Location: Bowdoin / Office of the Dean of Student Affairs / Student Handbook / College Policies / Title IX: Compliance and Grievances

Title IX: Compliance and Grievances

The Director of Human Resources is the individual designated by the College to coordinate its efforts to comply with Title IX, Section 504 and other equal opportunity and affirmative action regulations and laws. Questions or concerns about Title IX, Section 504 or other aspects of the College’s equal opportunity or affirmative action or harassment policy should be directed to:

Tamara Spoerri
Director of Human Resources
Human Resources office – McLellan Building First Floor
3500 College Station
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207)725-3838
tspoerri@bowdoin.edu

In addition, for students, the College has a deputy Title IX Coordinator:

Meadow Davis
Associate Director of Student Affairs
Moulton Union, 2nd Floor
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207)721-5189
Mdavis1@bowdoin.edu

For athletic inquires regarding Title IX, the Deputy Coordinator is:

Nicki Pearson
Associate Director of Athletics & Senior Women’s Administrator
Head Coach Women’s Field Hockey
Buck Center
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207)725-3329
npearson@bowdoin.edu 

If an employee or student experiences any unlawful harassment, violence or discrimination, (s)he should promptly report it to a supervisor or department head, or to one of the Title IX Coordinators listed above. An investigation of the matter will be initiated and appropriate action taken. No employee may retaliate against someone who files a complaint of unlawful harassment; such retaliation will subject the offender to additional charges and sanctions under the policy. However, if the College determines that an intentionally false or malicious complaint has been made under this policy, disciplinary action will be taken against the individuals filing the complaint or providing false information regarding the complaint.

Sexual harassment, which encompasses sexual harassment and sexual violence, is illegal under state and federal law. Working in a harassment-free environment is the right of every Bowdoin College employee.

I. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE FOR STUDENT COMPLAINTS REGARDING SEX DISCRIMINATION AND DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF PHYSICAL AND MENTAL DISABILITY

 1. Resolution by Informal Negotiation
A student who feels he/she has been discriminated against because of sex or disability should first seek a resolution of this problem through informal negotiation. The student can bring his/her concern to the attention of the department chair or administrator in whose department the problem has occurred or to the attention of the dean for academic affairs. The department chair, administrator, or dean who has been informed of the problem will then seek to discuss the issue with all parties concerned and achieve a resolution satisfactory to all.

If no resolution is reached through informal negotiation, the department chair, dean, or administrator should inform the dean of student affairs who will refer the problem to a grievance committee. At this time, the student alleging discrimination will be asked to prepare a written statement of allegations.

 2. The Grievance Committee for Student Complaints of Sex Discrimination or Discrimination on the Basis of Physical or Psychiatric Disability
A. Composition
The composition of the grievance committee for student complaints regarding sex discrimination or discrimination on the basis of disability in cases regarding academic affairs will differ from that of the grievance committee for student complaints regarding non-academic affairs. The grievance committee for student complaints regarding academic affairs consists of four faculty members and two students, with equal representation of men and women, in addition to the chair, the dean for academic affairs serving ex officio. The grievance committee for student complaints regarding non-academic affairs consists of four faculty members and four students, with equal representation of men and women in addition to the chair, the dean for academic affairs serving ex officio. In either case, the faculty members of the grievance committee are chosen by the Faculty Governance Committee, and the student members are chosen by the Student Assembly Executive Board. In case any member of the committee is unable to participate in a hearing because of a conflict of interest, an alternate member chosen by the procedure outlined above will replace him/her.

B. Conduct of Hearings
Grievance hearings will be conducted by the grievance committee. Both the student who brings the grievance and the faculty member or administrator against whom the grievance is lodged are free to make statements and bring witnesses. The grievance committee may seek additional information or testimony it finds relevant to resolving the complaint.

A student may be represented at the hearing by a member of the Bowdoin faculty or staff or by another student. Parties may have legal counsel present only with the consent of the committee.

A written record will be kept of all hearings before this committee. The record will indicate the persons present, will summarize the assertions presented to the committee, and will state the conclusion of the committee together with the reasons for arriving at that conclusion.

C. Recommendation of the Committee
When all parties to the grievance have completed their presentations and the grievance committee has solicited all information it finds relevant, the committee shall make a recommendation to the president regarding the appropriate resolution of the grievance.

II. PROCEDURES FOR OTHER GRIEVANCES

Other grievances that students may have concerning their professors ought first to be discussed with the professor involved, then with the student’s academic advisor. The problem may also be brought to the attention of a member of the student affairs staff, who may decide to handle it personally or may choose to refer the matter to the dean of student affairs and the dean for academic affairs. In responding to student grievances, the deans must balance two considerations: the importance of protecting the professor’s academic freedom and authority to conduct the class as he or she sees fit, and the student’s right to be fairly treated.