Anti-discrimination Procedures

Georgetown University’s educational mission can best be served by fostering a broadly diverse community. Georgetown University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, disability or any other basis prohibited by law in the administration of its educational policies or in the provision of access to its programs, facilities, services and activities.

Students who have concerns about treatment they have experienced are encouraged to discuss those concerns with a representative of the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Affirmative Action (IDEAA). Students wishing to pursue a formal complaint of discrimination in a non-academic matter may do so through the IDEAA  (http://ideaa.georgetown.edu/affirmativeaction/) or the Office of Student Conduct (http://studentconduct.georgetown.edu). Each of these offices has processes for addressing such formal complaints.

If a student believes that there has been discrimination in strictly academic areas, such as coursework, grading, or class participation, the matter should be presented to the Chair of the faculty member’s department (or equivalent administrator) on an informal basis. If through the Chair’s discussion with the student, the faculty member and any interested parties, the complaint is resolved satisfactorily, no record of the complaint will be filed in the student’s or faculty member’s file. If these efforts fail to resolve the complaint, the student may submit a formal written complaint to the Dean of the faculty member’s school. If the faculty member and the student are from different schools, the Dean of the faculty member’s school will handle the formal complaint as set forth herein and may notify and consult with the student’s Dean as appropriate. The Dean of the faculty member’s school shall send a copy of the formal written complaint to the Director of  Affirmative Action Programs in the IDEAA  so that the IDEAA may be informed of the complaint.

Upon receipt of the written formal complaint, the Dean will appoint a committee of three faculty members to review the formal complaint. The committee shall have access to all necessary information to do this review. The committee may interview witnesses and may, if desirable, bring the student and faculty member together. At the conclusion of its review, the committee will issue a written decision to the Dean.

Upon receipt of the committee’s decision, the Dean will inform the student, the faculty member, the student’s Dean (if different), the Director of Affirmative Action Programs in the IDEAA, and the Main Campus Affirmative Action Officer (Provost) of the outcome.

If the student or the faculty member wishes to appeal the committee’s decision, a formal written request for an appeal should be filed with the Dean with a copy sent to the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Affirmative Action.  The person should indicate the grounds for the appeal and any new evidence not submitted to the initial review committee. The Dean will conduct a review of the matter in light of the grounds for appeal and the new evidence presented. The Dean’s decision is final. Nothing in this section, however, shall prohibit a faculty member from exercising his or her right to pursue further action under the Faculty Grievance Code.

Although the University hopes that students will avail themselves of internal mechanisms to resolve discrimination concerns or complaints, all students also have the right to file complaints with external enforcement agencies such as the District of Columbia Human Rights Commission or the Office of Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education. Reprisal or retaliation against an individual for making a complaint regarding discrimination, or for using or participating in internal or external processes, is prohibited by law.