Policies and Procedures
Processing, Investigation, and Resolution of Discrimination and Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Complaints
The University’s complaint process, outlined herein, is the procedure used to investigate complaints or reports of harassment and discrimination, end any discrimination and/or harassment found, remedy the effects of discrimination and harassment, and prevent any recurrence or retaliation. This process applies to all complaints of discrimination and harassment except sexual misconduct complaints against students. The resolution process for sexual misconduct complaints may be found here.
These procedures do not replace the right of the complainant to file complaints or seek remedies available under state or federal law.
University students and employees identified as witnesses are required to fully cooperate with an investigation. Any member of the University community who willfully disregards, delays, or thwarts an investigation, or makes false statements during an investigation, may be found in violation of Kennesaw State University (KSU) policy and subject to disciplinary action.
Information obtained during the course of the complaint process will be shared only to the extent necessary to conduct a thorough, fair, and impartial investigation.
1) Interim Measures
The Executive Director of Institutional Equity & Title IX Coordinator (herein referred to as the Executive Director), or his/her designee, may implement interim protective measures before the final outcome of an investigation if failure to take the interim measures would constitute a threat to the safety and well-being of the complainant or other members of the University community. In addition, the Executive Director, or his/her designee, may implement interim protective measures to ensure equal access to the University’s education programs and activities. Such interim measures are not an indication that a violation of the non-discrimination policy has occurred.
2) Initiating an Investigation
As part of the fact-finding process, the investigator will:
Upon request, provide complainants with information on where to access the non-discrimination policy or provide a copy of the policy;
Determine whether complaints fall under the policy and, if they do not, redirect them to the appropriate University or off-campus resources;
Inform respondents of complaints brought against them and, upon request, provide respondents with information on where to access the policy or provide a copy of the policy; and,
Inform all parties of the University’s non-retaliation policy.
3) Informal Process
The informal process is an opportunity to bring resolution to a complaint through awareness, education, and/or a facilitated discussion. Informal resolution may be appropriate if the complainant, respondent, and Executive Director or his/her designee all agree. The informal process cannot be used to resolve complaints of sexual assault.
During an informal process, fact-finding occurs to the extent necessary to resolve the conflict and protect the interest of the parties and the University community, but the process stops short of a determination of whether a policy has been violated. Instead, the focus is on finding resolutions that might end the conflict to the satisfaction of all parties involved and the University. The complainant or respondent always has the option to end the informal process and request a formal process.
Informal resolutions may include, but are not limited to:
- Changes to work or academic arrangements;
- Housing reassignment;
- Informal discussion with person whose conduct, if not stopped, could rise to the level of discrimination or harassment; and/or
- Advisory discussion with the respondent’s supervisor, professor or advisor.
4) Formal Process
All complaints that are not resolved through the informal process may be resolved through a formal process involving a full investigation conducted by the Executive Director and/or his/her designee.
As part of the formal process, the investigator will:
- Inform complainants and respondents of their right to be interviewed and provide evidence;
- Obtain information and evidence, including the identity of any witnesses, from complainants and the respondents;
- Attempt to obtain information from the identified witnesses;
- Collect and maintain appropriate documentation;
- Only disclose appropriate information to others on a need-to-know basis; and,
- Keep the appropriate supervisors/administrators/faculty informed of the status of
5) Complaint Resolution
The amount of time needed to conduct investigations depends in part on the nature of the allegation(s) and the evidence to be investigated (e.g., the scope of the allegations, the time period and number of events implicated by or relevant to complaints, the number or availability of witnesses involved and the volume of documents). Within 60 calendar days of receipt of the complaint, the Executive Director or his/her designee will provide notice of the outcome of investigations or will advise the parties of the additional estimated amount of time needed to complete investigations.
Upon conclusion, the Executive Director or his/her designee will notify complainants and respondents, in writing, of the results of the investigation. Written decisions will be disclosed only to complainants, respondents, and University officials, as appropriate, to determine and enforce any remedial actions, discipline, or sanctions. It is the responsibility of the supervisor of the individual or individuals named in the report to ensure that any remedial actions, discipline, and sanctions occur. The Office of Institutional Equity will maintain contact with the supervisor to ensure completion in a timely manner.
Complainants are encouraged to report any reoccurrences of conduct that were found to violate the non-discrimination policy, as well as to report any retaliation for complaints or related investigations. Remedial and preventative measures may be implemented by the Office of Institutional Equity, even in the absence of a violation of the policy, if conduct is found to occur that may, if not addressed, rise to the level of a violation. Any unprofessional conduct or inappropriate behavior found during the course of the investigation that is not covered by the policy will be addressed with the respective department, Academic Affairs, and/or Human Resources.
Where discrimination or harassment in violation of this Policy is determined to have occurred, the University will take timely action to remedy the effects. Potential remedies for complainants include, but are not limited to:
Extensions of time to re-do or complete academic work without an academic or financial penalty;
Changes to academic or employment arrangements, schedules, or supervision that minimize the burden on complainants;
Provision of or referral to medical, counseling, and academic support services;
Change of University housing assignments;
Training/re-training on appropriate University policies and other relevant topics for individuals or groups implicated in the discrimination or harassment; and,
Other measures designed to repair the negative impact of discrimination or harassment.
If a violation of the Policy is found, the level of discipline and type or scope of sanctions will depend on the severity and nature of the discrimination or harassment, the weight of the evidence, and the need to maintain a safe and respectful environment. Possible sanctions for students include those available under the KSU Student Code of Conduct. University employees in violation of this Policy are subject to a wide range of sanctions that include, but are not limited to, training, written warning, transfer, suspension, and termination from employment.
If you have a complaint to report to the Office of Institutional Equity, please contact us at 470-578-2614 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employees may appeal the finding and/or recommended sanctions of the Office of Institutional Equity. Appeals are allowed at each administrative level up to the president. Appeals must be received within five business days of receipt of the investigation report.
Within 10 working days of receipt of an appeal, the review administrator will:
- review the investigation report;
- consult with the appropriate Resource Official(s), if necessary;
- review appropriate written policies and procedures; and
- render a written decision to the complainant and the respondent.
This process will be repeated at each administrative level up to the president.
If the president is unable to resolve the complaint, either party may appeal the president’s decision to the Office of Legal Affairs of the Board of Regents by submitting a written letter to the following address within five business days of receipt of an investigation report: Office of Legal Affairs, Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, 270 Washington Street, SW, Atlanta, GA 30334.
Procedures for dismissal of a faculty member with tenure, or a non-tenured faculty member will be governed by the Faculty Handbook, 4.1.9. Removal of a Faculty Member for Cause, and the Board of Regents Policy Manual, 188.8.131.52 Procedures for Dismissal.
A responding student may be able to appeal the finding and/or recommended sanctions of the Office of Institutional Equity when that decision resulted in a sanction of retraction of a degree or previously awarded course credit, suspension or expulsion from the University, and/or removal from University housing.
A student organization may be able to appeal the finding and/or recommended sanctions of the Office of Institutional Equity when that decision resulted in a recommendation of a sanction of removal from University housing, and/or suspension or revocation of the organization’s registration with the University.
The student appeal process may be found in the student code of conduct.