General 

EOC is UNC-Chapel Hill’s central office for addressing issues related to discrimination and harassment, as well as compliance with relevant education and employment laws and regulations. The office:

    • manages non-discrimination policies that also prohibit related forms of misconduct
    • connects people to interim protective measures (e.g., changes to housing or work schedules, changes to or assistance with academic assignments, no-contact orders)
    • provides education, training, and awareness campaigns
    • offers reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities and those seeking religious accommodations
    • provides services to further the University’s commitment to fair and equitable employment opportunities

Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct 

The Policy prohibits:

    • discrimination and harassment based on any protected status: age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status
    • sexual assault or sexual violence
    • sexual exploitation
    • interpersonal (relationship) violence
    • stalking
    • complicity for knowingly assisting in an act that violates the Policy
    • retaliation for a person’s good faith participation in the reporting, investigation and/or adjudication of violations of the Policy
The Policy applies to the conduct of, and protects, all University students and employees, including faculty members, EHRA (EPA) non-faculty employees, SHRA (SPA) employees, graduate, professional and doctoral students, post-doctoral scholars and student employees. The non-discrimination provisions also apply to contractors and other third parties under circumstances within the University’s control.
The following types of resources are available on campus and in the community:

    • confidential medical support (e.g., evidence collection, pregnancy prevention, treatment and testing for STIs)
    • law enforcement for pursuing a criminal investigation
    • University reporting options for addressing the incident under the University’s policy and/or seeking interim protective measures
    • confidential emotional and psychological support

View a Quick Reference Guide for assistance in emergency situations regarding incidents of sexual assault or sexual violence, interpersonal (relationship) violence, and stalking and a Comprehensive Resource Guide with more details about each resource, including preservation of evidence.

You’re encouraged to report incidents to one of the offices or staff members below for the option to address the incident under the University’s policy and/or to seek interim protective measures.

  • Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office
    • For all types of conduct: Report and Response Coordinators – Ew Quimbaya-Winship (919) 843-3878 or Rebecca Gibson (919) 445-1578
    • For sexual and gender-based discrimination and harassment, sexual assault or sexual violence, interpersonal (relationship) violence, sexual exploitation, and stalking: Interim Title IX Compliance Coordinator – Katie Nolan ((919) 445-1577)
    • For all types of conduct: online report submission form
  • Office of the Dean of Students 
  • University’s Department of Public Safety
    • (919) 962-8100 (non-emergencies) or 911

Federal law – principally the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) – prohibits the release of Title IX investigation and adjudication records. The Office of Civil Rights Dear Colleague Letter also reminds universities of their obligation to protect the privacy rights of students. While students in our process and their attorneys may make public statements, we must protect our students’ privacy rights. This means we do not provide information in response to public information or news media questions.

For any report under this policy, every effort will be made to respect and safeguard the privacy interests of all individuals involved in a manner consistent with the need for a careful assessment of the allegation and any necessary steps to eliminate the conduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. Privacy and confidentiality have distinct meanings under this policy. Learn more >>

There are many variables that affect each investigation and how long it takes to complete them in a thorough and fair manner. Based on our experience with the campus process the federal government requires, examples of factors that can affect the timeline of an investigation include:

  • Availability of and number of witnesses
  • Availability of and number of attorneys involves; sometimes parties have one attorney and sometimes more than one
  • Scheduling logistics for multiple people; factors for students include time away from campus during academic calendar breaks or study abroad
  • If the University must request information from another off-campus agency, the timing is affected by that agency’s availability and timeline
  • Delays due to the involvement of attorneys representing either party
  • Requests by attorneys representing either party for a delay so additional evidence can be gathered
  • Requests by a district attorney or other off-campus law enforcement agencies due to a separate criminal investigation
  • Introduction of new witnesses into the campus process already under way
Any person can make a report to the University without disclosing their name (an “anonymous report”) and without identifying the person who engaged the prohibited conduct or requesting any action. Depending on the level of information available about the incident or the individuals involved, the University’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited. Access the silent witness form on the University’s Department of Public Safety’s website.  
When you make a report to the University, one of the Report and Response Coordinators from EOC will contact you to schedule a meeting to talk with you about any safety concerns, discuss the availability of interim protective measures (e.g., changes to housing, modifications to work schedules, no-contact orders) if needed, notify you of the resources available to you, and describe paths of resolving the report. Possible paths include taking no formal action, starting an investigation followed by adjudication, and pursuing voluntary resolution. At the time the report is made, you do not have to decide whether to request any particular course of action. Choosing to make a report, and deciding how to proceed after making the report, is a process that unfolds over time. The University will make every effort to respect your autonomy in making the determination as to how to proceed.
EOC will send the person who reported the incident who is affected by the incident and the person responding to the report of conduct written notice of the investigation, which will include a summary of the conduct at issue.

  • An EOC investigator will schedule a time to talk with the person who reported the incident.
    • The investigator will ask the person to preserve any evidence before the meeting.
    • When you meet, the investigator will ask you to share information about the incident.
    • You can provide the investigator with the names of witnesses.
    • You can take a break at any point during the meeting.
    • The meeting may last anywhere from an hour to two hours.
    • A support person and/or advocate (attorney or non-attorney) can come with you to the meeting. Let the staff member know 5 days before the meeting (unless the meeting happens sooner) that someone will be joining you.
  • The investigator will schedule a separate time to talk with the person responding to a report of the conduct.
    • The investigator will ask the person to preserve any evidence before the meeting.
    • When you meet, the investigator will ask you to share information about the incident.
    • You can provide the investigator with the names of witnesses.
    • You can take a break at any point during the meeting.
    • The meeting may last anywhere from an hour to two hours.
    • A support person and/or advocate (attorney or non-attorney) can come with you to the meeting. Let the staff member know 5 days before the meeting (unless the meeting happens sooner) that someone will be joining you.
  • The investigator will contact witnesses and will schedule a time to talk with each witness.
    • Similarly, the investigator will ask witnesses to share information about what they know about the incident.
    • Witness interviews can range from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  • The investigator will collect any additional information and evidence.
  • The investigation concludes and next steps depend on the particular procedures used.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 requires universities that receive federal financial assistance to have grievance procedures providing for a prompt and equitable response to reports of sexual violence. Section 304 of the Violence Against Women Act requires universities to have procedures to be followed for reports of sexual violence, interpersonal violence and stalking. Universities have an obligation to respond to reports of sexual violence independent of any criminal investigation. In addition, the University can offer protections and remedies such as academic and safe housing accommodations.

Through the April 2011 Dear Colleague Letter, the Office of Civil Rights required universities to institute an internal campus process to give students an additional option to the already existing criminal process.

Federal law requires that we complete our investigation and adjudicate these cases even when criminal investigations are pending.

You can choose either option or both.

There are many differences, ranging from terminology to the required standard of proof. The information below compares the criminal process to the University’s process.

Title IX Process Criminal Proceeding
Policy Law
Violation Crime
Information Evidence
Reporting party Victim
Responding party Perpetrator, defendant, suspect
Hearing (do not allow direct cross-examination) Trial (with direct cross-examination)
Hearing panel of trained volunteers Judge and jury

The two processes also each have differing tools available to conduct an investigation and protect reporting and responding parties.

Title IX Process Criminal Proceeding
No ability to subpoena witnesses or compel information Has subpoena authority to compel witnesses and gather evidence
Can provide interim protective measures, such as housing changes and academic accommodations Cannot provide protective measures on campus

Another major difference is the standard of proof for each side, or the level of proof required to be reached for a conclusion based on the available evidence or information.

Title IX Process Criminal Proceeding
50.1 percent (“more likely than not”) Beyond a reasonable doubt

 

Finally, the sanctions each process can apply are substantially different.

Title IX Process Criminal Proceeding
Suspension, dismissal, expulsion Probation, imprisonment
Dial 911 for immediate assistance.
You can file a report at any time, regardless of when the conduct occurred. Procedures involving reports against employees encourage reports to be made within 180 days of the conduct. Procedures for reports made by visitors and program participants should be made within 15 days of the incident or event.  
If a formal investigation is pursued, you will receive written notification from EOC about the investigation, an EOC Report and Response Coordinator will contact you to discuss next steps and any resource needs, and an investigator will then contact you to schedule a time to meet.

Attorneys

Yes. The affected person who reported the incident and the person responding to a report made against them may, at their own initiative and expense, be assisted by an attorney or non-attorney advocate. The attorney or non-attorney advocate may accompany the party to any investigative, administrative, or adjudicative meeting or proceeding under the Policy, including a hearing before a hearing panel.

The adjudication process for addressing violations of the Policy prioritizes student safety, well-being, development, and education. While these proceedings may result in the imposition of sanctions in appropriate cases, this emphasis upon student safety, well-being, development, and education distinguishes these campus-based processes from criminal or civil legal proceedings. Proceedings pursuant to the Policy do not result in a determination of whether a crime has occurred; such determinations can be made only by the criminal justice system. Consistent with these student-focused concerns, proceedings held in accordance with the Policy remain non-adversarial; reflect community values, University policies, and Board of Governors standards; and provide for the respect and consideration of all participants. More specifically, this means that when scheduling meetings and hearing dates, the University will make reasonable efforts to accommodate an attorney or non-attorney advocate; however, the availability of students, witnesses, the hearing coordinator, panel members, and other necessary participants, as well as the need to promptly complete the meeting or the hearing may, in the University’s discretion, take priority when determining the date and time for a meeting or hearing. Additionally, an attorney or non-attorney advocate may not delay, disrupt, or otherwise interfere with a meeting or hearing. Finally, the University may at all times correspond directly with the student. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate and share information with the attorney or non-attorney advocate.

In order for an attorney or non-attorney advocate to participate in a hearing, the student and the attorney or non-attorney advocate must complete and submit an informational form and a Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act release to the hearing coordinator no later than five (5) business days prior to the hearing. These forms are available here. The attorney or non-attorney advocate must also meet with the hearing coordinator in advance of any participation in the proceedings to understand the expectations of the role, privacy, and appropriate decorum. If these steps are not completed in the timeframes required by the University, the University may, in its discretion, determine an appropriate remedy, up to and including denying the participation of the attorney or non-attorney advocate.

An attorney or non-attorney advocate may fully participate in the proceedings to the same extent and in the same manner afforded to the student represented by the attorney or non-attorney. See UNC Policy Manual Regulation 700.4.1.1[R]. In particular, a student may request that the student’s attorney or non-attorney advocate do any or all of the following at a hearing:

  • Provide legal advice to the student during the hearing
  • Make opening and closing statements
  • Submit questions to the Hearing Chair to pose to the other party
  • Question the University Investigator and
  • Question witnesses, however, the Hearing Chair has the discretion to determine that the questions will be submitted to the Hearing Chair in cases where the Hearing Chair determines that questioning by the parties will be unduly intimidating or burdensome to a witness

The University does not permit either party to question the other during hearings to adjudicate harassment or discrimination matters because the University recognizes that it may be traumatic for one party to have to interact directly with the other. Additionally, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) stated in its April 4, 2011 Dear Colleague Letter that “OCR strongly discourages schools from allowing the parties personally to question or cross-examine each other during the hearing. Allowing an alleged perpetrator to question an alleged victim directly may be traumatic or intimidating, thereby possibly escalating or perpetuating a hostile environment.”As previously noted, an attorney or non-attorney advocate may participate in a hearing to the same extent and in the same manner afforded to the student the attorney or non-attorney advocate represents. Because students may not directly question one another, their attorneys also may not question the other party.

Responsible Employees

EOC staff will contact you by email once a year to let you know that you are a “Responsible Employee,” which includes employees with administrative or supervisory responsibilities on campus or who have been designated as Campus Security Authorities. Responsible Employees include, for example, members of the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Deans, Directors, Department Chairs, Coaches, Student Affairs professionals (including Resident Advisors), and faculty who serve as advisors to student groups. Sworn officers in the UNC Department of Public Safety are also Responsible Employees. Confidential campus resources such as CAPS employees, the Gender Violence Services Coordinator, the University Ombuds Office staff, and Campus Health Services employees are not Responsible Employees. View more information, including a detailed list.>>
When someone discloses an incident of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation based on any protected status, sexual assault or sexual violence, sexual exploitation, interpersonal violence, or stalking to a Responsible Employee, that employee must share that information with an EOC staff member. They must share as much information as they know, such as the date, time, and location of the incident, the names of the parties involved; a brief description of the incident; and whether the incident has already been reported to someone else. A Responsible Employee can make a report in person, by telephone, electronically, or by email. Learn more. >>
Mandatory annual Responsible Employee training is available online through Sakai or in person upon request. Once you login to Sakai from this link, look for a tab across the top called either “CSA and Responsible Employee Training” or “Responsible Employee Training” depending on which module your email indicates you need to complete. Click on the tab and you will be provided with a link to access the webinar. Contact Jenn Scott at jennscott@unc.edu if you have any questions. 

Accommodations for Employees with Disabilities

The term “disability” means, with respect to an individual—

  • (A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual
  • (B) a record of such an impairment
  • (C) being regarded as having such an impairment or
  • (D) an impairment that is episodic or in remission if it substantially limits a major life activity when it is active.
 Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

  • Making existing facilities readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities
  • Job restructuring, modifying work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position or
  • Acquiring or modifying equipment or devices, adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies, and providing qualified readers or interpreters.
Contact EOC and submit the required forms. EOC staff will meet with you to understand the nature of the disability and the effect on the job. EOC will assess the request and will meet with your supervisor to determine the ability to implement a reasonable accommodation. No specific information about the disability itself will be shared with the supervisor – only that an accommodation is being sought. Learn more about how to request an accommodation and access the required forms.>>
Contact Rudy Jones, associate director, EOC, at rudy_jones@unc.edu or (919) 966-3576 .

Veteran Resources

  • The Office of the Dean of Students has information for student veteran resources. Learn more. >>
  • The Office of Human Resources has information for employees and prospective employees. Learn more >> 

Training and Education

EOC staff can create custom trainings to address issues related to any protected status and related forms of misconduct, including sexual assault, interpersonal (relationship) violence, and stalking. If you are seeking a training for your office, department, organization, residence hall, or unit, contact EOC for more information at least two weeks in advance of your proposed training date. Learn more >> 
All faculty and staff, including part-time and temporary employees are required to complete the course every other year. All students, including part-time and distance learning students are required to complete the course every year. Student employees are required to take only the employee version of the training and they are required to complete the course every year. Live trainings are available periodically throughout the year.
For students, a hold may be placed on your registration. For employees, you may be subject to disciplinary action for failing to complete the course.

Miscellaneous

    • For Title IX and VAWA issues, contact Katie Nolan, Title IX compliance coordinator, EOC at kbnolan@unc.edu or (919) 445-1577.
    • For  EOC issues, contact Becci Menghini, senior associate vice chancellor, Workforce Strategy, Equity, and Engagement at becci_menghini@unc.edu or (919) 843-0594.
    • For disability issues, contact Rudy Jones, associate director, EOC at rudy_jones@unc.edu or (919) 962-9980.
Contact Kathy Bryant, senior director for communications, at kathy_bryant@unc.edu or (919) 962-0266.