Resources

FAQs during Remote Work / COVID-19

FAQs during Remote Work / COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions during Remote Work / COVID-19

 

1. Is EOAA open?

Yes. EOAA staff are currently working remotely. You can contact EOAA via email at eoaa@umn.edu or by leaving a phone message at 612-624-9547. We will respond promptly to your messages during business hours (8:00am - 4:30pm; Monday - Friday). 

2. Is EOAA responding to concerns and reports?

Yes. EOAA staff are continuing to investigate open cases, initiate new investigations, and address new and ongoing concerns of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, nepotism and related retaliation.  

If you have an open case with EOAA, please contact the associate with whom you are working (see EOAA’s staff page here) or eoaa@umn.edu to ask questions and/or learn about the status of your case.

3. Is EOAA addressing cases differently in the remote work environment?

EOAA is currently conducting case-related consultations and interviews via video conferencing (e.g., Zoom, Google Hangout) or by phone.  If you require accommodations related to these meeting formats, please let us know and/or contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC).

4. How do I report concerns to EOAA?

You can report conduct that you have experienced, witnessed or learned about by submitting an online report here, emailing eoaa@umn.edu, or leaving a voicemail message at 612-624-9547

Information and resources related to sexual misconduct and reporting can be found on EOAA’s website under Resources.

5. Does EOAA address concerns of misconduct related to COVID-19?

EOAA addresses concerns of discrimination and harassment based on protected identities, including race, national origin, disability, and age. The University prohibits discrimination and harassment based on these, and other, protected identities.  See Equity, Diversity, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Board of Regents Policy.

We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has, in some cases, resulted in hostile, intimidating, or offensive acts directed against individuals because of their perceived race, national origin, age, disability-status or other protected identity.  We also understand that some of these acts are directed at Asian and Asian American community members.  These behaviors could constitute prohibited discrimination or harassment under University policy. We encourage you to contact EOAA if you believe that you have experienced mistreatment because you:

  • are perceived to be associated with COVID-19 because of your national origin, race, or other protected identity,
  • are perceived to have COVID-19 because of a protected identity,
  • are perceived to be vulnerable to COVID-19 because of a protected identity, 
  • have COVID-19, or
  • have been exposed to COVID-19.

In addition, we recognize that University members must learn and work differently given the current remote learning and working environment. If you believe that you have been denied reasonable accommodations for a disability in the remote working and learning environment, please also contact EOAA.

Other University reporting resources on the Twin Cities campus include:

Bias Response and Referral Network (allows anonymous reporting)

University of Minnesota Police Department

Other reporting resources, including Systemwide resources, can be found here.

6. Does EOAA address concerns of misconduct that occur online?

Yes. Discrimination or harassment that occurs in online platforms – such as through the use of social media, email, text messages, online chat rooms, and video platforms – is prohibited by University policy.  Please report concerns of discrimination or harassment that occurs in the online environment to EOAA.

7. I am a student who has experienced sexual misconduct and/or am involved in a sexual misconduct investigation or disciplinary proceeding.  Where can I get help?

The Aurora Center provides confidential personal support and advocacy services for University community members who have experienced sexual misconduct. The Aurora Center provides support even if you do not want to report your experience to EOAA.  The Aurora Center is continuing to provide services to clients, even though its physical office is closed due to COVID-19. At this time, Aurora Center staff are available virtually during business hours, Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm.  Clients can contact Aurora Center staff via email (aurora@umn.edu) or by phone (612-626-2929). Aurora’s 24-Hour Helpline remains operational at this time.  Visit the Aurora Center's website here to learn how to receive support and/or advocacy services.  

Student Advocate Services provides advocacy to students accused of engaging in sexual misconduct and going through an investigation or disciplinary process.  Student Advocate Services is continuing to provide services to students, even though its physical office is closed due to COVID-19. At this time, advocates are working remotely, and can be reached via email.  Please visit the Student Advocate Services website here to learn more about how to receive advocacy services.

Title IX Statement and Title IX Coordinators

Title IX Statement and Title IX Coordinators

As required by Title IX, the University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in any of its education programs or activities, including in admissions and employment.  Inquiries about the application of Title IX can be directed to the University’s Title IX Coordinators or to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.  The Title IX Coordinators on the University’s campuses may be contacted at:

Campus

Name and Contact Information

Crookston

Kamille Meyer
Assistant Athletic Director/SWA/Wellness Center Director
2900 University Ave.
Crookston, MN 56716
218-281-8423
kmwahlin@crk.umn.edu

Duluth Jen Mencl
Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
426 DAdB
1049 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812
218-726-7385
jmencl@d.umn.edu
Morris Sarah Mattson
Director of Human Resources
201 Behmler Hall
600 East 4th Street
Morris, MN 56267
320-589-6021
mattsosj@morris.umn.edu
Rochester

For students:

Andrew Williams
Assistant Vice-Chancellor
111 S Broadway
Apt 300
Rochester, MN 55904
507-258-8106
will2036@r.umn.edu

For employees:

Kellie Wendland
Director of Employee Engagement, Development, and Wellbeing
Phone: 507-258-8010
wendl212@r.umn.edu

Twin Cities Tina Marisam
Title IX Coordinator, Twin Cities
Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA)
274 McNamara Alumni Center
200 Oak St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
marisam@umn.edu or eoaa@umn.edu
612​-​626-9357 or 612​-​624-9547

 

Please see the University’s policy for information about: (1) how to report or file a formal complaint of sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, sexual assault, stalking or relationship violence; and (2) the University’s procedures for responding to reports and formal complaints.

EEO Posters

Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, and Harassment

Religious Accommodations

Religious Accommodations

Guidance on commonly asked questions related to religious belief and expression at the University

Religious Symbols   

Given that the University is a public institution, it cannot promote one religious practice or observance to the exclusion or diminution of others.  As such, the display of religious symbols in public spaces is discouraged because it could be perceived as a demonstration that the University favors one religion over another, or favors religion generally over nonreligious beliefs.  The display of religious symbols in public spaces is also contrary to the University’s commitment to inclusion and non-discrimination based on religious identity. The display of religious symbols in private spaces, however, like the display of other personal objects in individual work areas, is permitted.

Holiday Parties  

Employee holiday parties are not an allowable expense under University policy.  Even if University funds are not used, workplace celebrations that are connected to a particular religious holiday (or to multiple holidays with different religious affiliations) are discouraged.  Instead, supervisors should arrange for celebrations and other functions that are inclusive to all employees, and not connected to a particular religious holiday or holidays.  This is the case even if everyone in a particular unit celebrates the holiday that is connected to the workplace celebration.

Respect  

University members are expected to demonstrate respect for those whose beliefs and practices may differ, regardless of what religion one practices or whether one practices none at all.  In particular, supervisors should be mindful not to use their authority in a way that could be perceived as requiring or discouraging religious expression by their employees.

Accommodations

The University is committed to providing equal access to, and opportunity in, its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to religion.  At times, a conflict may arise between the University’s neutral rules or expectations and a University member’s religious beliefs or practices. For example, a University member may need to miss class or work on a religious holiday, or take time away from class or work to pray. In such situations, the University may be required to provide accommodations for students’ and employees’ religious beliefs and practices.

A reasonable accommodation eliminates the conflict between a neutral University rule or expectation and a student’s or employee’s religious belief or practice.  Ideally, a reasonable accommodation permits the individual requesting the accommodation to fulfill their academic and work responsibilities, as well as follow their religious beliefs and practices, without unnecessarily disadvantaging that individual.

Students and employees can request accommodations for religious beliefs and practices from their instructors, supervisors, or other appropriate University authorities. Employees who receive accommodation requests should make reasonable efforts to grant the requested accommodation or to grant another accommodation that would permit the student or employee to fulfill their academic or work responsibilities and follow their religious beliefs and practices.

If a University authority believes that they cannot grant an accommodation request because there is no alternate means for the student or employee to fulfill their academic or work responsibilities, or because the requested accommodation would otherwise create an undue hardship, the University authority should consult with EOAA, or another appropriate resource such as Human Resources, before denying the accommodation request.

Tips for making and receiving religious accommodation requests:

Individuals who require religious accommodations should: 

  • Request them in advance if possible.
  • Review the policies linked below.
  • Consult with EOAA or another appropriate resource, such as Human Resources, as needed.

Individuals in a position to receive accommodation requests should: 

  • Refrain from making assumptions about an individual’s religious beliefs, practices, or accommodation needs based on the individual’s appearance, clothing, national origin or other personal characteristic.
  • Refrain from making assumptions about an individual’s accommodation needs based on an individual’s known religious beliefs or practices.
  • Focus discussion about an individual’s accommodation requests on the possible accommodations that would permit the individual to fulfill their academic or work responsibilities and follow their religious beliefs and practices, and not on the individual’s religious beliefs or practices themselves.
  • Review the policies linked below.
  • Consult with EOAA or another appropriate resource, such as Human Resources, as needed.

Religious Holidays and Observances

University Policies

EEOC and Other Resources

Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and Parenting

Education

Education

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) offers a variety of educational workshops to the University community. For large audiences, EOAA also can customize workshops to specifically address a unit’s needs.

Workshops include:

  • EOAA Supervisors’ Toolkit
  • EOAA Graduate Students' Toolkit
  • Identifying and Responding to Sexual Misconduct
  • Sexual Harassment: Awareness, Prevention, and Response
  • Religious Accommodation at the University of Minnesota

To learn more or to schedule a workshop for your unit, please contact EOAA at (612) 624-9547 or eoaa@umn.edu

Resources for Complainants in Sexual Misconduct Cases

Personal Support Resources

Personal Support Resources

The University also offers a number of confidential resources for personal support, including:

Other resources, including community resources, can be found here.

For resources on the Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester campuses, please visit:

Culture and Climate

Culture and Climate

University Resources

University Resources

Other offices at the University may be able to help you address your experiences.  For example: