Title IX Sexual Harassment/Misconduct
8.15 Sexual Harassment Policy (includes Sexual Violence/Assault)
Maryville University (the “University”) is required to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. (“Title IX), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in matters of admissions, housing, services, and in the University’s other educational programs and activities (collectively “Programs and Activities”) and in any aspect of the employment relationship. Sexual harassment (including sexual violence/assault) that denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s Programs and Activities or any aspect of the employment relationship is a form of prohibited discrimination.
The University does not condone and will not tolerate discriminatory sexual harassment and is committed to providing programs, activities, and an educational environment free from discriminatory sexual harassment.
The University will promptly and thoroughly investigate all complaints of sexual harassment in accordance with the procedures specified in this policy. In the event it is determined that discriminatory sexual harassment occurred, the University will take prompt and appropriate remedial action to prevent the discriminatory harassment, eliminate any hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, and correct the discriminatory effects on the victim and others, if applicable.
Persons found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to the full range of discipline up to and including written reprimand, suspension, demotion, termination, or expulsion. Third-party vendors, suppliers, and visitors may be removed from University programs and/or prevented from returning to campus. Remedial steps may include counseling for the complainant, academic, transportation, work, or living accommodations for the complainant, separation of the parties, changes of grade or academic record, and training for the respondent (the alleged perpetrator of the discrimination) and other persons.
The University affirms its responsibility to:
- Promptly and thoroughly investigate complaints of sexual harassment;
- Promptly and effectively respond to discriminatory sexual harassment, especially sexual violence/assault;
- Take immediate steps to eliminate discriminatory sexual harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects;
- Support all members of the University community with appropriate resources no matter their status as complainant or respondent.
The University has appointed the following coordinator to handle inquiries regarding its efforts to carry out this policy, to comply with Title IX, and to receive complaints of sexual harassment:
Jackie PlunkettDirector of Human Resources and Affirmative Action Officer, Title IX Coordinator
The University has also designed the following deputy coordinator to assist the coordinator in handling complaints of sexual harassment involving students:
Kathy QuinnAssociate Dean of Students
Donius University Center 102
Individuals wishing to make a complaint of sexual harassment may also contact: The Office for Civil Rights, Chicago office, U.S. Department of Education, 500 W. Madison Street, Suite 1475, Chicago, IL 6066, Tel: (312) 730-1560; Fax: (312) 730-1576;
University administrators, faculty, staff, students, applicants for employment, customers, third-party vendors and suppliers, visitors on campus, and other persons that participate in the University’s Programs and Activities (collectively the “University Community”) have the right to be free from discriminatory sexual harassment. All members of the University Community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others in this regard.
This policy has been developed to provide recourse for those members of the University Community who have been subjected to discriminatory sexual harassment. This policy is intended to define community expectations and to establish a mechanism for determining when those expectations have been violated. Nothing in this policy shall affect the right of the complainant to file his/her complaint with external law enforcement agencies, if applicable. A complaint may be filed concurrently with external law enforcement agencies without jeopardizing a complainant’s rights to an investigation and resolution by the University.
This policy applies to all members of the University Community. As noted above, the University Community includes administrators, faculty, staff, students, applicants for employment, customers, third-party vendors and suppliers, visitors on campus, and other persons that participate in the University’s Programs and Activities. A person is a “student” for purposes of this policy if the person is registered for classes or actively taking classes at the time of any alleged misconduct.
There is no geographic limitation to this policy. The policy applies with respect to conduct that occurs on-campus and off-campus, including conduct that occurs during study abroad programs or where members of the University Community are traveling on University business.
8.15.3 Definitions of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence/Assault, Domestic Assault, Dating Violence, and Stalking
A. Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a particular type of harassment that consists of any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Some examples of sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to:
- Pressure for a dating, romantic, or intimate relationship
- Unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging, or massaging
- Pressure for sexual activity
- Unnecessary references to parts of the body
- Sexual innuendos or sexual humor
- Obscene gestures
- Sexual graffiti, pictures, or posters
- Sexually explicit profanity
- Asking about, or telling about, sexual fantasies
- E-mail and Internet use that violates this policy
- Sex-based stalking
- Sexual bullying
Sexual harassment also includes sexual violence/assault, as further defined and explained below. The crimes of domestic assault, dating violence, and stalking can also constitute sexual harassment when such an incident is motivated by a person’s sex. These crimes, no matter the motivation behind them, are a violation of this policy. Applicable definitions can be found below.
Sexual harassment constitutes a form of prohibited discrimination when it denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s Programs and Activities or any aspect of the employment relationship. Sexual harassment denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s Programs and Activities or any aspect of the employment relationship when:
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of any aspect of the University’s Programs and Activities or employment;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a person is used as a basis for any decision adversely affecting such person with respect to the University’s Programs and Activities or employment; or
- Such conduct is severe or pervasive such that, considering all relevant circumstances, the conduct denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in the University’s Programs and Activities or any aspect of the employment relationship (a “Hostile Environment”). NOTE: Even a single incident of sexual violence/assault may be sufficiently severe as to create a Hostile Environment and, thus, constitute discriminatory harassment.
B. Sexual Violence/Assault
Sexual violence/assault is a form of sexual harassment. Sexual violence/assault includes physical acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent because of his or her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity or because of his or her youth. To help the University Community understand the concept of sexual violence/assault, this policy identifies the following broad categories of sexual violence/assault:
- Non-Consensual Sexual Contact
Non-consensual sexual contact is a form of sexual violence/assault that consists of any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual contact includes: Intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals, by any object, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.
- Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse
Non-consensual sexual intercourse is a form of sexual violence/assault that consists of any sexual penetration however slight, of the vagina, anus, or mouth, by a man or woman upon a man or a woman that is without consent and/or by force. Intercourse includes: vaginal penetration by a penis, anal penetration by a penis, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.
- Sexual Exploitation
Sexual exploitation is a form of sexual violence/assault that occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: Invasion of sexual privacy; prostituting another student; non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity; going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex); engaging in voyeurism; knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease (such as HIV); exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals.
C. Domestic Assault, Dating Violence, and Stalking
- Domestic Assault: Domestic Assault is defined in Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 565.072-565.074. It generally involves violence or attempted violence perpetrated against a family or household member, including children. “Family or household member” is defined as “spouses, former spouses, any person related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together or have resided together in the past, any person who is or has been in a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim and anyone who has a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time. See Mo. Rev. Stat. § 455.010.
- Dating Violence: Dating Violence means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. Such a relationship is characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the (a) length of the relationship, (2) type of relationship, and (3) frequency of the interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
- Stalking: A person commits the crime of stalking if he or she purposely, through his or her course of conduct, harasses or follows with the intent of harassing another person. “Course of conduct” is a pattern of conduct composed of two or more acts, which may include communication by any means, over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose. It does not include constitutionally protected activity. See Mo. Rev. Stat. § 565.225.
8.15.4 Definition of Consent
The expectations of the University Community regarding sexual harassment (including sexual violence/assault) can be summarized as follows: In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type with each other, there must be clear, knowing, and voluntary consent prior to and during sexual activity. Consent requires an affirmative act or statement by each participant. Consent is not passive. Silence–without actions demonstrating permission–cannot be assumed to show consent. Anything but a clear, knowing and voluntary consent to any sexual activity is equivalent to a “no.”
Consent to some form of sexual activity cannot be automatically taken as consent to any other form of sexual activity.
Previous relationships or prior consent do not imply consent to future sexual acts.
If coercion, intimidation, threats, and/or physical force is used, there is no consent.
If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired such that the person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent.
In order to give effective consent, a person must be of legal age. In the State of Missouri, the legal age of consent is 14. (If you are over 18 but fewer than 21, the age of consent is 14. If you are over 21, you may not have sexual intercourse with anyone under 17.) Sexual acts with someone less than 14 are a violation of state law and of this policy.
8.15.5 Additional Applicable Definitions
Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent (“Have sex with me or I’ll hit you. Okay, don’t hit me, I’ll do what you want.” or lying on top of a victim to prevent them from being able to move).
Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive. (“You better have sex with me or I’ll make sure you never get into another fraternity social again/tell people you are a whore/tell people you have an STD.”)
C. Mental or Physical Incapacitation or Impairment
Mental or physical incapacitation or impairment occurs when a person cannot make rational and reasonable decisions. In other words, the person is unable to understand the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of their sexual interaction and, as a result, cannot give effective consent. A person may be mentally or physical incapacitated because of:
- Intoxication due to alcohol or drug use
- A mental illness, intellectual disability, or physical disability
- Sleep or sleep deprivation
- Involuntary physical restraint
A person is also mentally and/or physical incapacitated if they have been given the “date rape drug” or similar substance such as Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, or Burundanga. Administering such drugs to another student is a crime, constitutes a violation of this policy, and renders the victim incapable of giving consent to any form of sexual activity. More information on these and similar drugs is available at www.911rape.org.
8.15.6 Reporting Sexual Harassment (Including Sexual Violence/Assault)
Any member of the University Community has the right and option to choose whether or not to report alleged sexual harassment (including sexual violence/assault) that has been committed against them. However, the University strongly encourages victims of sexual harassment to file a complaint with the University in the manner set forth below. To ensure that the University can promptly investigate and redress discrimination, the University requests that complaints are made in a timely manner of the alleged sexual harassment.
NOTE: If they observe, or learn of, sexual harassment directed against another member of the University Community, University administrators, faculty members, staff members, and volunteers have a duty to report such conduct within 7 days in the manner set forth below.
Any person who wishes to make a complaint of sexual harassment that also constitutes a crime—such as a complaint of sexual violence/assault, domestic assault, dating violence, or stalking—is encouraged to file a complaint with local law enforcement, in addition to a complaint with the University. The Town and Country Police Department may be contacted at (314) 737-4600. Such persons may contact the University Public Safety Department at (314) 529-9500, which will assist the person in notifying the appropriate law enforcement authorities. In case of emergency, a person should always dial 911. A victim may decline to notify such authorities.
To ensure that the University has sufficient information to investigate the matter, a complaint of discrimination should generally include as much information as possible, including: name, address, telephone number, and email address of the complainant; the nature of the complaint; the name of the respondent (the alleged perpetrator of the discrimination); date(s) and location(s) of the alleged occurrences(s); and the redress sought by the complainant.
Once a complaint has been made with the University, the complainant has several options such as, but not limited to:
- contacting parents or a relative
- seeking legal advice
- seeking personal counseling (always recommended)
- pursuing legal action against the perpetrator
- pursing disciplinary action
- requesting that no further action be taken
A complainant will also be given a copy of the document titled “Explanation of Rights and Options After Filing a Complaint Under the Title IX Sexual Harassment/Misconduct Policy.”
Persons To Whom Complaints Of Sexual Harassment Should Be Reported
Students who feel they have been the victim of sexual harassment may file a complaint with any of the following individuals:
|Jackie Plunkett||Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action Officerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Kathy Quinn||Associate Dean of Studentsemail@example.com|
|Kristen Ely||Senior Women’s Administratorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Nina Caldwell||Vice-President of Student Life; Dean of Studentsemail@example.com|
|Michael Parkinson||Director of Public Safetyfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|TBD||Director of Residential Life||314-529-9505|
|Pam Culliton||Director of Health and Wellnessemail@example.com|
Other members of the University Community who feel they have been a victim of sexual harassment may file a complaint with any of the following individuals:
|Jackie Plunkett||Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action Officerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Larry Hays||Vice-President for Administration and Financeemail@example.com|
|Michael Parkinson||Director of Public Safetyfirstname.lastname@example.org|
University administrators, faculty members, staff members, and volunteers who observe, or learn of sexual harassment directed against another member of the University Community must report the alleged sexual harassment to one of the following individuals within 7 days:
|Jackie Plunkett||Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action Officeremail@example.com|
|Larry Hays||Vice-President for Administration and Financefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Michael Parkinson||Director of Public Safetyemail@example.com|
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”) requires the University to compile and report information on certain crimes, including certain types of sexual violence/assault. The Clery Act also requires the University to issue “Timely Warnings” in certain circumstances. Consistent with the Clery Act, certain University administrators, faculty, and staff are required to report information on certain types of sexual violence/assault to the University Public Safety Department. The University Public Safety Department will assess the information provided to determine whether there is an on-going threat present and, if so, will initiate any required “Timely Warning.”
Because of its strong desire to prevent and remedy sexual harassment, the University encourages all good faith complaints of sexual harassment (including sexual violence/assault). However, the University also has a duty to balance the rights of all parties. Accordingly, if the University’s investigation reveals that a complaint of sexual harassment was knowingly false, the complaint will be dismissed and the person who filed the knowingly false complaint may be subject to discipline.
The University seeks to handle all complaints of sexual harassment with discretion. This means the University will make all reasonable and appropriate efforts to preserve a complainant’s privacy and to protect the confidentiality of information when investigating and resolving a complaint. However, because of laws relating to reporting and other state and federal laws, the University cannot guarantee confidentiality to those who make a complaint of sexual harassment.
In the event a person files a complaint and requests confidentiality, or asks that the complaint not be investigated, the University will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation. If a complainant insists that his or her name not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator, the University’s ability to respond may be limited. The University reserves the right to initiate an investigation despite a complainant’s request for confidentiality in limited circumstances involving serious or repeated discrimination or where the alleged perpetrator may pose a continuing threat to the University Community.
NOTE: All University personnel, regardless of the wishes of a complainant, are required to report sexual abuse of children. A “child” for purposes of mandatory reporting is a person under the age of 18. All reports of sexual abuse of children will be reported and referred to local and state authorities for investigation.
Persons who wish to have a confidential conversation regarding sexual harassment that does not constitute a formal complaint, and which will not result in an investigation, may contact one of the following individuals from University Counseling Services:
|Jennifer Henry||Director of Personal Counselingfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Linda Meyers||Personal Counseloremail@example.com|
Local hospitals also have counselors who can provide confidential counseling regarding sexual violence/assault. Conversations with these counselors are confidential and are not reported to the University without a person’s consent. These hospitals include:
|St. Luke’s Hospital (closest to the University’s Main campus)||232 S. Woods Mill Road
Chesterfield, Missouri 63017
|Mercy Hospital||615 S. New Ballas Road
St. Louis, Missouri 63141
|Missouri Baptist Hospital||3015 N. Ballas Road
St. Louis, Missouri 63131
8.15.8 Special Guidance To Victims Of Sexual Violence/Assault, Domestic Assault, Dating Violence, and Stalking
Most acts of sexual violence/assault are committed by a person whom the victim knows and involve the use of alcohol and/or drugs by the victim, offender, or both. In some instances, a victim will not be able to immediately understand what has happened and may be unsure if they were the victim of sexual violence/assault. Several types of sexual violence/assault—including non-consensual sexual intercourse—are significantly underreported crimes and can impact a victim for years. The University encourages any person who believes they may be a victim of sexual violence/assault to contact local law enforcement and file a complaint with the university in the manner set forth in Part 8.15.6. The Town and Country Police Department may be contacted at (314) 737-4600. Such persons may also contact the University Public Safety Department at (314) 529-9500, which will assist the person in notifying the appropriate law enforcement authorities. In case of emergency, a person should always dial 911. A victim may decline to notify such authorities.
If you have been a victim of sexual violence/assault, domestic assault, or dating violence by someone you know OR a stranger, do not wash or change clothes until after you are examined, as valuable evidence could be lost. While these crimes being committed by strangers is far less common, collection of hair, fibers, semen, saliva, and anything containing DNA can be helpful in solving the case. Collection of physical evidence will allow the investigators to gather important information should the victim later change his/her mind. Preservation of evidence could be vital to establishing proof of the crime committed or in obtaining a protection order against the perpetrator.
When a victim of sexual violence/assault contacts local law enforcement, a sex crimes unit may be contacted to assist in the investigation. If a student victim so requests, a representative from the Office of Residential Life or the Office of Student Life will provide support during the investigation of the incident by local law enforcement. Any person who chooses to file a report with law enforcement may also file a complaint under this policy.
It is also important to take steps to preserve evidence in cases of stalking, the extent such evidence exists. In cases of stalking, evidence is more likely to be in the form of letters, emails, text messages, etc. rather than evidence of physical contact and violence.
If a student victim of any of these crimes is uncomfortable directly contacting local law enforcement or the University Public Safety Department, the student may contact any of the individuals designated in Part 8.15.6 to receive student complaints of sexual harassment. Such persons will assist the student in contacting local law enforcement.
University Counseling Services and several local hospitals have counselors available to assist victims of these crimes. Contact information for these resources is set forth above in Part 8.15.7. In addition, victims of sexual violence/assault may contact the rape hotline offered by Women’s Support & Community Services—Tel: (314) 531-2003 or (314) 531-7213. NOTE: Women’s Support & Community Services is not affiliated with the University and will not forward a complaint of sexual violence/assault to the University without the victim’s consent.
8.15.9 Investigation of a Complaint
The procedures for investigating and resolving complaints shall be carried out promptly, fairly, and impartially. All complaints of sexual harassment (including sexual violence/assault) will be immediately and thoroughly investigated by the appropriate administrator or his/her designee (the “Investigator”). When the complainant or respondent is a student, the appropriate administrator is the Associate Dean of Students. In all other cases, the appropriate administrator is the Director of Human Resources/Affirmative Action Officer.
The Investigator shall be familiar with this policy and the appropriate sanctions that might be imposed against the respondent in the event that discriminatory sexual harassment is found to have occurred. The Investigator shall discharge his or her obligations fairly and impartially. In the event the Investigator develops a conflict of interest with respect to the persons involved in a complaint, a new Investigator will be appointed. During the investigation, the Investigator may receive counsel from officers/supervisors of the University, the University’s attorneys, and other parties as needed.
Upon receipt of a complaint, the Investigator will immediately consult with the Director of Public Safety (or his/her designee) to determine whether there is a continuing threat to the complainant or to the campus community. If it is determined a threat exists, the University reserves the right to take appropriate measures to protect the safety of the complainant and/or the University Community. The University may also issue a “Timely Warning” under the Clery Act. Pending the outcome of the investigation, the University will also take appropriate interim measures to protect the complainant from further sexual harassment and retaliation. Such measures may include, but are not limited to, modification of living, academic, transportation, and work arrangements if so requested by the complainant and if such accommodations are reasonably available, regardless if the complainant also chooses to report the incident to campus public safety or local law enforcement; change in class schedule; restriction of campus access; temporary ban from campus or interim suspension from campus pending a hearing; no-contact orders; and reporting the matter to local law enforcement. Also, if a complainant has obtained a temporary restraining order or other no contact order against the alleged perpetrator from a criminal, civil, or tribal course, the complainant should provide such information to the Director of Public Safety and/or the Associate Dean of Students. The University will take all reasonable and legal action to implement the order.
The Investigator will commence an investigation of the complaint as soon as practicable, but not later than 7 days after the complaint is made. As the first step in the investigation, the Investigator will notify the respondent that a complaint has been filed. The Investigator shall endeavor to complete the investigation within 25 days of receiving it unless a reasonable justification can be made for additional time.
During the investigation, the complainant will have the opportunity to describe his or her allegations and identify supporting witnesses or other evidence. The respondent will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations and identify supporting witnesses or other evidence. The Investigator will review statements and, depending on the circumstances, may interview others with relevant knowledge, review documentary materials, and take any other appropriate action to gather and consider information relevant to the complaint. All parties and witnesses involved in the investigation are expected to cooperate and provide complete and truthful information.
During the investigation, the Investigator shall maintain communication with both the complainant and respondent and advise them of the status of the investigation.
8.15.10 Concurrent University Investigation and Criminal Investigation
Some instances of sexual violence/assault may also constitute criminal conduct. In such instances, the complainant is also encouraged to file a report with local law enforcement and, if requested, the University will assist the complainant in doing so (see Part 8.15.6). The pendency of a criminal investigation, however, does not relieve the University of its obligation to investigate sexual harassment. Therefore, to the extent doing so does not interfere with any criminal investigation, the University will proceed with its own investigation and resolution of the complaint despite the pendency of a criminal investigation. If necessary to avoid interfering with a pending criminal investigation, the University will delay its own investigation but only as long as reasonably necessary to avoid interfering with the pending criminal investigation.
NOTE: The standards for finding a violation of criminal law are different from the standards for finding a violation of this policy (i.e., “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal cases versus “more likely than not” for purposes of this policy). As a result, the outcome of any criminal proceeding is not necessarily determinative of whether a violation of this policy has occurred.
8.15.11 Determination of a Complaint
Procedures for determining a complaint differ depending on whether the respondent is a student or another member of the University Community.
A. Determination Procedures if the Respondent is a Student
Where the respondent is a student, the complaint will be determined by the Conduct Board hearing process set forth in Part 184.108.40.206.2, as modified by this policy, unless both the complainant and respondent both voluntarily agree to use the determination procedures for non-students (see Part 8.15.11 B). NOTE: The Conduct Board hearing process is only used when the respondent is a current student at the time of the determination. In the event the respondent was a student at the time of the alleged misconduct, and the respondent is no longer a student at the time of the determination procedures, the determination procedures for non-students will apply.
The University shall ensure that the Conduct Board members selected are adequately trained regarding this policy, appropriate sanctions and remediation for sexual harassment, and on the preponderance of the evidence standard.
To ensure coordination, at the commencement of an investigation, the Investigator will notify the Conduct Officer that a complaint has been filed. The Conduct Officer will then promptly notify the respondent as set forth in Part 8.15.9. The Investigator will then complete the investigation required by Part 8.15.9. Within 5 days of completing the investigation, the Investigator will notify the Conduct Officer and the parties that the investigation is complete.
If the Investigator determines that there are no genuinely disputed material facts, the notification that the investigation is complete will be accompanied by a written statement of undisputed material facts, which shall be provided to the Conduct Officer and the parties. The Conduct Officer will review the statement of undisputed material facts and determine whether the undisputed material facts establish a violation of this policy. Thereafter, the Conduct Officer will prepare and issue a decision letter in the manner set forth below. The decision letter shall be issued by the Conduct Officer no later than 7 days after the Investigator delivers the notification that the investigation is complete.
If the Investigator determines that there are genially disputed material facts, the notification that the investigation is complete will be accompanied by a written statement of disputed material facts requiring resolution, which shall be provided to the Conduct Officer and the parties. The Conduct Officer will then schedule the Conduct Board hearing to take place within 15 days. The purpose of the Conduct Board hearing is to resolve the disputed material facts requiring resolution and to advise the Conduct Officer regarding recommended sanctions and remediation.
The Conduct Board hearing shall take place consistent with the hearing process set forth in Part 220.127.116.11.2 with the following modifications:
- If the respondent does not personally appear at the Conduct Board hearing, the fact that the respondent has been duly notified of the time and date of the hearing shall be verified by the Conduct Officer. If it is determined that due notification was given, the Conduct Board hearing shall continue in the respondent’s absence. If it is determined that due notification was not given, the hearing will be adjourned and rescheduled, with due notification given to the respondent of the new date and time.
- After the Conduct Officer explains the alleged violations, the Investigator will present to the Conduct Board the written statements and documentary evidence gathered during the investigation. During this presentation of evidence, the Investigator is not to serve as an advocate for either party. Rather, the Investigator’s purpose is to objectively present the written statements and documentary evidence for evaluation by the Conduct Board.
- After the Investigator presents the written statements and documentary evidence gathered during the investigation, and in its discretion, the Conduct Board may call for testimony, and question, any of the witnesses identified by Investigator during the investigation.
- After the Conduct Board hears testimony from any witnesses identified by the Investigator during the investigation, the complainant may present his or her opening statement, and the hearing process will continue as specified in Part 18.104.22.168.2 except that the complainant and respondent will not be permitted to directly question each other. Rather, the complainant and respondent will submit questions to the Conduct Officer, who will directly question the party.
- After the Conduct Board has heard all the written statements, documentary evidence, live testimony, and the statements and testimony of the complainant and respondent, the members (including the Conduct Officer) shall deliberate. The Conduct Board shall resolve the disputed material facts based on a preponderance of the evidence standard (more likely than not to have occurred), and recommend discipline and remedial measures. The Conduct Board’s deliberation shall be completed within 7 days of the close of the evidence.
- After the Conduct Board’s deliberations are complete, the Conduct Officer will prepare and issue a decision letter in the manner set forth below. The determination letter will be issued by the Conduct Officer no later than 5 days after the Conduct Board’s deliberations are complete.
The Decision Letter
At the conclusion of the determination process, the Conduct Officer will prepare a written decision letter. The decision letter will be provided to the parties and the appropriate officer of the University having jurisdiction over the respondent.
The decision letter will identify findings of fact determined by a preponderance of the evidence and determine whether a violation of this policy has occurred—i.e., whether the respondent engaged in discriminatory sexual harassment. If it is determined that a violation of this policy occurred, the decision letter will also state the disciplinary and remedial measures to be taken. In determining what disciplinary and remedial measures should ultimately be imposed, the Conduct Officer may consult with the Title IX Coordinator, the appropriate University official having jurisdiction over the respondent, and the University’s legal counsel, as necessary. If discipline is imposed, the decision letter will become a part of the respondent’s student file. NOTE: Portions of the decision letter concerning discipline and/or remediation may be redacted as required by federal law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”).
NOTE: The University reserves the right to impose discipline for conduct that does not rise to the level of discriminatory harassment but that still violates other University policies, including the Student Code of Conduct.
B. Determination Procedures if the Respondent is Not A Student
Where the respondent is not a student, within 7 days of the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigator will issue a written report determining the complaint. The written report shall be provided to the parties and the appropriate officer/supervisor of the University having jurisdiction over the respondent.
The written report will summarize the scope of the investigation, identify findings of fact determined by a preponderance of the evidence, and determine whether a violation of this policy occurred—i.e., whether the respondent engaged in discriminatory sexual harassment. If it is determined that a violation of this policy occurred, the written report will also determine the remedial measures to be taken and recommend disciplinary measures. In determining what remedial and disciplinary measures should ultimately be imposed, the Investigator may consult with the Title IX Coordinator, the appropriate University official having jurisdiction over the respondent, and the University’s legal counsel, as necessary. Discipline will be imposed by the appropriate officer/supervisor of the University having jurisdiction over the respondent and in accordance with the Faculty Policy Manual and/or Staff Policy Manual. If discipline is imposed, this report will become a part of the personnel file of the respondent, if applicable.
NOTE: The University reserves the right to impose discipline for conduct that does not rise to the level of discriminatory harassment but that still violates
8.15.12 Appeal Procedures
If the complainant or the respondent is a student, either party that is dissatisfied with the decision letter may appeal the decision letter pursuant to the appellate process set forth in Parts 22.214.171.124 through 126.96.36.199.3.
If the respondent is not a student, either party that is dissatisfied with the written report may appeal the decision letter pursuant to the appellate process set forth in Part 188.8.131.52 if the Policy Manual.
8.15.13 Fundamental Rights of the Parties During Investigation and Determination of A Complaint
During the investigation and resolution of a complaint, the complainant and respondent shall have equal rights. They include:
- Being notified regarding investigation procedures, formal resolution procedures, and informal resolution procedures
- Having a support person accompany him or her at all stages of the process. The support person does not serve as an advocate on behalf of the complainant or respondent, may not be actively involved in any proceedings, and must agree to maintain the confidentiality of the process.
- Similar and timely access to written statements and other evidence considered in the determination of the complaint
- The right to testify either in writing, verbally, or both
- The right to identify and have considered the testimony of a reasonable number other witnesses
- The right to identify and have considered written evidence
- Equal access to review and comment upon any information independently developed by the Investigator
- The right to receive written notice of the determination of the complaint
- The right to appeal
- The right to receive written notice of the outcome of an appeal, including any changes that were made to the previous determination
The University will endeavor to conclude the investigation, determination, and appeal process within 60 calendar days of receiving a complaint. The entire process will exceed 60 calendar days only if a reasonable justification can be made for the delay.
The acknowledgment of use of alcohol or drugs in violation of the Student Code of Conduct by a person making a complaint of sexual harassment shall not be a basis for a separate charge of misconduct against the student.
8.15.16 Informal Resolution
After a complaint has been filed, the complainant and respondent may elect to resolve the complaint through information resolution, such as mediation with a conduct officer, in lieu of the formal determination process. Informal means of resolution may only be used with the complainant and respondents’ voluntary cooperation and in coordination with the Investigator. In no case will a complainant be required to “work out” the problem with the respondent. Moreover, either the complainant or the respondent may terminate informal means of resolution at any time. However, informal means will never be used, even on a voluntary basis, to resolve a complaint of sexual violence/assault.
The University will not retaliate or permit retaliation against an individual who reports or assists in making a complaint of sexual harassment or who participates in the investigation of a complaint in any way. Retaliation is a serious violation of this policy. Retaliation not only harms the individuals directly affected by it, but also undermines the confidence of others in a fair complaint resolution process. Any person found to have retaliated against another individual involved in an investigation under this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including written reprimand, suspension, demotion, termination, or expulsion. Any person who believes they have been retaliated against in violation of this policy should file a complaint in the manner described above in Part 8.15.9.
8.15.18 Exclusive Means of Resolution
This is the exclusive means of resolving complaints of sexual harassment (including sexual violence/assault). To the extent there are any inconsistencies between this policy and other University policies and procedures, the Sexual Harassment Policy will control the resolution of complaints alleging sexual harassment.
Throughout all stages of the investigation, determination, and appeal, the Investigator, Conduct Officer, and person resolving the appeal, as the case may be, are responsible for maintaining documentation of the investigation, determination, and appeal, including documentation of all proceedings conducted under these procedures, which may include written statements, documentary evidence, written findings of fact, transcripts, and audio recordings.
FERPA limits the extent to which the University may disclose personally-identifiable information in student records. Whenever it is necessary to comply with FERPA, the University reserves the right to redact or limit information provided under this policy. To the extent any portion of this policy is inconsistent with FERPA, the University will follow FERPA.
8.15.21 Education and Training
Because the University recognizes that the prevention of discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence/assault, domestic assault, dating violence, and stalking is important, it offers educational programming to a variety of groups such as: campus personnel, incoming students and new employees participating in orientation, and members of student organizations. Among other items, such training will cover relevant definitions, procedures, and sanctions; will provide safe and positive options for bystander intervention; and will provide risk reduction information, including recognizing warning signs of abusive behavior and how to avoid potential attacks. To learn more about education resources, please contact the Director of Human Resources/Affirmative Action Officer or the Associate Dean of Students.
These procedures will be implemented by official who receive annual training on the issues related to discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence/assault, domestic assault, dating violence, and stalking and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.