What You Should Know
Overview of Investigative Process. The Office for Accessibility and Gender Equity investigates complaints regarding violation(s) to the University of Florida gender equity policy. You are either a party to the complaint (the Complainant or the Respondent) or a person identified as a potential witness. The purpose of your interview is for the Investigator to ask you questions and gather information. Please take your participation in this process seriously. If you have questions or concerns about this process, you are free to ask the Investigator, contact the Title IX Coordinator, talk to your immediate supervisor, or learn more on this website.
Duty to Cooperate and be Honest. As a member of the UF community, it is expected that you cooperate with this investigation. Furthermore, if you are a UF employee, University regulations require your participation and cooperation with internal investigations and prohibit you from withholding information, impairing, or obstructing the investigation. As an employee, your failure to fully cooperate could result in a finding that you have violated University Policy. (See UF Reg. 1.008, applying to employees; UF Reg. 4.040(5)(c)(7), applying to students).
Please understand the importance of investigating complaints in a thorough and fair manner. When members of our community feel they have been mistreated, the University has an obligation to investigate. To accomplish this, it is vital for all involved to participate with openness and honesty—even if you do not think you have any information of value and even if you do not want to.
If, after your interview, you recall or learn of more information that you think may be helpful to the investigation, you should immediately contact the Investigator (you will likely be given a firm deadline to assure the timely progress of the investigation). The ultimate goal in every investigation is to ensure a safe and productive academic/work environment, and your cooperation is both necessary and required to reach that end.
Investigation Integrity. Investigators strive to conduct their investigations in a discrete manner to minimize disruption within the academic/work environment, protect the integrity of the investigations, and preserve potential evidence. While Investigators would prefer witnesses to keep their involvement in any complaint process confidential, the University cannot prohibit participants from discussing the matter. Instead, we respectfully ask that all participants refrain from discussing the matter, particularly with parties to the complaint and possible witnesses; failure to do so may jeopardize the integrity of the investigation. Be advised that speculating, gossiping, or spreading rumors about participants or situations is unprofessional and could even be defamatory.
Complainants and Respondents will have access to the final investigative report and will have the right to respond to the information obtained through the investigation. Witnesses should understand their names and the information they provide in an investigation will routinely be included in the final investigative report that is shared with the principal parties. It is important to recognize that these protocols are vital in providing due process for participants. Additionally, the State of Florida has laws strongly favoring transparency of public records and some information pertaining to investigations may be subject to disclosure pursuant to state law.
Prohibition against Retaliatory Conduct. Retaliation against any persons, including witnesses participating in the investigation of gender equity policy violation(s) complaint, is strictly prohibited. Immediately inform the Investigator, the Title IX Coordinator, or your immediate supervisor if you suspect retaliation has occurred (whether against you or any other people you know or suspect are involved in this investigation). Allegations of retaliation or intimidation of anyone involved in the investigative process are taken very seriously by the University. It is entirely possible that retaliation can result in more severe discipline than the underlying alleged misconduct.