Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

December Meeting Minutes

Diversity Council

December 10, 2018 – 12:00 noon

Attendees:  Michael Appleman, Julie Aultman (Chair), James Barrett, Andre Burton, Stacey Gardner-Buckshaw, Kimberly Kennedy, Margarita Kokinova, Raymond Larnyoh, Amy Lee, Molly O’Malley, Terri Robinson, Margy Sanders and Patricia Thornborough

Unable to attend:  Nichole Ammon, Sandra Emerick, Rod Ingram, Carmen Javier, Cody Juguilon, Anita Pokorny, Barbara Tobias and Jodie Turosky

Guest:  Denise Cardon

 

Welcome and Review/Approval of Minutes

Committee Chair Julie Aultman called the meeting to order at 12 p.m.  Dr. Aultman asked if there were any additions, deletions or corrections to the October 8, 2018 minutes.  There being none, Dr. Aultman asked for a motion to approve the minutes.  Patti Thornborough motioned the approval.  Michael Appleman seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

Introduction of New Diversity Council Member

Andre welcomed Jim Barrett as a new member of Diversity Council.  Jim is the Senior Executive Director, Strategic Enrollment Initiatives.

Latest on Title IX

Molly O’Malley gave a PowerPoint presentation on possible changes to Title IX.

Definition of Sexual Harassment

  • Definition will become less broad than the Obama guidance
  • Unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person access to the school’s education program or activity
  • Would require dismissal of allegation if conduct is proved to be true, but doesn’t meet the definition of sexual harassment due to the “and” in the new policy requiring all three conditions to be met
  • This is also contradictory to EEOC Title VII (29 CFR 1604.11) that uses the broader definition

 

Actual Knowledge

  • The institution would only be able to take steps to institute corrective measures when a person who has the authority to make those corrective measures is notified by the reporting party
  • A policy requiring employees to report on behalf of a student or other employee would not be sufficient – the reporting party would need to contact the Title IX office him/herself

 

Supportive Measures

  • Can offer supportive measures before, during, or after a formal investigation or where no formal investigation can take place (like in the instance of a jurisdiction issue)
  • Services must be non-punitive, non-disciplinary and must restore or preserve access to the program or activity without burdening the other party
  • Therefore, the reporting party would most likely be subject to a change in class schedule or location or other measures since any move on the responding party could be considered disciplinary or restricting access

 

Formal Complaints

  • A formal complaint must be written and be signed by the reporting party
  • In a situation where two or more informal complaints against the same responding party is known, the Title IX Coordinator (TIXC) must issue and sign the formal complaint and begin an investigation

 

Jurisdiction

  • The institution is only responsible for responding to conduct that occurs within the educational program, including all operations, academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, public lectures, and campus tours, including hospital/practice sites where students are in clinical or other school-required rotations
  • Does not apply outside of the U.S. or if conduct occurs outside of the program. If conduct is proved to be true but it happens outside of the program, NEOMED would be required to dismiss the complaint.
    • This means that the Village would be outside of our jurisdiction
    • The NEW center is gray area – would probably be able to be considered if a class/activity was happening during the misconduct but may not be able to be considered outside of that

 

Emergency Removal

  • Can remove a student or employee from campus as long as a safety risk analysis was completed, and the threat justifies the removal. TIXC would need to have written document explaining all of this.
  • Document must be given to person who is being removed and that person needs to have the opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the notice

 

Informal Resolution

  • Can be offered if both parties sign a written agreement
  • Policy in place needs to have the process outlined including possible consequences/sanctions, agreements that could reasonably happen, and how to switch to formal resolution if able

 

Safe Harbor

  • In the case where an informal resolution is requested, or where no resolution is requested, the institution needs to provide a written copy to the reporting party outlining the supportive measures that are in place, the date implemented, and how to file a formal complaint later
  • Allows for the institution to not be held liable for following their policy and the wishes of the reporting party

 

Grievance Procedures

  • Institution will set own timeframe and publish in its polices on how much time an investigation will take from report to completion
  • Policy also needs to include: who is trained and how, how evidence is reviewed, possible sanctions or remedies, supportive measures that can be implemented, resumption of non-responsibility, what standard of evidence is used
  • Must give notice to both parties when an investigation starts that includes: the policies and procedures, allegations and details about them, time for them to prepare before first interview, how evidence can be requested to be reviewed by either party, prohibition on false statements, no gag orders, how to obtain an advisor and what their roll would be
  • All parties are allowed to view all evidence at any time during the investigation
  • At the end of the investigation, a report must summarize all relevant evidence and a report outlining all statements must be written and available for both parties to view at least 10 days before scheduled live cross-examination

 

Legal Standard

  • Institution can choose Preponderance or Clear and Convincing, but must be the same across all employee handbooks, student codes of conduct, etc.

 

Investigation Model

  • Cannot use single investigator
  • Needs at least three people: investigator, hearing officer (who is the final decision maker), and appeal body – cannot overlap anyone

 

Advisors

  • Parties are required to have an advisor through the whole process
  • Advisor would come to all meetings and ask questions during the live cross -examination
  • Can be anyone they want their advisor to be – institution cannot limit, though we can have a conduct policy for them that we can hold them too
  • If a party cannot find their own advisor, the institution must have trained advisors to assign to the party

 

Live Cross-Examination

  • Party’s advisor asks questions
  • Technology can separate parties into separate rooms
  • Hearing Officer must mediate and can veto questions, but must give reasoning in the moment on why questions cannot be asked
  • If a person refuses cross-examination, their statements cannot be considered (includes both parties and any witnesses)

 

Written Documentation

  • When a final decision is made, the instruction must provide a written document to both parties that describes the findings of fact, the conclusions and application of the policies to the facts, the statement and rationale for the result in each allegation, the sanctions, and how to appeal and the parameters on appealing

 

Records

  • All evidence, interviews, and anything collected during the investigation must be kept in a file for three years
  • This includes all written and signed documents, all training materials for all institutional members involved, and the institution must write and sign documentation on why the response was reasonable

 

What NEOMED needs to do

  • Create a whole new policy
  • Identify and train the three people involved in the process
  • Identity and train advisors from NEOMED
  • Develop written documentation for everything

 

Thoughts?  Sixty-day comment period ends January 28, 2019.  Please make sure all comments are personal – meaning, not tied to the institution unless you consult legal.

Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance

MORE ON THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING TITLE IX

Updated Aneal Mohan Kohli Academic and Information Technology Center Information

Denise Cardon, Access Services and Library Manager, attended today’s meeting and gave an update on Library Services.  Terri Robinson was appointed Interim Library Director effective October 1, 2018.  Reference librarian Stephanie Henderson recently resigned from her position, and Simon Robins from Johns Hopkins University will take her place.

The Library is open to keycard holders 24/7.  Offices/amenities housed in the Library include:  Help Desk; Office of Global Engagement; Read Distance Education Center (READ); Wasson Center Practice Room; Academic Technology Services; Information Technology; Applications Development Group; Quiet Study Area; Meditation Room; Prayer Room; Public computers and printers; and Study rooms.

It was asked if there was special software in the READ Center.  None is offered but there has been some discussion.  It may be helpful for the College of Graduate Studies to identify software that would be beneficial to them in the computer lab setting.  SBSS had been previously suggested by others as a good software to provide.  Ron McGrady is assessing what software the university should support.

NEOMED is one of five State Regional Academic Library Depositories (also includes Cleveland State University, Kent State University, University of Akron and Youngstown State University).  Additionally, NEOMED is also part of the OhioLink network from which anyone may request journal articles and borrow scholarly materials.

The link to the Library website was redesigned so that the more active links are at the top of the page.  Denise reminded participants of the wealth of resources that the Library offers and would like Diversity Council members to re-enforce that to students.

One item that Stephanie Henderson completed before her departure was to develop resource guides for entire courses.  It is anticipated that her replacement will do likewise.

Electronic resources are available without authentication while on the NEOMED campus.  When off-campus, authentication is required to view the library resources by providing your name and library barcode.  Articles can be ordered via ILLiad.  The library can help with the revision of new curriculum as well as updating images for a lecture.  The reference desk is always eager to provide information on a topic as well as search for desired information.  They can provide expert assistance in areas such as search strategies, database searching, citation management and scholarly publishing.

Diversity Reception and Awards

NEOMED’s annual Valuing Community and Diversity Reception was held on November 27, 2018.  Two awards were presented:

The Community Builder Award is awarded to a medicine, pharmacy, or graduate student who has demonstrated a commitment to being open and sensitive to the unique needs and interests of diverse populations.  This year’s recipients were Carmen Javier, a second-year medicine student, and Katherine Joyce, a fourth-year medicine student.

The Walgreens Pharmacy Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Award recognizes a NEOMED College of Pharmacy student who promotes and supports the needs, values, and respect of underrepresented communities; who is sensitive to the issues of diversity; and who takes action to promote the ideas of inclusion, equity and community.  The 2018 winner was Rachel Neugebauer, a fourth-year pharmacy student.

Diversity and Faculty Bylaws

Presently Diversity Council is not considered a standing committee of the university.  Andre and Dr. Aultman will begin working on language to incorporate Diversity Council into the Faculty Bylaws.  When completed, Diversity Council will be a standing committee.

Martin Luther King Day of Service

Molly O’Malley reported on the upcoming MLK Day of Service.  Four locations have been confirmed, and she is trying to identify a place in Youngstown.  The notice will be distributed when the forms are completed.  Molly encouraged Diversity Council members to be site advisors if possible.

Amy Lee suggested that in the future, it may be helpful to ask students to nominate organizations where they would like to volunteer.  They may be more apt to volunteer and get friends to accompany them.

Roundtable

Andre announced that V-Week will be held the week of February 11.  Lunar New Year event is scheduled for February 6.  Attendance is encouraged as disappointment was expressed regarding the low number of faculty who attended the Diwali Celebration held in November.  At the students’ request, the Multi-cultural Festival will again be held and will be scheduled sometime in April.  Carmen and Raymond attended class meetings to garner student interest in the festival.

Andre reported on behalf of Carmen Javier.  She inquired as to whether Diversity Council could be composed of two members per class as is done in other student governance committees.  Carmen had checked with Harmony Stanger, Assistant Director of Student Affairs, who indicated that there was no restriction on the number of students who can be invited to serve on a committee.  Andre said that students are usually nominated in the Fall of their first year, which is why we usually only include second-year students.  Michael thought it would be beneficial to appoint an M1, P1 and COGS students as well as possibly a pathway student.  Amy suggested that a Zoom conference option be offered, especially since COGS students are dual-enrolled.

Terri Robinson thought it may be helpful to share the Title IX proposed changes with students, who could weigh in with their thoughts and be part of the process.  Molly thought this could possibly be accomplished in a Google format.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 1:06 p.m.  The next meeting is scheduled for February 11, 2019 at noon in Room G-105.

 

Submitted by,

Ruth Schlabach

Contact

Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Phone: 330.325.6736
Email: diversity@neomed.edu

TITLE IX IS LAW

Employment and academic discrimination against any individual on the basis of age, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status is prohibited.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Northeast Ohio Medical University