Fewer charges filed

By Lisa Wuethrich

NIU had fewer formal complaints in the 1990-91 school year than in previous years, according to an annual report by NIU’s Affirmative Action Office.

The office enforces affirmative action policies of the university which are based on state laws.

The Office for Professional Supportive Staff and Faculty reported six formal and 28 informal complaints from July 1, 1990 to May 10, 1991, said Fredrick Dearborn, Office of Affirmative Action assistant director.

In 1989-90, 15 formal and 16 informal complaints were filed, Dearborn said.

When a formal complaint is filed, a form is completed and an investigation is conducted. An informal complaint is resolved without an investigation and without paperwork, Dearborn said.

With informal complaints, the office gives the person who has the complaint advice about university policy and then calls the other party and gives an interpretation of the policy or law to see if the situation can be settled, he said.

In some cases, the office gets the people together to talk about their different viewpoints, but that form of settlement doesn’t happen too often, Dearborn said.

Some of the complaints range from sexual harassment to age, race and color discrimination, he said.

Among other activities, Affirmative Action provides information on committee services, presentations, projects and workshops.