Discrimination & Discriminatory Harassment FAQs

Discrimination & Discriminatory Harassment FAQs

The following frequently asked questions and answers are intended to provide general information on the University’s policy for addressing complaints of discrimination and discriminatory harassment. For a comprehensive overview, see the University’s Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct.

What conduct is prohibited by the University’s Policy?

The University’s Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct prohibits discrimination and discriminatory harassment on the basis of a person’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information or other protected classes under the law. Discrimination on the basis of these characteristics is unlawful. The Policy also prohibits retaliation.

What is retaliation?

Retaliation is an adverse action taken against a person participating in a protected activity because of their participation in that protected activity. Retaliation against an individual for alleging harassment, supporting a party bringing a complaint, or assisting in providing information relevant to a claim of harassment is a serious violation of University policy and will be treated as another possible instance of harassment or discrimination. Acts of alleged retaliation should be reported immediately to Bridget Collier, the Title IX Coordinator for the University, or Jeremy Inabinet, Associate Dean of Students in the University for Disciplinary Affairs, and will be promptly investigated.

How does the University address discrimination or discriminatory harassment when it is not based on a protected characteristic?

The University believes that all members of its community should be treated as autonomous individuals without regard to characteristics irrelevant to participation in the life of the University. Certain forms of identity and life experience, such as socioeconomic background, are not protected by law, and therefore, may not give rise to discrimination under the University’s Policy. However, if you feel that you are being treated unfairly based on a characteristic that is not a protected characteristic by law, you may contact the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs.

What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and its implementing regulations, prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance. Sexual harassment of students, which includes acts of sexual misconduct, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. For more information on Title IX, including prohibited conduct and the University’s obligations, visit the Sexual Misconduct and Title IX page.

Who are confidential resources on campus?

Resources designated “confidential” are available to provide support, resources, and information. These individuals do not share identifying information about people or incidents without the person’s consent. Confidential resources on campus include the following:

For Students

  • Sexual Assault Deans-on-Call (SADoCs); 773.834.HELP 24/7 and 365 days/year
  • Student Counseling Service; 773.702.9800
  • Student Health Service; 773.702.4156
  • Director of Resources for Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP); 773.834.7738
  • Ordained Religious Advisors; spirit.uchicago.edu

For Staff, Faculty & OAAs

  • Employee Assistance Program (Perspectives); 800.866.7556
  • Ordained Religious Advisors; spirit.uchicago.edu
What are the reporting obligations of University staff, faculty, and other academic appointees?

All University employees not designated as confidential resources are considered Responsible Employees and must report all incidents of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking to the Title IX Coordinators. Responsible employees must report such information regardless of where the incident occurred. The Title IX Coordinators for the University are Bridget Collier and Shea Wolfe.

The University encourages all University employees not designated as confidential resources to report other incidents of discrimination and discriminatory harassment to the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs.

Bridget Collier
Director, Office for Equal Opportunity Programs and Title IX Coordinator for the University
773.702.5671
bcollier@uchicago.edu

Shea Wolfe
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students
773.702.0438
swolfe1@uchicago.edu

What are the reporting obligations of residential staff (RAs, RHs, and RMs)?

All residential staff, including student employees, are considered Responsible Employees and must report all incidents of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking to the Title IX Coordinators. The Title IX Coordinators for the University are Bridget Collier and Shea Wolfe.

The University encourages all University employees not designated as confidential resources to report other incidents of discrimination and discriminatory harassment to the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs.

Bridget Collier
Director, Office for Equal Opportunity Programs and Title IX Coordinator for the University
773.702.5671
bcollier@uchicago.edu

Shea Wolfe
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students
773.702.0438
swolfe1@uchicago.edu

How can I report an incident of discrimination or discriminatory harassment?

All members of the University community are encouraged to report incidents of discrimination and discriminatory harassment. To raise concerns or to file a complaint under our Policy on Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct, you may File a Report via email or telephone or Report an Incident online.

What can I expect if I report an incident of discrimination or discriminatory harassment?

A person reporting an incident of discrimination or discriminatory harassment can expect to receive an email outreach with information on resources, including confidential resources, from the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs. For reports sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking, this email outreach to students will outline Title IX rights and responsibilities, information on confidential resources, interim supports and measures, University disciplinary process, and resources and referrals. Students are not obligated to respond to this outreach or to engage with the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs. A person may choose not to move forward with the University’s disciplinary process, but still receive support services. In some instances, the University may need to move forward with an investigation based on information already received. If this happens, the person reporting the incident will be notified.

What are my options for moving forward with a complaint after I report an incident of discrimination or discriminatory harassment?

Regardless of whether a person reporting an incident of discrimination or discriminatory harassment chooses to move forward with the University’s disciplinary process, that person will receive information about available resources, including confidential resources, and support services available. For both formal and informal resolution of complaints, the University’s procedures for responding to incidents depends on the nature of the incident, the relationship of the respondent to the University, and to the extent possible, on the wishes of the person bringing forward the complaint.

Formal Resolution of Complaints

For a comprehensive overview of the formal procedures available, see the University’s Policy on Harassment, Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct (“Policy”). In sum,

  • Where the person formally accused of a Policy violation is a student, resolution of the formal complaint will be governed by the procedures for student discipline in the Student Manual. The University’s U-Matter site provides a helpful overview of these procedures.
  • Where the person formally accused of a Policy violation is a faculty member, other academic appointee, or a postdoctoral researcher, Bridget Collier, Associate Provost & Director of the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs or her designee will normally conduct an investigation and then refer the matter to the Panel on Unlawful Harassment.
  • Where the person formally accused of a Policy violation is a staff member, Human Resources or their designee will conduct an investigation in partnership with the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs.

For complaints of sexual misconduct (including sexual harassment), dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, a person may choose to bring forward a complaint within the University instead of, or in addition to, seeking redress outside the institution in the legal system. Someone with a complaint of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking may also opt to pursue his or her complaint via the legal system without engaging the University’s disciplinary process, although, in the interest of community safety, the University may be obliged to address an alleged sexual assault through internal disciplinary procedures. In all cases, the University is committed to providing a prompt, fair, impartial, and thorough investigation and resolution that is consistent with the University’s policies and is transparent to the complainant and the respondent. For a comprehensive overview of the formal resolution procedures available for such incidents, see the University’s Policy on Harassment, Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct.

Informal Resolution of Complaints

A person reporting an incident of discriminatory harassment may also choose not to file a formal complaint, and such allegations may be resolved informally. For a comprehensive overview of the informal procedures available, see the University’s Policy on Harassment, Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct (“Policy”). In sum,

  • Where the person informally accused of a Policy violation is a student, Jeremy Inabinet, Associate Dean of Students in the University for Disciplinary Affairs may informally resolve the complaint. An informal complaint shall be made using the procedures for student discipline described in the Student Manual, which may include administrative resolution, mediation, or the provision of remedies or other measures. The University’s U-Matter site provides a helpful overview of these procedures.
  • Where the person informally accused of a Policy violation is a faculty member, other academic appointee, or a postdoctoral researcher, Bridget Collier, the Interim Associate Provost & Director of the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs or her designee may informally resolve the complaint through administrative resolution, mediation, or the provision of remedies or other measures. If, through the administrative resolution process, Bridget Collier or her designee determines that there has been a Policy violation, they will work with the respondent’s dean or department chair to apply an appropriate sanction. They may not recommend invocation of statutory proceedings for termination through the informal process.
  • Where the person formally accused of a Policy violation is a staff member, Human Resources or their designee will normally conduct an investigation in partnership with the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs.

However, mediation is not appropriate, even on a voluntary basis, in matters involving allegations of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

Finally, for incidents involving sexual misconduct (including sexual harassment), dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, the University may have an institutional obligation to respond despite the complainant’s desire to remain anonymous or to not pursue an investigation. In such circumstances, the investigator, in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator for the University will consider how to proceed, taking into account the complainant’s wishes, the University’s obligation to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment, and the respondent’s right to have specific notice of the allegations and an opportunity to be heard if the University were to take action that affects them.

Questions?

If you still have questions regarding the available resolution processes, you may contact Bridget Collier, Elizabeth Honig, or Shea Wolfe in the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs, Jeremy Inabinet, Associate Dean of Students in the University for Disciplinary Affairs, the Employee and Labor Relations Team, or any of the confidential resources.

Is there a time limit for reporting an incident?

There is no time limit for reporting incidents. We do encourage reporting an incident as soon as possible in order to maximize our ability to respond promptly and effectively.

Non-discrimination Statement

In keeping with its long-standing traditions and policies, the University of Chicago considers students, employees, applicants for admission or employment, and those seeking access to University programs on the basis of individual merit. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law (including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972). For additional information regarding the University of Chicago’s Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct, please see: http://harassmentpolicy.uchicago.edu/page/policy.

The University official responsible for coordinating compliance with this Notice of Nondiscrimination is Bridget Collier, Associate Provost and Director of the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs. Ms. Collier also serves as the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Affirmative Action Officer, and Section 504/ADA Coordinator. You may contact Ms. Collier by emailing bcollier@uchicago.edu, by calling 773.702.5671, or by writing to Bridget Collier, Office of the Provost, The University of Chicago, 5801 S. Ellis Ave., Suite 430, Chicago, IL 60637.

Read more about Title IX.