Click on the following links to expand more information about Discrimination and Harassment policy at UCCS:
+ Article 1: Policy
The University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) is committed to maintaining a positive learning, working, and living environment. The University of Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status in admission and access to, and treatment and employment in, its educational programs and activities. (Regent Law, Article 10, amended 11/8/2001).
UCCS will not tolerate acts of discrimination or harassment based upon Protected Classes, or related retaliation against or by any employee or student. For purposes of this policy the term “Protected Classes” refers to persons who are protected under federal, state, local or Regent law on the basis of particular characteristics and includes the characteristics of race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or veteran status.
This Policy: (1) provides a definition of discrimination and harassment based upon Protected Classes and related retaliation; (2) prohibits discrimination and harassment based upon Protected Classes and related retaliation; and (3) sets out procedures to follow when a member of the UCCS community believes a violation of the Policy has occurred. The University of Colorado policy prohibiting sexual harassment is set forth in the Administrative Policy Statement entitled, "Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures."
Individuals who violate this Policy shall be disciplined or subjected to corrective action, up to and including termination or expulsion.
+ Article 2: Authority for Campus Policies
Authority for the creation of campus administrative policies is found in The Laws of the Regents, 2007, Article 3 Section B.5(A) which states:
The chancellor of the each campus shall be the chief academic and administrative officer responsible to the president for the conduct of affairs of their respective campus in accordance with the policies of the Board of Regents. The chancellor shall have such other responsibilities as may be required by these Laws, or regent policy, or as may be delegated by the president.
+ Article 3: Definitions
Appointing authority. An appointing authority is the individual with the authority or delegated authority to make ultimate employment decisions concerning a particular employee.
Disciplinary authority A disciplinary authority is the individual who or office that has the authority or delegated authority to impose discipline upon a particular employee or student.
Complainant. A person who is subject to alleged Protected Class discrimination, harassment or related retaliation.
Respondent. A person whose alleged conduct is the subject of a complaint.
False Complaints or False Information. It is a violation of this Policy when a person knowingly or recklessly alleges a false complaint of discrimination, harassment or related retaliation or provides false information during the course of an investigation.
Discrimination. Occurs when an individual suffers a material adverse consequence, such as failure to be hired or promoted or denial of admission to an academic program on the basis of her/his Protected Class. Discrimination occurs when a person is denied an employment or educational benefit or is subject to an employment or educational detriment on the basis of his/her Protected Class.
Harassment. Verbal or physical conduct that unreasonably interferes with an individual's work or academic performance or creates an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment.
Hostile Environment. Unwelcome conduct by an individual against another individual based upon her/his Protected Class that is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it alters the conditions of education or employment and creates an environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile or offensive. The determination of whether an environment is "hostile" must be based on all of the circumstances. These circumstances could include the frequency of the conduct, its severity, and whether it is threatening or humiliating. Simple teasing, offhand comments and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will not amount to hostile environment harassment.
Inclusive Campus Action Team (ICAT). ICAT is a standing committee of appropriate campus stakeholders organized and convened by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusiveness with the authorization of the Chancellor. ICAT provides informational resources and advice to faculty, staff and students on inclusiveness issues as well as helping identify the appropriate reporting mechanisms. ICAT is a resource to the ODH in addressing complaints and remedies. ICAT also monitors trends, leads initiatives, and advises campus leadership on inclusiveness concerns. Retaliation. Retaliation is prohibited by this Policy. To be considered retaliation, a causal connection is required between a materially adverse action and the act of (1) reporting an allegation of discrimination or harassment; or (2) participating in support of an investigation of discrimination or harassment. A materially adverse action is one that would dissuade a reasonable person from reporting an allegation of discrimination or harassment, or participating in support of an investigation of an allegation of discrimination or harassment. A determination of whether an action is materially adverse is made on a case-by-case basis.
Office of Discrimination and Harassment (ODH). The office that investigates allegations of discrimination, harassment and related retaliation based upon an individual’s Protected Class. This office does not have the authority to impose discipline.
For the UCCS campus, the Discrimination and Harassment Officers are appointed by the Chancellor. All allegations of harassment or discrimination by faculty, staff or students are investigated by the Discrimination and Harassment Office. The Discrimination and Harassment Officers may appoint an investigator to conduct the investigations. Contact the Office of Discrimination and Harassment to schedule an appointment at 719-255-4324 or by email at ODH@uccs.edu. The Discrimination and Harassment Office is located in Keystone 3107.
Dean of Students. This office is also the disciplinary authority for student respondents.
Supervisors. A supervisor is anyone who has the authority to hire, promote, discipline, evaluate, grade or direct faculty, staff or students. This includes anyone who manages or supervises others, including, but not limited to faculty, teaching assistants, resident advisors, coaches and anyone who leads, administers, advises or directs University programs.
+ Article 4: Reporting Obligations
Supervisor's Obligation to Report Any supervisor who witnesses or receives a written or oral report or complaint of discrimination, harassment or related retaliation that occurs in UCCS employment and educational programs and activities, shall promptly report it to the ODH. A failure to report this information is a violation of this Policy. The only supervisors who are not subject to this reporting requirement are those employees who are required by the supervisor's profession and University responsibilities to keep certain communications confidential. On the UCCS campus, those persons are limited to professional counselors who are employed for the purpose of providing counseling services, any person to whom communications are privileged as a matter of law, and the ombudsperson.
Obligation to Report In order to take appropriate corrective action, UCCS must be aware of discrimination, harassment and related retaliation that occur in UCCS employment and educational programs and activities. Therefore, anyone who believes that he or she has experienced or witnessed discrimination, harassment or related retaliation should promptly report such behavior to the ODH.
+ Article 5: Procedures
Reports or complaints pursuant to this Policy will be addressed and resolved as promptly and as practicable after the complaint or report is made. Ordinarily, investigations will be concluded and reports submitted to the Chancellor no later than 90 days following the receipt of a complaint.
The ODH shall determine the most appropriate means for addressing the report or complaint. When appropriate, the ODH may coordinate any investigation with appropriate UCCS officials, such as the Department of Public Safety, the Dean of Students, and the Office of Residence Life and Housing. In all instances, however, individuals with non-privileged information potentially involving Protected Class discrimination or harassment shall inform the ODH so that the ODH may make a determination of how to proceed under this Policy. The Department of Public Safety may, in the course of its criminal investigation, acquire information about Protected Class discrimination or harassment that should be presented to the ODH.
The fact that an investigation is being conducted by another person or entity, including law enforcement officials, shall not relieve the ODH of the obligation to conduct a timely investigation. The ODH shall coordinate with any other person or entity conducting the investigation to ensure that a timely investigation occurs.
All reports or complaints shall be made as promptly as feasible after the occurrence. A delay in reporting may be reasonable under some circumstances, as determined on a case-by-case basis. An unreasonable delay in reporting, however, is an appropriate consideration in evaluating the merits of a complaint or report.
It is the responsibility of the Discrimination and Harassment Officer to determine the most appropriate means for addressing the report or complaint. Options include: 1) investigating the report or complaint in accordance with the provisions that follow; 2) with the agreement of the parties, attempting to resolve the report of complaint through a form of alternative dispute resolution (e.g. mediation); or 3) determining whether or not the facts of the complaint or report, if true, would constitute a violation of this Policy. If the Complaint or allegations, if true, would not constitute a violation of this Policy, the ODH shall inform the Complainant and advise the Complainant of any other potential UCCS resources that may be helpful.
If the ODH determines that the Complaint or allegations, if true, could constitute a violation of this policy, the ODH may, in appropriate circumstances, offer the Complainant and the Respondent the ability to participate in mediation to resolve their disputes. Mediation is not appropriate in any cases where the allegation of discrimination involves violence, threats, intimate partner violence, or sexual assault. No party shall be required to participate in mediation.
If the parties engage in mediation, and the mediation is successful, the ODH shall ensure that a written agreement defining the terms between the parties is prepared and signed by the Complainant and the Respondent. The mediation agreement shall include a term that violation of the agreement by either party can constitute a violation of this Policy. Any agreement reached through mediation should be documented and maintained in the ODH.
If the ODH determines that an investigation should occur, the ODH shall prepare a notice of investigation. The notice of investigation shall contain a statement of the allegations and shall also inform the Complainant and the Respondent that they:
Receive written notice of the report or complaint, including a statement of the allegations, as soon after the commencement of the investigation as is practicable and to the extent permitted by law;
Present relevant information to the investigator(s); and
Receive, at the conclusion of the investigation and appropriate review, a copy of the investigator's report, to the extent permitted by law.
The Chancellor, the respondent's appointing authority/disciplinary authority and the respondent's supervisor shall be notified that an investigation is taking place. For student respondents, the Chancellor and the Dean of Students shall be notified.
The ODH shall have authority to ensure that appropriate measures are taken during the pendency of the investigation to ensure that no party is subjected to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. Appropriate measures may include no-contact agreements and schedule and work changes.
The ODH shall advise the Respondent's supervisor whether the respondent should be relieved of any supervisory or evaluative authority during the investigation. If the respondent's supervisor declines to follow the recommendation of the ODH, s/he shall send a letter explaining the decision to the Chancellor with a copy to the ODH.
At the conclusion of an investigation, the investigator shall prepare a written report that shall include a statement of factual findings and a determination of whether this Policy has been violated. The report shall be presented for review to the Chancellor.
Once the Chancellor’s review has been completed, the investigator shall send the final report to the Complainant and Respondent, to the extent permitted by law, as well as to the Respondent's supervisor and appointing/disciplinary authority.
The appointing authority/disciplinary authority must initiate formal action against that individual if he or she was found to have violated this Policy.
The appointing authority/disciplinary authority, Dean of Students, and other administrators with a need to know, may have access to the investigative records and may consult with the investigator in order to take appropriate action.
The appointing authority/disciplinary authority shall inform the ODH and the Chancellor, in writing, of the action taken against the individual who has violated this Policy, or who, in the opinion of the appointing/disciplinary authority, has behaved inappropriately or unprofessionally. If no disciplinary action is taken against an individual who has violated this Policy, the ODH shall inform the Chancellor.
In all cases, the ODH shall retain the investigator's report for a minimum of three (3) years or for as long as any administrative or legal action arising out of the complaint is pending. In the case of a student respondent(s), records will be retained according to policies administered by Dean of Students.
All records of discrimination, harassment and related retaliation reports and investigations shall be considered confidential and shall not be disclosed publicly except to the extent required by law.
At the conclusion of any investigation, the ODH or the Chancellor may refer any issue that does not relate to a specific individual to the Inclusive Campus Action Team for further evaluation and follow-up.
Complaints Involving Two or More University of Colorado Campuses
When an alleged Policy violation involves more than one University of Colorado campus, the complaint shall be handled by the campus with disciplinary authority over the respondent. The campus responsible for the investigation may request the involvement or cooperation of any other affected campus and should advise appropriate officials at the affected campus of the progress and results of the investigation.
Complaints By and Against University Employees and Students Arising in an Affiliated Entity.
UCCS employees and students sometimes work or study at the worksite or program of another organization affiliated with UCCS. When a Policy violation is alleged by or against UCCS employees or students in those circumstances, the complaint shall be handled as provided in the affiliation agreement between UCCS and the other entity.
In the absence of an affiliation agreement or a provision addressing this issue, UCCS may, in its discretion, choose to: (1) conduct its own investigation; (2) conduct a joint investigation with the affiliated entity; (3) defer to the finding of an investigation by the affiliated entity where the University has reviewed the investigative process and is satisfied that it was fairly conducted; or (4) use the investigation and findings of the affiliated entity as a basis for further investigation.
+ Article 6: No Limitation on Existing Authority
No provision of this Policy shall be construed as a limitation on the authority of an appointing authority/disciplinary authority under applicable policies and procedures to initiate appropriate action. If an individual is disciplined for conduct that also violates this Policy, the conduct and the discipline imposed shall be reported to the ODH. If an investigation is conducted under this Policy and no Policy violation is found, that finding does not prevent discipline of the Respondent for inappropriate or unprofessional conduct under other applicable policies and procedures
+ Article 7: Annual Report
The ODH shall maintain and provide to the Chancellor an annual report documenting: (1) the number of reports or complaints received pursuant to this Policy; (2) the categories of those involved in the allegations; (3) the number of Policy violations found; and (4) examples of sanctions imposed for Policy violations.
+ Article 8: Responsibility
The Chancellor is responsible for the implementation of this Policy.
+ Article 9: Related Policies
University of Colorado Administrative Policy Statement on Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures provides that the University will not tolerate acts of sexual harassment or related retaliation against or by any employee or student. University of Colorado Colorado Springs Student Conduct Policies and Procedures address student conduct that occurs on or as it relates to university property, or at official functions and university-sponsored programs conducted away from the campus.
+ Article 10: History
Original Complaint Procedures: March 2009 Revised October 2012
Click to download full PDF of UCCS Discrimination and Harassment Policy and Procedures (most recent version)
Joanne McDevitt, J.D. Discrimination and Harassment Officer Title IX Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Julia Neville, J.D. Discrimination and Harassment Officer email@example.com
Office of Discrimination & Harrassment firstname.lastname@example.org 3107 Keystone Hall, UCCS (719) 255-4324, on campus: x4324