Discrimination Complaint Procedures for Students
This procedure provides a means for resolving complaints by students who believe they have been adversely aﬀected by illegal or prohibited discrimination by the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), a member college or center, or their students or employees.
Complaints may be brought under this procedure for discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship status (including document abuse), sex (including pregnancy and sexual harassment), sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, physical or mental disability, or genetic information. The entire college community should act promptly upon receipt of an allegation of conduct that might constitute discrimination. Any member of the college community should refer a person who might be a victim of such conduct to these procedures, as well as to the college oﬃcials responsible for conducting an investigation pursuant to these procedures.
Students who believe they are experiencing sexual harassment may submit a complaint under Sexual Harassment Policy for Students 2.4.4. If a student has been a victim of sexual assault, a complaint may also be ﬁled with College Public Safety (CPS).
All deadlines prescribed for Report, Informal Resolution and Formal Resolution processes may be extended by the Vice President of Student Aﬀairs for good reason, such as (but not limited to) when classes are not in session or upon mutual agreement by the parties. Notwithstanding any deadline extension, college oﬃcials should take all necessary steps to ensure prompt and equitable resolution of any complaint of discrimination.
Information related to MCCCD’s Discrimination Complaint Procedure for Students is also available from the Oﬃce of General Counsel at 480-731-8418.
Informal Resolution of Discrimination Complaints
Before ﬁling a formal complaint under this procedure, a student may attempt to resolve the problem through informal discussions with the person claimed to have engaged in discriminatory conduct and that person’s supervisor or department head. The supervisor or department head will notify the Vice President of Student Aﬀairs to assist in the informal resolution process. The Vice President of Student Aﬀairs may designate an employee to provide such assistance. If a student alleges discrimination based upon physical or mental disability the Vice President of Student Aﬀairs, who is designated at each college as the ADA/504 coordinator or the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Aﬀairs, who is designated as the District ADA/504 Coordinator, will assist directly in the informal resolution process. Each Vice President and the Associate Vice Chancellor has knowledge of the ADA/504 regulations applicable to students with disabilities. The Vice President of Student Aﬀairs may modify or reject an informal resolution of a complaint of discriminatory conduct under this process if, in the judgment of the Vice President, the resolution that is proposed is not in the best interests of both the student and the institution. The Vice President shall take such action no later than ﬁfteen (15) calendar days after receiving notice of the informal resolution.
Attempts to informally resolve alleged discrimination should occur within ninety (90) calendar days of the most recent alleged discriminatory act. The college oﬃcial responsible for this informal resolution process should ensure that the process is concluded promptly. For complaints dealing with alleged discrimination beyond the 90-day time-frame, a student must submit a complaint under the formal resolution procedure of this policy.
If the complaint cannot be informally resolved to the satisfaction of the student, the student has the right to ﬁle a complaint and to proceed under formal resolution procedures.
Formal Resolution of Discrimination Complaints
A student who contends that unlawful or MCCCD-prohibited discrimination has occurred may ﬁle a formal complaint by contacting the Vice President of Student Aﬀairs at each respective college or center. If a student alleges discrimination based upon physical or mental disability he or she may submit a formal complaint with the Vice President of Student Aﬀairs or the District Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Aﬀairs. The Vice President of Student Aﬀairs or the District Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Aﬀairs or designee will accept complaint ﬁlings.
A complaint may be submitted by the student verbally or in writing. A student may also contact the Oﬃce of General Counsel to obtain the name and phone number of the college or center oﬃcial designated to respond to discrimination complaints.
The complaint must identify the action, decision, conduct, or other basis that the student believes is unlawful or MCCCD prohibited discrimination
Upon receipt of a complaint, the Vice President of Student Aﬀairs or the Associate Vice Chancellor will notify the college president or provost and the Oﬃce of General Counse
A copy of the complaint will be shared with the respondent within ﬁve (5) working days of receipt by the Vice President of Student Aﬀairs Respondent will be put on notice that retaliation against the complainant or potential witnesses will not be tolerated and that an investigation will be conducted. If the student submits a written complaint, the Vice President or the District Associate Vice Chancellor need not share with the respondent the actual form submitted by the student, but may paraphrase the allegations suﬃciently to allow the respondent to draft a response.
Respondent must provide a written response to the allegations within ﬁfteen (15) calendar days of his or her receipt of the complaint
After accepting a complaint, the Vice President of Student Aﬀairs or the District Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Aﬀairs will designate a complaint investigator to conduct a fact-ﬁnding investigation, which will include, at a minimum, a review of written evidence (including the complaint and response), and interviews with appropriate employees and students.
The interviews will include all witnesses identiﬁed by all parties. If the complaint alleges discrimination based upon mental or physical disability the investigator designated by the Vice President of Student Aﬀairs or the District Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Aﬀairs must have knowledge of ADA/504 regulations applicable to students with disabilities. 34 C.F.R. §104.4 et. seq.; 28 C.F.R. §35.130 et. seq. The Vice President of Student Aﬀairs or the District Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Aﬀairs may serve as complaint investigator. The complaint investigator shall promptly complete the investigation and deliver to the Vice President of Student Aﬀairs the investigator’s written ﬁndings and the results of the investigation, including summaries of all interviews and all documents received as part of the investigation. In no event shall this occur later than ninety (90) calendar days following receipt of the complaint. Within ten (10) working days following receipt of the results of the investigation from the complaint investigator, the Vice President of Student Aﬀairs or the District Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Aﬀairs will submit to the President or Provost the investigator’s written ﬁndings and the Vice President’s or District Associate Vice Chancellor’s recommendations as to the disposition of the complaint
The president or provost will accept, reject, or modify the recommendations and will provide a written notiﬁcation of his or her action to the student and respondent respondent along with a copy of the investigator’s written ﬁndings and the Vice President’s or District Associate Vice
Chancellor’s recommendations within ﬁfteen (15) calendar days of receiving the written ﬁndings and recommendations from the Vice President of Student Aﬀairs or the District Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Aﬀairs.
When the investigation conﬁrms the allegations, appropriate corrective action will be taken. Evidence which is collateral to the allegations of discrimination and/or sexual harassment and which was obtained during an investigation may be used in subsequent grievance or disciplinary procedures. Both complainant and respondent receive notice of the outcome. The institution will take appropriate steps to prevent further occurrences.
If a student alleges discrimination based upon physical or mental disability, the District may take interim measures to assist or protect the student during an investigation. Such measures may include academic adjustments, arranging for changes in class schedules, or other appropriate temporary measures.
MCCCD Administrative Review Process
Request for Reconsideration
A student or respondent who is not satisﬁed with the decision of the president or provost has ten (10) working days to request, verbally or in writing, administrative review of the decision by his or her college president or provost. The request for administrative review must state reasons why the complainant or respondent believes the ﬁnding was improper. The president or provost will review the results of the investigation and written ﬁndings and respond to the request within ten (10) working days from receipt of the request. If the president or provost determines that the decision is not supported by the evidence, the case ﬁle will be reopened and assigned for further investigation. If the president or provost determines that the investigation was thorough and complete and that the decision is supported by the evidence, he or she will deny the request for administrative review. At this point, the student has exhausted the Internal Discrimination Complaint Procedure.
Faculty, staﬀ and all other college oﬃcials should refer any student seeking to make a complaint of discrimination to the Vice President of Student Aﬀairs or the District Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Aﬀairs. Every student complaint of discrimination shall be investigated under the authority of the Vice President of Student Aﬀairs or the District Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Aﬀairs in accordance with these Procedures. The Vice President of Student Aﬀairs and any complaint investigator who participates in a complaint resolution pursuant to these Procedures shall administer every resolution process in an impartial manner, and shall fully consider all facts discovered in the course of any investigation before a resolution is reached. Each party in any complaint resolution shall have full opportunity to present all information and documentation the party feels is germane to the complaint. At no time shall a student who has made an allegation of discrimination under these Procedures be asked or required in any way by a college oﬃcial to engage in any direct confrontation with any person alleged to have committed an act of discrimination. The Vice President shall ensure that every eﬀort is made to obtain information from each witness to every act of alleged discrimination or from any other person possessed of information that is relevant and material to the complaint resolution. The Vice President of Student Aﬀairs shall ensure that all appropriate corrective action that is warranted as a result of any complaint resolution will be taken, and shall employ best eﬀorts to ensure that the college prevents recurrence of discrimination in the future.
Maintenance of Documentation
Documentation resulting from each level in the Formal Resolution Process (including witness statements, investigative notes, etc.) will be forwarded to and maintained by the Oﬃce of General Counsel. Investigative records are not to be maintained with or considered as a part of a student record. Documentation regarding corrective action is considered part of the student’s record.
Right to Assistance
A student or respondent may receive the assistance of an attorney or other person at any stage of a complaint ﬁled under this Internal Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Such person may attend any investigative interview and advise the complainant or respondent but shall not otherwise participate in the interview. The complaint investigator shall direct communications directly to the complainant and respondent, and not through such individual’s attorney or other person providing assistance.
Conﬁdentiality of Proceedings
Every eﬀort will be made by the college and MCCCD to protect the conﬁdentiality of the parties during the processing of complaints under this procedure. Records will be maintained in a conﬁdential manner to the extent permitted by law and insofar as they do not interfere with MCCCD’s legal obligation to investigate and resolve issues of discrimination.
Retaliation against a person who has ﬁled a complaint or against any witness questioned during an investigation is strictly prohibited. Any retaliatory action by instructors, supervisors, managers, academic professionals, administrators, or other employees who have the authority to take adverse action against a complainant or witness is prohibited and may be grounds for disciplinary action.
False Statements Prohibited
Any individual who knowingly provides false information pursuant to ﬁling a discrimination charge or during the investigation of a discrimination charge will be subject to appropriate discipline.
External Filing of Discrimination Complaint
MCCCD encourages students to use the MCCCD Discrimination Complaint Procedure for students to resolve discrimination concerns. Students also have the right to ﬁle civil rights complaints with appropriate external agencies. No retaliation will be taken against a person for ﬁling a complaint with an external agency. The following agency accepts discrimination charges ﬁled by, or on behalf of, students:
Oﬃce for Civil Rights, Region VIII (OCR)
U.S. Department of Education Federal Building
1244 Speer Boulevard, Suite 310
Denver, Colorado 80204-3582