What can the University do after I report an incident?
Whether or not criminal charges are filed, a victim/survivor may request the University to investigate reports of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking through the Title IX Office.
Reports of all domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking made to either the Public Safety Services or Pew Campus Security and Regional Centers will automatically be referred to the Title IX Coordinator & Equity Officer for determination of an investigation regardless of whether the victim/survivor chooses to pursue criminal charges.
To view the complete Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures, please visit the Title IX website.
When prohibited conduct is reported to Title IX, complainants AND respondents can expect:
- Prompt, fair and equitable resolution of allegations of prohibited conduct.
- Privacy in accordance with the Policy and any legal requirements.
- Reasonably available interim remedial measures.
- Freedom from retaliation for making a good faith report of prohibited conduct or participating in any proceeding.
- The responsibility to refrain from retaliation directed against any person for making a good faith report of prohibited conduct or participating in any proceeding.
- The responsibility to provide truthful information in connection with any report, investigation or resolution of prohibited conduct.
- The opportunity to articulate concerns or issues about proceedings.
- Timely notice of any meeting or proceeding.
- The opportunity to choose an advisor, including the right to have that advisor attend any meeting or proceeding.
- Written notice of an investigation, including notice of potential Sexual Misconduct Policy violation(s).
- The opportunity to offer information, present evidence and identify witnesses during an investigation.
- The opportunity to be heard, orally and/or in writing, as to the determination of a Sexual Misconduct Policy violation and the imposition of any sanction(s).
- Timely and equal access to any information that will be used during resolution and related meetings.
- Reasonable time to prepare any response.
- Written notice of any extension of timeframes for extenuating circumstances.
- Written notice of the outcome of any determination of a Sexual Misconduct Policy violation, imposition of any sanction(s) and the rationale for each.
- Upon receipt of a report of prohibited conduct, the Title IX Coordinator & Equity Officer/Director will make an initial assessment of the reported information and respond to any immediate health or safety concerns raised by the report.
- Upon completion of the assessment, The Title IX Coordinator and Equity Officer/Director will determine the course of action, which may include, without limitation, University investigation and resolution.
- The Title IX Coordinator & Equity Officer/Director will promptly inform the complainant of any actions undertaken by the University to respond to reported prohibited conduct, including the decision to proceed with an investigation.
- The Title IX Coordinator & Equity Officer/Director also will promptly inform the respondent of any action (including any interim protective measures) that will directly impact the respondent, and provide an opportunity for the respondent to respond to such actions.
- The Title IX Coordinator & Equity Officer/Director will designate one or more investigators from the Division of Inclusion and Equity, trained appointed co-investigators from outside the Division of Inclusion and Equity, and/or an experienced external investigator to conduct a prompt, thorough, fair and impartial investigation.
- All investigators will receive, at minimum, annual training on issues related to sex and gender-based harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking, and on how to conduct an investigation that is fair and impartial, provides parties with notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard and protects the safety of complainants and the University community while promoting accountability.
- The Title IX Coordinator & Equity Officer/Director will notify the complainant and the respondent, in writing, of the commencement of an investigation.
- The investigation is a neutral fact-gathering process. The respondent is presumed to be not responsible; this presumption may be overcome only where the investigators conclude that there is sufficient evidence, by a preponderance of the evidence, to support a finding that the respondent violated the Policy.
- Neither party is required to participate in the investigation nor in any form of resolution.
- Typically, the period from commencement of an investigation through resolution (finding and sanction, if any) will not exceed sixty (60) calendar days. This timeframe may be extended for good cause. The investigator will notify the parties in writing of any extension of this timeframe and the reason for such extension.
- During the investigation, the parties will have an equal opportunity to be heard, to submit information and corroborating evidence, to identify witnesses who may have relevant information and to submit questions that they believe should be directed by the investigator to each other or to any witness.
- The investigator will seek to meet separately with the complainant, the respondent and third-party witnesses, and will gather other relevant and available evidence and information. This can include electronic or other records of communications between the parties or witness (voice-mail, text message, email and social media sites), photographs and medical records (subject to the consent of the applicable party).
- Throughout the investigation and resolution process, each party has the right to choose and consult with an advisor. The parties may be accompanied by their respective advisors at any meeting or proceeding related to the investigation and resolution of a report. While the advisors may provide support and advice to the parties at any meeting and/or proceeding, they may not speak on behalf of the parties or otherwise participate in, or in any manner disrupt, such meetings and/or proceedings.
- At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will prepare a draft investigation report summarizing the information gathered.
- The complainant and the respondent will have an opportunity to review the draft investigation report, meet with the investigator, submit additional comments and information to the investigator, identify any witnesses or new evidence for the investigator to pursue and submit any further questions that they believe should be directed by the investigator to the other party or to any witness. The investigator will designate a reasonable time for this review and response by the parties, not to exceed two (2) business days.
- Unless there are significant additional investigative steps requested by the parties or identified by the investigator, within five (5) business days after receipt and consideration of any additional comments, questions and/or information submitted by the parties during the designated review and response period, the investigator will prepare a final investigation report, which will include as to whether there is sufficient evidence, by a preponderance of the evidence, to support a finding of responsibility for a violation of the Policy.
- The investigator will deliver the final investigation report to the Title IX Coordinator & Equity Officer/Director. The Title IX Coordinator & Equity Officer/Director will notify both parties, simultaneously, of the findings and that the final investigation report is complete and available for review.
- The investigation typically will be completed within forty-five (45) calendar days. Any extension will be shared with the parties in writing.
- Possible outcomes include:
- Findings of no responsibility of misconduct by employees and students: When the investigator determines that there is insufficient evidence, by a preponderance of the evidence, the investigation will be closed and documented.
- Findings of responsibility of misconduct by students: When the investigator determines that there is sufficient evidence, by a preponderance of the evidence, to support a finding of responsibility on one or more of the allegations the Title IX Coordinator & Equity Officer/Director will provide the final investigation report to the sanctioning panel. The sanctioning panel will recommend appropriate sanctions to the Dean of Students Office/Director of Conduct. The Dean of Students Office/Director of Conduct will impose sanctions.
- Findings of responsibility of misconduct by employees: When the investigator determines that there is sufficient evidence, by a preponderance of the evidence, to support a finding of responsibility on one or more of the allegations the Title IX Coordinator & Equity Officer/Director will provide the final investigation report to the sanctioning panel. The sanctioning panel will recommend appropriate responsive actions to the Human Resources Office. The Human Resources Office will impose responsive actions.
- The respondent may, at any time, elect to resolve the resolution process by accepting responsibility for the prohibited conduct. In the case the respondent is a student, the Dean of Students Office will refer the matter to the sanctioning panel to determine the appropriate sanction(s). If the respondent is an employee, the matter will be referred to the Human Resources Office.
- The Dean of Students Office, in collaboration with the Title IX Office and Human Resources Office, will appoint a standing pool of trained members of the University community to serve on the sanctioning panels.
- Sanctioning panel members will, at a minimum, participate in annual training around issues related to sexual misconduct, sexual harassment and gender-based harassment and determining sanctions that protect the safety of reporting parties, the campus community and promote accountability.
- The sanctioning panel will review the investigator’s finding(s) and determine appropriate sanction(s)/responsive actions. The sanctioning panel recommends the appropriate sanction(s) for the prohibited conduct.
- All persons serving on any sanctioning panel must be impartial and free from actual bias or conflict of interest.
Click here for more information on sanctions.
Findings of the investigation cannot be appealed. Sanctions imposed by the Dean of Students Office/Human Resources Office post-investigation can be appealed by any party according to the grounds below. Sanctions imposed by the Dean of Students Office will be in effect during the appeal process. Students may request an appeal to the Dean of Students Office and employees may request an appeal to the Human Resources Office to delay implementation of the sanctions until the appeal is decided, but the presumptive stance of the University is that the sanctions will go into effect immediately.
- Any party who files an appeal request must do so in writing to the Dean of Students Office or designee, or Human Resources Office or designee, within two business days of receiving the written decision, for a review of the sanctions imposed.
- The written decision will be provided in person and/or emailed to the parties’ university-issued email accounts and/or mailed to the local mailing address of the respective party as indicated in University records.
- The appeal request will be shared with the other party (e.g. if the responding party files an appeal, the appeal is shared with the reporting party, who may also wish to file a response and/or bring their own appeal on separate grounds; this response or appeal will be shared with the initial appealing party).
- The appeals board can take one of three possible actions:
- dismiss an appeal request as untimely or ineligible;
- grant an appeal and remand the finding and/or sanction for reconsideration; or
- modify a sanction.
- The original finding and sanction will stand if the appeal request is not timely or substantively eligible, and that decision is final.
- The party requesting appeal must show clear error as the original finding/or a compelling justification to modify a sanction, as both finding and sanction are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately.
- An appeal provides limited review of the original decision. It is
not an opportunity to present evidence again or to reevaluate
credibility. The grounds for appeal are:
- A procedural error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the finding (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.);
- To consider new evidence, unavailable during the original investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included;
- The sanctions imposed fall outside the range of sanctions designated for this offense and the cumulative conduct history of the responding party.
- If remanded to re-open the investigation, the results of a revised investigation can be subsequently forwarded for reconsideration to the sanctioning panel. If the appeal remands to the sanctioning panel for review, the reconsideration of the sanctioning panel is not appealable.
- In rare cases where a procedural error cannot be cured by the Dean of Students Office/Human Resources Office, the appeals board may order a new sanctioning panel. The results of a reconvened sanctioning panel cannot be appealed. The results of a new sanctioning panel can be appealed once on any of the three applicable grounds for appeals.
- The appeal board will typically render a written decision on the appeal to all parties within five business days from review of the appeal. The appeal board’s decision to deny an appeal request is final.
- A person alleging retaliation from an incident involving sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking by a staff or faculty member may also utilize the complaint and investigatory procedures set forth in the University’s Anti-Harassment policy in the University Policies, in order to remedy any hostile environment.
- All conduct proceedings against students will be resolved through the Dean of Students Office in the form of a Conduct Referral.