Procedures

EOAA Procedures - General

EOAA Procedures - General

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) responds to reports of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, nepotism, and related retaliation on the Twin Cities campus through informal problem solving or formal investigation.

EOAA is not a confidential reporting resource. Once EOAA becomes aware of information that may violate the University’s discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, or retaliation policies, we may have an obligation to take some responsive action to prevent further misconduct from occurring. However, we try to work with individuals to discuss a variety of ways to appropriately address the concerns raised. In most cases involving student sexual misconduct, EOAA will not investigate if the impacted person does not want an investigation.

EOAA is available to meet with individuals to discuss our processes. We invite you to schedule a preliminary meeting to have a general discussion about our processes before deciding if you want to report specific concerns or initiate an investigation.

We also encourage individuals to consult with confidential resources at the University for support. Please consult with these offices individually about their ability to meet with you confidentially.

Employee Conduct Consultation

Employee Conduct Consultation

EOAA usually begins by meeting with the individual who has requested a consultation to:

  • Learn about the individual’s concerns and the circumstances surrounding the situation;
  • Explore different approaches to addressing the situation;
  • Determine if EOAA is an appropriate University resource to address the concerns and, if so, initiate an EOAA process; and/or
  • Advise the individual of other available University resources for resolution and/or support.

Employee Conduct Informal Procedures

Employee Conduct Informal Procedures

After an initial consultation, an EOAA staff member may be able to address the individual’s concerns without conducting a formal investigation. These efforts may include:

  • Conducting an initial inquiry to gather additional information about the report;
  • Providing education or coaching to the respondent or complainant;
  • Providing resources or recommendations to the respondent, a supervisor, or human resources representative;
  • Providing information to the individuals involved that may help to resolve the conflict;
  • Making changes to an employee's workflow or work location;
  • Establishing a plan for monitoring future misconduct; and
  • Exploring other possible resolutions.

Employee Conduct Formal Procedures – Sexual Misconduct

Employee Conduct Formal Procedures – Sexual Misconduct

University policies prohibit sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence. Upon receiving a report that an individual experienced sexual misconduct, EOAA reaches out to that impacted person to provide resources for personal support and options for investigation. Depending on the circumstances, a formal investigation of sexual misconduct may be appropriate.

The nature and scope of an investigation will be determined based on the report and additional information gathered during the investigation, and will typically include the following elements:

  • One or more interviews of the complainant, where the complainant will have the opportunity to describe the conduct giving rise to the report, provide evidence, and identify witnesses;
  • Written notice to the respondent of the allegations constituting potential sexual misconduct, including sufficient details and with sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview;
  • One or more interviews of the respondent, where the respondent will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations, provide evidence, and identify witnesses;
  • Witness interviews and gathering of other evidence; and
  • Review and analysis of the evidence.

At the conclusion of an investigation, EOAA prepares a report that includes a summary of the evidence collected and an analysis and conclusion as to whether a violation of University policy occurred. The University strives to complete sexual misconduct investigations within 75 days. However, depending on the complexity of the investigation, the number of witnesses, the availability of evidence and other factors, some investigations may take more than 75 days.

For more information about a formal sexual misconduct investigation involving employee conduct, please see the following:

Employee Conduct Formal Procedures – Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation

Employee Conduct Formal Procedures – Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation

Depending on the circumstances, a formal investigation may be appropriate.

The nature and scope of an investigation will be determined based on the report and additional information gathered during the investigation, and will typically include the following elements:

  • One or more interviews of the complainant, where the complainant will have the opportunity to describe the conduct giving rise to the report, provide evidence, and identify witnesses;
  • Written notice to the respondent of the allegations;
  • One or more interviews of the respondent, where the respondent will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations, provide evidence, and identify witnesses;
  • Witness interviews and gathering of other evidence; and
  • Review and analysis of the evidence.

At the conclusion of an investigation, EOAA prepares a report that includes a summary of the evidence collected and an analysis and conclusion as to whether a violation of University policy occurred.

For more information about a formal discrimination, harassment, or related retaliation investigation, please see the following:

Student Conduct Procedures - Sexual Misconduct

Student Conduct Procedures - Sexual Misconduct

University policies, including the Student Conduct Code, prohibit sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence. Upon receiving a report that a person experienced sexual misconduct from a student, EOAA reaches out to that impacted person to provide resources for personal support and options for investigation. EOAA will not share the impacted person's information or initiate an investigation unless the impacted person wants this, except where there may be a significant danger to campus safety.

In cases where the impacted person requests an investigation, or where EOAA otherwise determines that an investigation is necessary to maintain campus safety, EOAA will conduct an impartial investigation of the sexual misconduct report. The nature and scope of an investigation will be determined based on the report and additional information gathered during the investigation, and will typically include the following elements:

  • One or more interviews of the complainant, where the complainant will have the opportunity to describe the conduct giving rise to the report, provide evidence, and identify witnesses;
  • Written notice to the respondent of the allegations constituting potential sexual misconduct, including sufficient details and with sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview;
  • One or more interviews of the respondent, where the respondent will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations, provide evidence, and identify witnesses;
  • Witness interviews and gathering of other evidence; and
  • Review and analysis of the evidence.

The University strives to complete sexual misconduct investigations within 75 days. However, depending on the complexity of the investigation, the number of witnesses, the availability of evidence and other factors, some investigations may take more than 75 days. The following bullets describe the post-investigatory process.

  • Upon completion of a sexual misconduct investigation, EOAA will make an initial finding as to whether University policy was violated. EOAA will prepare an initial findings report that summarizes the reported conduct, the information gathered during the investigation, and the initial finding.
  • The complainant and respondent will be given access to the initial findings report and, when applicable, to a written proposed informal resolution to the sexual misconduct report. If both parties agree to the informal resolution, the University’s process ends.
  • Both parties will receive written information about how to request a hearing. A party who disagrees with the initial finding or proposed informal resolution may request a formal hearing before a panel drawn from the Student Sexual Misconduct Subcommittee (SSMS).
  • Both parties will receive written notice of the hearing panel’s decision on responsibility and, if the respondent is found responsible, the sanctions that will be imposed.
  • Both parties will receive written notice of their right to appeal the hearing panel’s decision to an impartial appellate officer.
  • In the case of an appeal, both parties will receive the appellate officer’s written decision. The appellate officer will strive to render a decision within 30 calendar days of the notice of appeal and will provide the decision to both parties.

For more information about a formal sexual misconduct investigation involving student conduct, please see the following:

Nepotism Procedures

Nepotism Procedures

The Board of Regents’ Nepotism Policy governs conflicts of interest that result from personal relationships among members of the University community.  The University requires reporting of potential nepotism situations to Human Resources or to EOAA so that appropriate steps can be taken to avoid any prohibited activity.

In most cases, EOAA consults on and engages in the informal resolution of cases of potential nepotism.  EOAA may advise on whether certain proposed conduct (e.g., hire, promotion) would violate the Nepotism Policy.  EOAA also may help draft a nepotism agreement that addresses and makes provisions to avoid the potential conflicts of interest.  A template for a nepotism agreement can be found online.

Changes and additions to this template often are required to fit the particular situation.  An EOAA representative must sign the nepotism agreement for it to be compliant with the policy.

EOAA may also investigate complaints about potential nepotism, following the same process described above in the case of discrimination, harassment or retaliation.