Dear Colgate Faculty, Staff, and Students,
Colgate is strongly committed to an inclusive living, learning, and work environment where we welcome and embrace the diversity of our community. In support of this commitment, the appropriate governance bodies and the Board of Trustees have ratified a new policy on preventing discrimination and harassment.
In 2011 the Office of Civil Rights issued a “Dear Colleague” letter concerning expanded obligations for colleges and universities under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act. The letter outlined standards for preventing, investigating, and addressing claims of sexual misconduct, ranging from harassment and hostile environment to violence. In response to the letter, Colgate began the process of reviewing and revising its policies.
In January 2012, Brett Sokolow, director of The National Center for Higher Education Risk Management, visited campus and met with groups of faculty, staff, and students. Building on that visit, a working group (Trish St. Leger, Jeff Baldani, Lori Chlad, Corey Landstrom, Lyn Rugg, and Kim Taylor) met throughout the spring semester to draft a new policy. The policy was reviewed by governance committees and endorsed by votes in the Student Affairs Board and University Faculty. The policy was then reviewed by the Board of Trustees’ Legal Affairs Committee and by the Board’s Executive Committee over the summer.
The new policy builds on our previous policies in fundamental ways:
- It unifies all nondiscrimination (including Bias-Related Conduct) and harassment policies and procedures for handling inquiries and complaints: it unites students, faculty, and staff under one policy and replaces the three separate policies in each group’s Handbook.
- It establishes a broad-based Equity Grievance Panel (EGP), whose members are trained in all aspects of the policy and who are available as resources for the entire campus. The names of the panel members are here.
The policy contains a section that speaks specifically to student concerns and to the types of situations that may arise in a campus living/learning community.
Oversight of the new policy is maintained by the Associate Provost for Equity and Diversity, Marilyn Rugg. Although Rugg has the primary responsibility for the overall compliance with all federal and state laws and regulations regarding nondiscrimination, ensuring that affirmative action and equal opportunity are provided and available to the Colgate community requires a commitment to these responsibilities by all students, faculty, and staff.
We believe the new Equal Opportunity, Nondiscrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Other Forms of Harassment Policy
is an important step for Colgate, helping to ensure a welcoming work, living, and learning environment for all members of the Colgate Community. Should you have any questions regarding the new policy, or want further information regarding the functions of the EGP, please do not hesitate to contact Marilyn Rugg
, Interim Director for EEO/AA (315-228-6161), or any member of the EGP
Douglas A. Hicks
Provost and Dean of the Faculty
Suzy M. Nelson
Vice President and Dean of the College