Anti-Discrimination and Complaint Procedures Policy

    Marywood University (the “University”) declares and reaffirms a policy of equal educational and employment opportunity and non-discrimination in its educational programs and all other activities that it operates both on and off University property.  Marywood is committed to maintaining a healthy and safe learning, living and working environment for all members of the Marywood community. Marywood University does not condone and will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or assault regardless of whether the action is based on race, sex (including sexual harassment, sexual violence and pregnancy), color, gender, national or ethnic origin, age, creed, ancestry, religion, disability, marital status, military/veteran status, genetic information, whether an individual has a GED, use of a guide or support animal, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. 

    Marywood University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs and in other activities operated by the University and is required by Title IX, and specifically 34 C.F.R. Part 106.9, not to discriminate in such a manner.  This extends to employees of and applicants for admission to Marywood University.  Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator for the University, or to the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education.

    Any individual who believes s/he has been subject to discrimination on the basis of sex is encouraged to file a grievance consistent with the University’s Sexual Misconduct and Complaint Procedures Policy.

    Marywood University is committed to taking all necessary steps to comply with any obligations it may have under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and the Campus SaVE Act of 2013.  These are explicit civil and legal applications of the formulation of beliefs already cherished in Marywood’s religious commitment, objectives, and practices.

    Marywood University will make reasonable accommodations to known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the University.  Any person who believes he or she may require such accommodation should contact the Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Affirmative Action Officer.

    The Marywood University Anti-Discrimination Policy applies to all faculty, staff, administration, employees, students, volunteers and visitors on campus property.  Additionally, the Policy applies to the conduct of all faculty, staff, administration, employees, students, volunteers and visitors at off-campus University-sponsored events, including, but not limited to, academic and educational programming, internships, study abroad programs, athletic events, and all other University programming, as well as to the conduct of all faculty, staff, administration, employees, students, volunteers and visitors occurring off-campus but having an effect on the University’s educational environment.

    Contact Information

    Anyone believing s/he has been the victim of or a witness to, or otherwise has reason to believe or become aware of, discrimination, harassment or assault by, or involving, any member of the University community, guests or visitors on University property or any property controlled by the University, including off-campus University sponsored events, is encouraged to report the incident as soon as possible to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator or a member of the University faculty, staff or administration.  (See contact information below).  The University strongly encourages and expects all members of the University community to report suspected or actual incidents involving discrimination, harassment and violence. 

    No one should assume that the University knows, or has reason to know, about a particular situation involving discrimination, harassment and/or assault.  The University encourages any person believing s/he has been the victim of or witness to discrimination, harassment or assault to report the incident as soon as possible, but not later than 30 working days, except in unusual circumstances, after the alleged incident(s) occurs, to one of the following individuals:

    Dr. Patricia E. Dunleavy, Associate Vice President for Human Resources
    Title IX Coordinator– for complaints against a member of the faculty, staff or administration
    dunleavy@marywood.edu
    570-348-6220
    570-961-4740 fax
    86 Liberal Arts Center

    Dr. Amy Paciej-Woodruff, Dean of Students
    Deputy Title IX Coordinator – for complaints against students
    apaciej@marywood.edu
    570-340-6016
    570-340-6037 fax
    107C Nazareth Student Center

    Dr. Alan M. Levine, Vice President for Academic Affairs
    Deputy Title IX Coordinator – for complaints against a member of the faculty
    Levine@marywood.edu
    570-348-6232
    570-961-4743 fax
    200 Liberal Arts Center

    Ms. Ann Boland-Chase, Vice President for Enrollment Management
    Deputy Title IX Coordinatorfor complaints against a member of the staff or administration chase@marywood.edu
    570-961-4728
    570-961-4790 fax
    102 Liberal Arts Center

    The Associate Vice President for Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with the President, will decide the appropriate course of action in cases where a conflict of interest is evident or possible.

    Any member of the Marywood community may call the University Whistleblower Hot Line at 855-278-2074 and/or use the Internet based reporting system at http://marywood.ethicspoint.com. See the University Whistleblower Policy for details.

    In order for the University to be able to remedy alleged discrimination, harassment or assault, it is recommended that claims are immediately brought to the attention of administration.  Failure to report claims of such conduct hampers the University’s ability to take appropriate steps to remedy such situations. Every report of perceived discrimination or harassment will be fully investigated and corrective action will be taken when appropriate. 

    Violations of this Policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including discharge, dismissal, or termination of employment. 

    Confidentiality

    If the complainant requests confidentiality or will not consent to a complaint being pursued, the University will take all steps reasonable and necessary to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality and/or request not to pursue the investigationHowever, the University has an obligation to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment.  Therefore, should the complainant elect to not pursue the complaint or request confidentiality, depending on various factors, including the seriousness of the complaint and number of victims, the University may nonetheless undertake the investigation on its own.  The University cannot guarantee confidentiality; however, it will take reasonable steps to ensure confidentiality in accordance with its obligations to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment.

    Interim Accommodations

    Complainants have the right to review options and available assistance for interim changes to academic, living, transportation and working conditions.  If the complainant requests such an accommodation, and the accommodation is reasonably available, the University will take action to implement the requested accommodation.  Any interim remedial action will not inconvenience the complainant.

    External Resources

    Complainants or the University may choose to file a report with the proper law enforcement authorities also.  Marywood University has personnel on staff who can explain criminal complaint procedures and assist victims in beginning the process.  Additionally, if necessary, University administrators will notify the appropriate law enforcement officials in accordance with any obligations under federal, state and local laws.  Police investigation and legal prosecution are conducted outside of and in addition to University procedures.

    Definitions

    Harassment

    Harassment based on one’s race, sex (including sexual harassment, sexual violence and pregnancy), color, gender, national or ethnic origin, age, creed, ancestry, religion, disability, marital status, military/veteran status, genetic information, whether an individual has a GED, use of a guide or support animal, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local law is also in violation of this policy and should be reported immediately.  Examples of harassment include verbal (including improper joking or teasing) or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion towards an individual because of any protected characteristic, and that: (1) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment as defined by law; or (2) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance; or (3) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment or educational opportunities.  Such conduct includes, but is not limited to, slurs, epithets, threats, derogatory comments, unwelcome jokes, teasing, and similar conduct whether written, verbal or physical.

    Procedures

    Complaint Procedures

    If the complainant chooses to file a complaint with the University, the individual may proceed formally or informally. 

    In situations when the complainant elects to proceed informally, the University administrator who fielded the complaint will determine the steps to take to resolve the issue.  The parties may elect to resolve the matter through mediation, unless the situation involves sexual assault and/or violence.  Should the complainant elect to proceed informally, s/he may elect to stop the informal process at any time and proceed through the formal process. 

    If the complainant decides to proceed formally, either initially or after opting out of the informal process, the complainant should submit within ten (10) working days a formal complaint, preferably in writing, to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator who originally fielded the complaint.  The complaint must include detailed factual information concerning the incident(s), and should include what the complainant feels will correct the situation.  The Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator will appoint an investigator from a pool of trained faculty, administrators and professional staff.

    Within five (5) working days after receipt of a formal complaint, the investigator will commence a thorough investigation.  Investigations will be conducted as expeditiously as possible and are usually completed within 60 calendar days after the formal complaint is filed.  This timeframe may vary, however, depending on confidentiality requests, availability of witnesses, the scope of the investigation and any unforeseen circumstances. 

    Within ten (10) working days after the initiation of the investigation, and every ten (10) working days thereafter until receipt of the final outcome, the investigator must provide, simultaneously, a written summary of the complaint and the proceedings to date to both the complainant and the alleged offender. 

    Upon conclusion of the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator (in conjunction with the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for cases involving student complaints against students) will appoint a hearing panel of three independent members from the pool of trained investigators.  The investigator will present his/her findings to the hearing panel, who may question the investigator, the complainant, and/or the alleged offender. 

    The hearing panel will determine, based on a preponderance of the evidence, whether the accused violated the Anti-Discrimination Policy.  The hearing panel will then provide conclusions and disciplinary recommendations to the Title IX Coordinator (and the Deputy Title IX Coordinator as appropriate).  After a decision is made concerning resolution of the complaint and any disciplinary actions to be imposed, the Title IX Coordinator (or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator as appropriate) will notify simultaneously the complainant and the alleged offender in writing of the outcome of the investigation.

    Sanctions

    If the alleged offender is found to have violated the Policy, action will be taken to eliminate the discriminatory or harassing conduct, including but not limited to extending the interim remedial actions, as well as issuing a warning, no contact order, suspension, transfer, discharge or dismissal of the offender or anyone making a knowingly false complaint.  The University reserves the right to modify sanctions depending on the facts and circumstances of the particular incident.

    Appeal

    Either party, if not satisfied with the final of the hearing panel and the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator will have ten (10) working days after receipt of the outcome to file an appeal for one of the following reasons:

    1. The presentation of new evidence;
    2. Allegation that relevant evidence was not considered;
    3. Allegation of procedural error;
    4. Disproportionate sanctions.


    Appeals must be in writing and submitted to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator, who will determine, within 3 days, whether the appeal has merit based on one of the above-stated reasons.  The Associate Vice President for Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator will then forward the written appeal to the President of the University.  Within five (5) working days the President will direct the appeal to the appropriate University body, described below.  The appeals committee will have thirty (30) working days to review and make a recommendation to the President of the University.  The appeals committee may review the initial investigation as well as independently investigate the claim.  Within ten (10) working days after receipt of the recommendation from the appeals committee the President of the University will provide a written response to both parties in the original complaint.  The decision of the President of the University is final and binding.

    Claims against Faculty Members including Librarians, Administrators, Professional Staff, and Support Staff

    The President of the University will appoint and convene a committee of five (5) employees comprised of professional staff, administrators and/or faculty who are independent of the claim.

     Claims against Students

    The President of the University will refer the appeal to the Vice President for Student Life who will convene an Appeal Board.  The Appeal Board will review the complaint and make a recommendation to the Vice President for Student Life who will notify the President of the recommendation.

    Retaliation

    Anyone who reports an actual or suspected incident of harassment or discrimination, or who participates in an investigation, will not be subjected to retaliation.  If a complainant or witness believes s/he is the victim of retaliation, the complainant or witness should contact the Associate Vice President for Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator or the Dean of Students, Deputy Title IX Coordinator.  Anyone found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action. 

    Resources

    A list of Marywood University and community resources is available at the Human Resources Office and the Dean of Students Office.

    Students are encouraged to use the services of the Counseling and Student Development Center, the Student Health Services Office, and the Office of Disabilities Services.