File a Complaint


Staff, faculty, students, medical residents, post docs, applicants for employment or patients may raise complaints of discrimination, harassment, and violations of policy with the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED). Individuals who feel they are being treated unfairly because of a protected status or in retaliation for engaging in a protected activity, or individuals who believe they are subjected to behavior that rises to the level of violating UT policy are encouraged to contact OED to arrange a confidential appointment with an appropriate staff member to discuss their concerns.   

Complaints (other than those involving sexual assault) received directly by OED will be reported by the Assistant Vice Chancellor (or the Assistant Vice Chancellor's designee) to the appropriate administrator(s) who will attempt to resolve the matter working in conjunction with OED. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible.

At the time of the initial consultation, the OED staff member will determine if the complaint falls within the scope of responsibility of the Office of Equity and Diversity.  If it does not, the complainant will be referred to the appropriate office.

Complaints must be put in writing and filed within 300 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory action. In certain circumstances, at the discretion of OED, complaints filed outside of this time limit or that are not put in writing may be investigated.

Informal and Formal complaints are official University complaints of discrimination and/or harassment; however, there are some key distinctions between the two types of complaint processes.

Informal Complaint

The goal of the Informal complaint process is to attempt to reach a resolution to the complaint that is acceptable to both the complainant(s) and the respondent(s). UTHSC does not make a determination as to whether a respondent(s) has violated University policy. Instead, the Office of Equity and Diversity attempts to facilitate a mutually acceptable resolution through the use of conflict resolution techniques. In the informal process, the Office of Equity and Diversity will only speak to those people whose involvement is necessary to facilitate a resolution to a complaint. Frequently, this includes only the complainant(s) and respondent(s).


Formal Complaint

The goal of the Formal complaint process is to reach an official determination as to whether a respondent(s) has violated the University policies addressing harassment and discrimination and/or UTHSC's Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy. As a part of the Formal complaint process, the Office of Equity and Diversity will conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations of the complaint and prepare a report of the investigation.

The complaining party selects whether to pursue an Informal or Formal complaint. A complainant may choose to first file an Informal complaint. If, however, the parties are unable to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the Informal complaint, a complainant may then file a Formal complaint. Additionally, a complainant may during the Informal complaint process choose to file a Formal complaint instead.

Possible resolutions with an Informal complaint might include, but are not limited to: 1) an agreement by the respondent to cease the behavior; 2) assisting the respondent to better understand the effects of his or her conduct and ways in which this behavior might be changed; 3) participation in educational programs about equal opportunity, discrimination or harassment; 4) verbal or written reprimands; 5) taking away of privileges; or 6) termination of employment. The resolution sought depends upon the circumstances of the complaint as well as the wishes of the parties involved.

As a reiterative point, the Informal complaint process and the Formal complaint process are not mutually exclusive. An individual may attempt to first resolve his or her concerns through an Informal complaint. If, however, the parties are unable to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of an Informal complaint, a complainant may then file a Formal complaint. Additionally, a complainant may during the Informal complaint process choose to file a Formal complaint instead.

To learn more about UTHSC’s discrimination complaint procedure, complaint form, and incident reporting form click on the following:

These options referenced above are available to all members of the university community; however some of the specific policies and procedures may vary based on your relationship to the university.  For a detailed description of these options, please follow the relevant links below:

Filing a complaint of discrimination and harassment with the Office of Equity and Diversity does not preclude you from filing with other state and federal agencies:

TITLE VI

Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC)

Tennessee Tower
312 Rosa L Parks Ave, 23rd floor
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone: 615-741-5825
Fax Numbers: 615-253-1886 | 615-532-2197
Toll Free: (800)251-3589

TITLE VII

United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

1407 Union Avenue, 9th floor
Memphis, TN 38104 
Toll Free: 1-800-669-4000
1-800-669-6820 (TTY)
901-544-0111 (fax)

TITLE IX

United States Department of Education

Office for Civil Rights
61 Forsyth Street, S.W., Suite 19T10
Atlanta, GA 30303-8927
(404) 974-9406 (phone)
(404) 974-9471 (fax)
Email: OCR.Atlanta@ed.gov  

Non-retaliation: An individual may file a complaint alleging retaliation in accordance with UT Policy based on their relationship to the university.