Employee Procedure Review Working Group
In August 2014, the University adopted a revised Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct, Including Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Violence, Interpersonal Violence and Stalking (Policy). The University also adopted revised procedures for reports against students as the responding parties. The Policy and procedures were adopted at the recommendation of a large task force with representatives from across campus.
As a next step, the University committed to reviewing employee procedures under the Policy. An Employee Procedure Working Group was convened to examine the following procedures:
- Procedures for Reports by Students Regarding the Conduct of Employees
- Procedures for EPA Faculty and Non-Faculty Employees
- Procedures for SPA Employees
The Working Group was asked to identify areas for improvement in the procedures with respect to clarity, efficiency, organization, and consistency with the Policy and procedures for reports against students that were adopted last year. As part of its efforts, the Working Group considered the requirements of state and federal laws and regulations. The Working Group also received feedback from the community, focus groups, and national experts to help guide its work.
The faculty, staff, and student members of the Working Group collaborated to develop recommendations for revised employee procedures to address reports under the Policy. Recommendations have been submitted to Becci Menghini, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity, and Engagement, and drafting of new procedures based on the recommendations is underway.
Working Group Charge
During the past two years, the University has reviewed and strengthened its policies and procedures addressing discrimination, harassment, sexual violence, and related misconduct. The University’s effort to improve its policies and procedures included convening a task force with representatives from across campus, including students, faculty, staff, and community members. The task force met for more than a year to develop recommendations regarding the University’s policy and processes for responding to reports of these types of conduct.
Based upon the work of the task force, the University adopted a comprehensively revised policy for students and employees: the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct Including Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Violence, Interpersonal Violence and Stalking. The University adopted the Policy on August 28, 2014, and at that time, the University also implemented new procedures for reports of student conduct that may be in violation of the Policy.
The University’s Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office has administered the Policy and procedures for reports against students for the past two semesters. The office is now prioritizing the review of procedures for reports against employees as part of the University’s ongoing commitment to a safe and inclusive campus community and to ensuring consistency with the recently adopted Policy and procedures for reports against students. While the Policy and its procedures will be reviewed annually to capture evolving legal requirements and assess effectiveness, this review of the procedures addressing reports of employee misconduct will complete this initial large-scale review effort.
Felicia A. Washington, Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity, and Engagement, is convening a working group to examine the following procedures for reports against employees: Procedures for Reports by Students Regarding the Conduct of Employee; Procedures for EPA Faculty and Non-Faculty Employees; and Procedures for SPA Employees.
The Employee Procedure Review Working Group is charged with identifying areas for improvement in these procedures with regard to clarity, efficiency, and organization, as well as ensuring consistency with the Policy and procedures for reports against students. The Working Group will also consider effective implementation of evolving state and federal mandates, including Title IX, the Violence Against Women Act, and the Clery Act. The Working Group will develop recommendations for revised procedures to address reports against employees under the Policy.
The Working Group will include faculty, staff, and student representatives. The Title IX Compliance Coordinator and the Senior Director for Employee and Management Relations in the Office of Human Resources will co-facilitate the group. This effort will be informed by feedback received from the community and focus groups as well as recommendations from national experts. The Working Group will present its final recommendations to Becci Menghini, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement.
Working Group Members
- Katie Nolan (co-facilitator), former Interim Title IX Coordinator, Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office
- Chris Chiron (co-facilitator), former Interim Senior Director, Employee and Management Relations, Office of Human Resources
- Sibby Anderson-Thompkins, Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
- Wayne Blair (ex officio), Director, University Ombuds Office
- Gena Carter(ex officio), former Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Office of Human Resources
- Jayne Grandes, former Interim Director, Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office
- Paola Guisti, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Genetics
- Christi Hurt, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff, Student Affairs, Office of the Vice Chancellor
- Chariss Jones, Senior Employee and Management Relations Consultant, Office of Human Resources
- Mike Mathews, Interim Director, Academic Personnel Office, Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
- Taf Matika, Undergraduate Student, Senior
- Jeanna McCullers, former Hearing Coordinator, Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office
- Rasheem Holland, Captain, Department of Public Safety
- Kara Simmons (ex officio), Associate University Counsel, Office of University Counsel
- Neera Skurky (ex officio), Associate University Counsel, Office of University Counsel
- Charles Streeter, Chair, Employee Forum Executive Council; Analyst, Student Affairs, Information Technology
- Tom Thornburg, Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Public Law & Government, School of Government
- Anne Whisnant, Deputy Secretary of the Faculty, Office of Faculty Governance
- Lindsey Wallace, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology
Follow Along - October 2015
Getting Started – October 14, 2015
Clarity, efficiency, organization, and consistency – all important factors the Employee Procedure Working Group was asked to take into consideration throughout its work. The Working Group was officially charged during its first meeting on October 14 to develop recommendations for revised procedures to address reports against employees under the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct (the Policy). Members of the Working Group were instructed by Associate Vice Chancellor Becci Menghini to focus on these factors along with meeting requirements of evolving laws and ensuring consistency with the existing policy and procedures for reports against students.
Co-facilitators Katie Nolan and Chris Chiron provided a road map for future meetings. Members also discussed the decision making process to help pave the way for the Working Group to make important recommendations moving forward. Members agreed that decisions will be made by majority vote.
In addition, co-facilitators provided important information to help guide the efforts of the Working Group. Members received information about the current policy and procedures, including existing employee procedures, as well as pivotal laws, guidance, and regulations. The Working Group was informed of specifications required by law, the UNC system, and the Policy that may impact the extent to which the Working Group can craft and shape its recommendations.
The Value of Community Input – October 28, 2015
Community input is critical. Focus groups can identify areas for improvement in existing procedures and offer valuable feedback on draft recommendations. Members of the Working Group provided many suggestions for organizations, departments, centers, and other students and employees to participate in focus group sessions. These sessions are only one of the ways the Working Group plans to receive input from the campus community.
The Working Group further examined the Policy. Co-facilitators provided sample case studies to help demonstrate the types of conduct prohibited by the policy. Members also learned about reporting resources on campus, confidential support options, and reporting requirements for those employees who are designated as “Responsible Employees.” In addition, Working Group members received a detailed nine-step process the University follows for addressing reports involving the types of conduct that are prohibited by Title IX.
Follow Along - November-December 2015
Increasing Awareness – November 11, 2015
At its third meeting, the Working Group discussed additional methods for receiving community input over the course of its work, including through surveys and suggestion boxes.
Co-facilitator Katie Nolan continued to review the process for addressing reports made by students under the Policy, with a focus on the steps taken to maintain safety and ongoing communication with both the reporting and responding parties. Co-facilitator Chris Chiron outlined the process and timeline for reports made against an employee under the Policy in addition to the appeals process.
Many Working Group members shared ideas for revised procedures for addressing reports against employees, including multiple access points, translators in the immediate reporting process, and updated education materials for the entire campus community.
Members of the Employee Procedure Working Group want to hear your comments and suggestions. Please submit any questions through this online form or contact Katie Nolan, Associate Director of Title IX Programs and Special Projects, at firstname.lastname@example.org.