Mar 01, 2021  
2016-2017 Faculty Handbook 
    
2016-2017 Faculty Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

8. Select College Policies


8.1     Business Continuity

8.2     Financial Exigency & Reduction in Force

8.2.1  Introduction

8.2.2  Priorities

8.2.3  The Process

8.2.4  Notification of Faculty & Faculty Rights

8.3     Initiating & Discontinuing Academic Programs

8.3.1  Introduction

8.3.2  Conditions Under Which a Program May Be Discontinued

8.3.3  Principles

8.3.4  The Process

8.3.4.1  Alert Status

8.3.4.2  Revitalization Year

8.3.4.3  Teach-Out

8..4.4  Impact for Program Faculty

8.3.4.5  Request for Reconsideration

8.3.5  Initiating an Academic Program

8.3.5.1  Introduction

8.3.5.2  Identifying New Program Needs

8.3.5.3  Principles

8.3.5.4  Process

8.4     News Releases & Press Conferences

8.5     Confidentiality

8.6     Travel Expense Form

8.7     Emergency Travel Funds

8.8     Grant Submission Authorization Form

8.9     Contract Authorization

8.10   Use of Copyrighted Material

8.11   Investigation of Concerns Related to Business Practices

8.12   Discrimination, Harassment and Hazing Prevention

8.13   Sexual Misconduct

8.1     BUSINESS CONTINUITY

Version  

Person/Dept. Responsible:

Academic Affairs

http://www.champlain.edu/faculty-and-staff/academic-affairs/teaching-and-support-resources/policies-and-procedures/academic-(business)-continuity

Champlain College takes precautionary measures to ensure that student learning and instructional processes can continue in a “virtual environment” even during an extended emergency such as severe weather, contagious disease, physical infrastructure failure, campus closure, or similar incident. Continuation of classes in a virtual environment also means that payment to instructors can be maintained during the emergency for all classes that continue either online through a College-provided learning management system, or through some other process that has been approved by a Division Dean.

In the event of such an emergency, faculty members are expected to continue teaching in a virtual environment. For appropriate courses, Champlain College’s academic technology team, along with each academic division, will provide each instructor with a skeleton course that has been created in the College’s learning management system. In some cases, the Division Dean may determine that no virtual environment is appropriate or available for a course, and in that event may cancel the remainder of the course or take other appropriate steps.

In order for this emergency preparedness plan to be effective, it requires that faculty do the following prior to the start of each semester:

  • Be prepared with basic skills in managing an emergency course online using the College’s learning management system;
  • As needed, participate in basic training provided by the College and attain basic competency in managing an online course;
  • Become familiar with your online course, when available, by logging in and preparing yourself to manage your students’ learning process in the online course;
  • Become familiar with the College’s emergency communication channels and how to access its learning management support systems;
  • If you are using an alternative virtual process approved by the Division Dean, become familiar with the use of that process.

At the beginning of each semester, instructors will need to:

  • Upload the course syllabus;
  • Engage with each class in at least one virtual activity during the first two weeks of the semester, or as soon as practicable, to ensure that students know how to access the online course or alternative course delivery.
  • Be prepared, if notified, to contact all students and continue the class in the online learning management system provided by the College or in the alternative virtual process approved by the Division Dean. In order to assist this effort, you should consider posting an announcement to the class as part of your initial activity.

In the event of such an emergency, instructors will be notified of the schedule by which classes will continue in a virtual environment. The delay between campus closure and the start of virtual classes will be no less than one week in order to allow time for both students and faculty to travel, as required, and make final preparations. Upon notification, this requires that you:

  • Make any final adjustments to your lesson plans in preparation for use of your virtual environment.
  • Begin, at the appropriate time, to engage with each class and monitor students’ progress by engaging with the class no less than four times per week.

The Center for Learning & Technology provides training and support opportunities for faculty to promote academic continuity.

8.2     FINANCIAL EXIGENCY AND REDUCTION IN FORCE - AMENDMENT REQUIRES BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVAL

Version 7/2012  

Person/Dept. Responsible:

President

                                        

8.2.1     INTRODUCTION

Financial exigency is a rare and grave institutional crisis. It is an existing or anticipated financial condition that threatens the continued viability of the College.  It is an urgent condition reflecting the institution’s inability to meet its annual expenditures with revenue sufficient to prevent a sustained loss of funds. This situation may arise from a significant decline in enrollment, reversals in endowment income, or other factors that impinge on the College’s financial viability. This condition is to be distinguished from a single-year budget deficit, cyclical market trends in investments and enrollment, or a temporary reduction in annual gift income. This policy is not intended to be used as a program discontinuance policy.  See the Program Discontinuance policy in this Handbook.

8.2.2     PRIORITIES

Termination of permanent or long-term continuous appointments because of financial exigency or formal reduction will be sought only as a last resort, after every effort has been made to meet the need in other ways and to find for the faculty member(s) other employment in the institution. Situations which make retrenchment of this sort necessary should preclude expansions of staff at other points at the same time, except in extraordinary circumstances.  The Board of Trustees and the President will seek to minimize the impact on teaching and students by addressing reductions in infrastructure first and foremost but with due consideration for the viability of the institution.

8.2.3     THE PROCESS

As a first step, the President should consult with faculty senate leadership to advise them that a condition of financial exigency exists or is imminent or that a formal reduction is necessary.  Faculty senate leaders should have the opportunity to review relevant financial data and be confident that all feasible alternatives to termination of appointments have been pursued. Faculty senate leaders will also be consulted to determine criteria to identify individuals whose appointments will be terminated.

Within five (5) work days of a declaration of financial exigency or a declaration that a formal reduction is necessary, the President and the Provost shall notify faculty senate leadership and request a meeting of the faculty.  At that meeting, faculty will be presented with the relevant financial data that formed the basis of the Board’s decision.  Faculty will be given the opportunity to provide input to the President for recommendations of how to respond to the financial situation.

After meeting with the faculty, the President shall convene an ad hoc committee which includes academic deans, representatives of appropriate constituent groups, relevant faculty senate committees including but not limited to Curriculum, Welfare, and the Executive committees, academic and non- academic administrators, and staff.  Members of the committee and the chairperson shall be designated by the President.  It shall be the responsibility of this committee to make recommendations to the President for the development of a retrenchment plan for the College. Their recommendations should include identifying and prioritizing areas for possible retrenchment. Judgments about academic programs and faculty status directly reflect an impact on the educational mission of the institution. Therefore, faculty should have the primary role in making such recommendations.

Final decision making with respect to the plan rests with the President.  The President is responsible for developing and implementing a written retrenchment plan. The plan should include, at a minimum, the identification of (a) programs to be discontinued or retrenched, (b) positions to be eliminated or reduced from full-time to part-time, (c) number of faculty contracts to be terminated, by division, (d) an implementation timeline and (e) fiscal consequences of implementing the plan.

The President shall submit the plan and recommendations to the Board of Trustees for its actions.  Upon approval of the plan, the President shall distribute it to the College community.

The Board of Trustees is solely authorized to declare a state of financial exigency. Such a declaration shall be made after a review of relevant financial data.

8.2.4     NOTIFICATION TO FACULTY AND FACULTY RIGHTS

If recommended actions include discontinuance of programs and/or termination of faculty contracts, from either a declaration of exigency or a formal reduction:

  • Affected faculty will be given one-year’s advance notice, or a minimum of one year’s salary, if financially feasible. On the recommendation of the Provost, the President may, at his or her discretion, approve up to an additional year of salary compensation. The College will provide assistance to affected faculty members who cannot be relocated into existing vacancies at the institution. The scope of assistance shall be determined at the discretion of the College and may include, but not be limited to, outplacement services and/or support for retraining;
  • In the event that the discontinued program is reinstated within three (3) years, terminated faculty members will receive priority consideration for reemployment in positions for which they are qualified, provided their performance has been satisfactory. Faculty whose positions have been lost as a result of financial exigency will also be given priority consideration for other faculty positions that become open in the College for three (3) years following their termination, provided they meet qualifications for the position.

The College will make every effort to teach-out students already enrolled in any program that is being discontinued.

Final decision to discontinue a program or to terminate faculty contracts rests with the President and the Board of Trustees. Faculty whose contract is terminated due to a formal reduction may appeal that decision to the Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee. The decision of the Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee will be final. The decision to terminate a contract in the case of financial exigency is not subject to appeal.

8.3     INITIATING AND DISCONTINUING ACADEMIC PROGRAMS - AMENDMENT REQUIRES BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVAL

Version 7/2012  

Person/Dept. Responsible:

President

                                      

8.3.1     INTRODUCTION

From time to time, it may be necessary for Champlain to end the operation of one or more of its degree programs that will result in the elimination of faculty positions in that area.  This policy is not concerned with program elimination or changes that result in the reassignment of faculty to teach in a new/updated program. It is important for the College community to know the conditions which may trigger a decision to discontinue a program, to know the principles upon which such a decision would be based, and to understand the process that would be followed.

8.3.2     CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH A PROGRAM MAY BE DISCONTINUED

The decision to discontinue an academic program may be triggered by, but is not limited to, one or more of the following conditions: significant decline in program enrollment (as distinguished from a single-year decline or temporary variation in enrollment); a change in institutional priorities, mission, and vision; budget deficits; a curriculum no longer offers realistic career opportunities for its graduates; changes in the professional field; or, in an extreme case, a declaration by the Board of Trustees of financial exigency or a reduction in force. (See the applicable College policy on Financial Exigency and Reduction in Force.) If the decision to discontinue an academic program is based on financial exigency, or a reduction in force, the procedures outlined in that policy will take precedence, and the procedures and provisions of this policy will not apply.

8.3.3     PRINCIPLES

The goal is to have a process that is transparent and that is in keeping with the College’s institutional values. Any consideration of program discontinuance should reflect long-range appraisal of the effect of discontinuance on the educational mission of the institution.

Discussion about discontinuance of a program normally begins (but need not always begin) with either the administration or faculty as a result of the program review process. The annual review is evidence- based to provide results that support institutional needs for planning and decision-making.  The review should address an evaluation of program management, including viability of the academic program, and an assessment of student outcomes. The reports generated by faculty and deans in the annual review process are an essential input into decisions about discontinuing academic programs.

Because curriculum is the primary responsibility of faculty, no program will be discontinued without the involvement of faculty in that program and the respective academic dean. Regardless of who initiates the discussion about program discontinuance, data supporting the need for discontinuance should be reviewed by the affected division and by the appropriate faculty senate committee(s) as defined in the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate. Faculty in the affected unit should have the opportunity to present a proposal for continuation and/or reorganization to the senate committee(s). Such a proposal should ideally have majority support of the voting members of that division, although minority reports may be submitted for consideration.

The affected unit and committee(s) should have access to institutional support and to all pertinent information including, but not limited to:

  • The reasoning behind the proposed program termination;
  • The administrative history of the program, including what actions have been taken over the preceding five years which were supportive or non-supportive of the program;
  • All recent academic evaluations of the program by both internal and external evaluators;
  • All financial data relevant to the program and related programs, including estimated costs for retaining it or reorganizing it as a quality program consistent with the standards of the College and the probable impact such expenditures would have on other programs at the College;
  • All recent annual reports and program reviews.

In the event that a program is to be discontinued, all communications regarding the decision should be managed with the highest level of regard for students currently in the program, as well as for faculty teaching in the program.  Formal announcements should all be handled through the office of the President or through the President’s designee.

8.3.4     THE PROCESS

8.3.4.1     ALERT STATUS

When a program has been identified as a candidate for discontinuance, (as a result of an annual review process or otherwise), the Provost will notify the program faculty and the Faculty Senate.  The program will immediately be placed on alert status. The program alert status will provide advance notice and provide an opportunity, if desired, to address issues and possibly prevent program closure.

If it is the will of both the administration and the faculty to discontinue the program, the Provost will make a recommendation to the President who will, in turn, make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees. Plans for a teach-out phase will immediately begin during the alert status year. The program will no longer be marketed and Admissions will cease to admit new students into the program. (See Impact for Program Faculty.)

If program and division faculty wish to advocate for program continuation, the Faculty Senate will inform the Provost within 30 days of receiving the alert status notification.  Program and division faculty will develop a plan to revitalize the program during the alert status year. The plan should address the  scope and implications of program continuance including, but not limited to, impact on the College mission, direct or indirect impact on other programs, financial and personnel implications, and the sustainability of other programs in the division. Program and division faculty should submit the plan to the appropriate Senate committee, as defined in the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate will submit a recommendation to the administration.  The Provost will make a recommendation about the program to the President no later than the end of the alert status year.  If the recommendation is to discontinue the program, the President shall make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees. Plans for a teach-out phase will begin immediately upon approval by the Board. (See Impact for Program Faculty.)   If the revitalization plan is accepted, implementation of the plan will begin no later than the following academic year.  (See Revitalization Year.)

8.3.4.2      REVITALIZATION YEAR

At the end of one full year of program revitalization, the appropriate Senate committee will consult with program and division faculty, review the status of the program and make a recommendation to the Faculty Senate.  The Faculty Senate will then make a recommendation to the Provost who will make a recommendation to the President.  Based on the Provost’s recommendation, the President may (a) rescind alert status, (b) extend the revitalization period by one year, or (c) decide to recommend to the Board to discontinue the program.  If the revitalization period is extended, at the end of this extended revitalization period, the President may rescind alert status or make a recommendation to the Board to discontinue the program.  If the Board approves discontinuing the program, plans for a teach-out phase will begin immediately. (See Impact for Program Faculty.)

8.3.4.3     TEACH-OUT

After a review of the academic records of students in the program, the administration, in consultation with the faculty and the division dean, will make a determination of the length of the teach-out period. During the teach-out period, the program will no longer be marketed and Admissions will cease to admit new students into the program.

8.3.4.4     IMPACT FOR PROGRAM FACULTY

A decision to discontinue an academic program may result in termination or modification of program faculty appointments prior to the expiration date in individual letters of appointment. Nevertheless, the College will make reasonable efforts to retain affected faculty through the end of their appointment term. In cases of termination, the College will have no further obligations with respect to the payout of the remainder of terms specified in letters of appointment, because such letters are issued subject to the provisions of this policy and/or other College policies as posted and amended from time to time. For the same reason, modification of the terms stated in individual letters of appointment may also be made by the College under this policy as posted and amended from time to time.

When a decision to discontinue an academic program is made, the College may offer full-time faculty teaching in the program a one-year letter of appointment, regardless of preexisting contractual obligations, or it may offer severance compensation of one-year’s salary in lieu of a letter of appointment.   Because of the commitment required by both the College and the faculty during the teach-out phase, if faculty remain with the program through the teach-out phase, they may be offered severance compensation of one-year’s salary upon completion of the teach-out. In either case, on the recommendation of the Provost, the President may, at his or her discretion, approve up to an additional year of salary compensation. Alternatively, full-time faculty may be placed in another position at the College. The Provost, in consultation with the relevant Dean, will determine whether full-time regular faculty members associated with the discontinued program possess qualifications required to continue teaching at the College. If it is determined that the faculty do not possess the necessary qualifications to continue teaching, the College will make reasonable efforts to place them in a non-teaching position. The College will provide assistance to affected faculty members who cannot be relocated into existing vacancies at the institution.  The scope of assistance shall be determined at the discretion of the College and may include, but not be limited to, severance (as noted above), outplacement services and/or support for retraining and COBRA.

In the event that the discontinued program is reinstated within three (3) years from the completion of the teach-out period, terminated faculty members will receive priority consideration for reemployment in positions for which they are qualified, provided their performance had been satisfactory. Faculty whose positions have been lost as a result of program discontinuance will also be given priority consideration for other faculty positions that become open in the College for three (3) years following their termination, provided they meet qualifications for the position. If they are rehired into a faculty position, their prior years’ service and seniority will count toward their new academic rank.

8.3.4.5     REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION

The final decision to discontinue an academic program rests with the President and the Board of Trustees.

A faculty member whose appointment is terminated by reasons of program discontinuance has the right to file a request for reconsideration to the Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee.  The issues of the request may include the institution’s failure to satisfy any of the conditions specified in the termination decision.  The right to request reconsideration will not be reduced or relieved through the acceptance of a severance agreement; the faculty member is entitled to both as a matter of process. The decision of the Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee will be final.

8.3.5     INITIATING AN ACADEMIC PROGRAM

8.3.5.1     INTRODUCTION

As Champlain keeps pace with employer standards and trends in higher education, it will be necessary to develop new degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. This policy is not concerned with program modifications or the development of new minors, specializations, or certificates. It is important for the College community to know the circumstances in which new program needs are identified and to understand the process that would be followed.

8.3.5.2     IDENTIFYING NEW PROGRAM NEEDS

The decision to develop a new degree program may be triggered by, but is not limited to, one or more of the following circumstances: new developments in professional trends and career opportunities; significant student interest; research conducted by the College’s Marketing department; or feedback from the College Admissions team. New programs will also align with institutional priorities, mission, and vision.

8.3.5.3     PRINCIPLES

The goal is to have a process that is transparent and that is in keeping with the College’s institutional values. Any consideration of a new degree program should reflect long-range appraisal of the resources needed to develop and maintain the program and how the program supports the educational mission of the institution.

8.3.5.4     PROCESS

Discussion about developing a new degree program normally (but need not always) begins with either the administration or faculty as a result of any of the factors identified above. Faculty wishing to develop a new degree program will first obtain the support of the Division Dean and the Provost before conducting market and budget research. Both a market analysis and feasibility study provide the evidence that support the planning and decision-making for developing a new program. The market analysis addresses the viability of the academic program, career opportunities and employment trends and target audience. The feasibility study shows the additional resources needed to implement and support the program. Information gained from these reports is essential for making decisions about offering new degree programs.

Because curriculum is the primary responsibility of faculty, no program will be proposed without the involvement of the appropriate Division’s faculty, Program Directors and respective academic Dean(s). Data supporting the proposal of a new degree program, along with program curriculum, learning objectives and methods of assessment, should be reviewed by the originating Division’s faculty. Such a proposal will have majority support of the voting members of that Division.

The proposal will continue in the curriculum management system through the steps in the approval process as defined by the Curriculum Policy and Processes Handbook. The final decision to establish a new academic degree program rests with the President and the Board of Trustees.

8.4     NEWS RELEASES AND PRESS CONFERENCES

   

Person/Dept. Responsible:

Strategic Communications

                                                       

To maintain good media relations and to use most efficiently the time of faculty and staff, interviews with the press concerning matters of official policy of the College should be channeled through the Strategic Communications unit.

8.5     CONFIDENTIALITY

Version 9/2011  

Person/Dept. Responsible:

Academic Affairs

                                     

Members of the faculty should make themselves aware of various confidentiality requirements imposed by the College and by federal laws, e.g., The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Members of the faculty are expected to use good judgment in determining which affairs of the College are confidential and to make conservative decisions in case of doubt. College legal counsel, with the permission of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, can be consulted for advice in this regard.

8.6     TRAVEL EXPENSE REPORT

Version 9/1/2008  

Person/Dept. Responsible:

Budget Director

Finance Policy No. 300

http://www.champlain.edu/faculty-and-staff/campus-information/finance/policies-and-forms

Procedures for obtaining reimbursements for expenses incurred during the conduct of College business are as follows:

  • Obtain a Travel Expense Form from the divisional Operations Manager or online. http://www.champlain.edu/faculty-and-staff/campus-information/finance/policies-and-forms;
  • Fill out only your Name, Department, Account Number, Report Date, Business Purpose of Trip or Advance, Trip Date, and Advance Amount requested;
  • Fund advances for travel should only be for estimated funds needed during your trip. Any expenditure requiring payment prior to your trip or which will be billed to the College should follow the normal purchase order system. (i.e., pre-registration payments, car rentals, airline tickets, etc.);
  • Original receipts are recommended for all expenses submitted for reimbursement; original receipts are required for all expenses greater than $25.00;
  • IRS regulations require documentation of business expenses to include (a) the amount of the expenditure, (b) the time and place of the expenditure, (c) the business purpose of the expenditure, and (4) the names and business relationships of individuals for whom the expenditure was made.
  • Ensure proper authorization on all expense reports and authorizations as defined by Finance Policy No. 301;
  • Refer to Finance Policy No. 300 for reimbursable expenses, non-reimbursable expenses, meal expenditures, use of personal cars, and other specific requirements governing reimbursement of expenses.

8.7     EMERGENCY TRAVEL FUNDS

Version 4/1/2011  

Person/Dept. Responsible:

Budget Director

Finance Policies No. 306 and No. 300

http://www.champlain.edu/faculty-and-staff/campus-information/finance/policies-and-forms

In most instances, employees are aware of travel schedules well in advance and can submit requests for funds in time to accommodate the work demands of the Finance Office. Requests for cash advances should be made on the travel expense report. The Finance Office processes requests for checks once a week, on Wednesdays. Exceptions for cash advances are rare and provided only after Finance has determined that other methods (credit card, cutting a check, wiring money) are not possible.   Any cash advance over $2,000 requires 14-days’ advance notice. Finance policy #306 outlines the specific steps for requesting a cash advance.

8.8     GRANT SUBMISSION AUTHORIZATION REQUEST

Version 7/24/2009  

Person/Dept. Responsible:

Budget Director

Finance Policy No. 304

http://www.champlain.edu/faculty-and-staff/campus-information/finance/policies-and-forms

The formal process to submit authorization to request a grant is defined in Finance Policy No. 304.  To request authorization, submit a brief summary of the project along with the following information:

  • Title of Project;
  • Principal Investigator/Division;
  • Funding Source;
  • Submission Deadline;
  • Estimated Project Dates;
  • Maximum Dollar Request;
  • Matching Funds Required (Yes/No);
  • Direct Dollars/Indirect Dollars;
  • Proposed Partners.

Signatures from the Development and Controller offices are required on the grant request; if the grant is an academic project, the signature of the Provost is also required.

8.9     CONTRACT AUTHORIZATION

Version 11/5/2010  

Person/Dept. Responsible:

Budget Director

Finance Policy No. 305

http://www.champlain.edu/faculty-and-staff/campus-information/finance/policies-and-forms

Purpose: To facilitate communication among Champlain staff who may have an interest in a particular sale or purchase contract.

Scope: This policy applies to all employees of Champlain College who originate business relationships that may result in a contract.

Policy: All proposals for significant business relationships must be communicated to the appropriate college personnel and approved before a contract can be signed.

Procedure:

  1. Early Notification: The originator of the business relationship must notify the Contract & Risk Management Director as early in the process as is reasonable. The Contract & Risk Management Director will email the appropriate staff and faculty of the planned relationship. “Appropriate staff and faculty” will depend on each situation, but should include those people whose work may be significantly affected by the business relationship and/or their department heads or academic deans. The purpose of this notification is to provide an early warning in order to solicit feedback, comments and concerns.
  2. Term Sheet Approval: When contract negotiations are substantially completed, the originator of the business relationship must provide the contract information or a draft contract to the Contract & Risk Management Director, who will complete the following Term Sheet.   The Contract & Risk Management Director will obtain written approval of the Term Sheet from the college personnel he determines are appropriate. If the proposed contract does not accompany the Term Sheet, the final contract terms must be consistent with the approved Term Sheet.
  3. Contract Approval: The Contract & Risk Management Director will submit the proposed contract and the approved Term Sheet to the Treasurer or Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration for final approval.  Contracts may not be signed without a fully approved Term Sheet.

(Form?)

8.10     USE OF COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL

Version 4/6/2010  

Person/Dept. Responsible:

Academic Affairs

http://www.champlain.edu/Documents/academic-affairs/CopyrightWeb InfoFinal.pdf

The College, as an educational institution that is both a consumer and producer of information, supports the College community’s responsible and good faith exercise of fair use of copyrighted materials in pursuit of the College’s educational mission. The College is committed to complying with laws protecting the rights of copyright holders, while recognizing that those rights are limited by fair use and other provisions of copyright law. The College provides information and resources to educate members of the College community about copyright law, the rights of copyright holders and the exercise of fair use. The faculty, staff and other College employees, the students of the College, and all members of the College community have an obligation to make informed and responsible decisions regarding their use of copyrighted materials and are obligated to comply with copyright law.

8.11     INVESTIGATION OF CONCERNS RELATIVE TO BUSINESS PRACTICES

Version 6/16/2009, titles corrected 7/2014  

Person/Dept. Responsible:

People Center (formerly Human Resources and Organizational Development)

http://www.champlain.edu/faculty-and-staff/people-center/policies-procedures-and-forms

Purpose:

The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures for submitting complaints or concerns regarding financial statement disclosures, accounting or business practices, finances, internal controls or auditing matters, or suspected violations of Champlain’s Code of Business Conduct. For other issues see the Vice President of People and Technology for advice on the mechanism for reporting.

Scope:

This policy applies to all employees and students of Champlain College.

Definitions:

Whistleblower: A person who reports potential wrongdoing with respect to the College’s financial statement disclosures, accounting or business practices, finance, internal controls or auditing matters, or potential violations of the College’s Code of Business Conduct, to the College’s administration and/or Board.

Policy:

The College’s internal controls and business policies and procedures are intended to prevent or detect improper activities with respect to the College’s financial statement disclosures, accounting or business practices, finances, internal controls or auditing matters, and/or suspected violations of Champlain’s Code of Business Conduct.   Nonetheless, the College welcomes information concerning potentially undetected improper activities of this sort.  The College, therefore, encourages employees, students, alumni, parents and others to report in good faith, their concerns about suspected improper activity as described in this policy.   No individual who, in good faith, reports a matter covered by this policy, shall suffer harassment, retaliation, or adverse employment, academic or education consequence as a result.

Procedure:

  • Individuals wishing to report violations or suspected violations may send or submit a sealed envelope to the Chair of the Audit Committee, Champlain College Board of Trustees, c/o President’s Office, PO Box 670, Burlington, VT 05402-0670. If an individual wishes to discuss any matter with the Audit Committee, he or she should so indicate in the submission and include a telephone number where he or she can be reached. Should the Committee deem such communication appropriate, the individual will be contacted accordingly.
  • Following the receipt of a complaint submitted under this policy, the Audit Committee will:
    • Acknowledge receipt of the complaint to the sender (unless anonymously submitted);
    • Investigate or direct an investigation to commence on each matter reported, and take corrective or disciplinary actions, if appropriate. In conducting an investigation, the Audit Committee or its representative, will use reasonable efforts to protect the confidentiality and anonymity of the complainant. Confidentiality may have to yield to the needs of the investigation and/or the accused’s need to participate in a discussion of the situation, but the College prohibits retaliation in any event.
    • The Audit Committee may engage legal counsel or other outside professionals to conduct the investigation and provide a report to the Chair of the Audit Committee.
  • At the conclusion of any action(s) taken by the Audit Committee under this policy, the Chair of the Audit Committee will:
    • Provide a summary report of the investigation, conclusion, and resolution regarding the suspected violations to the Champlain College Board of Trustees. A verbal or written summary may also be provided to the individual filing the complaint, as determined by the Chair of the Audit Committee.
    • Provide a copy of the file to the Secretary of the Board of Trustees for the purpose of documenting and maintaining the resolution of the matter.
  • Individuals found to be making baseless allegations without regard for their truth or falsity may be subject to institutional disciplinary action.

Policy Adherence:

The Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Finance is the responsible official for this policy. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Finance.

Contact:

Questions related to the interpretation of this policy should be directed to the Vice President of People and Technology.

Any individual with questions about whether or not the policy applies to a given incident should use the process described above. The Audit Committee will determine whether or not the incident should be investigated under this policy, or should be addressed instead to the Vice President of People and Technology.

People Center policies and procedures are updated on an as-needed basis. As such, the College reserves the right to alter, amend or suspend the terms of this policy at its sole discretion. Please refer to the policies posted on the People Center website for the current version. This policy does not constitute an employment contract.

8.12  DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT POLICY AND PROCEDURE

PURPOSE OF THE POLICY

Champlain College is committed to providing its staff, faculty and students the opportunity to pursue excellence in their academic and professional endeavors. This opportunity can only exist when each member of our community is assured an atmosphere of mutual respect, free from unlawful discrimination and harassment. This Policy outlines expectations regarding how individuals who are members of the Champlain College community are to treat others in order to ensure such an atmosphere of mutual respect and a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff.

SCOPE OF THE POLICY

The Discrimination and Harassment Policy applies to all administrators, employees, admissions or employment applicants, students, members of the Board of Trustees, agents of the College, and volunteers involved in College-related activities. The policy also applies for and to those who do business with the College in their interactions with members of the College community.

The College maintains a separate Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Policy (“SHSMDVS Policy”). Place link here  Reported sexual harassment, sexual violence, and sexual misconduct that appear to fall within the definitions and scope of that policy will be handled under the procedures outlined in that policy.  Other sex-related matters (such as, e.g., disparate treatment in promotions, grading or other matters on the basis of sex) that do not fall within the definitions and scope of the SHSMDVS Policy will be handled under the procedures outlined in this policy.

Teaching practices or communications that are demeaning, hostile, or alienating based on or because of an individual’s possessing a protected characteristic are prohibited. (While the College has a policy supporting academic freedom, behavior that focuses attention on discriminatory characteristics in a context that is irrelevant to the course constitutes a serious violation of the College’s Harassment Policy.)

DEFINITIONS

Harassment:  For purposes of this policy, prohibited harassment constitutes a form of discrimination and is defined as verbal or physical conduct or communications directed at or because of an individual’s race, creed, color, national origin, place of birth, ancestry, religion, age, sexual orientation, sex (except as separately covered under the SHSMDVS Policy), gender identity, veteran or military service status, HIV-positive status, qualified disability, or on the basis of any other status protected by law, which has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with the individual’s employment or educational performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

Bias incidents and hate crimes are also considered unacceptable behaviors under this policy.

Bias incident: Any conduct, speech, or expression that demeans, degrades or harasses an individual or group based upon their membership in a protected category as recognized by law or Champlain College policy. Examples: anonymous acts of bias-related vandalism to public posters, targeted vandalism on a student’s door directed at his or her protected status, slurs directed at a group or individual (whether in person or electronically), and unlawful harassment that interferes with a person’s educational experience or employment.

Hate Crime: As defined by Vermont law, a crime in which the defendant’s conduct was maliciously motivated by the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, ancestry, service in the armed forces, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or qualified disability of another individual or group of individuals, or on the basis of any other status protected by law.

Hazing: Any act committed by a person, whether individually or with others, against a student or employee in connection with pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization which is affiliated with the College; and which is intended to have the effect of, or should reasonably be expected to have the effect of, humiliating, intimidating or demeaning the student or employee or endangering the mental or physical health of a student or employee.

Specific Types of Harassment: In addition to forms of harassment listed above, other examples of specific types of harassment might include, but are not limited to the following, if engaged in at the levels described above:

Disability Harassment: Verbal or physical conduct or communications directed at the characteristics of an individual’s disabling condition such as manner of speaking, manner of movement, or necessary equipment.

Sex-Based Harassment: Verbal or physical conduct or communications directed at an individual’s sex and/or gender, such as negative gender-based stereotypes and sexist comments.  Information about sexual misconduct not covered by this policy can be found in the Sexual Misconduct Policy, also referred to as the College’s SHSMDVS Policy.

National Origin Harassment: Verbal or physical conduct or communications directed at an individual’s national origin such as negative comments regarding surnames, manner of speaking, and customs.

Racial Harassment: Verbal or physical conduct or communications directed at an individual’s race such as words emphasizing stereotypes, comments on manner of speaking, and negative references to racial customs.

Religious Harassment: Verbal or physical conduct or communications directed at an individual’s religion such as derogatory comments regarding surnames, religious tradition, and religious clothing.

Sexual Orientation Harassment: Verbal or physical conduct or communications directed at an individual’s sexual orientation such as negative name-calling and imitating mannerisms.

Age Harassment: Verbal or physical conduct or communications directed at an individual’s age, such as derogatory age-related comments and negative stereotypes.

Veteran/Military Service Status Harassment: Verbal or physical conduct or communications directed at an individual’s veteran or military service status, such as pejorative references to same and negative comments regarding required service.

Gender Identity Harassment: Verbal or physical conduct or communications directed at an individual’s gender identity, such as negative name-calling and intentional misuse of gender-specific pronouns.

POLICY

It is imperative that Champlain College provides a safe environment conducive to learning and working. Harassment as described above is unacceptable and will not be tolerated for any reason. In accordance with Federal and State laws, the College affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunity in education and employment and will not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of characteristics such as race, creed, color, national origin, place of birth, ancestry, religion, age, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity, veteran or military service status, HIV-positive status, qualified disability or any other characteristic to the extent protected, and as defined by, applicable law, in the administration of its educational and admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, employment practices, athletic, and other college-administered programs. The College will, therefore, comply with all applicable federal and Vermont nondiscrimination laws.

It is, therefore, the intent of the College to comply with the Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act of 1963, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1970, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other such federal, state and local nondiscrimination laws, as they apply.

Compliance with this policy is a term and condition of student enrollment and student, staff and faculty employment at the College. An individual who violates this policy may be subject to disciplinary action. Depending on the seriousness, sanctions for involvement in harassment or discriminatory activities could include verbal or written reprimand; required participation in community projects; loss of privileges; suspension from employment (with or without pay) or enrollment; probation; requirement to participate in counseling; dismissal from housing, school, or employment. The College reserves the right to take action to stop and to sanction discriminatory and/or harassing behavior, even in instances where such behavior does not rise to a level that it would constitute unlawful harassment under applicable law.

The right to make a complaint is not limited to someone who is the direct target of the harassment. Anyone who has observed discrimination or harassment should report the alleged incident(s) to the Vice President, People and Technology or to the Vice President for Student Life (student-to-student harassment). Retaliation against individuals who make or support a complaint of discrimination and/or harassment, as discussed further in the College’s Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedure, is prohibited and will be considered a violation of this policy.

In fact, all College officials, such as vice presidents, directors, staff, deans, faculty, and individuals in management/supervisory positions are obligated by law to report conduct that may be in violation of the College’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy. College officials who become aware of conduct that they believe may violate the College’s discrimination and harassment policy must report that conduct to the Vice President, People and Technology or, if the alleged conduct was engaged in by a student, to Student Life.

Counselors and student health service employees in the Student Health Center are the only individuals available to provide support and assistance on a confidential basis and will not release any information without the individual’s permission except in circumstances where they believe that the safety and welfare of the individuals or others may be at risk or as otherwise required by law. The College cannot, however, guarantee the confidentiality of information shared with anyone other than the College Counselors because of laws requiring that action be taken.

A copy of the Discrimination and Harassment Policy is provided to every employee and student through the People Center’s website and the College Catalogue, which is located online. The College also provides appropriate educational training.

Any individual found to have engaged in discrimination or harassment as defined above will be in violation of this policy and shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or expulsion from enrollment at the College. Any individual who believes he/she has been subjected to discrimination or harassment under this policy is entitled to pursue the internal Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedure and/or may pursue remedies provided by Federal and State law. There also are instances when the College may choose to follow up on a concern with an informal process or formal complaint without having received a formal or informal complaint from an individual (i.e., when a problem is identified by another member of the College community).

Please refer to the College’s Harassment and Discrimination Complaint Procedure, which appears immediately below, for information regarding how to report a concern about harassment or discrimination, and how complaints relative to harassment or discrimination are resolved.  For the College’s policy on sexual misconduct, see the College’s Sexual Misconduct policy.

DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

PURPOSE OF THE PROCEDURE

To provide a definition of harassment and to ensure that discrimination complaints, including unlawful harassment, are handled promptly and effectively in a manner that is procedurally fair to the parties.

COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

The purpose of the Complaint Procedure is to provide a process for handling discrimination and harassment complaints. A lengthy period of time between an alleged occurrence and investigation may make fact-finding more difficult. Therefore, individuals are encouraged to file complaints as soon as possible.  The College strives to ensure that discrimination complaints, including unlawful harassment, are handled promptly and effectively in a manner that is procedurally fair to the parties.

Where reported misconduct involves allegations of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking as defined in the College’s Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Policy (“SHSMDVS Policy”), add link here the more specific definitions, prohibitions, and procedural statements included in the SHSMDVS Policy will be used in this Complaint Procedure, and such definitions, prohibitions and procedural statements are therefore incorporated into these procedures by reference.  This Complaint Procedure, including the Appeal Procedure outlined below, will be used in SHSMDVS cases to the extent this Procedure is not inconsistent with provisions of the SHSMDVS Policy.

Protective Measures

Sometimes it is necessary to take steps before or during an investigation to protect the rights and interests of the Complainant and/or Respondent. Such measures may be designed to reduce or eliminate contact between the Complainant and/or the Respondent so that both parties may feel safe in their work/educational environment. Protective measures may also guard against further actual or perceived discrimination or retaliation. Protective measures may include temporary changes in working conditions, (such as changes to supervisor or office location), directives to the Complainant and Respondent to avoid personal contact or refrain from such contact without a neutral third person present and, in severe cases, suspension of an individual. 

Confidentiality of Investigation/Hearing: All proceedings against individuals relating to complaints of discrimination will be conducted confidentially by the People Center and/or Student Life officials to the extent allowed by law. So as to complete required investigations, those individuals will share information only with persons who, in the sound discretion of such officials, have a legitimate need to know, or persons from whom information is needed to complete an investigation.

Academic Discourse:  Champlain College recognizes that the protection of free and open speech and the open exchange of ideas are important to any academic community. This recognition is therefore an important element in the “reasonable person” standard used in judging whether sexual harassment or other harassment prohibited by this policy has occurred. This policy is meant neither to proscribe nor to inhibit discussion, in or out of the classroom, of complex, controversial or sensitive matters, when in the judgment of a reasonable person they arise appropriately and with respect for the dignity of others. Champlain College also recognizes, however, that verbal conduct can be used specifically to intimidate or coerce and to inhibit genuine discourse, free inquiry and learning. Such abuses are unacceptable. If someone believes that another’s speech or writing is offensive, wrong or hurtful, he or she is encouraged to express that judgment in the exercise of his or her own free speech or to seek redress under the procedures described below.

Filing a Discrimination, Harassment, Bias Incident or Hate Crime Complaint

Any Champlain College student or employee who believes that the Discrimination or Harassment Policy has been violated may file a complaint.

Discrimination or harassment complaints against College faculty and staff should be directed to the faculty or staff member’s direct supervisor or the Provost and Academic Affairs Office, Freeman Hall acadaffairs@champlain.edu   802-860-2729 and the Vice President, People and Technology at:

P.O. Box 670, Burlington, VT 05402,

telephone: 802-861-5807

peoplecenter@champlain.edu

 

Discrimination complaints against College students are handled by the Vice President of Student Life, who should be contacted at:

Student Life Office, Skiff Hall

P.O. Box 670, Burlington, VT 05402

Telephone: 802-651-5907 averill@champlain.edu 

 

All inquiries concerning compliance with disability laws regulations or auxiliary aids or services that students with disabilities would like to request in connection with participation in Champlain College programs should be directed to Skip Harris, the Director of Counseling and Accommodation Services at (802) 651-5961 or sharris@champlain.edu  (or designee) for student-related matters. Employee requests for same should be directed to the Vice President of People and Technology, mlee@champlain.edu.

How to Report a Bias Incident or Hate Crime

If anyone is injured or in danger, call 911, and notify the Office of Campus Public Safety at (802) 865-6465. If no one is injured or in danger, contact the Office of Campus Public Safety at (802) 865-6465.

Students making a report should contact one of the following:

Student Life Complaints - Vice President for Student Life at (802) 651-5907 averill@champlain.edu

Academic Complaints - Provost & Academic Affairs Office at (802) 860-2729 acadaffairs@champlain.edu

Residential Life - Director of Residential Life at (802) 860-2702 dberube@champlain.edu Area Coordinator on call - (802) 343-0719

NOTE:

  • Preserve all physical and electronically-stored evidence for the Office of Campus Public Safety.
  • If the incident occurred in a residence hall, contact the resident assistant or the Assistant Director or Area Coordinator on call at (802) 343-0719, who will then contact the Office of Campus Public Safety.

There is no such thing as an “unofficial” complaint unless the individual only shares the information with one of the mental health counselors or health service employees at the College who are bound by the ethics of confidentiality to not release information without permission except in circumstances where they believe that the safety and welfare of the individual or others may be at risk or as otherwise required by law.

Investigation Procedures

The Vice President, People and Technology and/or the Vice President of Student Life (student-to-student violations) or an appointed investigator or investigators will interview the person making the complaint, known as the “Complainant.” The complainant will then be asked to provide a signed and written statement, known as a Complaint, describing the offending conduct in detail. The Complaint will to the extent feasible provide a record of what happened including facts, dates, witnesses, actions and responses and any relevant correspondence.  If the Complainant would prefer not to submit a written complaint, a complaint can be described to a College staff member, reduced to writing, and ascribed to by the Complainant.

People Center/Student Life next determines whether the situation described in the Complaint arose in the course of a College program or activity. If so, it must also determine whether the Complaint is directed against a College employee, student, department (or similar unit), or a third-party College affiliate. If both of the above situations exist, the College will formally initiate an investigation into the matter. If it is determined that the situation did not arise in the course of a College program or activity and is not directed at an individual associated with the College as described above, the Complainant may be referred to other agencies where appropriate.

When a complaint is received, the person(s) being charged, known as the “Respondent,” will be notified promptly that an investigation has begun and will be given ample opportunity to respond to the allegations surfaced during the investigation.

The Vice President, People and Technology, the Vice President of Student Life and/or the Provost and Chief Academic Affairs Officer will assign an investigator or investigators to investigate a Complaint that falls within the scope of this Policy.

The investigator(s) will meet privately and separately with the Complainant, the Respondent(s), and any witnesses to the alleged incident(s), and will prepare a written report of the interviews and investigation. Complainants and Respondent may elect to have an advisor of choice present at these meetings.

Any investigation will be conducted with sensitivity to all parties. Confidentiality will be maintained to the greatest extent possible within the requirements of conducting reasonable investigations. Only those individuals who have a legitimate need to know may be made aware of the identity of the parties. The College strictly forbids retaliation against anyone because they have brought or supported a complaint or participated in an investigation.

The investigator(s) will issue a written report of their findings and conclusions to the People Center or Student Life. A representative from the People Center or Student Life will determine if the investigation is complete and will develop a recommendation for resolution based on the findings and conclusion of the investigators’ report.

In cases involving an employee the proposed resolution will be forwarded to the appropriate Vice President or Provost with responsibility for the department(s) in which the Complainant and the Respondent(s), work for their review and final approval.

If a Complaint is found valid, the offender may be subject to a range of disciplinary sanctions as outlined under the Discrimination and Harassment Policy up to and including termination of employment or dismissal. If the charge is not substantiated, the case will be closed.

The complainant and respondent will receive a written summary of the investigation and the conclusions of the investigation.

The respondent may invoke the appropriate grievance procedure or appeal process in response to the action taken on the findings of the Complaint.  In cases involving discrimination on the basis of sex that fall under this policy, the complainant will have an opportunity to appeal to the same extent that the respondent has an opportunity to appeal.

Appeal Procedure: Students have the right to appeal decisions and sanctions made through the process outlined above.  All appeals must be made in writing and sent to the Office of Community Standards (studentconduct@champlain.edu), and must specify the reasons for the appeal. An appeal of any decision must be received within two business days after the student has been informed of the decision.  Appeals may be heard by a conduct officer, or by an Appeal Committee, as determined at the discretion of the Office of Student Life.  Students may appeal if there was a procedural error that unfairly affected the outcome of the hearing; new information that was not reasonably available at the time of the hearing; and/or the sanctions imposed are disproportionate to the nature and severity of the offense and the cumulative conduct history of the responding party.

An Appeal Committee will consist of faculty, staff and students with training and/or experience in this process. In the interest of privacy, students do not serve on appeals of sexual misconduct cases.  The responsibility of the Appeals Committee or the conduct officer hearing the appeal is to determine a fair course of action in light of the charges and evidence presented. When the appeal is complete, the matter shall be deemed fully resolved without further recourse with the exceptions that a petition for a new hearing may be made upon the discovery of new information or upon review by the President of the College.

 

Informal Resolution of a Complaint

The People Center or Student Life may offer a person with a complaint of alleged discrimination or harassment that does not involve sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking use of an informal process for resolving their complaint prior to proceeding with the formal process. The informal process is designed to encourage an open atmosphere in which human relationships may be improved; it encourages people to resolve concerns and disputes without fear of reprisal; it enables the parties to settle disputes at the lowest possible level, quickly, fairly, and impartially.  This process will not be used in cases that involve reports of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking.

No official findings of fact are made about the existence of discriminatory behavior. Rather, emphasis is placed on identifying the source of the problem(s) between the parties and exploring ways the complaint can be resolved. People Center/Student Life will maintain a confidential record of the outcome of all informal resolution efforts.

Retaliation

The People Center and Student Life will inform all parties that the College prohibits retaliation against individuals because they have made Complaints per this procedure, served as witnesses, or otherwise cooperated with investigations, regardless of whether the People Center or Student Life ultimately determines that the alleged conduct constituted discrimination or harassment in violation of this policy. Any complainant or witness who believes he/she has been subjected to retaliatory behavior should report the conduct to the People Center or Student Life immediately. The People Center or Student life will determine whether an investigation is appropriate and, if so, it shall initiate an investigation and make findings under this procedure. Persons found to have engaged in retaliatory conduct are subject to disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, termination of employment or dismissal.

In addition, Champlain College affiliates should be aware that federal civil rights laws make it unlawful for the school to retaliate against an individual for bringing possible civil rights violations to their attention. This includes intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating against an individual because he/she complained or participated in an investigation.

False Reports

If, at any point during the process, an investigator determines that a complainant, respondent or witness has knowingly lied or deliberately provided false information to the investigator, the People Center or Student Life may recommend that disciplinary action be taken against that person. Action may include dismissal and such persons may also be subject to independent legal action by persons wrongfully accused of misconduct. A complainant whose allegations are truthful to the best of his or her knowledge will not be found to have provided false information within the meaning of this policy and procedure, even if the College does not conclude that discrimination or harassment occurred.

Protective Measures

Sometimes it is necessary to take steps before or during an investigation to protect the rights and interests of the Complainant and/or Respondent. Such measures may be designed to reduce or eliminate contact between the Complainant and/or the Respondent so that both parties may feel safe in their work/educational environment. Protective measures may also guard against further actual or perceived discrimination or retaliation. Protective measures may include temporary changes in working conditions, (such as changes to supervisor or office location), directives to the Complainant and Respondent to avoid personal contact or refrain from such contact without a neutral third person present and, in severe cases, suspension of an individual. 

CONTACT

Individuals should contact the Vice President, People and Technology (Miller Center at Lakeside Avenue, P.O. Box 670, Burlington, VT 05402, telephone: 802-651-5807  mlee@champlain.edu or Vice President, Student Life, Skiff Hall, 163 South Willard St. Burlington, VT 802-651-5907 averill@champlain.edu or the Provost at 802-865-6423, lquinn@champlain.edu with any questions, discrimination complaints, inquiries concerning compliance with regulations or if reasonable accommodations are needed to participate in Champlain College programs or to apply for admission or employment.

Individuals may also contact the following State and Federal agencies concerning the application of nondiscrimination policies and enforcement of rights:

Employees may contact:

Vermont Attorney General’s Office, Civil Rights Unit,

109 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05609-1001

(802-828-3171/VOICE/TDD)

 

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

John F. Kennedy Federal Office Building

Government Center, Room 475

Boston, MA 02203

(1-800-669-4000/VOICE or 1-800-669-6820/TDD)

www.eeoc.gov

 

Students may contact:

United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights

J.W. McCormack, Post Office Court House Building, Room 701

Boston, MA 02109-4557

(617-223-9662/VOICE)

 

Vermont Human Rights Commission

135 State Street, 2nd Floor, Drawer 33

Montpelier, VT 05633-6301

(802-828-2480/VOICE/TDD or 800-416-2010/VOICE)

 

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (if the issue arises in a student employment situation)
John F. Kennedy Federal Office Building
475 Government Center
Boston, MA 02203
(800) 669-4000 (voice), (800) 669-6820 (TDD)
www.eeoc.gov

Complaints to Agencies Outside of the College

The College has formal and informal dispute resolution mechanisms that are described in this catalog, and that are available to students on the terms described in this catalog. In addition, if you wish to file a complaint with the College’s accreditor (the New England Association of Schools and Colleges), with the Vermont Department of Education, with the Vermont Human Rights Commission, and/or with the Vermont Attorney General’s Office (employees), the contact information for each entity is, respectively, as follows:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, 209 Burlington Rd, Suite 201, Bedford, MA 01730-1433. Phone: (781) 271-0022; Fax: (781) 271-0950. Web: www.neasc.org .
  • Vermont Department of Education, 120 State Street - Montpelier, VT 05620-2501. Phone: (802) 828-3135. Web: www.education.vermont.gov
  • Vermont Human Rights Commission, 14-16 Baldwin Street, Montpelier, VT 05633-6301. Phone: (800) 416-2010, x25; Fax: (802) 828-2481; (877) 294-9200 (TTY). Web: http://hrc.vermont.gov .
  • Vermont Attorney General’s Office, 109 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05609-1001. Phone: (802) 828-3171 (802) 828-3665 (TTY). Web: http://www.atg.state.vt.us.

A statement from the Vermont Department of Education about resolution of complaints regarding postsecondary education-related matters is available at: http://education.ermont.gov/documents/EDU-Complaint_Resolution_Statement_for_Postsecondary_Education_Matters.pdf

8.13  SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

Special Provisions Relating to Complaints of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence or Stalking

Please note that this information should be viewed in conjunction with the Discrimination and Harassment Policy and the Complaint Procedure and Investigation Procedures. Where there are differences between these Special Provisions and the more general provisions of the Complaint Procedure and Investigation Procedures, the different Special Provisions outlined below will apply in cases involving reports of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, as defined below.

In cases where reported incidents involving potential sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking also involve potential violations of other College policies, all such policy violations will be investigated and adjudicated under the procedures outlined below and as incorporated by reference into the Complaint Procedure and Investigation Procedures.

PURPOSE OF THE POLICY

Champlain College is committed to providing its staff, faculty and students the opportunity to pursue excellence in their academic and professional endeavors. This opportunity can only exist when each member of our community is assured an atmosphere of mutual respect, free from unlawful discrimination and harassment. This Policy outlines expectations regarding how individuals who are members of the Champlain College community are to treat others in order to ensure such an atmosphere of mutual respect and a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff.

Scope

It is an essential goal of Champlain College to provide and maintain a safe campus for all members of its community, free from violence and threats of violence.  Sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking will not be tolerated on campus, including in residential halls, offices and other facilities owned or leased by the College, or in connection with College programs on or off campus.  Champlain College students, employees or covered third party respondents who engage in sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking on campus or who use campus facilities, property, vehicles, communications media (such as phones, fax, e-mail, texting or social networking sites) or other resources to engage in such activity are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension or dismissal from College enrollment and/or employment, and criminal prosecution.

As an educational institution, Champlain College is committed to promoting, through education and awareness-raising activities, a campus environment where sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking are recognized as serious violations of the student Standard of Conduct and the College’s employment policies and where individuals who have or believe they have been subjected to such misconduct are provided support and avenues of redress as appropriate.  These forms of misconduct are prohibited by the College. Additionally, gender-based discrimination and harassment, sexual harassment and sexual violence are prohibited by a federal law known as Title IX. The College’s Vice President for Student Life serves as the College’s Title IX Coordinator. In that role, the Title IX Coordinator has oversight responsibility for Title IX-related complaints and identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems that arise during the review of such complaints. Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, or to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”). The Vice President for Student Life’s contact information is: Leslie Averill, Student Life, (802) 651-5907, averill@champlain.edu. OCR’s contact information is listed below.

Champlain College prohibits conduct by students, employees and covered third party respondents that affects other students and covered third parties and that constitutes sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, as defined below.  The College prohibits sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking as those types of misconduct are defined in the federal Clery Act.  While this policy uses Clery Act definitions (and prohibits other misconduct as a matter of College policy as well), the College determines responsibility for such conduct through its own procedures and standard of proof (that is, by a preponderance of the evidence), not through the procedures or standards of proof employed in the criminal justice system.

Definitions

The definitions outlined immediately apply as a matter of Champlain College policy in all locations where Champlain College operates its programs.

Title IX Coordinator:  The Title IX Coordinator has oversight responsibility for sexual misconduct and sexual harassment-related complaints and identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems that arise during the review of such complaints.  The Title IX Coordinator also has oversight responsibility for domestic and dating violence and stalking-related issues.  The Title IX Coordinator is available to meet with students, employees or covered third parties who have questions or concerns about these issues.

Complainant:  For purposes of this policy, a complainant is usually a student, employee, or third party involved in some way in an academic, athletic, extracurricular or residential program of the College (“covered third party complainant”) who has allegedly been subjected to conduct in violation of this policy by a student, employee or covered third party respondent.

In some cases (such as, for example, cases in which a student, employee or covered third party complainant involved in an alleged incident of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking does not wish to participate in the process but the College decides that the alleged misconduct needs to be investigated and addressed), the College may move forward with an investigation and/or related disciplinary proceedings. In such cases, the College may extend the full rights of a complainant as defined in this policy to affected parties as deemed appropriate by the College. For ease of reference and consistency, the term “complainant” is used hereafter in this policy to refer to a person who believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, or who is believed by another person or the College to have possibly been subjected to such conduct.

Respondent: For purposes of this policy, a respondent is a student, employee or third party over whom the College has some type of control or jurisdiction (“covered third party respondent”) who is reported to have violated the College’s Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Policy.  For ease of reference and consistency, the term “respondent” is used hereafter in this policy to refer to a student, employee or covered third party respondent who is believed by a complainant or other reporting person to have, or who the College believes possibly may have, engaged in sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking toward or with a student, employee or covered third party.

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment of students, employees, or covered third parties by students, employees or covered third parties is prohibited by Champlain College.  Sexual Harassment is defined as: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Such conduct constitutes sexual harassment when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting that individual; or
  • The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive employment, education or living environment.

Examples of verbal or physical conduct that could constitute sexual harassment if they meet the standards described above (and may violate other portions of this policy as well) may include, but are not limited to:

  • either explicitly or implicitly conditioning any term of employment or educational decision on the provision of sexual favors;
  • touching or grabbing any part of a person’s body after that person has indicated, or it is known or should be known that such physical contact is unwelcome;
  • continuing to ask a person to socialize on or off-campus when that person has indicated he or she is not interested;
  • displaying or transmitting sexually suggestive pictures, objects, cartoons, or posters if it is known or should be known that the behavior is unwelcome;
  • continuing to write sexually suggestive notes or letters if it is known or should be known that the person does not welcome such behavior;
  • referring to or calling a person a sexualized name if it is known or should be known that the person does not welcome such behavior;
  • telling sexual jokes or using sexually vulgar or explicit language in the presence of a person if it is known or should be known that the person does not welcome such behavior;
  • retaliating in any way against anyone who has filed or supported a complaint of sexual harassment (e.g. ostracizing the person, pressuring the person to drop or not support the complaint, adversely altering that person’s educational, shared living, or work environment, etc.);
  • directing harassing acts or behavior against a person on the basis of his or her sex; or
  • off-campus conduct which falls within the above definition and affects a person’s on-campus educational, shared living, or work environment.

The College encourages reports of unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature (regardless of whether such conduct necessarily or obviously meets the full definition of sexual harassment above) so that it can determine whether this policy has been violated and take appropriate responsive action.  Prohibited sexual harassment can occur regardless of the sex, gender identity or sexual orientation of any individual involved.

Sexual Misconduct: Sexual misconduct may include sexual assault, sexual exploitation, or both.

Sexual Assault: 
Sexual assault may be either rape, fondling without consent, incest, or statutory rape, as defined in the Clery Act and below.  Rape is the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.  Fondling is the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent (as defined below) of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.  Incest is sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law in the applicable jurisdiction.  Statutory rape is sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent in the applicable jurisdiction.

Sexual assault can be committed by any person against any other person, regardless of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or past or current relationship status. Sexual assault may occur with or without physical resistance or violence.

Sexual assault is defined as including participating in a sexual act with another person:

  • By compelling the other person to participate in the sexual act without consent; or
  • By threatening or coercing the other person; or
  • By placing the other person in fear that any person will suffer imminent bodily injury; or
  • By impairing substantially the ability of the other person to appraise or control conduct by administering or employing drugs or intoxicants without the knowledge of or against the will of the other person; or
  • When the respondent knows, or reasonably should know based on an objective standard, that the other person’s ability to give or withhold consent is impaired:
    • by the consumption of drugs, alcohol or other intoxicants; or
    • because the other person is subject to a physical or mental incapacity such as sleep or unconsciousness.
  • By participating in situations when the other person is physically incapable of resisting or of communicating an unwillingness to participate; or
  • By participating in situations when the other participant is under the age of 16.

Domestic Violence: Domestic violence is violence or the threat of imminent violence committed-

  • By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the person subjected to the violence;
  • By a person with whom the person subjected to the violence shares a child in common;
  • By a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the person subjected to the violence as a spouse or intimate partner;
  • By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the person subjected to the violence under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the violence occurred, or;
  • By any other person against an adult or youth who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the violence occurred.

As a matter of Champlain College policy, the College strictly prohibits conduct that would constitute domestic violence as defined above. The College encourages complainants who believe they are being or have been subjected to such conduct and others with knowledge of such conduct, to report the conduct to the College through the procedures described below, and to seek the support of the College and/or external resources identified in this policy.

Dating Violence: Dating violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the person subjected to the violence.  The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

For the purposes of this definition, dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse, if involving individuals who are or have been dating as defined here.

Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence stated above.

As a matter of Champlain College policy, the College strictly prohibits conduct that would constitute dating violence as defined above. The College encourages individuals who believe they are being or have been subjected to such conduct, and others with knowledge of such conduct, to report the conduct to the College through the procedures described below, and to seek the support of the College and/or external resources identified in this policy.

Stalking: 
”Stalking” is defined as engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to-

  • Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or
  • Suffer substantial emotional distress.

For the purposes of this definition-

  • Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the alleged stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
  • Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the person subjected to the stalking.
  • Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

As a matter of Champlain College policy, the College strictly prohibits stalking as defined above. The College encourages complainants who believe that they are being or have been subjected to such conduct, and others with knowledge of such conduct, to report the conduct to the College through the procedures described below, and to seek the support of the College and/or external resources identified in this policy.

When part of a pattern of behavior that falls within the definition of stalking described above, examples of stalking behaviors or activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Non-consensual communication, including face-to-face communication, telephone calls, voice messages, e-mails, text messages, written letters, gifts, or any other communications that are unwelcome;
  • Use of online, electronic or digital technologies in connection with such communication, including but not limited to:
    • posting of pictures or text in chat rooms or on websites;
    • sending unwanted/unsolicited e-mail or talk requests;
    • posting private or public messages on Internet sites, social networks, and/or school bulletin boards;
    • installing spyware on a person’s computer;
    • using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) or similar technology to monitor a person.
  • Pursuing, following, waiting, or showing up uninvited at or near a residence, workplace, classroom, or other places frequented by the person;
  • Surveillance or other types of observation including staring or “peeping”;
  • Trespassing;
  • Vandalism;
  • Non-consensual touching;
  • Direct verbal or physical threats;
  • Gathering information about an individual from friends, family, or co-workers;
  • Accessing private information through unauthorized means;
  • Threats to harm self or others;
  • Using a third party or parties to accomplish any of the above.

Consent: For purposes of this policy, “consent” is defined as follows:

  • Consent is a voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity, demonstrated by words or actions freely and actively given by each party, which a reasonable person would interpret as a willingness to participate in agreed-upon sexual conduct;
  • Someone who is incapacitated cannot effectively consent (such as when a person is incapacitated by the use of drugs or alcohol, when a person is asleep or unconscious, or when a person has an intellectual or other disability that prevents the person from having the capacity to give consent);
  • Past consent does not imply future consent;
  • Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent;
  • Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply to consent to engage in sexual activity with another;
  • Consent can be withdrawn at any time; and
  • Coercion, force or threat of either invalidates consent.

The College will use an objective standard when determining whether a complainant was incapacitated; that is, the College will determine whether from the standpoint of a reasonable (and not incapacitated or intoxicated) person, the respondent knew or should have known that the complainant could not effectively consent because he or she was incapacitated.  It is the responsibility of those who initiate and/or engage in sexual activity to be clear that informed, voluntary consent is given before proceeding with further sexual activity.  It should be noted that ignorance of the policy noted above, or the intoxication of the respondent, will not (particularly given the College’s objective standard) be considered an excuse for violating this policy.

Sexual Exploitation: Sexual Exploitation occurs when a person takes sexual advantage of another person for the benefit of anyone other than that other person without that other person’s consent.  Examples of behavior that could constitute sexual exploitation include but are not limited to the following:

  • intentional non-consensual contact with the private body parts of a person that does not meet the definition of behaviors prohibited under the definition of “sexual assault” found above;
  • prostituting another person;
  • recording or capturing through any means images (e.g., video and photographs) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nudity without that person’s consent;
  • distributing images (e.g., video or photographs) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts or nudity if the individual distributing the images or audio knows or should have known that the person(s) depicted in the images or audio did not consent to such disclosure and object(s) or would object to such disclosure; and,
  • viewing another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts or nudity in a place where that person had a reasonable expectation of privacy, without that person’s consent, if the individual viewing the other person(s) sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nudity in such a place knows or should have known that the person(s) being viewed would object to that.
  • Exception: Champlain College’s prohibition of sexual exploitation is not intended to prohibit the use of sexually explicit materials that are reasonably related to Champlain College’s academic mission.Specifically this section is not intended to proscribe or inhibit the use of sexually explicit materials in or out of the classroom, when in the judgment of a “reasonable person” they arise appropriately to promote genuine discourse, free inquiry and learning.

Confidentiality

The College understands that individuals who have concerns about sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking may look for assurances of confidentiality.  The College encourages individuals who may have been subjected to these forms of misconduct and/or crime to talk to somebody about what happened, so they can get the support they need, and the College can respond appropriately to the extent appropriate and possible given the circumstances and/or the complainant’s wishes.  Different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain confidentiality about these issues.

Almost all College employees are considered “responsible employees” who have the obligation to report sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking to the Title IX Coordinator (averill@champlain.edu.) or other College officials. The only exception to this are those employees listed under “Confidential Resources” below. Responsible employees are respectful of a complainant’s wishes to the extent appropriate and are discreet, but they are not able to guarantee confidentiality.  General inquiries or questions about the Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Policy and procedures may remain private, and the College will strive to protect the privacy of individuals to the extent it can while maintaining its obligations to uphold relevant policies and regulations and/or to take reasonable steps to promote the safety of members of the College community.  Otherwise, responsible employees will report relevant details (such as the name of the complainant and respondent, any witnesses, and other relevant facts, such as the date, time and specific location of the alleged incident(s)) to the Title IX Coordinator or other College officials. The College will then investigate the report and take reasonable steps to provide appropriate remedies, impose sanctions as appropriate, and prevent recurrence of the behavior.

Reporting and Resources

If you feel that you may have experienced an incident of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, immediately contacting appropriate College offices and/or local agencies can be a strong first step. Counseling staff, Student Health Center staff, Campus Public Safety staff, Residential Life staff and administrative staff are available to assist students, and the People Center (formerly known as Human Resources) staff is available to assist employees. 

Confidentiality is strictly observed by professional staff at the Student Health and Wellness Center (confidentiality issues are addressed in more detail below). Non-confidential resources available to students include Campus Public Safety at (802) 865-6465 or any emergency call box (blue light phone), a Residential Life staff member, or the Burlington Police (911). RAs and Campus Public Safety Officers can contact the counselor on call for immediate confidential support. In addition, students may go directly to the emergency services department at the University of Vermont Medical Center where additional confidential assistance is available.  Both confidential and non-confidential resources are trained to respond to reports of sexual misconduct with sensitivity and discretion.

College staff are available to assist you in seeking help from outside law enforcement and health care resources.  Even if you are unsure initially whether you will want to pursue criminal charges or seek a protection order, preserving all possible evidence in case you decide at some point to report can be helpful. Therefore, refraining from changing clothes, showering or otherwise changing your physical state after an incident, until after you have consulted with medical personnel, campus public safety and/or law enforcement about how to best preserve evidence, may be in your best interests. You can also consult with College officials, law enforcement officers or health care professionals regarding your ability to have evidence collected by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (“SANE”). Preserving other evidence that may be relevant to a case of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence or dating violence or stalking, such as text messages, email messages, other electronically stored information, and other physical evidence can also prove helpful. If you have questions about how to do this, please consult with College officials, confidential resources, or law enforcement.

Seek medical and counseling help immediately. Prompt medical and counseling attention will help begin the healing process and will also assist in preservation of evidence. Your health and safety are of utmost importance. You can call one of the offices listed immediately below with questions about how to get help and best preserve evidence.

Consider reporting the incident to Campus Public Safety and local law enforcement authorities.  It is recommended that you take advantage of the opportunity to report any incident of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking to campus public safety and/or local law enforcement authorities.  Your well-being is paramount; you have the option to notify law enforcement authorities, to be assisted by College authorities in notifying law enforcement authorities if you choose, or to decline to notify law enforcement authorities.  The College will assist you in contacting law enforcement if you choose to have the College do so.  Making a police report involves contacting the appropriate law enforcement officials (again, with the College’s assistance if you wish), describing your experience, and working with them if a criminal prosecution is pursued.  College authority and local law enforcement contact information is listed below.  

In cases where there appears to be an imminent safety risk, the College may be required to pursue an internal investigation or disciplinary proceeding itself, and/or to involve local law enforcement authorities as necessary.  In assessing such situations the College will consider factors discussed below.

Protective Measures: Sometimes it is necessary for the College to take steps before or during an investigation to protect the rights and interests of the Complainant and/or Respondent. Such measures may be designed to reduce or eliminate contact between the Complainant and/or the Respondent so that both parties may feel safe in their work/educational environment. Protective measures may also guard against further actual or perceived discrimination, violence, stalking or retaliation. Protective measures may include temporary changes in working conditions, (such as changes to supervisor or office location), change in class or work schedule, change in on campus residence and directives to the Complainant and Respondent to avoid personal contact or refrain from such contact without a neutral third person present and, in severe cases, suspension of an individual.

It is not necessary to file a complaint, participate in an adjudication process, or file a criminal complaint in order to request services or accommodations from the College. These may include but are not limited to:

  • No Contact Orders restricting encounters and communications between the parties;
  • No Trespass Notices prohibiting the presence of an individual on Champlain College property, or other properties on which Champlain College programs are occurring;
  • Academic accommodations, including but not limited to deadline extensions, incompletes, course changes or late drops, or other arrangements as appropriate;
  • Residential accommodations, including but not limited to arranging for new housing, or providing temporary housing options, as appropriate;
  • Changing transportation or working arrangements or providing other employment accommodations, as appropriate;
  • Assisting the individual in accessing support services, including, as available, victim advocacy, academic support, counseling, disability, health or mental health services, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid services, and legal assistance both on and off campus, as applicable (see list of resources below);
  • Informing the individual of the right to report a crime to local law enforcement and/or seek orders of protection, restraining orders, or relief from abuse orders from United States courts or courts outside of the United States as applicable, and providing assistance if the individual wishes to do so. Champlain College will also work with complainants and others as appropriate to respect and implement the requirements of such orders on premises that it owns or controls, as necessary and appropriate.

Where a complainant reportedly subjected to sexual assault, domestic or dating violence or stalking makes a reasonable request for accommodations like those described above, the College is obligated to comply with that request if such accommodations are reasonably available.

Students and employees seeking services, protective measures, and/or accommodations should direct their request to the Title IX coordinator or designee, who will refer the individual to other resources as appropriate. The request will be evaluated and responded to by the Title IX coordinator or designee.  Factors to be considered in determining reasonable services or accommodations may include the following:

  • the specific need expressed by the complainant;
  • the severity and/or pervasiveness of the allegations;
  • any continuing effects on the complainant;
  • whether the complainant and the respondent share the same residence hall, dining hall, class, extracurricular activities, transportation or job location; and
  • whether other judicial measures have been taken to protect the complainant.

The College will maintain as confidential any services, accommodations or protective measures provided to complainants, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the College to provide the services, accommodations or protective measures. As such, the College may need to disclose some information about the individual to a third party to provide the necessary accommodations or protective measures in a timely manner. The Title IX Coordinator or designee is/are typically responsible for determining what information should be disclosed and to whom it should be disclosed.  The decision to disclose information will be made after careful consideration of possible alternatives to disclosure and/or limiting the information provided to the third party as much as possible without compromising the College’s ability to provide the services, accommodations or protective measures.

E4 Health, the College’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for counseling support for faculty and staff who are seeking confidential resources for counseling.  They will put you in touch with a local counselor who is covered on the College’s health insurance plan.   E4 Health can be accessed here.

Continued educational or employment experience:  Every reasonable attempt will be made to support the continued educational or employment experience of an individual reportedly subjected to conduct in violation of this policy within a safe and comfortable environment on campus, including opportunities for assistance in changing academic, living situations, transportation and working situations after an alleged incident within the scope of this policy, if such changes are reasonably requested and if such changes are reasonably available.  Individuals do not have to pursue a criminal or College disciplinary system complaint in order to request such assistance from the College.

Relief From Abuse Orders: Individuals who are being or who may have been subjected to sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking may have the right to obtain orders of protection, restraining orders and/or relief from abuse orders from Vermont courts. The College will support complainants if they wish to have the College’s assistance in making contact with law enforcement authorities and other external resources to seek such orders. The College will respect such orders to the extent applicable.  The College does not have judicial authority to issue civil protection orders, but it can impose no-contact conditions on students, employees and third parties over which it has some measure of control. The College will inform complainants of their options in this regard.

Mental Health Counselors and Health Services Professionals as Confidential Resources for Students:

On-campus counseling services are available 24 hours a day to all students. Students are encouraged to work with College counselors, who will provide confidential counseling or refer students to local police, mental health agencies and other off-campus agencies if appropriate and/or as requested by the student. 

At Champlain College, the professional counselors at the Student Health and Wellness Center respect and protect confidential communications from students to the extent that they are able to do so under applicable law. This means that in most cases, these confidential resources will not inform anyone of such communications without a student’s consent, and the College will not endeavor to take any action in response to such communications.

These professionals may have the responsibility to disclose otherwise-privileged information appropriately when they perceive an immediate and/or serious threat to any person or property. In addition, medical and mental health professionals are required by law to report any allegation of sexual assault of a person under age 18.  Students who wish to talk about sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking-related issues confidentially, with the understanding that the College will not take any action based on such confidential communications, are encouraged to contact one of these confidential resources.  In accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”), these confidential resources will not report to public safety Clery crimes they learn about through confidential communications for purposes of the College’s compilation of campus crime statistics, but may be required to report de-identified information to public safety as required by the Clery Act if they learn about the information in an administrative or other capacity.  Identifying information will not be included in such reports.

If an individual who makes a report to a confidential resource and insists that his or her name or other identifiable information not be revealed, the College will be unable to conduct an investigation into the particular incident or pursue disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator.  Even so, these confidential resources will still assist the individual in receiving other necessary protection and support, such as existing counseling, victim advocacy, academic support or accommodations, disability, health or mental health services, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid, and other services available to victims both within the College and in the community  and changes to living, working or course schedules or working, living, academic and/or transportation situations or protective measures. An individual who at first requests confidentiality may later decide to file a complaint with the College or report the incident to local law enforcement, and thus have the incident fully investigated.  These confidential resources will provide the individual with assistance if the individual wishes to pursue those options, regardless of whether the individual wishes to pursue a complaint within the College or with outside law enforcement.

Contact information for confidential resources is as follows: 

Skip Harris, M.S. Director, Student Health and Wellness

Phone: 802-651-5961

Fax: 802-860-2764

sharris@champlain.edu

 

Luke Lewis, M.S., LCMHC, Assistant Director, Counselor, Alcohol/Drug Educator

Phone: 802-651-5959

Fax: 802-860-2764

llewis@champlain.edu

 

Denise Myers, M.S., Counselor and 504 Coordinator

Phone: 802-865-5484

Fax: 802-860-2764

dmyers@champlain.edu

 

Maggie Riley, M.S., N.C.C., Counselor/Accommodations Specialist  

Phone: 802-651-5847

Fax: 802-860-2764

mriley@champlain.edu

 

Kara Berg, M.A., Counselor

Phone:  802-865-5722

Fax: 802-860-2764

kberg@champlain.edu

 

Annika Hawkins-Hilke, MSH/MPH, Family Nurse Practitioner, Health and Wellness Coordinator

Phone: 802-860-2711

Fax:  802-860-2761

ahawkinshilke@champlain.edu 

 

Off Campus Resources

 

Burlington Police

1 North Avenue, Burlington

802-658-2704

 

Fletcher Allen Hospital

111 Colchester Avenue

802-847-0000

 

Steps To End Domestic Violence

294 N Winooski Ave

(802) 658-1996

 

Hope Works

(Ending Sexual Violence)

Burlington, VT

24 HOUR HOTLINE 802.863.1236 or 1.800.489.7273

 

RU12 (LGBTQ Alliance)

255 S Champlain St Suite 12, Burlington

(802) 860-7812

 

Chittenden District Courthouse

32 Cherry Street

802- 651-1900

 

Howard Center 

208 Flynn Ave 

802-488-6103

 

Pearl Street Youth Health Center

179 Pearl Street

802-652-1080

 

Vermont Legal Aid

264 N Winooski Ave, Burlington, VT 05401

(800) 889-2047

 

 

Additional On-Campus Resources

In addition to the on-campus resources listed above, these additional resources may prove helpful.

 

Office of International Education

James Cross

(802) 383-6633

 

The People Center (formerly Human Resources)

Mary Lee

(802) 651-5807

 

Office of Financial Aid

Kristi Jovell

(802) 865-5728

 

Reporting to “Responsible Employees”

Again, almost all College employees are responsible employees and have the obligation to report sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking to the Title IX Coordinator, Leslie Averill, averill@champlain.edu, or , or other College officials. “Responsible employees” are all College employees (with the exception of those listed above under Confidential Resources) who have the authority to address sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, who have a duty to report related incidents to the Title IX Coordinator or other College officials, or who a student or employee could reasonably believe has such authority or duty.  Responsible employees are respectful of a complainant’s wishes to the extent appropriate and are discreet, but they are not able to guarantee confidentiality.  General inquiries or questions about the Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Policy and procedures may remain private, and the College will strive to protect the privacy of individuals to the extent it can while maintaining its obligations to uphold relevant policies and regulations and/or to take reasonable steps to promote the safety of members of the College community.  Otherwise, responsible employees will report relevant details (such as the name of the complainant and respondent, any witnesses, and other relevant facts, such as the date, time and specific location of the alleged incident) to the Title IX Coordinator or other College officials. The College will then investigate the report and take reasonable steps to provide appropriate remedies, impose sanctions as appropriate, and prevent recurrence of the behavior.

If a complainant discloses an incident to a responsible employee but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the College will weigh that request against the College’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, faculty and staff. 

Factors to be considered may include but are not limited to consideration of circumstances suggesting that there is a risk of the alleged perpetrator committing additional acts of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking involving the complainant or others in the campus community, whether the College has received other similar complaints regarding the alleged perpetrator, whether the alleged perpetrator has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of violence, whether the alleged perpetrator threatened or appears to pose a risk of further sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking against the complainant or others, whether sexual violence was allegedly committed by multiple perpetrators, whether a pattern of perpetration (e.g., more than one report involving a particular location or group), whether violence was perpetrated with a weapon, and whether the College possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence. 

The Title IX Coordinator will in most cases determine whether the College needs to perform an investigation and/or take some other action in cases where a complainant would prefer complete confidentiality. If for some reason the Title IX Coordinator is not able or is not the appropriate person to make such a determination, the determination will be made by an appropriate person designated by the Vice President of the People Center. .

If an individual who makes a report insists that their name or other identifiable information not be revealed and the College is able to respect that request, the individual must understand that the College will be unable to conduct an investigation into the particular incident or pursue disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator.

The College will protect the confidentiality of individuals allegedly subjected to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence and/or stalking to the extent practicable in light of the need to do investigations and conduct disciplinary proceedings.  Campus security authorities who become aware of Clery crimes will report them to the College’s Office of Campus Public Safety so that they may be included in the College’s compilation of campus crime statistics.  The College will not include the names of complainants or other identifying information in publicly-available reports that are compiled as required by the Clery Act.

Investigation Procedures

The Vice President, People and Technology, the Vice President of Student Life and/or the Provost and Chief Academic Affairs Officer will assign an investigator or investigators to investigate a Complaint that falls within the scope of this policy.

The investigator(s) will meet privately and separately with the Complainant, the Respondent(s), and any witnesses to the alleged incident(s), and will prepare a written report of the interviews and investigation. Complainants and Respondents may elect to have an advisor of choice present at these meetings.

The following procedural features apply to cases that involve allegations of sexual harassment and/or sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, notwithstanding any other provisions in this policy, or otherwise-utilized practices to the contrary.

For both students and employees, sexual harassment/domestic violence/dating violence/sexual assault-specific features of the investigation and adjudication process will include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Proceedings will provide a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution (i.e., proceedings will be completed within reasonably prompt timeframes designated by College policy (and the College will provide written notice to the parties where extensions of timeframes are granted for good cause, and the reason for the extension), they will be conducted in a manner that is consistent with College policy and transparent to the parties, timely notice of meetings will be provided to the parties, the parties will have equal access to any information that will be used during the meetings and other proceedings, and College officials involved will not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against any party);
  • Proceedings will be conducted by officials who receive annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of complainants and promotes accountability;
  • The complainant and respondent are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during an institutional disciplinary proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by an advisor of their choice;
  • Both the complainant and the respondent will be simultaneously informed, in writing: a) of the outcome of any College disciplinary proceeding that arises from an allegation of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking; b) of  the College’s procedures for the complainant and respondent to appeal the results of the College disciplinary proceeding; c) of any change to the results that occurs prior to the time that such results become final; and d) when such results become final;
  • Throughout the College’s investigation and any hearings, the complainant and the respondent will have an equal opportunity to present relevant witnesses and other evidence, they will be afforded similar and timely access to any information that will be used at any hearing, they will be allowed a similar opportunity to present character witnesses (but only if either party is allowed to do so), and each party will have a similar opportunity to review statements provided by the other party;
  • Direct cross-examination of the complainant by the respondent will not be allowed;
  • Both the complainant and the respondent will have an equal right to file an appeal, if the respondent is in fact provided with an opportunity to appeal under otherwise-applicable procedures;
  • The College’s investigation and adjudication of  such a case will ordinarily be completed within 60 days of the College’s first receiving notice of the complaint (exclusive of the time for any applicable appeal), absent extenuating circumstances (if a party has a need to extend one of these time lines, he or she should contact the Title IX Coordinator or designee who is administering the investigation and/or hearing process and provide a written request for an extension that includes reference to the duration of the proposed extension and the basis for the request; the responsible person will decide whether or not to grant the request or provide a shorter extension, and will inform the other party of that decision).

Appeal Procedure

Students have the right to appeal decisions made in these cases.  All appeals must be made in writing and sent to the Office of Community Standards (studentconduct@champlain.edu), and must specify the reasons for the appeal. An appeal of any decision must be received within two business days after the student has been informed of the decision.  Appeals may be heard by a conduct officer, or by an Appeal Committee.  Students may appeal if there was a procedural error that unfairly affected the outcome of the hearing; new information that was not reasonably available at the time of the hearing; the sanctions imposed are disproportionate to the nature and severity of the offense and the cumulative conduct history of the responding party.

The Appeal Committee will consist of faculty and/or staff with training and/or experience in this process. In the interest of privacy, students do not serve on appeals of sexual misconduct cases.  The responsibility of the Appeals Committee or the conduct officer hearing the appeal is to determine a fair course of action in light of the charges and evidence presented. When the appeal is complete, the matter shall be deemed fully resolved without further recourse with the exceptions that a petition for a new hearing may be made upon the discovery of new information or upon review by the President of the College.

Retaliation

The College does not tolerate retaliation against individuals who have made a good faith report of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking.  Retaliation against an individual because they have reported, in good faith, unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, or because they have cooperated in the investigation of a complaint of such conduct, violates this policy and may be unlawful.  Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, adverse actions that have a substantial adverse effect on the working or educational environment of any individual involved in the complaint or an investigation, such as:

  • intimidation;
  • reprisal;
  • ostracism;
  • actions altering the person’s assignments, assessment of their work, or their living and learning environment;
  • threats;
  • coercion; or
  • otherwise discriminating against any individual for exercising their rights or responsibilities under this policy.

Any person who believes that they have been subjected to such retaliation should follow the complaint resolution procedures outlined in this policy and the College’s Complaint Procedure and Investigation Procedures. The College will take strong responsive action if it finds that retaliation in violation of this policy has occurred. 

False Reports

If, at any point during the process, an investigator determines that a complainant, respondent or witness has knowingly lied or deliberately provided false information to the investigator, the People Center or Student Life may recommend that disciplinary action be taken against that person. Action may include dismissal and such persons may also be subject to independent legal action by persons wrongfully accused of misconduct. A complainant whose allegations are truthful to the best of his or her knowledge will not be found to have provided false information within the meaning of this policy and procedure, even if the College does not conclude that discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking occurred.

Other Conduct Issues

The College has a Good Samaritan statement, which allows the College to ignore alcohol violations that occur in the course of more serious conduct issues.  This often applies to sexual misconduct investigations and other investigations within the scope of these provisions.  In other words, when, for example, alcohol use is reported in these investigations, the College does not intend to sanction students for that use.  However, when in the course of an investigation into sexual misconduct or other misconduct covered by these provisions, information about other serious policy violations is discovered, the College reserves the right to investigate those additional violations concurrently. 

Sanctions  

Remedies or sanctions for violations of the College’s policy against sexual harassment, or its policy against sexual misconduct that does not constitute sexual assault, may include but are not limited to:

  • verbal or written warning;
  • training;
  • counseling;
  • probation;
  • no contact order;
  • no trespass order;
  • suspension of a student’s enrollment (with or without case-specific conditions on re-enrollment), or suspension of an employee without pay;
  • dismissal from employment;
  • dismissal from the College;
  • temporary or permanent transfer to a different position;
  • class or academic re-assignment;
  • reassignment of work or academic work; or
  • alteration of living or work environment.

Remedies or sanctions for violations of the College’s policies against sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking may include:

  • probation;
  • suspension of a student’s enrollment (with or without case-specific conditions on re-enrollment), or suspension of an employee with or without pay;
  • dismissal from employment;
  • dismissal from the College;
  • temporary or permanent transfer to a different employment position;
  • reassignment of work or academic work; or
  • alteration of living or work environment.

Prevention

As an educational institution, Champlain College is committed to promoting, through education and awareness-raising activities, a campus environment where sexual harassment, sexual misconduct (including sexual violence), domestic violence, dating violence and stalking are recognized as serious violations of the Standard of Conduct and where individuals who have or believe they have been subjected to such misconduct are provided support and avenues of redress as appropriate.  These forms of misconduct, as defined above, are prohibited by the College.  All first-year students are strongly encouraged to attend an orientation program during the first week of school that focuses on sexual violence, non-stranger sexual assault and the role of alcohol as a risk factor. Programs in personal safety with an emphasis on sexual violence prevention, bystander intervention, and risk reduction strategies are offered throughout the year.  The College will also offer initial awareness programming and an ongoing campaign of educational programming to students and employees regarding domestic violence, dating violence, sexual misconduct, and stalking, and regarding related bystander intervention and risk reduction strategies.  The College offers a Bystander Intervention Program in order to provide more prevention education opportunities. Additional training for faculty and staff will be offered in person and online. All new employees will be trained upon hire.  More information about the College’s education and prevention efforts and programs is provided in the College’s Annual Security Report.

Contact

Individuals should contact the Vice President, Student Life and Title IX Coordinator, Leslie Averill 802-651-5907, averill@champlain.edu with any questions, discrimination complaints, inquiries concerning compliance with Title IX and the Special Provisions outlined above.  Employees can also contact the Vice President, People and Technology (Miller Center at Lakeside Avenue, P.O. Box 670, Burlington, VT 05402, telephone: 802-651-5807, mlee@champlain.edu regarding any concerns about the issues covered in these Special Provisions.

Individuals may also contact the following State and Federal agencies concerning the application of nondiscrimination policies and enforcement of rights:

Employees may contact:

Vermont Attorney General’s Office, Civil Rights Unit,

109 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05609-1001

(802-828-3171/VOICE/TDD)

 

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

John F. Kennedy Federal Office Building

Government Center, Room 475

Boston, MA 02203

(1-800-669-4000/VOICE or 1-800-669-6820/TDD)

www.eeoc.gov

Students may contact:

United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights

J.W. McCormack, Post Office Court House Building, Room 701

Boston, MA 02109-4557

(617-223-9662/VOICE)

 

Vermont Human Rights Commission

135 State Street, 2nd Floor, Drawer 33

Montpelier, VT 05633-6301

(802-828-2480/VOICE/TDD or 800-416-2010/VOICE)