As a Christian institution of higher education, North Park is committed to providing a campus environment characterized by mutual respect among students, faculty, and staff. To effectuate this commitment, it is North Park University’s policy that any form of sexual violence or other offense, harassment, discrimination, relationship violence, retaliation or misconduct will not be tolerated. This policy applies to all members of the campus community: students, faculty, staff, and visitors. It applies to incidents that occur on campus property as well as any off-campus functions sponsored or supervised by the institution. This policy also applies to off-campus conduct that has continuing impact on the ability of a member of the North Park community to fully engage in, and benefit from, campus life.
North Park’s policy is mandated not only by its adherence to Christian principles, but also by law, including Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972.
The information below is intended to help you answer several questions, and point you to resources you may need regarding Title IX and related issues:
- What is Title IX?
- Who is responsible for implementing the Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Violence, Relationship Violence, and Retaliation?
- Who can answer my questions or take my complaint?
- What should I do if I witness or experience a potential violation?
- What happens if I make a complaint?
- Are complaints confidential?
What is Title IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination by entities that receive federal funds, including educational institutions. The law is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights. The Department of Education has promulgated regulations to implement Title IX. The regulations appear at 34 C.F.R. Part 106.
Title IX and the implementing regulations state that “no person in the United States shall on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” The definition of “program or activity” includes all the operations of an educational institution that receives federal funds.
Title IX is one of several federal and state laws governing equal opportunity. In furtherance of all these laws, North Park University has adopted a strict Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Violence, Relationship Violence, and Retaliation. North Park University does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, or veteran status. North Park University does not permit harassment, including sexual harassment or other harassment based on gender. North Park University does not permit retaliation. North Park prohibits any act of sexual violence.
Who is responsible for implementing the Policy?
All University administrators have responsibility to ensure that equal opportunity policies are followed, just as all members of the North Park community are expected to adhere to the policies. Coordination of these efforts, and responsibility for implementation of, and compliance oversight for, the Policy, including prompt and equitable resolution of any complaints, is delegated to the University’s EO/Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators.
Title IX Coordinator
Kim Edstrom Schiller
Wellness Education & Title IX Coordinator
Center for Student Engagement, Johnson Center room 143
Deputy Title IX Coordinators
Director of Human Resources
Old Main, 3rd floor
Dean of Students
Center for Student Engagement, Johnson Center room 151
Seminary Dean of Students and Community Life
Nyvall Hall, 1st floor
North Park University
3225 W FOSTER AVE
CHICAGO IL 60625
Who can answer my questions or take my complaint?
The Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators serve as a primary resource. They play an integral role in carrying out the University’s commitment to provide a positive and enriching learning environment for all community members, and will answer all questions pertaining to equal opportunity. They are also responsible for receiving all complaints of Title IX and other violations of the Policy. The Title IX Coordinators participate in the investigation of such complaints, and oversee resolution of complaints and implementation of corrective actions.
Title IX Advocates
Additionally, the University has appointed certain members of the campus community to serve as Title IX Advocates. Title IX Advocates can answer questions, provide information on legal rights and protections, provide information on campus resources, and help file complaints with the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator if assistance is needed.
Finally, all University administrators (vice presidents, deans, directors), faculty, head coaches, resident directors, and resident assistants, along with staff members of Campus Safety and Security and the Office of Human Resources, are designated as “Responsible Employees.” They are responsible for forwarding any Title IX concern brought to them to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinators.
What should I do if I witness or experience a potential violation?
Members of the University community should contact a Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator if they are personally subjected to, or they observe, conduct that may be in violation of the Policy, including any conduct believed to constitute sexual violence, exploitation, misconduct or harassment; other non-consensual sexual act; discrimination or harassment on the basis of gender, or any form of retaliation for having rejected or complained of conduct violating the Policy. This includes acts of discrimination in employment, admission, programs, or activities and any act of physical violence (e.g., rape or other sexual assault). (Click here for additional information on what to do in cases of sexual violence.) In the event of any form of violence or threatened violence, campus security should also be informed:
Office of Campus Safety and Security
- Emergency: (773) 244-5600
- Non-Emergency: (773) 244-5780
- Director of Campus Security: (773) 244-5222
Anyone witnessing or experiencing a potential violation may also contact the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) to ask questions about Title IX and other equal opportunity laws applicable to recipients of federal funds or to make complaints. The Chicago branch of OCR is located at:
500 W MADISON ST, SUITE 1475
CHICAGO IL 60661-4544
Telephone: (312) 730-1560
Fax: (312) 730-1576
What happens if I make a complaint?
Depending on the nature of the complaint and taking into account the complainant’s preferences, complaints are resolved through an informal process which may include mediation and/or investigated and determined through a formal complaint procedure. Both processes are described in the Policy. Click here to see the complaint procedures.
Both informal and formal processes assure a fair and impartial resolution on a prompt basis. Informal processes are usually completed within a period of five to ten business days. Formal investigations (the first step in the Formal Complaint Process) are ordinarily concluded within thirty days of the complaint and the complainant and the charged party notified of the outcome. The amount of time involved in the second part of the process—levying a sanction if a complaint is substantiated—varies depending on the sanction and the status of the charged person. Sanctions that do not require a hearing (e.g., for staff, or less severe sanctions for students and faculty) are levied within a few days of the investigation’s conclusion. If a hearing must be convened (e.g., in the case of severe sanction against a student or faculty member), the time period and procedure for determination is governed by the Student Handbook, respectively. Determinations are made based on the preponderance of the evidence. Other remedial measures would be put in place within 30 days of the conclusion of the investigation.
If the complaint is substantiated, corrective action may be taken against the person(s) found responsible for the violation including discipline up to expulsion/discharge from North Park. Additional remedial measures may also be taken to ensure that the complainant and the North Park community in general continue to enjoy the full benefits of a non-discriminatory environment. Remedial measures may be taken either at the conclusion of the complaint process or on an interim basis, as necessary.
Are complaints confidential?
All complaints are investigated on a need-to-know basis. Hearings may also be held in private rather than public settings when the complaint involves sensitive matters in order to maintain the greatest level of confidentiality possible. However, typically, individual accountability cannot be established without disclosure of the complaint to at least the individual charged with violating the Policy.
A complainant may request that the complaint be treated as confidential – i.e., not disclosed to the person alleged to have committed the violation. Since such requests may prevent full resolution of the complaint, the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Coordinators will assess whether it is possible to honor the request without jeopardy to the community at large. The applicable Coordinator will take into account North Park’s ability to resolve the complaint without disclosing the complainant’s identity or the details of the specific allegations to the subject of the complaint.
The following resources are available to the members of the community: