February 13, 2002 - SCSU, MnSCU release report from EEOC
Contact: Melinda Voss, (651) 296-9443, firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Cloud State University and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities today released an investigative report by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding alleged patterns of systemic discrimination at St. Cloud State University.
The EEOC was invited in April 2001 by MnSCU and St. Cloud State University to conduct the investigation after allegations were made by present and former faculty of the university.
"It was our hope that the EEOC would assist us in identifying and addressing any factors which prevent SCSU from being experienced as a fully welcoming place," said Dr. Roy Saigo, St. Cloud State University president. "This report will be very helpful in structuring our future actions."
MnSCU Chancellor James H. McCormick also praised the EEOC's work. "The recommendations of the EEOC will be of value to all of our institutions," he said.
In the report, the EEOC commended the proactive measures that St. Cloud State University already has taken, which include the hiring of an investigator responsible for conducting investigations of campus discrimination. The investigator, an attorney with experience in discrimination law and investigative process, reports directly to the university's president.
The EEOC recommended seven additional steps for the university to take, including creating two task forces to address problems of bias and perceived bias, beginning a dialogue with faculty and community leaders, establishing rules for use of a campus e-mail system and revamping the university's Affirmative Action procedures.
Some of the recommendations already are being implemented, university officials said. They include:
- Improved complaint processing, including increased information to the campus community about campus complaint systems, improvements in complaint tracking systems, and increased emphasis on mediation of complaints.
- Joint efforts with the city of St. Cloud, including providing diversity training to city employees at no cost to the city.
- Discussions with the university's Faculty Association to schedule dialogue sessions that will be mediated by nationally recognized mediator.
The remaining recommendations will be addressed following a scheduled meeting with the EEOC this week.
"We take these recommendations very seriously," Saigo said. "I am reaffirming my personal commitment to rebuilding the credibility of the University with regard to diversity issues."
A copy of the report is available by contacting Lisa Helmin Foss, Director of University Communications, 320-255-3151.