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Office of Human Resources and Affirmative Action

Compliance & Campus Climate

Affirmative Action
Selection and Training of Panel and Tripartite Hearing Committee

(Taken directly from Appendix E of The State University of New York Discrimination Complaint Procedure 2003)

Panel:
The Campus Affirmative Action Committee has the responsibility for recommending to the President a panel of campus administrators, faculty, staff and students from which a tripartite hearing committee may be selected. The Campus President annually appoints all affirmative action panel members. Training should occur prior to any specific complaints or cases and, preferably, at the beginning of the school year. Members of the affirmative action panel should become familiar with the internal grievance procedures, discrimination laws, and the law and the language of affirmative action. The panel should be assisted in a clear understanding of their responsibilities and rights, such as reviewing confidential material, concepts of burden of proof, confidentiality and responsible record keeping.

Tripartite Hearing Committee:
The tripartite hearing committee is made up of persons selected from the affirmative action panel (the pool of individuals recommended by the affirmative action committee, approved by the President and training in the campus internal grievance procedures.) One person is selected by the Complainant; one person by the Respondent and the third member is selected by the other two designees. The three panel members select among themselves a committee chairperson. The tripartite committee should be given an opportunity to review the procedure and have any questions concerning process answered by the affirmative action officer prior to beginning the investigation.

The tripartite hearing committee is charged with the responsibility of reviewing all facts regarding the alleged harassment, investigating and reporting only on that charge, and maintaining confidentiality. The written record compiled by the committee must be clearly identified and described to ensure that findings are based on documented information extracted from pertinent records and letters.