Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination

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Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy

 
Notice of Non-Discrimination
 
The Hebrew Union College –Jewish Institute of Religion (“HUC-JIR”), as an institution of higher education and as a community of scholars, is committed to the elimination of discrimination and the provision of equal opportunity in admissions, education, and employment.  HUC-JIR does not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, veteran status or gender identity and expression in its programs and activities.
 
HUC-JIR does not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or retaliation on these bases and takes steps to ensure that students, employees, professors, administrators, visitors, and other third parties are not subject to a hostile environment in its programs and activities.
 
HUC-JIR will respond promptly and effectively to allegations of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. The College will promptly conduct investigations and take appropriate action, including disciplinary action, against individuals found to have violated its policies, as well as provide appropriate remedies to complainants and the campus community. The College will take immediate action to end a hostile environment if one has been created, prevent its recurrence, and remedy the effects of any hostile environment on affected members of the campus community.  All students found in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension or dismissal from the College.  Similarly, any employees, professors, or administrators found in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.  Behavior that violates this policy may also violate federal, state, and/or local laws.
 
For inquiries regarding discrimination, harassment, or retaliation based on disability, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, marital status, age, and veteran status, please contact the EEO Coordinator at:  Marviette Johnson; 3101 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-487-3215; mjohnson@huc.edu.
 
For inquiries regarding discrimination, harassment, or retaliation based on sex, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity or expression, please contact the Title IX Coordinator at:  Marviette Johnson; 3101 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-487-3215; mjohnson@huc.edu.
 
Scope of the Policy
 
This policy applies to all College community members, including students, employees, professors, administrators, visitors, or any third parties performing services on any College campus.
 
This policy applies not only to discriminatory conduct occurring within the typical classroom or campus settings, but also to any location owned or operated by the College as well as College-sponsored or College-sanctioned functions taking place outside those typical settings.  Such College-sanctioned functions include, but are not necessarily limited to, Field-Based Educational Experiences.  The College expects that all members of its community will help promote a learning environment free from discrimination.  Any off-campus discriminatory conduct that has an actual or potential adverse impact on another’s College environment may also be addressed under this policy.  The College will consider the effects of off-campus misconduct when evaluating whether there is a hostile environment on campus or in an off-campus education program or activity.  This includes a review of misconduct that did not occur in the context of an education program or activity but may have had such an impact.   
 
Discriminatory Harassment
 
Discriminatory harassment is conduct that has the purpose or foreseeable effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment for that individual. It is not necessary that the consequences actually occur; HUC-JIR strives to stop any such conduct before the consequences occur.  Discriminatory harassment is harassment that is based on the targeted individual’s disability, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, or gender identity and expression. Discriminatory harassment includes sexual harassment, which is further defined in the Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Policy and Complaint Procedure.
 
Forms of harassment include, but are not limited to:  Epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, threatening, intimidating or hostile acts relating to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity and expression, or any other legally protected class; written or graphic material circulated by any means that creates a hostile or offensive educational environment toward an individual or group of individuals because of their race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity and expression, or any other legally protected class.  Examples of sexual harassment can be found in the definition of sexual harassment located in the Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Policy and Complaint Procedure.
 
Please be aware, however, that just because the expression of an idea or point of view may be offensive or inflammatory to some, it is not necessarily discriminatory.  HUC-JIR values freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas. While this value of openness protects controversial ideas, it does not protect harassment or expressions of bias or hate. 
 
Retaliation
 
The College will not tolerate any form of retaliation taken against anyone who makes a complaint of conduct prohibited by this policy or anyone who cooperates in the investigation of a complaint of conduct prohibited by this policy. 
 
How to Report a Complaint
 
If your complaint involves conduct of a sexual nature, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, please refer to the Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Policy and Complaint Procedure.  
 
All other complaints involving conduct prohibited by this policy should immediately be reported to the EEO Coordinator at: Marviette Johnson; 3101 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-487-3215; mjohnson@huc.edu.
 
If you believe that criminal conduct has been committed, you are encouraged to contact the local police department and/or dial 911 for emergencies.  
 
After receipt of a complaint (or after being put on notice of conduct that may violate this policy), the EEO Coordinator for your campus will take a statement from you regarding what happened.  That EEO Coordinator will ask you to describe the accused individual(s), and may ask questions about the scene of the incident, any witnesses, and what happened before and after the incident.  If necessary, a referral to the local police department may be made at that time.  You may have a support person with you during the interview.  Unless you request confidentiality and the College is able to honor that request, an investigation into the incident will begin promptly after you report the incident.
 
In addition to reporting a complaint to the EEO Coordinator, you may also report a complaint to or seek information from federal or state agencies such as:
 
  • The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”)
    • Chicago Office (for Cincinnati campus): (312) 886-8434
    • San Francisco Office (for Los Angeles campus): (415) 556-4275
    • New York City Office (for NY campus): (212) 637-6466 
  • The Ohio Civil Rights Commission (“OCRC”), Cincinnati Regional Office: (513) 852-3344
  • The State of California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DEFE”): (800) 884-1684 (toll free for complaints and information)
  • The New York City Equal Employment Practices Commission: (212) 240-7902
  • The New York State Human Rights Commission on Discrimination Complaints: (212) 306-7450
 
Interim Measures  
 
If your complaint involves conduct of a sexual nature, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, please refer to the Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Policy and Complaint Procedure.  
 
Interim measures, also known as accommodations, are available upon receipt of a report of discrimination or harassment and prior to the resolution of a complaint, as appropriate. Available interim measures include, but are not limited to, restrictions on contact between an alleged victim and an alleged perpetrator (“no contact” orders); changes in academic or living situations; academic support; and escort services.   If appropriate, the EEO Coordinator generally will offer interim measures upon receipt of a report of discrimination or harassment.  Individuals requesting additional interim measures or experiencing difficulty obtaining interim measures that have been approved should immediately contact the EEO Coordinator.  Interim measures will be offered to a complainant regardless of whether the complainant chooses to participate in a hearing against the accused or whether the complainant chooses to report the incident to law enforcement.  To the extent possible, any interim measures that are provided will be confidential.   
 
Protective Measures  
 
In addition to the interim measures described above, other protective measures also may be available by contacting law enforcement and/or the local prosecutor’s office.  For example, in addition to the normal criminal process, law enforcement and/or the local prosecutor’s office may assist a student in obtaining a protection order.  A protection order is a temporary order intended to help provide safety and protection to victims of certain crimes.   If you have a protection order against someone and that person violates the protection order in any way, law enforcement may be able to arrest that person and charge that person with a violation of the protection order.  To the extent possible, any protective measures that are provided will be confidential.  If needed and to the extent necessary, HUC-JIR will provide assistance in obtaining a protection order.  
 
Please see the EEO Coordinator for more information about these protective measures, including for contact information for local law enforcement and/or the local prosecutor’s office.
 
Investigation
 
If your complaint involves conduct of a sexual nature, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, please refer to the Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Policy and Complaint Procedure.  
 
While all investigations will vary due to the individual circumstances surrounding the particular complaint, investigations falling under this policy will typically involve the following:  
 
1. Preliminary review of the complaint by the EEO Coordinator to determine whether probable cause exists to believe a violation of this policy occurred.
 
2. Assignment of the investigation from the EEO Coordinator to an investigator who has been trained annually to investigate complaints. 
 
3. Notification to the accused that an investigation has commenced.
 
4. Interviews of the complainant, the accused, and any witnesses.  The accused shall be shall be provided a copy of any written complaint or otherwise informed of the substance of the complainant’s allegations.  Similarly, the complainant shall be provided with a copy of any written response provided by the accused or otherwise informed of the substance of the accused’s response to the allegations.  
 
5. Gathering and examining of relevant documents or evidence (e.g., law enforcement investigatory records, student and/or personnel files, etc.).  Both the complainant and respondent will be asked to provide a list of possible witnesses as well as any written or physical evidence (e.g., text messages, social media postings, emails, photos, medical records, etc.) that they wish to be considered by the investigator.
 
6. Preparation of an investigatory report complete with a summary of interviews, relevant documents, findings, and recommendations for further action.
 
Both the complainant and the accused have a right to be accompanied by one support person of his or her choosing during any meeting with an investigator.  That support person should not be someone who may be considered a witness.  The purpose of the support person is to provide support, not advocate or impede the investigation.
 
Typical Timeframe:  Generally, an investigation and, if applicable, a Grievance Committee proceeding (excluding an appeal of a Grievance Committee’s decision) regarding conduct falling under this policy will be completed within 60 days of the complaint.  However, each situation will vary depending on its individual circumstances. 
 
During the investigation, the College will continue to provide any appropriate interim or protective measures.
 
Disciplinary/Adjudication Procedure 
 
If your complaint involves conduct of a sexual nature, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, please refer to the Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Policy and Complaint Procedure and the Appeal/Grievance Policy – Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence.  
 
Upon completing the report, the investigator will deliver the report to the EEO Coordinator.  In the event that the EEO Coordinator finds that there is probable cause to believe that a violation of this policy has occurred, the EEO Coordinator will issue a notice of violation in writing to the accused and provide a copy of that notice to the complainant.  Any notice of violation will also include a recommendation with regard to disciplinary action.  In the event that the EEO Coordinator does not find that there is probable cause to believe that a violation has occurred, the EEO Coordinator will notify both the complainant and the accused in writing of that finding.  
 
If either party feels aggrieved by the findings, he or she may challenge those findings through the College’s applicable grievance procedure.  The procedure for challenging those finding through a grievance can be found in the policy titled “Appeal/Grievance Policy – Discrimination and/or Harassment.”
 
Possible Discipline/Sanctions 
 
Possible discipline or sanctions for engaging in discrimination and/or harassment may include:
 
  • Oral warning
  • Letter of warning or reprimand, and a copy placed in the student’s file
  • Probation
  • Forced leave of absence
  • Suspension for a defined period of time
  • Dismissal from the College