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Human Resources

Human Resources

Informal review process

The informal review is a process that attempts to resolve your issues or concerns about sexual harassment at an informal level without your having to file a formal grievance.

The review will involve talking to you, the person or persons involved in your complaint and any witnesses identified by either you or the person accused. It may also include talking to other persons whom the advisor thinks could be helpful. This might include the accused's department head. (Contact will be made with the next higher administrative level, if your complaint involves the department head.) When interviewing the accused, the sexual harassment advisor will reveal your name and state the nature of your complaint. Every person contacted by the advisor will be reminded of his/her responsibility to maintain confidentiality regarding all aspects of the review. The advisor will also discuss the university's policy prohibiting sexual harassment and retaliation with the individual accused.

How does the informal review process work?

The following is a general outline of the steps taken in the informal review process. Steps can vary depending on the nature of the problem and the options available for resolution.

If you decide to request the advisor's assistance in trying to resolve the issue informally, the first step will be the completion of several forms. During your initial interview, the advisor will request information from you about the event and record it on an Intake Form. Also, you will be asked to complete the Discrimination / Harassment Complaint Form and the Informal Review information sheet. This will allow the advisor to proceed with the informal review.

In the next step, the advisor will meet with the accused and any witnesses, if necessary. The advisor will inform the accused of your name and the nature of your complaint. These interviews will be summarized on an interview sheet. The advisor will make every reasonable effort, within university policy and requirements of the law, to protect the confidentiality of information received and the privacy of parties involved.

You and the advisor will maintain contact throughout the process in an effort to reach a satisfactory resolution.

The informal review period ends when the advisor sends you written confirmation that informal efforts to resolve the complaint have been concluded. This happens when:

  • the issue has been resolved to your satisfaction; or
  • either you or the advisor feel that resolution efforts are no longer desirable or productive and the review is terminated; or
  • the 30 day period for informal review ends and no extension is requested and given. (While the initial period for attempting to resolve the complaint is 30 days, this time may be extended if both you and the advisor agree, in writing, that further efforts toward resolution would be worthwhile); or
  • you withdraw the complaint; or
  • you file a formal grievance.

What can I expect when the informal review is concluded?

At the conclusion of the informal review, the advisor will provide written notification to both you and the individual who was accused and to the Sexual Harassment Program Director that the informal review is concluded.

  • If, in the informal review, it is determined that there is reason to believe that sexual harassment has occurred:
    • the University will make all efforts to ensure that University policy is implemented, including adjustments to your working or learning environment or additional remedies as considered appropriate by law, University policies or collective bargaining agreements.
    • the right of the accused will also be protected as outlined in appropriate University policies or collective bargaining agreements.
  • If, in the informal review, it is determined that there is reason to believe that sexual harassment has not occurred, that determination will be documented in the advisor's summary.

These preliminary determinations are not binding on anyone that may have ultimate authority to make institutional findings that are binding on the University.

With conclusion of the process, the entire set of records will be forwarded to the Sexual Harassment Education Office.

Upon written notification to you, as specified above, that the informal review process has ended, the time limit begins for filing a formal University grievance.

Upon request, the Sexual Harassment Education Director will provide appropriate parties (complainant, accused, department head/other administrator) with a summary of the informal review and the process followed in the review of this complaint.

It the administrator receives a summary of the information process, then he/she determines whether it is appropriate to consider discipline or corrective action for the accused.

If I use the informal review process, will it affect my right to a file a formal grievance later?

The answer to that question depends upon when you made your first contact with an appropriate university official (e.g., sexual harassment advisor, supervisor, department head, dean, vice chancellor), to inform the university that sexual harassment may be occurring and to provide them with information sufficient to pursue the complaint. It may be very helpful to contact an advisor or the Anonymous Call Line sooner rather than later to discuss the options available for handling a problematic situation.

If you initiate an informal review procedure with an advisor within 30 calendar days of the date on which you could be expected to know of the incident that gave rise to your complaint, the time limit for filing a formal university grievance will be extended for as long as you pursue the informal review or until you decide to terminate the process.

  • If you choose the informal review process and it is subsequently concluded to your satisfaction, the university will consider the matter resolved.
  • If you choose the informal review process and it is not concluded to your satisfaction or you choose to discontinue it, you may still have the option to file a grievance, provided you have met the time limit discussed above.

If you did not initiate the informal complaint procedures within the appropriate time limits, the Sexual Harassment Education Director, under the appropriate circumstances, may recommend to the Associate Vice Chancellor Human Resources and Risk Management and extension of the filing deadline for a formal grievance.