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When an incident cannot be dealt with between the two parties through informal resolution, someone may wish to file a formal complaint. It is very important to recognize that once a complaint is brought forward to the University, an investigation into the complaint will proceed, regardless of the desires of the individual lodging the complaint.
How to File a Formal Complaint
We recognize that it may be difficult to report suspected discrimination and harassment or bias incidents, but doing so is essential to maintain an inclusive community characterized by civility and respect. Should you choose to file a formal complaint, there are supports in place to explain what to expect and to assist you through the process. In general, the discrimination and harassment resolution process involves an investigation, the preparation of a written report which is provided to the complainant and the respondent, corrective action if the report finds that discrimination or harassment occurred, and possibly an appeal if the respondent chooses to do so.
More information on the discrimination and harassment resolution process can be found at the Equity, Civil Rights, and Title IX (ECRT). Investigations into complaints of harassment and discrimination are carried out by the ECRT.
More information for complainants is available at ECRT.
To report the incident, please call (734) 615-BIAS (2427) during regular business hours. If it is after hours, leave a message and a staff member will get back with you on the next business day. Alternatively, the complainant may schedule an appointment directly with ECRT by calling (734) 763-0235, (734) 647-1388 (TTY), or the phone number of an individual staff member at the office.
If you are a student and wish to file a complaint against another student, contact the Office of Student Conflict Resolution (OSCR). OSCR provides information about the Statement of Students Rights & Responsibilities and processes complaints of violations of the Statement. The office also provides mediated discussion to help students resolve conflict and helps students learn skills for managing conflict in daily life. Graduate students may also contact the Rackham School of Graduate Studies.
Who May File a Complaint?
Any person (e.g., faculty, staff, student, parent of a student, campus visitor, hospital patient, spouse of an employee, etc.) may report what they believe to be an act of discrimination or discriminatory harassment to ECRT. However, only those faculty members, staff members, and students who are or were connected with the University are eligible to file a complaint of discrimination or discriminatory harassment with OIE against another University faculty or staff member. In either instance, the office will respond.
Additionally, any faculty, staff, or students connected with the University may file a complaint if they believe they are being retaliated against because:
- they challenged what they believed to be a discriminatory behavior, or
- they provided information or participated in an investigation of a claim of discrimination or discriminatory harassment.
Role of the ECRT in Responding to Reports and Complaints
ECRT is an administrative office, not an internal judicial or legal office. Its function is to determine whether the University policies and procedures regarding discrimination or discriminatory harassment have been followed. If violations are found, the Office works to remedy the situation and relieve the complainant of the burden imposed on her or him by the inappropriate actions.
The OIE consultant remains impartial at all times when investigating a charge of discrimination, discriminatory harassment, or retaliation. The consultant is neither an advocate nor an adversary with respect to the complainant, the person accused, or witnesses. The consultant is responsible for gathering any evidence that will help the University meet its requirements for nondiscrimination, regardless of whose position that evidence supports.