Administration Policies

VI-1.00(E)

Procedures for Resolution of Complaints Alleging Discrimination

Administration   |   Approved October 1, 2015


Responsible VP/AVP

Roger J. Ward, EdD, JD, MPA


Purpose

These Procedures pertain to: students, applicants and third parties alleging discrimination based on a decision of UMB faculty, staff, students or third parties or contractors under UMB control.

Separate UMB Procedures pertain to resolution of allegations of discrimination based on Sexual Misconduct.

Separate UMB Procedures pertain to resolution of allegations of discrimination reported by UMB employees.

UMB will take prompt and effective steps to prevent the occurrence of discrimination and remedy its discriminatory effects. In addition, UMB prohibits retaliation against anyone who files a complaint of discrimination, anyone to whom a complaint of discrimination is file, or anyone who participates in an investigation of discrimination.

Policy Statement

  1. Procedure
    1. A student with a question about discrimination carried out by other students, University employees or third parties under UMB control should direct the communication to the Office of the University Chief Accountability Officer ("CAO").
      Roger J. Ward, EdD, JD, MPA
      Chief Accountability Officer
      Office of Accountability and Compliance ("OAC") 
      University of Maryland, Baltimore
      620 W. Lexington Street, 5th Floor 
      Baltimore, MD 21201 
      410-706-2281
    2. Unless the student objects, the University may attempt to resolve a grievance informally. For formal or informal grievances, the student should explain the incident underlying the grievance, the perceived problem and offer a proposed solution. The University reserves the right to proceed immediately to a formal review of the student's complaint. At any time, a student may request an informal process to address a grievance prior to proceeding with the formal grievance process.
    3. A formal grievance should be in writing with pertinent records and documentation and sent to the CAO:

      Email: equalaccess@umaryland.edu

      Online: www.umaryland.edu/reportdiscrimination

    4. The CAO acting directly, or through a designee, or OAC investigative team, may work with the dean of the student's school, or the dean's designee, to develop an appropriate investigational process depending on the circumstances surrounding the grievance (e.g., didactic classroom experiences or clinical training). If a grievance involves persons from more than one school, the CAO will work with the deans of the schools involved to develop an appropriate investigational process. The CAO may assign an impartial designee to develop and perform the appropriate investigational process, make findings, and recommendations and write reports.
    5. The student, the dean or dean's designee, and persons whose decisions or actions are the subject of the grievance will be given an opportunity to meet with the CAO to discuss the grievance and the investigative process and to submit written statements, names of witnesses and other evidence.
    6. The CAO will investigate the grievance, and look at the record as a whole and at the totality of the circumstances. The CAO will make a decision and write a report summarizing the investigation and evidence and provide findings based on all the facts, on a case by case basis.
    7. The report will be distributed in confidence to the parties and other persons from whom feedback is sought regarding accuracy and completeness. Written comments will be due in 7 calendar days. Parties and other persons involved may share the report with a personal advisor or attorney but should not otherwise disclose report information. Disclosure of information about the report or the process in any manner that may breach confidentiality or cause harm or prejudice to the process or to any party or person involved may be grounds for disciplinary action.
    8. Upon receipt of comments on the report, or, after the 7-day period has passed without submission of comments, a final version of the report will be prepared, including a summary of all findings, recommendations and comments received. The Investigative Team will submit the report to the CAO who will determine if the report will be accepted as final or if the matter must be referred back to the Investigative Team for further investigation or clarification.
    9. The student, the dean of the student's school, and other persons whose decisions or actions are the subject of the grievance will be given the findings and decision of the CAO in writing.
    10. The decision of the CAO is final unless modified due to an appeal for reconsideration.
    11. The student may appeal for reconsideration by the CAO on the basis of: 1) failure of due process, or 2) availability of new evidence which could not reasonably have been presented during the original investigation. The appeal for reconsideration must be submitted in writing within 7 calendar days following the date of the CAO's decision.
    12. The CAO will maintain records regarding discrimination grievances.
    13. To ensure appropriate due process and prompt, equitable resolution of complaints, formal rules of evidence will not apply and the CAO may limit repetitive and irrelevant evidence. The University will attempt to resolve the grievance within 45 calendar days. Attorneys will not participate in meetings with the CAO, but the schedule for the investigation will allow time for the student and other participants to consult with and obtain input from legal counsel and other advisors.
  2. Time Limits

    A grievance filed within 20 calendar days of the alleged discrimination will be considered timely. Nevertheless, the University will investigate any grievance filed within a reasonable time.

  3. Confidentiality

    The University will take reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality of the parties involved in a grievance. Persons involved will be advised of the necessity of keeping information related to a grievance confidential. However, Parties and other persons involved should be aware that neither anonymity or complete confidentiality can be provided as the CAO, designees, and the OAC Investigative Team will need to disclose information in order to review the matter, conduct an investigation, and resolve a grievance in compliance with applicable law and policy.

  4. No Retaliation

    UMB prohibits retaliation against any person making a good faith report of discrimination or other illegal act or who participates in the review, investigation or resolution of a complaint. Any person may file a complaint alleging retaliation via the University's Compliance Program Hotline by calling 1-866-594-5220, clicking the Whistleblower Hotline link on the footer of the University website, or visiting https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/media/en/gui/28588/index.html, or by contacting the OAC office directly.

  5. Exceptions

    These procedures do not supersede policies and procedures addressing issues specifically governed by other UMB policies, such as school grade appeals, school dismissal appeals or complaints of sexual misconduct, sexual violence or sexual harassment. Students are expected to present such complaints in accordance with the applicable School and UMB policy and procedure.

  6. Grievances Involving Affiliates' Employees

    Many University students will be supervised by employees of the University's affiliates and teaching sites during their educational experiences. If a student is aggrieved by discrimination in such a setting, the University will attempt to resolve the issue, and will attempt to reassign the student if a resolution is not feasible.

  7. Counseling

    The UMB Student Counseling Center offers assistance in coping with the stress resulting from discrimination or participation in campus proceedings to investigate discrimination. For support, contact:

    Student Counseling Center 
    HS/HSL Library 
    601 W. Lombard Street, Suite 440 
    Baltimore, MD 21201 
    Phone: 410-328-8404
    Fax: 410-328-5291

  8. Filing Grievances with Outside Agencies:

    For further information on non-discrimination, or to file an equal opportunity complaint directly with the U.S. Department of Education, contact:

    Office for Civil Rights 
    U.S. Department of Education
    The Wanamaker Building, Suite 515 
    100 Penn Square East 
    Philadelphia, PA 19107
    Phone: 1-800-421-3481 
    Email: OCR.Philadelphia@ed.gov

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