Under the University’s Title IX Policy, you are referred to as a respondent because an individual, referred to as the complainant, has filed a formal complaint alleging that you engaged in prohibited conduct, specifically, sexual harassment or sexual assault.
An investigation is part of the administrative process the University uses to determine whether University policy has been violated. The investigation is not a legal proceeding, and as a result, a Title IX investigation does not determine guilt or innocence relative to any local, state, or federal law.
Notice of Allegation
You have the right to receive a written notice of any and all allegations known at the time of the complaint with sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview, including the identities of the parties involved in the incident, if known; the conduct allegedly constituting a policy violation; and the date and location of the alleged incident, if known.
Presumption of Innocence
You are presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination is made at the conclusion of the grievance process.
Right to an Advisor of Choice
You have a right to have one advisor of your choice, who may be an attorney, to assist you throughout the process.
Confidentiality and Privacy
Your privacy is respected and we keep information gathered during the interview process confidential, limiting disclosure to those University employees with a legitimate “need to know” in order to carry out their responsibilities to review, investigate and/or resolve these matters.
You have a right to an impartial investigation that is conducted in a prompt, thorough and fair manner, focusing on the available information.
You have a right to participate in the investigation process free from retaliation.
The University prohibits all forms of retaliation against an individual who has engaged in a protected activity such as filing a discrimination or harassment complaint, making a verbal statement of discrimination or harassment, or being a witness in a discrimination or harassment complaint. Retaliation should be promptly reported to the Title IX Coordinator.
You have a right to know of any supportive measures already determined and being provided to the complainant that directly affect you.
You have a right to receive supportive measures based upon the facts and circumstances of the situation including, but not limited to:
- Modifications of work or class schedules
- Campus escort services
- Mutual restrictions on contact between the parties
- Changes in working locations
- Leaves of absence
- Increased security and monitoring of certain areas on the campus.
These measures will be maintained as confidential to the extent that the University’s ability to effectively provide the measures is not impaired.
Provided that you and the complainant give your voluntary, written consent, the University may facilitate a resolution without a full investigation and adjudication. This option is not available if the complaint involves quid pro quo harassment or sexual assault.
If resolution of the allegation is not resolved through an informal process, a comprehensive investigation will take place. Both parties will be notified of the investigator’s contact information and each party will have opportunity to identify any real or perceived conflicts of interest by notifying the Title IX Coordinator in writing. The Title IX Coordinator will consider stated concerns and if they determine that a material conflict of interest exists, will assign a different investigator.
Interviewing the Parties
Typically, the investigator’s first step will be to meet with the complainant to fully understand the allegations. The complainant is strongly encouraged to share all information, including documentation and names of witness, if any, with the investigator. After the investigator understands the nature and scope of the allegations, you will be asked about the allegations and given a full and fair opportunity to respond. You are also strongly encouraged to share all information, including documentation and names of witnesses, if any with the investigator. The parties are not present during each other’s interviews.
Notes and Recordings
The investigator will take notes during the interview. However, interviews with the investigator are not recorded, and no recording is permitted by anyone participating in the investigation process, including complainants, respondents, witnesses, and advisors.
Gathering Other Information
After meeting with the complainant and the respondent, the investigator interviews witnesses and reviews all documentation deemed relevant to the situation. The investigator will also visit, inspect, and take photographs at relevant sites; collect and preserve relevant evidence, and obtain relevant medical records pertaining to treatment of the complainant provided they voluntarily authorize release of these records. The investigator may also contact the parties with additional questions or to request additional relevant information.
Inspection and Access to Evidence
You will have an opportunity to inspect and review the evidence obtained through the investigation. The purpose of the inspection and review process is to allow each party the equal opportunity to meaningfully respond to the evidence prior to conclusion of the investigation.
The investigator will consider all information gathered during an investigation and prepare a report, which will be shared with both parties. Each party will have the opportunity to submit a written response to the evidence which will be considered by the Investigator before the report is submitted to the Title IX Coordinator. The report is not shared with any other parties, including witnesses.
The Title IX Coordinator will provide a final copy of the report to both parties concurrently and at least 10 calendar days prior to the determination hearing. The parties may provide a written response to the final investigation report five calendar days after receiving it.
A hearing will be conducted to determine the outcome and resolution of the complaint. The Chancellor/designee will appoint a neutral hearing officer to conduct the hearing, make findings regarding responsibility, and if applicable, any necessary sanctions.
If you are found responsible for sexual harassment or assault, the hearing officer will notify you of any remedies provided to the complainant to the extent that it affects you. Remedies may result in disciplinary sanctions or other punitive measures.
Both you and the complainant may appeal the hearing officer’s decision within five days of receipt of the decision. A three-member panel composed of at least two faculty or staff members will review the appeal. The panel’s decision is final, and no further appeals may be submitted under the Title IX Policy.
Grounds for Appeal
The appeal of the hearing officer’s decision must be for one of the following reasons:
- Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the decision
- New evidence, not reasonably available at the time of the hearing, that could affect the outcome of the decision
- The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or hearing officer had a conflict of interest or bias for or against either party that could affect the outcome of the decision
- The sanctions imposed are not appropriate for the nature and severity of the conduct
Dismissal of Complaint
Prohibited conduct which does not meet the definition of sexual harassment or sexual assault under the Title IX Policy, will be dismissed and referred to the Office of Student Accountability, or other appropriate campus authority, for further review and adjudication.
Either party may appeal the dismissal by submitting a written appeal within five days of the Title IX Coordinator’s decision. You will be kept informed throughout the process and have access to appropriate resources and supports.