All reports and concerns regarding Title IX related incidents (including but not limited to incidents of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct) will be conducted by the Title IX Coordinator. The University’s Title IX investigation is different from any law enforcement investigation, and a law enforcement investigation does not relieve the University of its independent Title IX obligation to investigate the conduct. In cases involving potential criminal conduct, University personnel must determine, consistent with State and local law, whether appropriate law enforcement or other authorities should be notified.
The University will make every effort to maintain the confidentiality and privacy of individuals and information involved in any complaint. Any attempt by a member of the faculty, staff, administration, or student body to penalize or retaliate in any way against a person bringing a complaint of discrimination, harassment, or sexual harassment or misconduct, or retaliation is prohibited and will be treated as a separate incident to be reviewed and investigated in its own right.
In appropriate circumstances, and with the voluntary approval of the complainant, the, Risk, and Legal Affairs/General Title IX Coordinator may attempt informal methods to resolve the alleged complaint without the need for additional proceedings. The objective of the informal process will be to provide appropriate relief to the aggrieved party, sensitize the alleged harasser to the effects of such behavior, and resolve the complaint to the mutual satisfaction of both parties.
Formal Investigation and Resolutions
In instances where formal methods are warranted and/or requested by the complainant, a formal investigation will be conducted in an expeditious and confidential manner. Preponderance of the evidence will be considered the appropriate standard for investigating allegations of sexual harassment or violence.
- The complainant and the respondent will be given an opportunity to identify any witnesses or other evidence regarding the complaint, timely notice of meetings during which they will be expected to be present
- The complainant, the respondent, and appropriate officials are given timely and equal access to information that will be used during informal and formal disciplinary meetings.
- The University will interview the complainant and the respondent, and, where possible, interview witnesses. The investigation will also involve a review of the statements, if any, and evidence presented by the complainant and respondent, and other evidence gathered within the reasonable scope of the investigation.
- In instances involving sexual violence, the complainant and respondent will be entitled to the same opportunity to have others present during an internal disciplinary proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting by an advisor or support person of their choice.
- Effort will be made to complete the investigation within 30 days of receiving the initial complaint.
- If the University determines that a student has engaged in conduct in violation of this Policy, the sanction for the offender will be determined through the Student Life Standards and Disciplinary Policy and Procedures.
- Both the complainant and the respondent will receive simultaneous written notice of the outcome of the investigation.
- Faculty and staff concerns regarding the outcome of this process may be addressed through the Mediation and Resolution of Disputes and Appeal Process.
- Student concerns regarding the outcome of this process may be addressed through appeal consistent with the Student Life Standards and Disciplinary Policy.
- If the University determines that any individual involved in an investigation of misconduct under this Policy has deliberately or knowingly provided false information to those investigating, the individual will be subject to discipline, up to and potentially including termination of employment, or suspension or dismissal from the University.
- In substantiated cases of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, or retaliation, the University will take appropriate steps to prevent recurrence and to correct discriminatory effects on the complainant and others, if appropriate.
If, at any point during the informal or formal grievance procedure, it becomes known or apparent that the grievance or concern relates to the University’s obligations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (e.g., to provide reasonable accommodations and physical access to students with disabilities), the grievance or concern will be promptly referred to the Director of the Learning Center & Disability Services pursuant to the University’s Disability-Related Grievance Procedure. In such cases, the University will conduct a single investigation pursuant to the applicable policy and procedures.
Nothing in this process should be construed as impeding or prohibiting an employee or student from pursuing a criminal complaint with the appropriate internal or external law enforcement agency or in filing a discrimination complaint with the appropriate external governmental agency.
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