Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment - Princeton Theological Seminary

Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment

Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment (Title VI and Title IX) Policy and Procedures

Princeton Theological Seminary is committed to and strives to create an educational and work environment free of discrimination and harassment. Each individual has the right to study and work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal opportunities and prohibits unlawful discriminatory practices, including harassment. Therefore, PTS expects that all relationships among persons in the educational setting and the workplace will be business-like and free of bias, prejudice, and harassment. The Seminary complies with the requirements of numerous state and federal laws in the administration of its mission and programs.

In adopting these policies and procedures, the Seminary seeks to ensure that all members of its community, including visitors, have the right to learn and work in the safest possible community and environment, and to be free from all forms of harassment, discrimination and misconduct, including sex discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work and learning environment, sexual violence, and gender-based harassment. All members of the Seminary community and visitors are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe on the rights of others. The purpose of the Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy is to provide clear guidance regarding the Seminary’s internal systems of reporting, processing, and adjudicating complaints of harassment and discrimination.

PTS encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination or harassment. It is the policy of PTS to promptly and thoroughly investigate such reports. PTS prohibits retaliation against any individual who, in good faith, reports discrimination or harassment or participates in an investigation of such reports.

Title VI and Title IX Co-Coordinators

  • Rev. Yedea Walker, Associate Dean of Student Life, 204 Templeton Hall, 609-430-2771, [email protected]
  • Mr. Tom Chester, VP for Human Resources, Administration Building, 609-497-7721, [email protected]

Message from the Co-Coordinators

Please feel free to reach out to us to report any complaint of discrimination or harassment. After the initial contact, we may encourage you to reach out to one of our trained advisors for additional information. We are here to assist you in this process.

– Yedea and Tom

Confidential Resources

Rather than reach out to one of the Co-Coordinators, you may prefer to talk with someone in confidence. PTS has a two designated “Confidential Resources” who will keep the discussions confidential. They are not required to report incidents to the Co-Coordinators. Conversations with these individuals is not considered a complaint.​

  • ​​Director of Student Counseling – Rev. Wanda Sevey at [email protected], 301 Templeton Hall
  • Student Counselor – Ryan McMillian at ​[email protected], 301 Templeton Hall

Roles of Individuals Involved in the Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment (Title VI and Title IX) Procedures at PTS

An advisor chosen by a Complainant or Respondent in any case of potential discrimination or harassment will provide assistance in navigating the Informal or Formal Resolution Process by providing guidance on process and procedures. The advisor may accompany the Complainant or Respondent to any and all portions of the grievance process. For all cases, the advisor may serve as a guide through the process by explaining the process to the complainant or respondent, answering questions, accompanying the person during the Intake Interview and other aspects of the investigation.

For cases that proceed through the Informal Resolution Process, the Complainant can choose from a pool of mediators provided by the Seminary. The pool includes a limited number of trained volunteers from the community: employees and students. The mediator will facilitate the conversation and process and will help the parties discuss the problem and explore solutions. The mediator is a neutral party serving to help people communicate clearly, negotiate effectively, and reach a voluntary, negotiated resolution of a charge of harassment or discrimination. Mediators do not give legal advice, take sides, impose solutions, or make decisions about resolutions.

Two external investigators have been trained in the application of this policy, trauma-informed interviewing practices, and the proper application of due process and fundamental fairness. The Seminary outsources Investigator services for third parties to perform. Investigators are needed for all cases that proceed through the Formal Resolution Process.

The Determination Panel will convene for all non-Title IX cases that proceed through the Formal Resolution Process. The panel will review the investigation report and make a determination based on a preponderance of the evidence standard as to whether or not the Respondent is responsible for violating the policy by having engaged in some or all of the reported conduct. The Determination Panel may also choose to meet with the Complainant and the Respondent, separately, for additional information. If the Panel determines that the policy was violated, the Panel will then provide its recommendation as to the appropriate remedy or sanction.

The Hearing Panel will convene for all Title IX cases that proceed through the Formal Resolution Process. The panel will have access to the investigation report, will listen to any witnesses that are called, ask questions as needed to make a determination of policy violation and provide recommendation for remedy or sanction, if needed.

A written appeal may be filed by either party involved in the Formal Resolution Process. The Appeals Officer will only review written documents. No additional hearing is held, and no additional evidence will be accepted. At the sole choice and option of the Appeals Officer, a meeting between the parties and the Appeals Officer may be held to discuss the basis of the appeal.