Table of Contents
The educational mission of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine requires a fair and open learning and working environment. The ethical obligation to provide an environment that is free from exploitation, harassment, and discriminatory treatment of students is implicit in this mission. The entire university community suffers when the mistreatment of students is allowed to pervade the academic atmosphere through neglect, the absence of a policy prohibiting it, or lack of education and training programs designed to clarify and promote the understanding of appropriate professional behavior on campus. In order to address this concern, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine has adopted the following policy.
The faculty of the School of Medicine shall observe the following Standards of Conduct in their behavior toward students (from Art. VI, Sec. 2 of the Statutes of the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University, as updated by the 1987 AAUP Statement on Professional Ethics).
For purposes of this document, student includes graduate students, residents, and fellows when they are in a learning role. Although graduate students, residents, and fellows enjoy protection from these Standards of Conduct, they are also subject to the faculty requirements when they are in a teaching role.
Please refer to this graph for guidance in reporting violations.
Reports or complaints, whether informal or formal, will be reported to the School of Medicine’s Affirmative Action Office. Unless otherwise determined as provided herein, investigation of complaints of violation of the Standards of Conduct shall be the responsibility of the Affirmative Action Office.
Sexual harassment should be reported and shall be handled in accordance with Southern Illinois University School of Medicine policies designed specifically to address such violations.
THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE PROHIBITS RETALIATION AGAINST ANY PERSON WHO REPORTS VIOLATIONS OF THE STANDARDS OF CONDUCT, AND ANY SUCH RETALIATION SHALL BE TREATED AS A SEPARATE VIOLATION OF THE STANDARDS OF CONDUCT.
SIU School of Medicine has adopted procedures to address fairly and promptly concerns and complaints about violation of the Standards of Conduct. Complaints may be submitted informally or formally. If a complaint involves both this policy and any other University complaint or grievance policy, the Dean and Provost of the School of Medicine may, at his or her discretion, determine the order in which the policies involved will be applied. The Dean and Provost of the School of Medicine is authorized to appoint an alternative investigator as circumstances require in his/her sole discretion; however, the procedures outlined herein shall apply in the event an alternative investigator is appointed. The Affirmative Action Office shall be notified of appointment of the alternative investigator.
Complaints will be addressed as confidentially as possible, considering the specific circumstances of the allegations, to protect the rights of both the complainant and the accused person. The investigator may gather information from sources deemed necessary in an effort to fully investigate and resolve the complaint.
An individual who feels he/she has experienced a violation of the Standards of Conduct may desire to resolve his/her complaint informally (for example, when the complainant requests only that an appropriate School of Medicine official counsel the accused person to cease the alleged violation without formal disciplinary action being taken and without a formal investigation). Informal complaints are not required to be made in writing; however, the complainant may, at any time prior to resolution of the informal complaint, file a formal complaint in writing about the alleged violation.
The investigator may, if circumstances warrant, request that the accused person’s supervisor counsel him/her regarding the alleged violation and/or may recommend counseling, training, education, and/or other non-disciplinary actions. Attempts to resolve an informal complaint will be completed within thirty (30) business days from receipt of the complaint by the investigator. The complainant and the accused person will be informed in writing in general terms of the outcome of the informal process. If the accused person elects not to participate in resolving an informal complaint, such nonparticipation will not change the School of Medicine’s responsibility to investigate and make decisions based on available information.
A formal complaint may be filed with the appropriate Associate Dean within one hundred twenty (120) days after the alleged violation occurred or after attempts to resolve the situation informally have been unsuccessful. The appropriate Associate Dean may waive the deadline where circumstances warrant. The formal complaint must be in writing, signed by the complainant, and shall include the following information:
The accused person will be provided with a copy of the complaint by the investigator within five (5) business days of the investigator’s receipt of the complaint. The investigator will notify the supervisor of the accused person in order that appropriate temporary and/or remedial actions may be taken during the investigation.
The accused person will be required to submit a written response regarding the complaint to the investigator within five (5) business days of receipt of the complaint. A copy of the response will be provided to the complainant by the investigator. If the accused person elects not to respond to a formal complaint, such nonparticipation will not change the School of Medicine’s responsibility to investigate and make decisions based on available information.
The investigator will interview the complainant and the accused person, may also interview witnesses, supervisors, and/or any other persons who may have information about the alleged violation, and may review records relevant to the complaint. The complainant and the accused person shall be permitted to suggest witnesses and/or other evidence, which shall be considered by the investigator. A written record will be made of all interviews. Any person interviewed shall have the right to review his or her statement for accuracy.
Within thirty (30) business days of receiving the formal written complaint, the investigator will assess whether a violation of the Standards of Conduct has occurred and will submit findings in writing to the complainant and the accused person. If the investigator finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the alleged violation has occurred, the investigator shall notify the Affirmative Action Office (if the Affirmative Action Office is not the investigator), the accused person, his/her supervisor, the appropriate Associate Dean, and the Dean and Provost of the School of Medicine of the findings.
The supervisor of the accused person shall be responsible for acting on the findings of the investigator and shall consult with the appropriate School of Medicine administrative official(s) including the Dean and Provost of the School of Medicine, the appropriate Associate Dean, and the Affirmative Action Office regarding formal disciplinary actions to be taken against the accused person. Decisions regarding appropriate disciplinary action shall be made in accordance with applicable University and School of Medicine policies and procedures with consideration of properly established records of previous conduct and the seriousness of the violation. The supervisor may also review any part of the investigative records to assist in the decision making process. Within ten (10) business days of receiving the investigator’s findings, the supervisor shall meet with the accused person to discuss the findings and recommendations and shall determine appropriate disciplinary action. Appropriate discipline may range from an oral reprimand up to and including termination/dismissal for cause or any other appropriate remedial action. The accused person, the investigator, and the Affirmative Action Office (if not the investigator) will be notified in writing of the action taken by the supervisor. The Affirmative Action Office will in turn, notify the complainant regarding the resolution of the complaint, what corrective action, if any, will be taken, and/or, in general, whether any discipline will be imposed.
The complainant may file an appeal of any decision concerning the resolution of the formal complaint. The appeal must be made in writing and delivered to the Dean and Provost of the School of Medicine within five (5) business days of receipt of the notice of resolution. .
The appeal must state in detail the reason(s) for the appeal as follows:
The Dean and Provost of the School of Medicine shall fully review the appeal and the record of the investigation and render a decision on the appeal. Copies of the decision shall be forwarded to the complainant, the accused person, the appropriate Associate Dean, the investigator, the Affirmative Action Office (if not the investigator) and the supervisor of the accused person. The decision of the Dean and Provost shall not be subject to further appeal by the complainant.
The accused person shall have the right to file a grievance with regard to any decision concerning resolution of the formal complaint and/or any discipline imposed. Such grievance shall be governed by applicable grievance procedures of the University or the School of Medicine.
Copies of this policy will be distributed to all current students, residents, fellows, and faculty of the School of Medicine and to those who join the School in the future. This policy will be published at least annually in a School-wide publication and will be included in faculty handbooks and student and resident/fellow orientation materials. Copies of this policy will be available at the office of the Associate Deans.
In addition, the Associate Deans will develop and implement an ongoing training program for faculty, students, residents, and fellows of the School of Medicine to help them understand the Standards of Conduct and the prevention of mistreatment of students and residents/fellows.
The School of Medicine reserves the right to make reasonable modifications to any of the time limits and procedures set forth in this policy at any time. Timely notice of such modifications will be provided in writing to the affected persons.
Approved by Executive Committee June 19, 2000.