Information for Parents of Students in the Title IX Process
Filing a formal complaint of sexual harassment and/or sexual assault or being accused of sexual harassment and/or sexual assault is a serious matter and as such, we anticipate you have concerns and questions regarding the Title IX process and how engaging in this process impacts your student. This information sheet is designed with your questions and concerns in mind. It is recommended that you review the Title IX Policy in its entirety for a full overview and explanation of the investigation and adjudication process.
Brief Overview of the Process
Upon receipt of a formal complaint, the University is required to conduct a prompt and fair inquiry into the allegation(s) of sexual harassment and sexual assault. The complainant (person alleging harm) and the respondent (person accused of perpetrating the harm) are provided with an equal opportunity to share their accounts of the alleged incident(s), provide the names of witnesses, and offer evidence in support of their accounts. The respondent is not presumed responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination is made at the end of the investigation and hearing process.
Both the complainant and the respondent are provided with an equal opportunity to inspect all facts and evidence gathered during the investigation process as well as ample time to respond to requests for information or participate in interviews. An advisor/support person may assist either party throughout the process. The parties are responsible for selecting an advisor/support person, although upon request the University will provide an advisor/support person during the determination hearing.
Appropriate supportive measures, based upon the facts and circumstances of the case, are equally available to both parties. These measures are designed to ensure the safety of involved students and minimize disruption of their educational and/or residential experience to the extent possible. Supportive measures may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments
- Modifications of work or class schedules
- Campus escort services
- Mutual restrictions on contact between the parties
- Changes in working or housing locations; and/or
- Increased security and monitoring of certain areas on the campus
Following the conclusion and distribution of the investigative report, a live hearing will be conducted to determine the outcome and resolution of the complaint. The parties and their advisors will be notified of the date, time, and location of the hearing. Each party will have an opportunity to present evidence, propose and question witnesses, and, through their advisor, question the opposing party.
A neutral hearing officer will objectively and thoroughly evaluate all relevant evidence and reach an independent decision concerning whether a policy violation has occurred using a standard of proof known as “preponderance of the evidence.” Stated another way, this means a reasonable person would likely conclude that it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred based upon the available evidence and known facts.
If the hearing officer finds that a policy violation occurred, they will provide a written rationale for their decision, impose disciplinary sanctions upon the respondent and determine any final remedies to be provided to the complainant. Both parties will receive concurrent notification of the decision and either party may appeal within five days of receipt of the decision. Sanctions will not go into effect until the conclusion of the appeal process.
Student appeals are reviewed by a three-person panel that includes at least two University staff and/or faculty members. The panel may uphold the decision, modify it, or remand for further factual development. The panel’s decision is final, and no further appeals are offered under the policy.
Intersection of Student Privacy and FERPA
Students may be reluctant to share information with the Title IX Office out of fear their parent will learn of other of conduct, such as alcohol and/or drug use. Therefore, the Title IX Office holds communications with students in strict confidence. Students may provide permission to the Title IX Office to discuss specifics of their case with you, provided a FERPA release is completed and provided to the Title IX Office.
Other Helpful Information
Third parties, including parents, are encouraged to report known instances of sexual harassment and/or assault to the University. Sexual assault and dating/domestic violence are crimes and as such, the University recommends reporting to both law enforcement and the Title IX Coordinator.
Participation in the Title IX process is voluntary and as such, we may be limited in our ability to investigate and respond to complaints if either party does not engage in the grievance process. Supportive measures are available to complainants whether or not they pursue a formal complaint against the respondent.
Students cannot be punished for making a formal Title IX complaint that is in good faith or participating in the investigation and/or adjudication process. 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.
We encourage you to contact the Title IX Coordinator at (479) 575-7111, by sending an email to email@example.com or visiting our website at https://titleix.uark.edu/ , if you have further questions regarding the TIX Policy and how the process may impact your student.