Major Revision of Existing Regulation
Minor/Technical Revision of Existing Regulation
Reaffirmation of Existing Regulation
I. OBJECTIVE & PURPOSE
The purpose of this regulation is to set forth the university’s expectations by fostering and maintaining an environment of inclusiveness and equity for all who interact in our university community; and to reinforce the university’s commitment to diversity in the recruitment, selection and retention of students, faculty and staff; and to provide procedures to file a complaint alleging discrimination, retaliation, discriminatory harassment. Sexual misconduct/harassment is covered by separate regulation.
II. STATEMENT OF REGULATION
The University of North Florida is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all who interact in our community. In building this environment, we strive to attract students, faculty and staff from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and life experiences. In furtherance of the university’s diversity initiatives and focus toward inclusiveness, it is expected that all in the university community will appreciate and respect the dignity, individuality, and the uniqueness of our individual community members. It is also expected that we will maintain an environment conducive to the pursuit of educational, scholarly, and career interests, where both the distinctiveness of each person’s experience and the common humanity that unites us all will be recognized. This will allow us to take full educational advantage of the variety of talents, backgrounds, and perspectives of those who study and work at the university.
The university is equally committed to ensuring that educational and employment decisions, including but not limited to recruitment, admission, hiring, compensation and promotion, are based on the qualifications, skills and abilities of those desiring to work, study and participate in our university community.
To accomplish the intent of this regulation, the university shall not commit or permit discrimination or discriminatory harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex (inclusive of Title IX), disability, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin or veteran status in any educational, employment, social or recreational program or activity offered by the university. Similarly, the university will not commit or permit retaliation against an individual who complains of discrimination or harassment or an individual who cooperates in an investigation of an alleged violation of this regulation.
The university recognizes that it is a unique learning environment in which its diverse community members have the right to exercise protected free speech in expressing their differing opinions as guaranteed by the First Amendment and in an environment in which its faculty has the academic freedom to provoke thought and debate and to engage in open discourse related to their individual areas of academic instruction. Thus, in exercising the standards put forth in this regulation, the university will not abridge either free speech or academic freedom based on its context.
The university understands that only by eliminating discrimination, discriminatory harassment and retaliation can we ensure that all community members, especially our students, have the opportunity to work and achieve excellence. Accordingly, the university expects that all community members including students, faculty, staff, vendors, contractors, visitors or others who interact at the university will observe and comply with these equal opportunity and diversity principles.
As a recipient of federal funds, the university is required to comply with Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. (“Title IX”), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities.
The university has designated the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (“EOD”) as its Title IX Administrator (see contact information in Section III below).
Taking all the above into consideration, it shall be a violation of this regulation for any officer, university employee, student, visitor, agent, vendor or contractor to discriminate against or harass, as hereinafter defined, any other officer, university employee, student, visitor, agent, vendor, contractor or applicant. Further, this regulation prohibits conduct that limits or denies one’s ability to participate in, interact with, or benefit from an academic program, event or activity or to otherwise participate in campus-life; or employment free from discrimination, harassment or retaliation. Potential violations of this regulation will be evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person in the alleged victim’s position, considering the totality of the circumstances, such as the nature of the alleged conduct and the context in which the alleged conduct occurred.
The responsibility for communicating, interpreting and monitoring this Equal Opportunity and Diversity Regulation and the University’s Affirmative Action compliance obligations rests with the Director, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity and University Title IX Administrator, University of North Florida, J.J. Daniel Hall, Suite 1201, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224-2645, (904)620-2507 or via 711 Florida Relay for persons who are deaf or head of hearing or those with speech impairments and/or limitations.
IV. STATEMENT OF REQUIREMENTS
A. Responsibility to Comply with this Regulation.
All members of the university community are responsible for ensuring that their conduct does not violate this regulation. This same responsibility extends to, vendors, contractors (including the employees of third parties), visitors or others on the University’s campus or at any university sponsored or university related function or activity. EOD shall consult with the vendor or contract manager to determine how any investigation will be undertaken. The university shall take action against the vendor or contractor, when warranted, in accordance with the terms of the governing contract or agreement.
B. Required Responsibility to Report.
All supervisors and managers (defined for purposes of this regulation as supervising 1 or more employees) are required to promptly report to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (EOD) (either verbally or through written communications) allegations, reports or instances of alleged discrimination and harassment by or against any person covered by this regulation.
1. Responsibility of Faculty
All faculty are required to promptly report to the EOD or alternatively, to their department chair, dean or applicable administrator allegations, reports or instances of alleged discrimination, retaliationand harassment by or against a student in violation of the university’s EOD Regulation. Persons to whom alleged acts of discrimination, retaliation and harassment are reported must then promptly report the matter to the EOD (either verbally or through written communications).
2. Responsibility of Community Members: To maintain an environment free from discrimination, retaliation and harassment, the responsibility for reporting incidents rests with all members of the university community. Thus, any employee, staff or faculty member, student, applicant or other community member who believes an individual is being treated in a manner in violation of this regulation is strongly encouraged to report the same to their supervisor, manager, or directly to the EOD (As discussed above, all alleged incidents of conduct in violation of the University’s Equal Opportunity and Diversity Regulation must be reported to the EOD).
3. Responsibility of Victim: While the alleged victim is not required to inform an alleged offender of the offensiveness of their behavior in order to make a claim under this Regulation, the person deeming any action or conduct as unwelcome is encouraged to advise the offending party of the same and seek help.
A. Discrimination: For the purposes of this regulation, discrimination is defined as the intentional or unintentional treatment of any member of the university community, or any unfair treatment based solely upon genetic information, race, color, religion, age, sex, disability, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin or veteran status.
B. Harassment: For the purposes of this regulation, harassment is a form of discrimination, is unwelcome conduct that is based on genetic information, race, color, religion, age, sex, disability, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin or veteran status.
C. Retaliation: Retaliation occurs when an officer, agent, contractor or employee takes an adverse action against an individual for their participation in protected activity under this regulation.
D. Protected activity: This includes, but is not limited to, filing a discrimination charge, testifying or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or lawsuit, opposing employment practices that one reasonably believes discriminates against individuals or encourages someone to exercise their rights.
Retaliation, or otherwise taking adverse employment or educational action, against a member of the university community because they in good faith reported discrimination or harassment, or participated in an investigation or review regarding a complaint, is strictly prohibited. Those found to have violated this prohibition against retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
VII. STATEMENT OF PROCEDURES
A. Seeking Guidance Regarding This Regulation.
Any member of the university community who believes that they have been subjected to discrimination, discriminatory harassment; retaliation and/or sexual misconduct; or observed or witnessed any member of the community being subjected to the same, may seek guidance, counseling or file a complaint in accordance with this regulation by contacting EOD.
B. Complaint Procedure.
Allegations of violation of this regulation including the actual filing of a complaint of discrimination, harassment or retaliation of this regulation will be addressed by the EOD in accordance with the Non-Discrimination EOD Complaint and Investigation Procedures which can be found on the EOD’s website at http://www.unf.edu/eod.
Revisions approved by the BOT October 16, 2012.
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