Policy | Authority | Coverage | Rights of Grievant | Rights of the University and Individual Respondents |
Grievance Procedure | Appeal Procedure | Document Dissemination and Storage

Policy

Southern University is committed to providing equal access for all persons with disabilities on the Baton Rouge Campus. The University recognizes that some persons with disabilities may require reasonable accommodations in order to achieve equal access to educational programs and activities. Federal and state laws protect both employees and students from illegal discrimination. Southern University is obligated to maintain compliance within all relevant laws pertaining to discrimination when alleged on the basis of race, sex, national origin, religion, disability, age, veteran status, marital status, parental status or other protected categories under state and federal law.

Any person denied reasonable accommodations, access to a university program or service, or who was offered an accommodation that is not acceptable to the individual is eligible to file a complaint through the Southern University internal Discrimination Grievance Procedure. Persons with discrimination concerns are encouraged to consider the Southern University internal Discrimination Grievance Procedure prior to seeking relief in an external forum. Seeking resolution through Southern University’s internal Discrimination Grievance Procedure will not impair the person’s right to pursue remedies in another forum outside of SUBR.

All ADA discrimination/504 complaints should be addressed to:

Mrs. Debra Ephrom
ADA Compliance Coordinator
Room 305, J.S. Clark Administration Building
Southern University and A&M College
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70813
Ph: (225) 771-5021
TTY: (225) 771-3824
Fax: (225) 771-2018

In the event that the ADA Compliance Coordinator has a conflict of interest and/or due to other circumstances is precluded from conducting an investigation, the Director of Disability Services, as listed below, will coordinate the University’s investigation and resolution of allegations of discrimination.

Mrs. Patricia Hebert
Director of Disability Services
Dept. of Special Education
Southern University-Baton Rouge
246 Augustus C. Blanks Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70813
Ph: (225) 771-3950
Fax: (225) 771-2959

Authority

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, ADA Compliance Office and the ADA Advisory Council are responsible for investigating allegations of discrimination. This authority is delegated from the University President as system head and Chancellor as SUBR campus head. It carries the obligation to ensure that discriminatory practices and/or policies are prohibited at Southern University-Baton Rouge as a matter of policy.

When such practices or policies are identified, recommendations to the Chancellor will suggest corrective strategies. The Chancellor will direct implementation of the remedies and corrective action, as appropriate. These actions may include a specific remedy for the person filing the grievance; policy development and/or changes; disciplinary action against the alleged discrimination official; reconsideration of an action; or other remedies. A monitoring schedule also may be prescribed. This list is not exhaustive.

The relevant laws that must be followed by SUBR include, but are not limited to the following:

Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as amended Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as amended
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 Age Discrimination Act of 1975
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973  
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, including Title II of the Act

Other guidelines and interpretations also must be observed, including the Chancellor’s Memoranda, Southern University Board & System policies and guidelines, directives from the Louisiana Board of Regents or other recognized external regulatory agencies.

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Coverage

Discrimination in employment, student enrollment and to persons with disabilities is prohibited on the basis of:

  • Race/ethnic group identification
  • Sex (includes sexual harassment, which interferes with the working or learning environment. Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy is also prohibited.)
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Handicap or disability ( a physical or mental condition that substantially limits one or more major life activities)
  • Age
  • Veteran’s status (as a Vietnam-era veteran or a disabled veteran)
  • Marital status
  • Parental status
  • Additional prohibitions exist to protect the rights of persons with a disability who seeks to access university programs or services in addition to employment and enrollment.

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Opportunity and affirmative Action, ADA Compliance Office and the ADA Advisory Council will determine whether the complaint states a claim under any of the relevant laws and guidelines.

 

Rights of Grievant

Federal and state laws protect every person who files a discrimination grievance or who assists in the investigation in any way from acts of retaliation. Confidentiality of files and information will be maintained in accordance with federal and state law. It is the philosophy of this office that the most effective resolutions depend on informal contacts with the individuals involved. Highly formalized hearings and depositions may be necessary, but development of evidence and attempts at resolution will precede such steps.

All discrimination grievances which request an individual remedy must carry the signature of the grievant authorizing investigation of the issue(s). Those, which anonymously allege discrimination, will be reviewed as time permits.

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Rights of the University and Individual Respondents

Since the purpose of the investigation is to determine the facts surrounding the grievance and develop a possible solution, communication with those named in the grievance is essential. Complete statements of facts and response to concerns outlined in the grievance will be sought from all persons with relevant information. No reports or recommendations will be made to the President/Chancellor from the EEO/AA Office, ADA Compliance Office or the ADA Advisory Council without a thorough, objective investigation and opportunity for all involved parties to be heard.

The President/Chancellor will be briefed on key issues and progress made during the investigation. The President/Chancellor will receive the Investigation Report and recommendations from the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Program Office, ADA Compliance Office or ADA Advisory Council. When the decision is announced, any remedies to be implemented will be communicated to the responsible administrators, to the grievant and to the respondent or as otherwise directed by the President/ Chancellor.

Remedies may include an oral or written reprimand, suspension, dismissal, or other action. Personnel rules, collective bargaining agreements, and state/federal law will be consulted. Also, changes in policy or reconsideration of actions may be initiated. This list is by no means exhaustive.

The grievant is protected from retaliation with the same vigor as is applied to the prohibition against discrimination itself.

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Grievance Procedure

  • All complaints should be filed in writing, contain the name and address of the person filing it, and briefly describe the alleged violation(s).
  • A complaint should be filed within 90 days after the grievable event or the date on which Complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation.
  • An investigation, as may be appropriate, shall follow the filing of the compliant. The investigation shall be conducted and, barring extenuating circumstance, concluded within 60 days of filing, by either the ADA compliance coordinator or designee, depending on the nature of the grievance. These rules anticipate informal but thorough investigations, affording an interested person and their representative notice and an opportunity to be heard and to submit evidence relevant to the complaint.
  • A written determination as to the validity of the complaint and a description or the resolution shall be issued by either the ADA Coordinator or other designee and a copy will be forwarded to the complainant, no later than 15 working days after its filing.
  • The ADA compliance coordinator shall maintain the files and records of Southern University relating to complaints filed.

Appeal Procedure

  • Should the grievant desire to appeal the written determination, the appeal should be filed in writing within 15 days of receiving the determination letter.
  • The appeal should be addressed to Chancellor, Southern University and A&M College, 3rd floor, J.S. Clark Administration Building, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70813.
  • The appeal should set forth the basis or grounds for the appeal. No new evidence or information will be accepted unless it was not available at the time the matter was under review at the initial stage(s) of the investigation/review.
  • A written determination as to the validity of the appeal and a description of the resolution shall be issued by the Chancellor or his designee and a copy will be forwarded to the complainant no later than 15 days after its filing. The determination of the Chancellor or his designee will be final and binding.

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Document Dissemination and Storage

Once the investigation process is complete, the grievant and respondent(s) are notified of the outcome. Each party will receive a copy of the report at no charge.

Any report that contains evaluative information will be prepared in a format that allows the information to be mask prior to making it available to any one other than the evaluated employee.

The ADA/504 Compliance Coordinator will maintain all files and records relative to the grievance filed.