons;
- leering, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments;
- inquiries into one’s sexual activities; and
- assault or coerced sexual acts.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has observed that hostile environment sexual harassment takes a variety of forms, and that many factors affect this determination. The determination of a hostile environment is affected by:
- whether the conduct was verbal or physical or both;
- how frequently the conduct was repeated;
- whether the conduct was hostile and patently offensive;
- whether the alleged harasser was a co-worker or supervisor;
- whether others joined in perpetrating the harassment; and
- whether the harassment was directed at more than one individual.
Sexual harassment does not refer to behavior or occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature. It refers to behavior that is not welcome, that is offensive, and that fails to respect the rights of others. Conduct which may appear “voluntary” because a faculty or staff member or student does not seem to be forced to participate against his or her will is still sexual harassment as long as the victim makes it clear that the advances are unwelcome. Whether an isolated remark or act or a course of conduct creates a sexually hostile work environment will depend upon the totality of the circumstances.
Bryant University encourages the reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination, harassment or retaliation, regardless of the offender’s identity or position. To encourage persons to come forward, the University provides several channels of communication, information, and complaint resolution. A list of potential resources or contacts available at the University is provided at the conclusion of this policy.
Complaint/Reporting Process: Complaints involving an employee of the University must be reported immediately either orally or in writing to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources (or his/her designee). If the complaint involves a faculty member, the complaint may be made to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (or his/her designee). Complaints of sexually harassing or discriminatory behavior by students may be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students (or his/her appointed designee). Procedures for handling a student complaint or grievance are covered by certain provisions within the Bryant University Student Handbook and are administered by the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.
The Associate Vice President for Human Resources will participate in the investigatory process with Student Affairs and/or Academic Affairs when a student alleges sexual harassment by faculty or staff, or when a faculty member alleges sexual harassment by faculty, staff, or a student. In any complaint situation where a student is involved, the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students (or his/her appointed designee) will participate in the investigatory process.
If a supervisor, manager or department chair of the University becomes aware that harassment or discrimination is occurring, either from personal observation or as a result of an individual coming forward, the supervisor, manager, or department chair should immediately report it to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources.
When a complaint is received, the University will promptly investigate the allegation in a fair and expeditious manner. The investigation will be conducted in such a way as to maintain confidentiality to the extent practicable under the circumstances. The investigation may include interviews with the person making the complaint, any witnesses, and the person(s) alleged to have engaged in the harassment. If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has occurred, the University will act promptly to eliminate that offending conduct and, where it is appropriate, the University also will impose disciplinary action. Appeals must be submitted in writing detailing the specific reason(s) for the appeal.
The President or his/her designee will serve as the appeal authority. The President or his/her designee shall have the power to affirm, reverse, or modify the decision and/or the penalty imposed (but not increase), or to remand the matter to the University official imposing the sanction for further consideration. The decision of the appeal authority is final.
Harassment by Visitors
The University does not condone harassment by individuals visiting students or attending University functions or by any other visitor on the University campus. If anyone is subjected to harassment by visitors, he or she should call Public Safety, who will escort the visitors off campus and/or take other appropriate action. If visitors’ behavior is illegal (for example, disturbing the peace, vandalism, sexual assault, etc.), they are subject to arrest. All members of the community should make it clear to visitors that such behavior is not acceptable at Bryant University.
Harassment by Third Parties
The University does not condone harassment by third parties, including internship supervisors, donors, or consultants, with whom members of the Bryant community are dealing on or off campus in the course of their academic or employment responsibilities. If anyone is subject to harassment in these situations, he/she should report it to his/her supervisor or advisor as soon as possible in order that appropriate action can be taken.
Romantic or sexual relationships between faculty/staff and students have the potential for adverse consequences, including the filing of sexual harassment charges. The apparent consensual nature of a relationship may be inherently suspect when a situation of “unequal power” exists which may contain elements of coercion, such as when compliance with requests for sexual favors becomes a criterion for granting privileges or favorable treatment in the working and learning environment. Even when both parties have consented to the relationship, there may be serious concerns about conflict of interest as well as unfair treatment of others. Employees who have access to student residences due to the nature of their position at the University are expected to adhere to all departmental policies related to fraternization or access to student residences. Any violations of departmental policies could result in disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination of employment.
Romantic or sexual relationships between members of the Bryant community and third parties (e.g., internship supervisors, donors, consultants) with whom they are dealing off campus as part of their academic or employment responsibilities may also have potential for adverse consequences, including the filing of sexual harassment charges. Even when both parties have consented to the relationship, there may be serious concerns about conflict of interest as well as unfair treatment of others.
Information, Counseling and Advocacy
Anyone may seek advice, information or counseling on any matter, including matters relating to harassment, without having to lodge a complaint. Names and telephone numbers of these resources are listed under “Information/Counseling Resources.”
Bryant University List of Resources Available to Individuals Who Believe They Have Been Subject to Discrimination, Harassment, or Retaliation
- Counseling Services: 232-6045
- Health Services: 232-6220
- Student Affairs: 232-6046
- Employee Assistance Program (available to all Bryant employees) LifeWatch: 1-800-333-6228
Internal Contact List
- Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students: 232-6046
- Associate Vice President for Human Resources: 232-6011
- Vice President for Academic Affairs: 232-6060
External Filing Remedies
While it is Bryant’s goal to investigate and resolve harassment complaints internally, individuals who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment may also file a formal complaint with either or both of the following government agencies:
Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights, 180 Westminster St., 3rd Floor, Providence, RI 02903 (401) 222-2661
United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) John F. Kennedy Federal Building, 475 Government Center Boston, MA 02203 (800) 669-4000
All Bryant University employees are entitled to perform their work without being bothered or disturbed by solicitors. Accordingly, we have adopted the following solicitation and distribution rule:
Persons who are not employed by the University are prohibited from soliciting and from distributing literature or other materials, for any purpose and at any time, within the University’s buildings or anywhere on its property.
Employees are prohibited from soliciting during their work hours and during the work hours of other employees, and from distributing literature or other materials during their work hours and during the work hours of other employees. Employees are also prohibited from distributing literature or other materials at any time in the work areas of the University.
Bryant University requires all employees to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities. The University is committed to compliance with the laws and regulations to which it is subject. The University’s internal controls and operating procedures are intended to detect and prevent or deter illegal or improper activities. However, even the best systems of controls cannot provide absolute safeguards against irregularity. The University has a responsibility to investigate and report to appropriate parties allegations of suspected illegal or improper activities, and to protect those employees who, in good faith report these activities to the appropriate authority.
The University provides various mechanisms to assist and encourage employees to come forward with reports or concerns about suspected compliance issues. The University encourages this reporting of suspected wrongdoing on a timely basis.
Although the University encourages employees to report concerns to their immediate supervisor, there are times when an employee may feel it is necessary to report a concern of financial wrongdoing outside of the traditional reporting mechanism. The University has adopted a whistleblower policy for these instances. The whistleblower policy allows allegations to be made outside of the immediate area that the suspected employee is associated with and allows for a degree of confidentiality for the reporting person, if necessary.
The whistleblower policy governs only the reporting and investigation of suspected violations of law, external regulations or University policy of a financial nature or misuse of University resources. Such violations may include, but are not limited to, misappropriation or misuse of University resources; bribery; forgery or alteration of documents; fraudulent financial reporting; and authorizing or receiving compensation for goods not received, services not performed, or hours not worked. The policy is not intended for, and may not be used for, personal or employment grievances, general compensation and benefits complaints, opinion on policy, etc.
Employees who have knowledge of or information about misconduct in University operations should report the misconduct to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources. If the reporting person desires anonymity, the report should be in writing and delivered via regular mail, campus mail, or by hand, rather than via e-mail. Every attempt will be made to keep the whistleblower’s identity confidential, unless
- the person agrees to be identified;
- identification is necessary to allow University or law enforcement officials to investigate or respond effectively to the report;
- identification is required by law;
- or the person accused of violations is entitled to the information as a matter of legal rights in disciplinary proceedings.
Persons reporting misconduct should not attempt to investigate the matter independently, as doing so may compromise the integrity of an official investigation and adversely impact both the reporting person and the University.
The Associate Vice President of Human Resources will promptly and discreetly investigate any report of misconduct in University operations, in consultation with the President and Vice
President(s). However, such consultation(s) may be limited if necessary to preserve the integrity of the investigation. In addition, the Associate Vice President of Human Resources may seek the assistance of other University officials as appropriate. The Associate Vice President will report the results of their investigation and any recommendations for appropriate corrective and/or disciplinary action to the University President. The President will consult with the appropriate senior administrators in the affected division before implementing corrective or disciplinary action. The imposition of discipline, if any, will be made in accordance with the University’s Employee Handbook, any applicable collective bargaining agreement (if the misconduct involves a union employee), and any other applicable University policies.
If the Associate Vice President of Human Resources or the University President is the subject of a report of misconduct in University operations, Bob Calabro, the chair of the Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees may be contacted at (617) 530-6493. He will appoint individuals to substitute for the Associate Vice President or President in his or her investigative or decision-making role.
A confidential report will be made to the chair of the Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees at the conclusion of every investigation.
Employees should be aware that the filing of the statement acknowledges their understanding that an investigation may commence. Reports under this policy should be made as soon as possible, preferably within six months of the occurrence.
An employee who in good faith reports a suspected violation of law or University policy will be protected from retaliation under this policy. Good faith means that the person had reasonable grounds to believe that the reported allegations are substantially true. A person who intentionally makes a false report may be subject to disciplinary or other action. The failure of a report to result in a finding of misconduct is not alone evidence that the report was intentionally false.
In addition, employees are protected by The Rhode Island Whistleblower’s Protection Act – R.I. Gen Laws 28-50. Specifically:
28-50-3: Protection – An employer shall not discharge, threaten, or otherwise discriminate against an employee regarding the employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, location or privileges of employment (1) because the employee, or a person acting on behalf of the employee, reports or is about to report to a public body, verbally or in writing, a violation which the employee knows or reasonably believes has occurred or is about to occur, of a law or regulation or rule promulgated under the law of this state, a political subdivision of this state, or the United States, unless the employee knows or has reason to know that the report is false, or (2) because an employee is requested by a public body to participate in an investigation, hearing, or inquiry held by that public body, or a court action.
28-50-4: Relief and damages – (a) A person who alleges a violation of this chapter may bring a civil action for appropriate injunctive relief, or actual damages or both within (3) years after the occurrence of the alleged violation of this chapter. (b) An action commenced pursuant to subsection (a) of this section may be brought in the superior court for the county where the alleged violation occurred, the county where the complainant resides or the county where the person against whom the civil complaint is filed resides or has their principal place of business. (c) As used in subsection (a) “damages” means damages for injury or loss caused by each violation of this chapter. (d) An employee shall show by clear and convincing evidence that he or she or a person acting on his or her behalf was about to report to a public body, verbally or in writing, a violation which the employee knew or reasonably believed had occurred or was about to occur of a law of this state, a political subdivision, or the United States.
The act provides for relief and damages for any adverse impact that may result from violation of Chapter 28-50-3 as noted above.
In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972, Bryant University prohibits sex discrimination in its educational and athletic programs, as well as in extracurricular activities sponsored by the University.
An individual’s sex can not be considered as a basis for making decisions in areas such as:
- Admission and graduation requirements
- Access to course enrollment or campus facilities
- Counseling and health services
- Competitive athletic programs and activities
- Housing, financial aid, or other benefits/services
A student, employee, or other individual may use this grievance procedure to file a complaint alleging a violation of Title IX against any Bryant employee, Bryant student, or third party. Complaints may include claims of discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual violence against the complainant or against others. An employee may also report any claim of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation by following the procedures contained in the policy entitled “Bryant University — Protection from Harassment.” Person aggrieved may choose to file a criminal complaint with the appropriate local or state authorities.
Sex discrimination includes unwanted sexual advances, sexual violence, requests for sexual favors, and all other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature where submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic status, or submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual, or such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating , hostile, or offensive environment in which to work or learn.
Step 1: Filing a Complaint
A grievance should be filed as soon as possible but no later than 14 days after the alleged unlawful discriminatory practice. The complaint should be filed in writing by utilizing the Title IX Grievance Form. Forms may be obtained from the Human Resources Department. Supplemental sheets may be attached to provide additional detail regarding the alleged violation. The completed Title IX Grievance Form and any supplemental attachments should be filed with:
Linda S. Lulli, Title IX Coordinator
Human Resources Department
1150 Douglas Pike
Smithfield, RI 02917
If the Title IX Coordinator is the person alleged to have discriminated, the complaint may be filed with the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, Dr. John Saddlemire, firstname.lastname@example.org (401-232-6046).
Step 2: Preliminary Investigation Process
Within 14 days of receiving the grievance form, the Title IX Coordinator will designate a senior administrator as Investigator, who will meet with the complainant. The purpose of the meeting is for the Investigator to clarify details of the alleged violation, and to obtain names of witnesses to be interviewed and other relevant information deemed necessary to investigate and resolve the complaint. The Complainant shall have the opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence.
A complainant will be notified in writing if a meeting can not occur within this timeframe.
The Investigator will within seven (7) days of the initial meeting, interview the individual(s) accused of discrimination, who at that time will have an opportunity to provide relevant information for the investigation and/or advise of witnesses to be interviewed. The accused person(s) shall have the opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence.
Step 3: Investigation Process
The investigation will be conducted to ensure the greatest degree of confidentiality of all parties involved. Further, all parties involved in the investigation will be advised of the expectation of confidentiality of the active investigation. Retaliation against the complaining party or witnesses is strictly prohibited. Proven retaliation by an employee or student will result in discipline, up to and including termination, or other appropriate sanctions.
Step 4: Completion of Investigation Report
The Investigator should complete the investigation and submit a written report within 60 days of the initial complaint. The report will detail the facts and allegations made by the complainant, summarize the witness meetings, and make recommendations to resolve the complaint. However, due to the extensiveness or complexity of the issues of an investigation, more time may be needed to complete a thorough and equitable investigation. In those cases, the complainant and accused will be advised in writing that additional time is required.
The Investigator will submit a written report to the Title IX Coordinator, or if necessary to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students. The complainant will be advised when the report has been submitted. The Title IX Coordinator may (1) choose to follow the recommendations, (2) attempt to resolve the complaint through a designated representative, or (3) identify and implement other acceptable solutions.
a. Recommendations for Proven Violations
Recommended solutions for allegations of discrimination that are proven to be valid will be based on the severity of the offense, the frequency that the offense occurred, and the duration of the prohibited conduct or practice. Other factors may include the extent to which the misconduct or practice, however minor or severe, may isolate or intimidate the person filing the complaint. Recommendations may involve corrective action, appropriate disciplinary action, suspensions or expulsion. The complainant will be advised as to the outcome of the Investigation, and any appeal options.
b. Recommendations for Unproven Violations
In cases where the investigation does not establish by a preponderance of the evidence that a violation has occurred, the Title IX Coordinator or designated representative will advise both the complainant and the person accused of discriminating of the investigation outcome, and any appeal options.
Step 5A: Investigation Recommendations Acceptable to Complainant
If the proposed recommendations are acceptable to the complainant and the solutions are implemented, the complaint is considered resolved. The Title IX Coordinator will advise the complainant to come forward if retaliation takes place.
Step 5B: Appeal Process with the University
If the complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant or the party alleged to have discriminated, a written appeal may be submitted to the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students or Title IX Coordinator. The written request should:
a) be submitted within 14 calendar days of receipt of the University’s decision
b) include the reasons for the appeal and the requested outcome.
The Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students or Title IX Coordinator will notify the opposing party of the appeal and rule on the appeal within 14 days of receipt.
Step 5C: Appeal Process with External Agencies
The complainant may also file a complaint of alleged discrimination with the Office of Civil Rights:
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-1100
(202) 245-6800 – 1-800-421-3481
FAX: (202) 245-6840; TDD: (877) 521-2172