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A party who may have been the target of a violation of the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy should meet as soon as possible with the Title IX Coordinator. The Coordinator will, if so requested, help the party decide whether the allegation fall within the scope of the Policy, answer any questions regarding addressing and resolving the behavior, provide any information that might help the party decide whether to file a complaint and thereby initiate an investigation, and/or should the party wish, assist in contacting the local police.

Advisor

The complainant or respondent (hereafter party) is entitled to one advisor of his or her choosing to guide and accompany him/her throughout the grievance process including all meetings and hearings the party will attend. The party may choose to select an advisor at any point in the process but must have an advisor to cross-examine witnesses in a formal hearing. If the party cannot find or is unwilling to choose an advisor, the Title IX Coordinator will appoint an advisor of the coordinator’s choice to assist the party during an Administrative Panel Hearing.

Note: Advisors cannot serve as witnesses.

Filing a formal complainant

If the party wishes to proceed with the formal grievance process, the party (now complainant) will meet with the Title IX Coordinator to determine if the alleged behavior meets within the parameters of Title IX sexual misconduct or within the University parameters of sexual misconduct. Following that meeting, the complainant will submit a written complaint to the Title IX Office on the provided form. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator/designee or Associate Title IX Coordinator will do the following:

  • Inform the respondent that he/she has been charged with a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
  • Meet with the respondent to address the allegations.
  • Assign Title IX staff to investigate and adjudicate the allegations and communicate the names of the investigators and adjudicators to the complainant and respondent (hereafter party or parties).

Note: Complainants and respondents retain the right at any time during the investigation or adjudication process to remove themselves from the formal grievance process. However, the Title IX Coordinator, after consulting the appropriate Title IX Staff members, has the authority to continue the investigation and/or adjudication process without the complainant or respondent.

Dismissal of charges

Mandatory Dismissal: The University must investigate the allegations when a formal complaint is filed. If the conduct alleged by the complainant would not constitute sexual harassment as defined in the “Title IX Sexual Misconduct” policy, the Title IX Coordinator must dismiss the formal complaint with regard to that conduct. However, if the conduct alleged by the complainant would constitute sexual harassment as defined under the “University Sexual Misconduct” policy, the Title IX Coordinator has the authority to institute charges under that policy.

Discretionary Dismissals: The Title IX Coordinator has the authority to dismiss formal complaints in three specified circumstances:

  1. where a complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein;
  2. where the respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by the University; or
  3. where specific circumstances prevent the University from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the allegations contained in the formal complaint.

Note: Any dismissal of charges as described above may be appealed by the complainant or respondent as outlined in the sexual misconduct appeals policy.

Investigation process

The Title IX Coordinator (Associate Title IX Coordinator) will assign trained individual(s) to investigate the allegations. The authority and responsibilities of an investigator is as follows:

  1. Investigate the allegations of a violation of the University Sexual Misconduct Policy.
  2. Regularly communicate the investigation progress to the Title IX Coordinator.
  3. Make available to the Title IX Coordinator, both parties, and their respective advisor all interview notes, all inculpatory and exculpatory evidence, and the investigator’s final report.
Consolidation of formal complaints

Provided the allegations of sexual harassment arise out of the same facts or circumstances, The University may consolidate formal complaints that are:

  • Against more than one respondent
  • By more than one complainant against one or more respondents
  • By one party against the other party
The administrative panel hearing (AHP)

Purpose: A respondent has the right to address allegations the he/she violated the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy in an Administrative Panel Hearing. The purpose of this hearing is to determine if a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy has occurred and, if the hearing panel finds that a violation of policy has occurred, the panel is authorized to sanction the respondent.

Composition of the AHP: The hearing will occur following an investigation by University sanctioned investigator(s). The hearing panel will consist of three (3) Administrative Hearing Officers (AHO), one of which shall be the Chair of the panel. The Title IX Coordinator will appoint the AHP Chair from the list of administrators below and the AHP Chair will appoint the remaining two members from this list:

  • Vice President of Administration
  • Vice President of Student Success
  • Vice President of Academics
  • Chief of Staff
  • Associate Vice President of Academic Operations
Preponderance of the evidence defined

After assessing the quality of the evidence, an AHP panel member should only find the respondent responsible for the alleged misconduct if the evidence convinces the panel member to reasonably conclude that a finding of responsibility is justified. That is, the panel member should find that there is sufficient evidence that is relevant, probable, and persuasive to convince the member that the respondent engaged in the alleged misconduct, and that the evidence supporting a finding of responsibility outweighs any evidence that the respondent is not responsible for the alleged misconduct.

Hearing procedures and the determination

The structure and order of the hearing will be determined prior to the hearing. A written order of the presentation of evidence and witnesses will be provided to both parties prior to the hearing.

Following the conclusion of the hearing, the panel will move into an executive session. The panel will deliberate on the facts of the case and cast a vote to determine a finding. The majority opinion (2 or 3 votes) will determine the finding for the case. The AHP shall make one the following findings:

  • The respondent is not responsible for violating the Sexual Misconduct Policy,
  • The respondent is responsible for violating the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Within 3 business days following the determination, baring exigent circumstances, the AHP Chair will do the following:

  • Write the Administrative Hearing Panel final report.
  • Notify the complainant and respondent (simultaneously), and Title IX Coordinator of the finding and, if found responsible, the assigned sanctions.
Sanctions and remedies

If the AHP determines that a violation has occurred, the panel will determine the appropriate sanction(s) and remedies using the established sanctioning matrix. The panel is authorized to, when finding that aggravating or mitigating factors exist, exceed/deceed the established sanctioning parameters.

Supportive Remedies for the complainant

The Title IX Coordinator will meet with a complainant to explore additional remedies designed to restore or preserve the complainant’s equal educational access any time a respondent is found responsible for sexual harassment. These remedies may, where applicable, include but are not limited to the following:

  • Counseling in the University Counseling Center
  • Extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments
  • Modifications of work or class schedules
  • Campus escort services
  • Changes in work or campus housing location
  • Leaves of absence
Appeal process

Following the determination of a finding by the Administrative Hearing Panel, the Complainant or Respondent may submit a written appeal. This written appeal must be submitted using the “” form and submitted as directed on the form. The appeal must be submitted within three (3) business days of notification of the findings and include all evidence substantiating the appeal.

The criteria to file an appeal, appeal policies, and the request form can be found here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Any Request for Appeal not filed within the 3 business day period will be denied.

Informal resolution

Following the receipt of a formal complainant, the Title IX Coordinator may offer the complainant and respondent the option to enter into an “Informal Resolution” of the allegations. The complainant and/or the respondent may also request the Title IX coordinator to offer the other party the option of an Informal Resolution. The Title IX Coordinator is the sole administrator who determines if an Informal Resolution is appropriate given the allegations. This option will remain open until the beginning of an Administrative Panel Hearing at which time the option becomes unavailable.

If the Title IX Coordinator and both parties agree that an Informal Resolution is a viable option to resolve the allegations, the Title IX Coordinator will direct the parties to formalize this request in writing. Either party may withdraw from the Informal resolution process at any time without penalty up until the signing of a resolution agreement. Should this happen the Title IX Coordinator will re-initiate the investigation and adjudication process. The Title IX Coordinator or designee will supervise the Informal Resolution process.

Emergency removal

The Emergency Removal Committee (hereafter ERC) has the authority to remove any University community member who poses an immediate threat to the physical health or physical safety of a complainant, respondent, or any other person participating in the investigation or adjudication of the Title IX process.  Individuals (e.g. Title IX Investigators, Campus Safety Staff, Resident Hall Staff, or others) believing that a member of the University community could pose such an immediate threat should contact any title IX coordinator to inform the coordinator of the facts surrounding the alleged immediate threat.  The title IX coordinator will then activate the ERC.  The ERC will meet to determine if the facts support that such a threat exists. The following are the rubrics by which the ERC will operate.

1) The ERC will be composed of 3 members as follows:

  • Student is the alleged threat: Title IX Coordinator (or designee), a University professional who possess a background in counseling or social work appointed by the T9C (with designee back-up), Dean of Students (or designee)
  • Employee is the alleged threat: Title IX Coordinator (or designee), a University professional who possess a background in counseling or social work appointed by the T9C (with designee back-up), Human Resource Administrator appointed by the T9C (or designee).

2) Members of the ERC may meet face-to-face or through electronic means as soon as possible.

  • This meeting would include interviewing any individual who has relevant information regarding the immediate threat of the respondent.
  • Before making a decision, the ERC must meet with the respondent and allow the respondent to address the allegations of the immediate threat.

3) In making the decision to remove a respondent on a temporary basis, the ERC will use the following criteria.

  • Assess the available supportive and/or proscriptive measures that can remediate the immediate threat thus allowing the respondent to remain as a member of the University community.
  • Consider only the physical safety of the potential victim(s).
  • Assess the credibility and relevance of the information received.
  • Assess the nature and severity of the potential harm.
  • Assess the duration of the risk.
  • Assess how likely it is that the potential harm will occur.
  • Assess the imminence of the potential harm.
  • Determine that there is no other reasonable or restrictive remedies available other than emergency removal.
Bias and conflict of interest

If a complainant or respondent believes that an Assistant/Associate Coordinator, Investigator, Hearing Panel Member, or Appeal Officer assigned to his/her case cannot conduct a fair/unbiased investigation or adjudication of the case, the party may petition the Title IX Coordinator to replace that individual. However, if the allegation is that The Title IX Coordinator cannot serve in an unbiased manner, the party may petition the Administrative Hearing Panel Chair to replace the Title IX Coordinator. This must be done in writing (email) within 3 business days of being notified of the assigned member and must include supporting evidence.