This overview is a brief description of how to file a complaint of discrimination and/or harassment at Valdosta State University. For additional information concerning the policies and procedures in this area, please contact the Office of Human Resources.

Who may file a complaint?

Any person (e.g., faculty, staff, student, visitor) may report what they believe to be an act of discrimination or harassment. Faculty, staff and visitors should report to the Office of Human Resources as soon as possible after the alleged incident(s).

How do students file complaints?

Students wishing to report concerns of harassment or discrimination should contact the Office of Student Affairs, Mr. Darius Thomas, 229-333-5941.

How do I file a complaint through the Office of Human Resources?

You may file a complaint through the Formal Resolution Process by contacting the Employee Relations Manager, the HR Compliance Officer or the CHRO at 229-333-5709. You may also send an email that includes a narrative of the alleged incident (where possible, dates, names, locations - any information you deem relevant) to Midge Scott Firestone (, Selenseia Holmes ( or Jeanine Boddie La-Van ( The Office of Human Resources is located in entrance 5 of the University Center

What is a formal complaint?

Formal Complaint: The goal of the Complaint Process is to reach an official determination as to whether a respondent(s) has violated the University’s Anti-harassment Policy and/or Non-discrimination Policy. As part of the Complaint Process, a University Investigator will conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations of the complaint and prepare a report of the investigation. Following the investigation, the appropriate Human Resources employee will ultimately issue a determination as to 1) whether a University policy concerning discrimination and/or harassment was violated; and 2), if so, what the appropriate sanction should be. The HR employee will work with the board office as needed, prior to any final determination. There is available a written appeal to the University's President if either party wishes to appeal the determination.

When do I need to file a complaint?

Individuals wishing to report a concern or file a complaint of discrimination and/or harassment are encouraged to do so as soon as possible following the incident(s). Any complaint must be filed within 50 days of the incident of discrimination and/or harassment or, where the behavior is of an ongoing nature, within 50 days from the most recent incident. The time limits for filing complaints cannot be extended.

If an employee leaves the University, the employee must file a complaint relating to alleged discrimination and/or harassment occurring during that individual’s employment with the University within ten days following the employee’s termination of employment from the University.

Will my complaint be confidential?

Complaints of discrimination and/or harassment are treated with the greatest degree of confidentiality possible. In all situations, confidentiality is maintained on a strict need-to-know basis; however, confidentiality can only be respected insofar as it does not interfere with the University’s obligation to investigate allegations of misconduct that require it to take corrective action.

Am I protected from retaliation if I file a complaint?

Valdosta State University prohibits retaliation against individuals who file complaints or who participate in the complaint resolution process. Retaliatory action is regarded as a basis for a separate complaint under the University’s Procedures. If you believe that you have been retaliated against for filing a complaint of discrimination and/or harassment, or for participating in the resolution of a complaint of discrimination and/or harassment, please contact the Office of Human Resources.

Where can I get more information?

The Office of Human Resources can further explain the University’s policies and procedures to you and can assist in initiating the complaint process. To make an appointment, please call 229-333-5709. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Friday.

Individuals who wish to file a complaint outside the University may be able to file a complaint with the Georgia Civil Rights Commission, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Information regarding filing charges with any of these agencies may be obtained from the Office of Human Resources or directly from the agencies.