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Information for Respondents

EOAA is neutral.  The office does not take sides; its role is to act as a neutral fact finder.  EOAA is committed to doing thorough, unbiased reviews through investigations focused on evidence. 

Support person.  Respondents may bring a support person with them to any meetings with EOAA.  We request that respondents please let us know in advance if they will be doing so.  If the respondent is represented by a union, they may bring a union representative.  The support person is not permitted to answer questions or inject themselves into the interview process.  

Understanding the complaint.  The first step EOAA takes in an investigation is to gather information about the complaint.  This usually involves interviewing the complainant and gathering all evidence the complainant has, including any documentation and names of witnesses, if any.  The respondent is not present during the complainant’s interview and vice versa. 

Interviewing the Respondent.  After EOAA understands the nature and scope of the complaint, the respondent is asked about the allegations and given a full and fair opportunity to respond.  The respondent is also asked to provide any documentation and identify witnesses relevant to the complaint, if any.  In order to facilitate the investigation process, respondents are strongly encouraged to share all information they have regarding the matter.

Anonymity.  Respondents are provided with a copy of the written complaint in order to provide enough information about the allegations to allow them a fair opportunity to respond. 

Gathering other evidence. EOAA interviews witnesses and reviews documentation that it believes to be relevant to the situation.  EOAA may also contact the complainant and respondent with additional questions or to request additional information. 

Decision and follow up. After reviewing all of the relevant evidence, an investigation report is produced.  Based on the investigation, the EOAA Office will determine if there is sufficient evidence to support reasonable cause.  The office will inform the complainant and respondent of the outcome of the investigation and provide a summary of the investigative process, determination, and possible sanctions if appropriate.  Either the complainant or the respondent may reject the determination of the initial investigation, in part or entirely, and request a grievance hearing by sending a written request to the EOAA Office. 

Corrective Action.  While EOAA does not impose corrective action, the respondent should be aware that the college takes allegations of discrimination and harassment very seriously.  After EOAA conducts a fair, equitable, and timely investigation, if corrective action is warranted, such action can include, but is not limited to, specialized training, time off without pay, and other actions up to and including termination of employment. 

Retaliation.  Vassar College has a strong policy against retaliation.  Respondents who engage in retaliatory behavior, either directly or through others, are subject to discipline. 

More information.  If you have any other questions about the investigation process, please do not hesitate to contact EOAA directly at 845-437-7924.