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Investigation and Resolution Procedures

Complainants rights
Respondents rights

Advisors
Informal Resolution Procedure 
Mediation
Formal Investigation Procedure
   Submission of Complaint and Initial Review 
   Investigation Process 
   Administrative Review 
   Notice of Outcome 
   Possible Sanctions And Additional Remedies 

   Appeals 

Investigation and Resolution Procedures

Investigations of complaints are necessary to determine:

  •   whether a complaint alleges a violation of the Sexual Violence Policy or the Student Code of Conduct;
  •   whether prohibited conduct has occurred;
  •  whether there is an ongoing risk of harm for further prohibited conduct and, if so, what steps must be taken to prevent its recurrence;
  •  whether interim protective measures should be in place for the safety of the complainant or the community, or to redress the effects of prohibited conduct;
  •   whether the conduct warrants disciplinary action; and
  •   whether local or system-wide changes to policies, practices or training should be considered and implemented by the Universities.

These Procedures have been designed to provide prompt, thorough, fair and impartial processes from investigation to final result. The proceedings pursuant to these Procedures will be conducted transparently and consistently with the University's policies. The formal rules of process or evidence, such as those applied in criminal or civil courts, are not used under these Procedures.


Complainants rights regarding allegations of sexual violence or sexual misconduct: 

  • to an explanation of the options available;
  •   to referrals to confidential assistance and support services from both on- and off-campus resources, including 24 hour services;
  •   to a change in on-campus residence and/or an adjustment to their academic schedule if such changes are reasonably available;
  •   to request that the University impose no contact/communication orders or other interim measures;
  •   to make a complaint that starts the University’s investigation and resolution processes;
  •   to a prompt, thorough and equitable investigation and resolution of a complaint;
  •   to choose whether or not to initiate a formal investigation of the complaint, unless the University deems it necessary to investigate to protect the safety of the community or in compliance with applicable law;
  •    to the confidentiality of the investigation process to the extent possible;
  •   to an advisor of one’s choice who will assist and be present at any time during the investigation proceedings, but who may not participate in or otherwise provide representation in any way throughout the process;
  •   to reasonable accommodations for a documented disability during the process;
  •   to know, in advance, the names of all persons known to be involved;
  •   not to have irrelevant sexual history discussed;
  •   to be present at meetings and review documents;
  •   to speak and present information on one’s own behalf;;
  •   to submit questions for the Administrative Investigator to ask witnesses;
  •   to know the status of the case at any point during the process;
  •   to be informed of the outcome of the process in a timely manner;
  •   to an appeal from the outcome of the process;
  •   to file no complaint with the University, but receive support services from the University;
  •   to file a police report and/or take legal action separate from and/or in addition to the University discipline process;
  •   to seek and enforce a no contact, restraining or similar court order;
  •   to be assisted by the University in seeking assistance from or filing a complaint with local law enforcement;
  •   to not file a complaint or seek assistance from local law enforcement, but receive support services from the University;
  •   to be free from any behavior that may be construed by the University to be intimidating, harassing or retaliatory; and
  •   to have the matter handled in accordance with University Policy. 

Respondents rights regarding allegations of sexual violence or sexual misconduct:

  •   to an explanation of the allegations against them; 
  •   to referrals to confidential assistance and support services from both on- and off-campus resources, including 24 hour services;
  •   to receive a copy of the complaint filed against them;
  •   to be presumed not in violation of University policy until a violation is established through the complaint investigation process;
  •   to the confidentiality of the investigation process to the extent possible;
  •   to an advisor of one’s choice who will assist and be present at any time during the investigation proceedings, but who may not participate in or otherwise provide representation in any way throughout the process;
  •   to reasonable accommodations for a documented disability during the process;
  •   to know, in advance, the names of all persons known to be involved;
  •   not to have irrelevant sexual history discussed;
  •   to be present at meetings and review documents;
  •   to speak and present information on one’s own behalf;
  •   to submit questions for the Administrative Investigator to ask witnesses;
  •   to know the status of the case at any point during the investigation and resolution process;
  •   to be informed of the outcome of the process in a timely manner;
  •   to an appeal from the outcome of the process;
  •   to be free from any behavior that may be construed by the University to be intimidating, harassing or retaliatory; and
  •   to have the matter handled in accordance with University Policy. 


Advisors


Each victim, complainant or respondent to an investigation initiated under the Investigation and Resolution Procedures is entitled to have an advisor present during any meetings regarding the process (other than meetings between victims and University officials regarding accommodations or protective interim measures) and disciplinary proceedings. Except as otherwise required by law, the advisor may observe, but may not participate in any way whatsoever, including, without limitation, by asking questions or speaking during the meeting or proceeding. The advisor’s role is to provide support and/or advice to the party. During meetings and proceedings, the advisor may speak with the party or pass notes in a non-disruptive manner. The Universities reserve the right to remove from the meeting or proceeding any advisor who disrupts the process, or who does not abide by the restrictions on their participation. In addition, please note that the University does not need to cancel or delay a meeting or proceeding simply because an advisor cannot be present. Further, the advisor is not permitted to attend a meeting or proceeding without the advisee.

The personal advisor for a complainant, a student respondent or a non-unit employee respondent can be any person, including an attorney. For respondents who are unit members, the personal advisor shall be a union representative or other University employee pursuant to the respondent’s Weingarten rights. A respondent who is a unit member may choose as an advisor a person who is not a union representative or other University employee, but the unit member will not be allowed two advisors. If the advisor is an attorney, the University’s legal counsel may also attend the meeting or proceeding. 

Informal Resolution Procedure 

The Informal Resolution Procedure may not be used in an effort to resolve allegations of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking. If you seek to make such a complaint, the Formal Investigation Procedure in Section B will apply.

Where appropriate, the parties to a dispute may attempt to reach an informal resolution of the potential violation. The University encourages involved parties to request the intervention of the University to assist in an informal resolution by contacting the Title IX Coordinator. 

Mediation

Mediation may not be requested or used in an effort to resolve allegations of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking.

During a formal investigation, at any time prior to the issuance of the Notice of Outcome, either party may request mediation of the complaint by contacting the Title IX Coordinator. All parties must agree to mediation for this option to be used. 

Formal Investigation Procedure 

Submission of Complaint and Initial Review 

When a person believes that s/he has been harassed, discriminated or retaliated against, stalked or subjected to violence in violation of the Sexual Violence Plan, s/he may file a written complaint, preferably using the Complaint Form attached to these Procedures. Individuals are encouraged to file complaints directly with the Title IX Coordinator, but complaints may also be filed with other offices, such as Student Conduct, Human Resources, Residence Life or Campus Police. Any complaint that is initially filed with other offices will be reported to the Title IX Coordinator. 

A complaint must be filed by the complainant or a University official, and the complaint must be in the words of the complainant or the University official. Complaints should contain all known facts pertaining to the alleged violation, the names of any known witnesses and others with knowledge of the allegations, and an identification of any documents or other evidence. 

File a Complaint

Investigation Process 

If a complaint has been properly filed, or the University otherwise determines that an investigation is necessary, the University will assign the matter to an Administrative Investigator. The University may also designate other trained and knowledgeable University officials to assist with the investigation. Under circumstances where the University deems it necessary or appropriate, the University may also appoint an external investigator. 

The Administrative Investigator will notify the respondent of the complaint, provide him or her with a copy of the complaint, and invite the respondent to submit a written response. If the respondent does not respond, or otherwise fails to participate in the investigation, the Administrative Investigator will complete the investigation on the basis of the other information obtained. Where a complaint is brought by a third party reporter, the Administrative Investigator shall attempt to meet with the potential complainant to discuss his/her participation in the investigation, and to gain additional information. 

The investigation shall include, but is not limited to: an analysis of the allegations and defenses presented using the preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) standard; consideration of all relevant documents, including written statements and other materials presented by the parties; interviews of the parties and other individuals and/or witnesses; and/or reviewing certain documents or materials in the possession of either party that the Administrative Investigator has deemed relevant. The Administrative Investigator may also review any available campus police investigation reports or the investigation reports of local law enforcement authorities. 

At the conclusion of the investigation, the Administrative Investigator shall prepare an Investigation Report for an administrative review. The Investigation Report shall: outline the investigatory steps undertaken; summarize the factual findings; state whether a policy violation has occurred based on the preponderance of the evidence; explain the rationale for the violation determination; and, if applicable, recommend a sanction(s). The Investigation Report will not be shared with the parties except upon request following the issuance of the Notice of Outcome, and then only in accordance with applicable law. 

Administrative Review 

The Title IX Coordinator or other designated University official(s) (the “reviewing body”) will conduct an administrative review of the Investigation Report. 

If the reviewing body determines that the investigation is prompt, fair, impartial and thorough, the reviewing body will then consider whether the recommended discipline or sanction is consistent with University policy and practice. In determining discipline, the Administrative Investigator and the reviewing body may consider the respondent’s disciplinary history, if one exists. The Administrative Investigator and/or reviewing body may discuss sanctions with other University personnel as necessary, such as Human Resources, Student Conduct or upper-level administrators. 

Notice of Outcome 

At the completion of the administrative review, the University will notify the respondent of all sanctions imposed. If the sanctions imposed on the respondent include a separation from the residence halls or the University, and, in the opinion of the Administrative Investigator and/or reviewing body, the respondent poses a continued threat to the safety of the campus community, the sanctions may take effect immediately, and while an appeal is pending.

At the completion of the administrative review, the University will also contemporaneously issue a written Notice of Outcome to the complainant and the respondent. The Notice of Outcome shall include the following:

  1. the factual findings of the investigation;
  2. the policy violation determination and the rationale for the determination;
  3. all sanctions that result from an allegation of sexual violence or other crime of violence;
  4. the sanctions that directly relate to the complainant that arise from an allegation of discrimination, discriminatory harassment, non-violent sexual or gender-based harassment, and/or retaliation;
  5. and the parties’ appeal rights.

If no appeal is filed by either party within five (5) days of their receipt of the Notice of Outcome, the results will become final and the University will proceed with the imposition of the recommended sanction(s).

A person making a complaint of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking may submit a victim impact statement. A respondent to such a complaint may submit a statement of mitigation or extenuation. 

Possible Sanctions And Additional Remedies 
 

For Employee Respondents. Disciplinary action taken against an employee shall be regarded as an administrative action, up to and including termination, subject to all provisions of applicable collective bargaining agreements or personnel policies.

For Student Respondents. A student who has been found to have violated the Sexual Violence Policy may be subject to sanctions including, but not limited to:

  •   reprimand
  •   warning
  •   disciplinary probation
  •   loss of privileges
  •   relocation of residence
  •   restriction from facilities or activities
  •   temporary or permanent residence hall
  •   suspension
  •   fines and/or restitution
  •   disciplinary hold
  •   assessment
  •   educational program or project
  •   revocation of admission or degree
  •   withholding of degree
  •   suspension
  •   expulsion 

    In general, the sanction typically imposed for students for rape or non-consensual sexual intercourse is expulsion. The sanction typically imposed for students for non-consensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking is suspension or expulsion. All student sanctions, however, are determined on a case-by-case basis in consideration of: the seriousness of the violation; sanctions typically imposed for similar violations; prior disciplinary history; and any other circumstances indicating that the sanction should be more or less severe. 
     

Appeals 

Either party may appeal the results of an investigation under these Procedures by submitting a written letter of appeal to the Title IX Coordinator or designee within five (5) business days of the party’s receipt of the Notice of Outcome. An appeal may be transmitted electronically to the Title IX Coordinator or designee. Appeals may be submitted on the following grounds:

  1. to allege a material procedural error within the investigation and resolution process that would substantially change the outcome; or
  2. to consider new evidence that was not known at the time of the investigation that would substantially change the outcome.

Appeals will not be considered on any other basis.

Upon timely receipt of the appeal letter, the Title IX Coordinator shall transmit the Investigation Report and the appeal letter to the appropriate appellate officer or body for review. If the appealing party has presented an appeal on the basis of the grounds set forth above, the appellate officer or body, who shall not have participated in the investigation or administrative review, will review the appeal and make a determination to uphold, reverse or modify the decision. When necessary, the appellate officer or body may seek additional information and/or refer the matter back to the Administrative Investigator, prior to making an appellate determination.

Where practicable, within (30) days of receiving the appeal, the appellate officer or body shall contemporaneously issue a written decision to the parties in which it may uphold, reverse or modify the decision. All appellate decisions are final, provided that any corrective action and/or discipline imposed upon a unit member is subject to applicable collective bargaining agreements.