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Procedures for Processing Allegations of Discrimination

Intent of Procedures - To address complaints at Holy Names University regarding matters related to Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Vietnam Era and Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1967, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1975, and Executive Order 11246.

Purpose of Regulations - Holy Names University does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, sex, handicap, age, color, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational or admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other University-administered programs.

The University expects all with whom it deals to comply with all applicable anti-discrimination laws.

General Provisions

  • Coverage - These procedures apply to the processing of complaints arising from alleged unlawful discrimination actions. Any student or applicant for admissions who believes that he/she is a victim of a discriminatory action may file a complaint under these procedures.
  • Defective Complaint - When the Compliance Officer receives a complaint which does not meet the requirements of the law, that person shall immediately notify the charging party in writing of the specific deficiencies in the complaint.
  • Compliance Officer - The Office of the Vice President for Mission Effectiveness is the office designated to receive and process complaints under this procedure. Sr. Carol Sellman, Vice President for Mission Effectiveness, is the University official designated to oversee procedures related to processing allegations of discrimination. The VPME may designate another member of the University community to serve as the compliance officer for a specific case. Contact information for Sr. Carol:

    • Sellman@hnu.edu
    • (510) 436-1265
    • Holy Names University, 3500 Mountain Blvd., Oakland, CA 94619
  • Student - The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at Holy Names University, either full-time or part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies. Persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the university or who have been notified of their acceptance for admission are considered “students” as are persons who are living in university residence halls, although not enrolled in this institution. This Student Code applies at all locations where University-related business is conducted (e.g., athletic events, community-based learning sites).
  • Complainant - The term complainant includes any person who believes they have been discriminated against by Holy Names University or an agent of the University.
  • Complainant Form - If necessary, this form (click here) should be completed and returned to the Office of the Vice President for Mission Effectiveness, Holy Names University, 3500 Mountain Blvd, Oakland, CA 94619.

Statement on Integrity - Any retaliatory action of any kind by an employee or student of the University against any other employee or student of the University as a result of that person's seeking redress under these procedures, cooperating in an investigation, or other participation in any proceeding under these procedures is prohibited and may be regarded as the basis for disciplinary action.

Processing of Complaint - Any person who believes they have been discriminated against by a University employee may file a complaint in writing with the Office of the Vice President for Mission Effectiveness. In order for a complaint to be processed, the complaint must be in writing and filed within 120 days of the alleged unlawful discriminatory action.

Resolution of Complaints

  • Informal Procedures
  1. Prior to submitting a complaint, the complainant should first discuss the complaint with the dean/director of the department or program where the alleged conduct occurred.
  2. If the complaint remains unresolved, the complainant may discuss the complaint with the Vice President of the aforementioned program or department.
  3. If the circumstances of the complaint prevent using steps 1 and 2 above, or if the compliant is not resolved at levels 1 and/or 2 within five (5) working days, the student may then proceed to file a written complaint with the Office of the Vice President for Mission Effectiveness.
  • Filing a Complaint with the Office of the Vice President for Mission Effectiveness
  1. If the complainant wants the Vice President for Mission Effectiveness to attempt a resolution, the complainant shall be required to fill out a Complaint Form provided by the University.
  2. Upon receipt of the Complaint Form from the complainant, the Vice President for Mission Effectiveness will advise the complainant that an investigation and discussion will begin within fourteen (14) days of the receipt of the Complaint Form.
  3. Upon receipt of the form from the complainant, the Vice President for Mission Effectiveness will immediately forward a copy of the complaint to the defendant indicated on the complaint.
  4. Vice President for Mission Effectiveness will also advise both parties to the complaint that the University must forward its findings and resolution of the complaint to them within ninety (90) days from the beginning of the investigation.
  5. The Vice President for Mission Effectiveness will attempt to resolve the complaint by discussing the matter with all persons who are parties to the complaint.
  6. In the event that the complaint is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties, a notice of resolution will be sent to the parties.
  7. In the event that the complaint is not resolved informally by the Vice President for Mission Effectiveness, HNU will proceed to process the complaint utilizing the procedure set forth in the Formal Procedures (below).
  • Formal Procedures
  1. If the complainant wishes to process the complaint through the formal procedure, he/she will then nominate a person (student or employee) who is willing and available to serve as a member of a Complaint Review Panel, which will hear the matter.
  2. Upon being notified that the complainant wishes to pursue the complaint through the formal process, the Vice President for Mission Effectiveness will request that the University nominate a person (student or employee) who is willing to serve and is available to serve as a member of the Complaint Review Panel.
  3. The two nominated panel members will by mutual agreement select the third member of the Complaint Review Panel who will serve as the chairperson of the Complaint Review Panel. If the two members are unable to agree on a chairperson, the Vice President for Mission Effectiveness will make the selection.
  4. The Complaint Review Panel shall hear the complaint and receive testimony and information from such witnesses as it deems appropriate to fairly evaluate the complaint.  Upon completion of the hearing, the Complaint Review Panel shall forward its findings and recommendations to the president of the University within five (5) working days after the closing of the hearing. Proceedings shall be conducted in closed hearings. A copy of the Complaint Review Panel's findings and recommendations shall be sent to both parties to the complaint.
  5. The Vice President for Mission Effectiveness shall serve as a recorder of the proceedings and advisor to the panel, but shall not vote.
  6. The panel shall make every reasonable effort to conduct its hearing and finalize its findings and recommendations within fifteen (15) days of the panel's formation.

Comments on the Review Panel's Recommendations - Either party to the complaint may forward to the President of the University their commentary on the panel's findings and recommendations. Such commentary must be submitted to the President within three (3) working days following receipt of the panel's recommendations.

President's Decision - The President will issue a decision within fourteen (14) days following receipt of the panel's findings and recommendations. The decision of the President will be final.

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