Dear Gallaudet and Clerc Center employees:
As part of the shared governance philosophy that is rooted at Gallaudet University and Clerc Center, the University recognizes and supports the use of open letters to amplify the voice of employee and student governing groups. Through this mechanism, we are able to publicly and candidly share our hopes and concerns with our peers and colleagues.
The open letter is a powerful tool meant to bring widespread awareness to issues important to us as a community. It is precisely because of their far-reaching and public nature that open letters should be used responsibly. To maximize the opportunity to exchange ideas and perspectives, the tone should strive to invite thoughtful participation and constructive dialogue.
In addition to open letters, there are other mechanisms through which employees can express their concerns and seek issue resolution. Depending on the circumstances of the grievance or issue, one of the channels listed below may be more appropriate.
- Your Supervisor: If you have concerns, you are encouraged to discuss them with your supervisor as the first step. Your supervisor can provide advice on how to deal with conflicts or provide support. If you have concerns with your supervisor, then you are encouraged to meet with the next higher-up administrator, or you can seek advice from Human Resources, Office of Equal Opportunity Programs, or the Office of the Ombuds.
- Office of the Ombuds: The Office of the Ombuds provides conflict transformation/management resources to students, faculty, staff, and campus community members. This office is a confidential, neutral, informal, and independent place to develop options, identify avenues for reporting, obtain informed referrals, clarify University policies and procedures, find solutions to issues or concerns and more. The Office of the Ombuds receives a wide variety of concerns so no issue is too minor.
- Human Resources: Employee Relations is one of the functions in Human Resources with a primary goal to foster positive work relationships between supervisors and employees. You can meet with Employee Relations staff to discuss various options to resolve concerns or conflicts, which include both informal and formal resolutions. If you need help with interpreting certain policies or procedures, Human Resources can help clarify them.
- Equal Opportunity Programs (EOP): Faculty, staff, students, or teachers of Gallaudet University or the Clerc Center who believe that they have been discriminated against, harassed, or bullied based on a protected characteristic may contact the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs. EOP works to ensure compliance with Gallaudet’s policy on anti-discrimination.
- Whistleblower Hotline: The University has an obligation to conduct its affairs ethically and in compliance with the law. If you suspect that a University employee is engaged in improper activities, such as corruption, bribery, theft, fraud, or misuse of University property, gross misconduct, or gross incompetence, you can report the activity to the University’s Whistleblower hotline. The hotline is temporarily being monitored by the Office of the General Counsel. Individuals making reports in good faith are protected from retaliation and, as additional protection if needed, they may choose to file a report anonymously. Visit this link to file a whistleblower report.
We believe that every member of our community deserves to feel safe and protected, and free from fear of retaliation for giving voice to their concerns for discussion and/or resolution. We are continually revisiting our processes and policies to ensure equity, transparency, and efficiency, and welcome any feedback on how we can improve.
Equal Opportunity Programs