Discrimination

Responsible Officer
Michael Goh
Vice President, Office for Equity and Diversity
Owner
Tina Marisam
Director and Title IX Coordinator, Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
Primary Contact
Tina Marisam
Director and Title IX Coordinator, Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
Last Revised
Effective Date

Policy Statement

All University members are prohibited from engaging in, or assisting or abetting another’s engagement in, discrimination and related retaliation (collectively “prohibited conduct”).  The terms “discrimination” and “retaliation” are defined in the Definitions section below.  The University of Minnesota (the “University”) will take prompt and effective steps intended to end prohibited conduct; prevent its recurrence; and, as appropriate, remedy its effects. 

Reporting of Prohibited Conduct

In order to foster an environment free from prohibited conduct, all University members are encouraged to take reasonable prudent actions to prevent, stop, and report all acts of prohibited conduct.  In addition, supervisors and human resources professionals have the following reporting obligations related to possible prohibited conduct that they learn about in the course of performing their respective supervisory or human resources employment duties.  University supervisors and human resources professionals are exempted from these reporting requirements when such reporting is prohibited by HIPAA or other laws, or by a professional license requiring confidentiality. 

  1. Supervisors and human resources professionals must promptly contact the campus Equal Opportunity office when, in the course of performing their respective supervisory or human resources employment duties, they learn about any form of prohibited conduct directed at University students, employees or third parties that may have:
    • occurred on University property;
    • occurred during a University employment or education program or activity; or
    • been committed by a current University member at the time they were a University member.
  2. Supervisors and human resources professionals must report the following information to the campus Equal Opportunity office:
    • the names of the complainant(s), respondent(s), and possible witnesses;
    • the date, time, and location of the possible prohibited conduct; and
    • other relevant details about the possible prohibited conduct.

Application of Policy

This policy applies to University members, who include: 

  • University students, whether enrolled full time or part time, for credit or non-credit courses;
  • University employees as defined in this policy; and
  • third parties who are engaged in any University activity or program, or who are otherwise interacting with the University, including, but not limited to, volunteers, contractors, vendors, visitors, and guests.

This policy applies to acts of discrimination and related retaliation committed by or against students, employees, and third parties when:

  • the conduct occurs on University property;
  • the conduct occurs in the context of a University employment or education program or activity, including, but not limited to, University-sponsored academic, athletic, extracurricular, study abroad, research, on-line or internship programs or activities;
  • the conduct occurs off University property and outside the context of a University employment or education program or activity, but 1) has a continuing adverse effect on a University education program or activity; or 2) creates a hostile environment for students, employees, or third parties while on University property or in any University employment or education program or activity; or
  • the conduct indicates that the respondent may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of University members.

To the extent any provision of this policy conflicts with the Board of Regents Policy: Equity, Diversity, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, the Board policy controls.  Nothing in this policy should be interpreted to abridge academic freedom or principles of free speech.

Reason for Policy

This policy implements Board of Regents policy: Equity, Diversity, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.  The University aims to foster a welcoming community that values belonging, equity, diversity, and dignity in people and ideas. The University adopts this policy with a commitment to:  (1) taking prompt and equitable action to eliminate, prevent, and address the effects of prohibited conduct; (2) fostering an environment of trust where prohibited conduct is not tolerated; (3) cultivating a climate where all persons are well-informed and supported with respect to reporting prohibited conduct; (4) providing a fair and impartial process for all parties; and (5) articulating the standards and procedures by which violations of this policy will be evaluated and disciplinary action may be imposed. 

Contacts

Subject Contact Phone Email
Primary Contact Tina Marisam 612-626-9357 [email protected]
Policy or process questions Campus Title IX Offices (see below)    

Campus Equal Opportunity Offices

Prohibited conduct reports can be made to the University’s campus Equal Opportunity offices listed here.  As described in this policy, upon learning of certain types of prohibited conduct, supervisors and human resources professionals must contact their campus Equal Opportunity office to satisfy their prohibited conduct reporting obligations.

Crookston Campus

Subject Contact Phone Email
For reports involving employee or third party respondents Griffin Gillespie
Director of Human Resources
304 Selvig Hall
2900 University Ave
Crookston, MN 56716
218-281-8345 [email protected]
For reports involving student respondents Savala DeVoge
Dean of Student Engagement
145-J Sargeant Student Center
2900 University Ave
Crookston, MN 56716
218-281-8505 [email protected]

Duluth Campus

Subject Contact Phone Email
For reports involving employee or third party respondents Corey Christensen
Equal Opportunity Associate and Deputy Title IX Coordinator
1049 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812
218-726-8809 [email protected]
For reports involving student respondents Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution
245 Kirby Plaza
1208 Kirby Drive
Duluth, MN 55812
218-726-7255 [email protected]

Morris Campus

Subject Contact Phone Email
For reports involving employee or third party respondents Sarah Mattson Director of Human Resources
201 Behmler Hall
600 East 4th Street
Morris, MN 56267
320-589-6021 [email protected]
For reports involving student respondents Student Affairs
309 Behmler Hall
600 East 4th Street
Morris, MN 56267
320-589-6013 [email protected]

Rochester Campus

Subject Contact Phone Email
For reports involving employee or third party respondents Virginia Wright Peterson
Vice Chancellor for Finance and Campus Resources
300 University Square
Rochester, MN 55904
507-258-8066 [email protected]
For reports involving student respondents Javier Gutierrez
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Success, Engagement & Equity
111 S Broadway
Apt 300
Rochester, MN 55904-6508
  [email protected]

Twin Cities Campus

Subject Contact Phone Email
For reports involving employee or third party respondents Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
McNamara Alumni Center, Room 274;
200 Oak Street SE;
Minneapolis, MN 55455
612-624-9547 [email protected]
For reports involving student respondents Office for Community Standards
211 Appleby Hall
128 Pleasant St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
612-624-6073 [email protected]

U Report

Reports of prohibited conduct, including anonymous reports, may be submitted 24 hours a day through the University’s UReport reporting system.  Reports of prohibited conduct made through UReport will be forwarded to the appropriate campus Equal Opportunity office, which will address the concerns appropriately, including through an investigation or informal problem-solving process.  However, reporting about prohibited conduct through UReport does not satisfy the obligation of University supervisors and human resources professionals as set forth above in Section II to report incidents of prohibited conduct to the campus Equal Opportunity office.  Similarly, anonymous reporting in any other form also does not satisfy this reporting obligation.

Subject Contact Phone
All Campuses U Report  1-866-294-8680

Law Enforcement

Employees, students and third parties are encouraged to report crimes to the law enforcement agency for the jurisdiction in which the conduct at issue occurred.  Complainants have the option to report a crime to the appropriate law enforcement agency, to report prohibited conduct to the campus Equal Opportunity office, or to report to both investigative bodies simultaneously.  Even if a criminal investigation is ongoing, the University will conduct its own investigation or informal problem-solving process and will not wait for the conclusion of a criminal investigation or proceeding to begin its investigation or informal problem-solving process.  However, the University may temporarily delay the fact-finding portion of an investigation or informal problem-solving process while law enforcement is gathering evidence to avoid interfering with the criminal investigation.

Campus Contact Phone Email
Crookston Campus The City of Crookston Police Department
321 West Robert Street
Crookston, MN 56716
218-281-3111  
Duluth Campus University of Minnesota-Duluth Police Department
287 Darland Admin Bldg
1049 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812
218-726-7000 [email protected]
Duluth Police Department 2030 North Arlington Avenue Duluth, MN 55811 218-730-5400 [email protected]
Morris Campus University of Minnesota Morris Public Safety
Behmler Hall 6 600 East Fourth Street Morris, MN 56267
320-589-6000 [email protected]
Morris Police Department 400 Colorado Avenue Morris, MN 56267 320-208-6500 [email protected]
Rochester Campus Rochester Law Enforcement Center 101 Fourth Street Southeast Rochester, MN 55902 507-328-6810  
Twin Cities Campus University of Minnesota Police Department 511 Washington Ave. SE Minneapolis, MN 55455 612-624-2677 [email protected]
St. Paul Police Department 367 Grove Street St. Paul, MN 55101 651-291-1111 [email protected]
Minneapolis Police Department
350 South 5th Street,
Room 130 Minneapolis, MN 55415-1389
612-673-3000  
Falcon Heights Police Department 3301 Silver Lake Road Saint Anthony, MN 55418 612-782-3350  

Confidential Support Resources for Complainants and Respondents

Subject Contact Phone Email
Crookston Campus UMC Counseling Center 218-281-8571
218-281-8348
 
Student Health 218-281-8512  
Duluth Campus Counseling: Health Services 218-726-7913  
Morris Campus Student Counseling 320-589-6060 [email protected]
Rochester Campus Crisis Hotline 507-269-4511  
Student Counseling 507-258-8017 [email protected]
Student Health Services 507-292-7250  
Twin Cities Campus Boynton Mental Health Office line:

612-625-8400

24 hour Crisis Connection counselors: 612-301-4673
 
Student Counseling Services 612-624-3323 [email protected]

The University’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to benefits-eligible employees on all system campuses.  EAP provides confidential, professional consultation and referral services to address any personal or work concern that may be affecting one’s wellbeing.   EAP can be reached at 612-625-2820, 1-888-243-5744 or [email protected]

State and Federal Agency Resources

Individuals with questions regarding state and federal anti-discrimination laws may also contact the following federal and state agencies.

Federal and state government contact Address Phone Email/Reporting Portal
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity CommissionMinneapolis Area Office, Towle Building
330 South Second Avenue, Suite 720
Minneapolis, MN 55401-2224 
612-552-7306https://publicportal.eeoc.gov/portal/Login.aspx
Minnesota Department of Human Rights Griggs Midway Building
540 Fairview Ave North, Suite 201
St. Paul, Minnesota 55104
651-539-1100  1-800-657-3704 [email protected]
U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education John C. Kluczynski Federal Building 230 S. Dearborn Street, 37th Floor. Chicago, IL 60604 312-730-1560 [email protected]

Definitions

Assists or Abets
An individual assists or abets prohibited conduct when the individual: (1) helps any other person to engage in prohibited conduct; and (2) intends the prohibited conduct to occur or knows that their actions are significantly likely to help the other person to engage in prohibited conduct.
Campus Equal Opportunity Office
Campus Equal Opportunity office staff members and others that the campus Equal Opportunity office has designated to respond to certain prohibited conduct reports. 
Complainant
An individual is a “complainant” when the University learns that the individual may have experienced prohibited conduct. Complainants are considered as such under this policy even if they have not reported prohibited conduct to the University or pursued a prohibited conduct investigation under this policy.
Respondent
An individual is a “respondent” when the University learns that the individual is alleged to have engaged in conduct that could constitute prohibited conduct under this policy.
Prohibited Conduct
Prohibited conduct includes discrimination and related retaliation.
  1. Discrimination is:
    1. an action taken because of a protected characteristic that adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, or participation in a University program or activity.
    2. a denial of reasonable accommodations that are required to accommodate an individual’s disability; religion; or pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, or related medical conditions.
    3. discriminatory harassment, which is defined as conduct that occurs under either of the following conditions:
      1. When it is stated or implied that an individual needs to submit to, or participate in, unwelcome conduct based on a protected characteristic in order to maintain or advance in their employment, education, or participation in a University program or activity (quid pro quo discriminatory harassment).
      2. When unwelcome conduct based on a protected characteristic is severe, persistent, or pervasive and: (1) unreasonably interferes with an individual's employment, education, or participation in a University program or activity; (2) creates a work, employment, or other University environment that a reasonable person would find to be intimidating, hostile, or offensive; or (3) effectively denies an individual equal access to a University program or activity (hostile environment discriminatory harassment).

    In determining whether conduct is unwelcome, consideration is given both to the complainant’s subjective experience and to whether a reasonable person would have perceived the complainant as welcoming the conduct.  A complainant’s acquiescence to the conduct, or failure to complain about the conduct, is not by itself determinative of whether the conduct was welcome.  Under this policy, an individual who is reasonably perceived to hold power over another individual (such as a supervisor over a supervisee or faculty member over a student) is expected to understand that the subordinate individual may submit to or participate in unwelcome conduct because the subordinate individual fears potential negative repercussions if they refuse, and not because they welcome the conduct. 

    Discrimination can include conduct that is verbal, nonverbal, graphic, digital, and/or physical.  It can include a pattern of behavior, or an isolated severe incident.  For example, the following conduct may, if sufficiently egregious, constitute discrimination:

    • epithets, slurs, comments, or jokes that target an individual or group based on a protected characteristic;
    • conduct that threatens, intimidates, belittles, demeans, or undermines an individual or group because of a protected characteristic;
    • conduct that communicates that people with a certain protected characteristic do not belong in the community or in a particular professional or academic field; and/or
    • conduct that applies stereotypes to an individual or group based on a protected characteristic, including treating an individual or group differently because they conform or do not conform with what is perceived to be a stereotypical representation of a protected characteristic.

    In some circumstances, discrimination can occur when:

    • unwelcome conduct is: 1) based on a protected characteristic; and 2) causes an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment for individuals who are not directly targeted by the unwelcome conduct;
    • unwelcome conduct is directed at multiple individuals and, in the aggregate, rises to the level of discrimination; and/or
    • unwelcome conduct is based on more than one protected characteristic.

    Allegations of discriminatory harassment based on sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, and sexual orientation will typically be addressed pursuant to the Administrative policy entitled Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence.  Except, allegations of discriminatory harassment based on sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, and sexual orientation can be considered under this policy when:  1) the allegations would not constitute sexual harassment under the Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence policy even if substantiated; and 2) the allegations may constitute discrimination under this policy when considered in conjunction with allegations of discrimination based on other protected characteristics.

    Allegations of actions that adversely affect a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education based on sex, gender, pregnancy, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation will be considered under this policy.  Allegations of denial of reasonable accommodations that are required to accommodate an individual’s pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, or related medical conditions will also be considered under this policy.

  2. Protected characteristics are: race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, familial status, disability, public assistance status, membership or activity in a local commission created for the purpose of dealing with discrimination, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
  3. Retaliation means taking an adverse action against an individual because of the individual’s good faith participation in:
    1. reporting suspected or alleged prohibited conduct;
    2. expressing opposition to suspected or alleged prohibited conduct;
    3. participating in an informal problem-solving process, investigation, or appeal related to a prohibited conduct allegation; or
    4. accessing the Office for Conflict Resolution (OCR) to resolve a conflict related to a prohibited conduct allegation.

    To demonstrate that retaliation has occurred, an individual must show that a causal relationship exists between the individual’s participation in any of (1) through (4) above and the adverse action.

    Adverse actions are actions that might deter a reasonable person from reporting suspected or alleged prohibited conduct, expressing opposition to alleged prohibited conduct, participating in an informal problem-solving process, investigation or appeal related to a prohibited conduct allegation, or accessing the Office for Conflict Resolution services. Examples of adverse action include, but are not limited to: impeding the individual’s academic advancement; departing from any customary academic or employment practice regarding the individual; firing, refusing to hire, or refusing to promote the individual; transferring or assigning the individual to a lesser position in terms of wages, hours, job classification, job security, employment or academic status; and threatening or marginalizing the individual. In some situations, an adverse action may also include the inappropriate disclosure of the identity of the individual who has made a complaint protected by this policy.

    Good faith participation means (1) reporting or expressing opposition to prohibited conduct based on a reasonable belief that prohibited conduct has occurred, or (2) honestly participating in an informal problem-solving process, investigation, appeal or conflict resolution services process related to prohibited conduct.

    For more information on retaliation, see FAQ:  Retaliation in Discrimination Cases.

Supervisors
Supervisors include all individuals who have been assigned direct reports, including direct reports who are employees, student workers, volunteers, or temp/casual employees.
University Authority
University Authorities are identified in Appendix: University Authorities and Appellate Officers.
University Employees
University employees include the following individuals:
  1. all individuals defined as employees by the Board of Regents Policy: Employee Group Definitions, including:
    1. faculty
    2. academic professionals
    3. academic administrators
    4. professionals in training (including postdoctoral associates)
    5. civil service staff
    6. union-represented staff
    7. graduate assistants
    8. student employees (“student workers” herein)
  2. fellows;
  3. temporary employees; and
  4. third parties serving in instructional roles at the University.
University Property
University property includes any building or property that is owned or controlled by the University and is used by the University in direct support of, or in a manner related to, the University’s educational purposes.

Responsibilities

Appellate Officers
Decide appeals.
Counseling Services Offices
Provide counseling services and referrals.
Campus Equal Opportunity Offices
Provide consultations regarding prohibited conduct policies and procedures. Receive reports of prohibited conduct. Engage in informal-problem solving processes, conduct investigations, or oversee investigations of, prohibited conduct reports.
Health Care Services
Provide health care and counseling, and referrals.
Human Resources and Supervisors
Report possible prohibited conduct to the campus Equal Opportunity office. Assist in responding to reports of prohibited conduct committed by employees.
Public Safety/Police Departments
  • Investigate reports for possible criminal prosecution.
  • Refer complainants to appropriate campus resources for personal support and investigation.
  • Provide for campus safety and security.
  • Provide timely warnings as appropriate. 
Student Conduct Offices
Respond to and resolve reports of prohibited conduct consistent with this policy and the Student Conduct Code. 
University Authorities
Decide upon and implement responsive action.

Related Information

History

Effective:
February 2022 - New Policy. Covers the prohibition of discrimination and the procedures that will be followed when responding to concerns of discrimination.

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