Western Kentucky University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, veteran status, or marital status in admission to career and technical education programs and/or activities, or employment practices in accordance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Revised 1992, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
The university specifically reserves the right to modify and/or amend any or all procedures outlined herein at any time, in its discretion. In the event the university determines circumstances warrant modification/amendment of any part of these procedures, timely notice of same shall be delivered in writing to all relevant and affected parties.
WKU has adopted procedures to promptly and fairly address concerns and complaints about sexual harassment. Complaints may be submitted informally or formally. If a complaint implicates or involves both this policy and any other university complaint or grievance policy or procedure, the university may, in its discretion, suspend the procedures relating to other complaints or grievance policies pending completion of the sexual harassment complaint procedures.
Investigator Conflict of Interest
Unless otherwise provided herein, responsibility for the investigation of both formal and informal sexual harassment complaints shall be with the EAU Office ("investigator"). The WKU President has the authority to appoint an alternate investigator as circumstances require, and in his or her sole discretion. The procedures outlined herein shall control, in the event an alternate investigator is appointed, any provision of this policy. Complaints will be addressed as confidentially as possible considering specific circumstances of allegations to protect the rights of both the complainant and person accused. The investigator may gather information from any source(s) deemed necessary in an effort to fully investigate and resolve the complaint.
The complainant, alleged offender and/or investigator may allege the investigator has a substantial conflict of interest. In that event, details supporting the alleged conflict of interest must be submitted in writing to The WKU President within five business days of the date the person alleging the conflict has notice of the investigator's identity. The WKU President will determine whether a conflict may exist, and, if so, he/she shall appoint an alternate investigator in an expeditious manner. The WKU President's decision is final. In the event a request for an alternate investigator is made and/or an alternate investigator is appointed, the specific time lines provided in the policy shall be suspended pending that appointment.
Informal Complaint Process
An individual who feels he or she has been sexually harassed may desire to resolve their complaint informally. The purpose of this approach will result with no formal disciplinary action being taken against the accused individual and without the formal investigatory process. Informal complaints are not required to be made in writing. An example of an informal complaint is one where the complainant requests only that an appropriate university official counsel the accused individual to cease and desist the alleged conduct, and requests no other specific action(s) be taken against the accused. Persons making informal complaints of sexual harassment agree and understand that no formal disciplinary action will be taken against the alleged offender based on an informal complaint. If the complainant chooses, he or she may, at any time prior to resolution of the informal complaint, amend the informal complaint to a formal complaint. If the alleged offender elects not to participate in resolving an informal complaint, the nonparticipation will not be considered as damaging evidence, but will not change or waive the university's responsibility to investigate and make decisions based on available information. The investigator may, if circumstances warrant, request for the alleged offender's immediate supervisor counsel him or her regarding the alleged conduct, and/or recommend counseling, training, education and/or other non-disciplinary actions to be implemented. Attempts to resolve an informal complaint will be completed within 30 days from the date of receipt of the complaint by the investigator. The complainant and alleged offender will be informed in writing of the outcome.
Note: The university will attempt to balance the wishes of a complainant who does not want to file a formal complaint with the university's responsibility to respond to serious allegations and take prompt and appropriate corrective action. A complainant who chooses not to proceed with a formal complaint may be asked to state that preference in writing.
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