Shepherd University is committed to developing and implementing appropriate strategies to achieve greater awareness, appreciation, and human understanding, both in the classroom and throughout the campus. We promote a campus culture that celebrates multiculturalism and diversity. We demonstrate this commitment through our acceptance and appreciation of all groups and individuals. We commend those individuals on our campus who practice civility daily by actively supporting and fostering differences at Shepherd University.
The university’s Mission Statement demonstrates that it is our shared duty to create an inclusive culture where all members of the campus community are accepted. Therefore, as members of the Shepherd University community, we have agreed as a community on a common set of values:
- we are committed to the establishment of an open-minded campus that accepts and honors every one of its members;
- we work to support and enhance an environment that respects and endorses all efforts that celebrate the uniqueness of each individual;
- we continually strive to create a welcoming community in which educational, social, and recreational activities and opportunities are available to all of our members;
- we strive to avoid any actions, attitudes, or behaviors that disrespect, degrade or dehumanize any member or guest of this university; and
- we continually link academic inquiry and knowledge to meaningful values, thereby deepening human understanding and promoting the appreciation of culture, race, sexual orientation, age, religion, gender and gender identity.
The University provides opportunity to all prospective and current members of the student body, faculty, and staff on the basis of individual qualifications and merit without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, national origin, or ability. The University neither affiliates knowingly with nor grants recognition to any individual, group, or organization having policies that discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or ability, as defined by applicable laws and regulations and the University does not tolerate any such acts or policies of discrimination and/or harassment by any person or entity. This commitment is expressly confirmed in the Shepherd University Board of Governors Social Justice Policy. Timely and effective resolution of such issues is an important value of the University community.
Any student who feels that they have been discriminated against by the University or by any person has a wide array of options to seek redress, and that is encouraged. The implementation of the formal investigative review processes of the Social Justice Policy is coordinated by the University Ombudsperson, Karen Green [x5458], and the Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action Officer (EO/AA), Marie DeWalt [x5299]. Informal review of concerns of discrimination can also be directed to either of those persons, as well as members of the Civility Response Team, the Dean of Students [x5214], or to the Vice President who supervises the office or employee(s) of concern. Cases of gender discrimination in any form, including interpersonal violence, may be directed to the Title IX Officer, Ms. Anne Lewin [ x5067].
Students who have been discriminated against by another student may address complaints to the Dean of Students, located in the Student Center. In cases of gender discrimination in any form, including interpersonal violence, complaints may be directed to the Title IX Officer. Such complaints are handled through the Student Conduct Policies. Students who have been discriminated against on campus or at a campus event by persons not part of the Shepherd academic community should direct their complaint to the Dean of Students or the Title IX Officer as applicable. The Dean and the Vice President for Student Affairs will take such action as is appropriate and possible, to prevent ongoing discrimination in any form which affects students.
Employees who feel they have been discriminated against can seek informal or formal review of the issue by their supervisor, their area vice president, the Ombudsperson, or the EO-AA Officer, and in cases of gender discrimination the Title IX Officer.
The University is committed to prompt resolution of complaints of discrimination. Persons responsible for discriminatory conduct will be sanctioned. Depending upon the circumstances, remedial measures may include mandatory training or, in some cases, expulsion of students or dismissal of employees.
External agencies can be a resource for any individual who feels their complaint of discrimination has not been fairly addressed by the University. The West Virginia Human Rights Commission and the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education each would have jurisdiction over such issues. Employees also have an option of utilizing the processes of the State Employees Grievance Act.
As our society struggles with the challenges of pluralism and civility, please know that everything you do to advance this effort is an important contribution to our university community and to our greater society.