Complaints of Discrimination


Complaints alleging discrimination based on race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, association preference, genetic information, or protected veteran status may be brought in the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity pursuant to the Policy on Human Rights.

Sexual harassment complaints are governed by the University's Policy on Sexual Harassment. Consistent with that policy, informal complaints of sexual harassment may be pursued in a number of places on campus, including with residence hall staff, academic departments (Directors of Graduate or Undergraduate Studies, or Department Executive Officers), as well as the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity. Formal complaints of sexual harassment are filed in the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity. For more information about the sexual harassment complaint procedures, please refer to the Policy on Sexual Harassment, section I.H. above. 

The Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity welcomes inquiries from individuals who wish to discuss an incident or obtain information about the Policy on Human Rights. In the event the individual wishes to file a complaint pursuant to the Policy on Human Rights, the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity will pursue either an informal or a formal complaint process. Complaints are investigated thoroughly and impartially. Complaints are confidential and the parties are expected to maintain confidentiality as well. Complainants and witnesses who provide information during an investigation are protected from retaliation.

Policy on Sexual Misconduct Involving Students website

Copies of the Policy on Human Rights, the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity Procedures for Discrimination Complaints, and the Policy on Sexual Harassment are available on the web at http://opsmanual.uiowa.edu/ or upon request from the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity.

The informal complaint process is intended to be flexible so as to enable the Office to address the complaint as effectively and quickly as possible. In an informal complaint, the accused party normally will not be informed of the complainant's action or identity without the consent of the complainant unless circumstances require; however, no disciplinary action can be taken against the accused party on the basis of a complaint of which they have not been informed.

The formal complaint process involves an impartial investigation by the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity. At the beginning of the investigation, the Office provides written notice to the accused party of the filing of the complaint, the identity of the complainant, and the general allegations of the complaint. The accused party is then interviewed regarding the specifics of the allegations and given an opportunity to respond to them. The Office may also interview other people believed to have pertinent factual knowledge of the allegations and review any relevant documentation.

The purpose of the investigation is to establish whether a reasonable basis exists to believe that Policy on Human Rights has been violated. At the conclusion of the investigation, the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity issues written findings that outline the basis for its conclusions.

The finding is provided to the complainant, the respondent, and the administrative official responsible for the area in which the respondent to the complaint reports (the Office of the Dean of Students in the case of a student).

The administrative official to whom the finding has been forwarded will be responsible for determining what sanction and/or remedial action, if any, is appropriate. Appropriate corrective measures may range from verbal reprimand up to and including separation of the respondent from the University, in accordance with established University procedures. Other measures such as an educational program and/or an apology to the complainant may also be warranted.

The Policy on Human Rights balances the interests of the complainant and those of the accused. In addition to the confidentiality interests described above, when a formal complaint is filed, the accused party has the right to know and to fully respond to the allegations, as well as the right to know the identity of the complaining party.

We encourage anyone who has questions about discrimination or the complaint process to contact the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity at 335-0705 (voice) or 335-0697 (text).