College of Staten Island
 The City University of New York
 
  

Office of Diversity and Compliance
 Complaint Procedures

Reporting Discrimination, Harassment and/or Retaliation

The University is committed to addressing discrimination, including harassment, and retaliation complaints promptly, consistently and objectively.  A complete copy of The City University of New York Policies and Procedures on Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination, and Against Sexual Harassment, may be accessed here.

Members of the University community may promptly report any allegations of discrimination, including sexual harassment, or retaliation as specified below:

  • Applicants, employees, and students with discrimination complaints should raise their concerns with the Chief Diversity Officer at their location:

    Danielle Dimitrov, Director
    Office of Diversity and Compliance
    Building 1A, Room 103
    (718) 982-2250
    danielle.dimitrov@csi.cuny.edu
  • Applicants, employees, and students with sexual harassment complaints should raise their concerns with the Sexual Harassment Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator at their location.
  • Students with complaints of sexual assault, stalking, domestic and intimate violence should follow the Policy and Procedures Concerning Sexual Assault, Stalking and Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence Against Students
  • There are separate procedures under which applicants, employees, and students may appeal a decision concerning reasonable accommodations for a disability, which are set forth in CUNY’s Procedures on Reasonable Accommodation.

Preliminary Review of Employee, Student, or Visitor Concerns

Individuals who believe they have experienced discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation should promptly contact the Chief Diversity Officer at their location to discuss the issues, with or without filing a complaint. Following the discussion, the Chief Diversity Officer will inform the complainant of the options available. These include seeking informal resolution of the issues the complainant has encountered or asking that a full investigation be conducted. Based on the facts of the complaint, the Chief Diversity Officer may also advise the complainant that his or her situation is more suitable for resolution by another entity within the University.

Filing a Complaint

Following the discussion with the Chief Diversity Officer, individuals who wish to pursue a complaint of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation should be provided with a copy of the complaint form. Complaints should be in writing whenever possible, including in cases where the complainant is seeking an informal resolution.

Informal Resolution

Individuals who believe they have been discriminated or retaliated against may choose to resolve their complaints informally. Informal resolution is a process whereby parties can participate in a search for fair and workable solutions. The parties may agree upon a variety of resolutions, including, but not limited to, modification of a work assignment, training for a department, or an apology. The Chief Diversity Officer will determine if informal resolution is appropriate in light of the nature of the complaint. Informal resolution requires the consent of both the complainant and the accused and suspends the complaint process for up to thirty (30) working days, which can be extended, at the discretion of the Chief Diversity Officer, upon consent of both parties.

Resolutions should be agreed upon, signed by, and provided to both parties. Once both parties reach an informal agreement, it is final. Because informal resolution is voluntary, sanctions may be imposed against the parties only for a breach of the executed voluntary agreement.

The Chief Diversity Officer or either party may at any time, prior to the expiration of thirty (30) working days, declare that attempts at informal resolution have failed. Upon such notice, the Chief Diversity Officer may commence a full investigation.
If no informal resolution of a complaint is achieved, the complainant may request that the Chief Diversity Officer conduct a full investigation of the complaint.

Investigation

A full investigation of a complaint may commence when it is warranted after a review of the complaint, or after informal resolution has failed.
It is recommended that the intake and investigation include the following, to the extent feasible:

a. Interviewing the complainant. The complainant should be informed that an investigation is being commenced, that interviews of the accused and possibly other people will be conducted, and that the President will determine what action, if any, to take after the investigation is completed.

b. Interviewing the accused. The accused should be advised that a complaint of discrimination has been received and should be provided a copy of the complaint unless circumstances warrant otherwise. Additionally, the accused should be advised that an investigation has begun, which may include interviews with third parties, and that the President will determine what action, if any, to take after the investigation is completed. An accused employee who is covered by a collective bargaining agreement may consult with, and have, a union representative present during the interview.
The accused must be informed that retaliation against any person who files a complaint of discrimination, participates in an investigation, or opposes a discriminatory employment or educational practice or policy is prohibited under these policies and federal, state, and city laws. The accused should be informed that if retaliatory behavior is engaged in, he/she may be subject to disciplinary charges, which, if sustained, may result in penalties up to and including termination of employment, or permanent dismissal from the University if the accused is a student.

c. Interviewing witnesses. The Chief Diversity Officer should determine if, in addition to the complainant, the accused, and those persons named by them, there are others who may have relevant information regarding the events in question and whether there is documentary evidence that may be relevant to the complaint. Persons interviewed should be advised to maintain confidentiality over discussions had during the investigative interview.

Withdrawing a Complaint

A complaint of discrimination may be withdrawn at any time during the informal resolution or investigation process. Only the complainant may withdraw a complaint. Requests for withdrawals must be submitted in writing to the Chief Diversity Officer. The University reserves the right to continue with an investigation if it is warranted. In a case where the University decides to continue with an investigation, it will inform the complainant.
In either event, the accused will be notified in writing that the complainant has withdrawn the complaint and whether University officials determined that continuation of the investigation is warranted for corrective purposes.

Timeframe

While some complaints may require extensive investigation, whenever possible, the investigation of complaints should be completed within sixty days of the receipt of the complaint. If there is an undue delay in completing the investigation, the Chief Diversity Officer should send the parties the Delay Notification Letter.

Action Following Investigation of a Complaint

a. Promptly following the completion of the investigation, the Chief Diversity Officer will report his or her findings to the President, and in the event that the accused or complainant is a student, also to the Chief Student Affairs Officer.

b. Following such report, the President will review the complaint investigation report and, when warranted by the facts, authorize such action as he or she deems necessary to properly correct the effects of or to prevent further harm to an affected party or others similarly situated. This can include commencing action to discipline the accused under applicable University Bylaws, policies or collective bargaining agreements.

c. The complainant and accused should be apprised in writing of the outcome and action taken as a result of the complaint.

d. For each investigation, the President will sign a form that will go into the investigation file, stating what, if any, action will be taken pursuant to the investigation.

e. If the President is the accused, the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Management will appoint an investigator who will report his/her findings to the Chancellor or his/her designee, who will determine what action will be taken and whose decision will be final.

Immediate Preventive Action

The President may take whatever action is appropriate to protect the college community.

False and Malicious Accusations

Members of the University community who make false and malicious complaints of discrimination, as opposed to complaints which, even if erroneous, are made in good faith, will be subject to disciplinary action.

Anonymous Complaints

In the event that a complaint is anonymous, the complaint should be investigated as thoroughly as possible under the circumstances.

Responsibilities

a. Responsibilities of the President

1. Appoint a Chief Diversity Officer, a Sexual Harassment Coordinator and at least one Deputy Coordinator, a Sexual Harassment Awareness and Intake Committee, a 504/ADA Compliance Coordinator, and a Title IX Coordinator. The Chief Diversity Officer may be appointed to serve in multiple roles, such as Sexual Harassment Coordinator or Title IX Coordinator.

2. Ensure that the individuals appointed to handle allegations of discrimination, including sexual harassment and retaliation, are fully trained and equipped to carry out their responsibilities.

3. Ensure that supervisors receive training on these Policies.

4. Annually disseminate these Policies to the entire college community and include the names, titles and contact information of all appropriate resources at its location. Such information should be widely disseminated, including placement on the college website.

b. Responsibilities of Supervisors

Supervisory personnel exercise authority on behalf of the University. They include deans, directors, department chairpersons, executive officers, administrators, or other persons with supervisory responsibility. They must take steps to create a workplace free of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, and must take each and every complaint seriously. Supervisors must promptly consult with the Chief Diversity Officer if they become aware of conduct that may violate these Policies.

c. Responsibilities of the University Community-at-Large

1. Members of the University community who become aware of allegations of discrimination, including sexual harassment or retaliation should encourage the aggrieved individual to report the alleged behavior.

2. All employees and students are required to cooperate in any investigation.

d. Responsibilities of the Chief Diversity Officer

As the President’s designee, the Chief Diversity Officer is responsible for providing consultation, informal complaint resolution, and investigation of all internal complaints of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation.

e. Responsibilities of the Sexual Harassment Coordinator, Deputy Coordinator and Sexual Harassment Awareness and Intake Committee (“SHAIC”)

1. As the President’s designee, the Sexual Harassment Coordinator is responsible for reviewing all complaints of sexual harassment from any member of the college community and for making efforts to resolve those complaints informally, if possible. When informal resolution is not possible, the Sexual Harassment Coordinator will investigate the complaint in accordance with these complaint procedures. The Sexual Harassment Coordinator will report to the President (and the Chief Student Affairs Officer, if the accused/complainant is a student) the results of the investigation. A Deputy Coordinator may also assume responsibility for the informal resolution or investigation of complaints, as assigned by the Sexual Harassment Coordinator.

2. SHAIC is responsible for educating employees about sexual harassment and its potential consequences to the University community, and for overseeing the sexual harassment training.

3. SHAIC members may explain the University complaint procedures and receive complaints and report them to the Sexual Harassment Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator, but not conduct any investigation. SHAIC members have an obligation to maintain confidentiality to the fullest extent possible.

College of Staten Island Sexual Harassment Awareness and Intake Committee Members

Danielle Dimitrov, Esq. (SHAIC Coordinator)
Director, Diversity and Compliance, 1A-103
(718) 982-2250
danielle.dimitrov@csi.cuny.edu

Charlene Alexander, Esq.  
Manager, Human Resources-Employee & Labor Relations, 1A-204
(718) 982-2376
charlene.alexander@csi.cuny.edu

Karen Arca-Contreras, Lecturer
Nursing Department, 5S-210
(718) 982-3799
karen.arcacontreras@csi.cuny.edu 

Professor Sondra Brandler, PhD
Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work (SASW) Department, 4S-234
(718) 982-3769
sondra.brandler@csi.cuny.edu

Ashley Dawson, PhD
English Department, 2S-218
(718) 982-3673
ashley.dawson@csi.cuny.edu

Danielle DePalma, LCSW
Counseling Center, 1A-109F
(718) 982-2390
danielle.depalma@csi.cuny.edu

Winnie Eng, PhD
Counseling Center, 1A-109E
(718) 982-2738
winnie.eng@csi.cuny.edu

Professor Ellen Goldner, PhD
English Department, 2S-229 / Bertha Harris Women’s Center, 2N-106
(718) 982-3682 / (718) 982-2871
ellen.goldner@csi.cuny.edu

Professor Calvin Holder, PhD
History Department, 2N-210
(718) 982-2880
calvin.holder@csi.cuny.edu

Professor Darryl Hill, PhD
Psychology Department, 4S-112
(718) 982-3758
darryl.hill@csi.cuny.edu

Salvador B. Mena
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, 1A-301
(718) 982-2335
salvador.mena@csi.cuny.edu

Fran Mitilieri
Assistant Athletic Director/Business Manager, Sports and Recreation, 1R-204J
(718) 982-3167
fran.mitilieri@csi.cuny.edu

Robert Yurman, Assistant Director
Public Safety, 2A-108
(718) 982-2114
robert.yurman@csi.cuny.edu


Procedures Implementing the City University of New York’s Policies on Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination and Against Sexual Harassment:  These Procedures govern any complaint of discrimination, sexual harassment, and/or retaliation whether addressed by the Chief Diversity Officer, Title IX Coordinator, Sexual Harassment Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator, or 504/ADA Coordinator. Additionally, these procedures are applicable to all of the units and colleges of the University. The Hunter College Campus Schools may make modifications to these procedures, subject to approval by the University, as appropriate to address the special needs of their elementary and high school students.

These Procedures are intended to provide guidance for implementing the University Policies on Equal Opportunity, Non-discrimination, and Against Sexual Harassment. These Procedures do not create any rights or privileges on the part of any others.

The University reserves the right to alter, change, add to, or delete any of these procedures at any time without notice.

Depending on the campus or location, the Chief Diversity Officer often serves the additional roles of 504/ADA Coordinator, addressing disability reasonable accommodation concerns, Title IX Coordinator, addressing sex discrimination allegations of students, and Sexual Harassment Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator.

References to the President in these Procedures refer to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer and the Deans of the Law School and Graduate School of Journalism wherever those units are involved, rather than a college.

It is recommended that a Sexual Harassment Awareness and Intake Committee consist of a minimum of five (5) persons, all of whom will be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the President. Further, it is strongly recommended that the Committee reflect the diversity of the college and be composed of faculty members, staff, and students.