Once a report of alleged Prohibited Conduct is received from any source, the University will evaluate it to determine whether to proceed with a formal investigation. Every effort will be made to complete an investigation within sixty (60) calendar days of the date the report is received, though some investigations take longer, depending on the nature, extent and complexity of the allegations, availability of witnesses, police involvement, or other justifiable cause requiring extension of the time periods.
The administrative resolution or investigation will be conducted by officials who, at a minimum, are trained on how to conduct an investigation and review process that protects the safety of the victims and promotes accountability and fairness and receive annual trauma-informed training on the issues related to dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, related policies and applicable laws.
It may be necessary for the University to delay its investigation to allow law enforcement officials to gather evidence in connection with a criminal investigation. The University will promptly resume its investigation and resolution processes once notified that law enforcement has completed the evidence gathering process.
All investigations will be thorough, reliable, impartial, prompt and fair. To the extent possible, investigations entail interviews with parties and relevant witnesses, obtaining and evaluating relevant evidence, and identifying sources of expert information, as necessary.
Investigations regarding sexual misconduct will typically be conducted using the steps listed below, not necessarily in that order (a more comprehensive review of the investigative process may be found in the Policy on Sex Discrimination Involving Sexual Assault, Sexual and Gender-based Harassment, Other Forms of Relationship Violence, and Retaliation.
- University receives a report of alleged Prohibited Conduct.
- University provides Complainant with notice of reporting options, resources, accommodations, and/or applicable interim or protective measures.
- University conducts a preliminary inquiry to determine if there is a reasonable basis to believe the Respondent has engaged in Prohibited Conduct as defined by this policy.
- If the preliminary inquiry does not support a determination of reasonable basis to believe this policy has been violated, the inquiry will be closed with no further action.
- University provides all parties (i.e. Complainant and Respondent) with a formal notification containing: all alleged policy violations, a brief description of the alleged violation(s), a description of the applicable procedures, and a copy of Complainant/Respondent rights.
- University conducts a thorough, reliable and impartial investigation. This includes, but is not limited to:
- To the extent possible, interviewing the Complainant, Respondent, all relevant witnesses, and collecting evidence.
- Allowing each party the opportunity to suggest applicable questions they wish the investigators to ask the other party and/or witnesses.
- Allowing each party the opportunity to review, comment on and explain the evidence gathered in the course of the investigation that will be used in the adjudication and disciplinary process, if applicable.
- Provide parties with a “summary of all relevant evidence” to be used in rendering a determination, and provide each with a full and fair opportunity to address that evidence or findings prior to a determination being rendered.
- University investigators will make recommended findings and/or determination, based on a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not an alleged violation has occurred).
- The investigator’s written report, including recommended findings, will be made available to both parties without undue delay between notifications. Both parties will have the opportunity to respond in writing to the investigation report and recommended findings prior to a final determination of whether any Prohibited Conduct occurred.
- Both parties will have an opportunity to appeal based on one of the following standards:
- A procedural error or omission occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the investigation.
- To consider new evidence, unknown or unavailable during the original investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction.
- The sanctions imposed fall outside the range of sanctions the University has designated for this offense and the cumulative record of the responding party.
- Should one of the parties appeal, the University will assign an appeal officer(s) and provide both parties with an opportunity to review and respond to any appeal. The appeal officer(s) will review the materials presented by both parties in connection with the appeal and inform both parties in writing as to the outcome of the appeal in a timely manner. Decisions by an appeal officer(s) are final.
All investigations will be completed promptly, and without unreasonable delay. Throughout investigations, the University will provide regular updates to the Complainant and to the Respondent, as appropriate.
At any point during the investigation, if it is determined there is no reasonable basis to believe that University policy has been violated, the Title IX Manager has authority to terminate the investigation and end resolution proceedings by informing both parties in writing of the decision and basis for such determination.
Informal procedures via Administrative Resolution, including mediation, are available to resolve complaints with written consent from both parties upon full disclosure of the allegations and the options available for a formal resolution. When both parties consent to participating in an informal resolution process, either party may elect to terminate the information resolution process and revert to the formal resolution process before the completion of the informal resolution process.
University Employees are required to participate in the investigation process. Students may elect to participate or decline to participate in the disciplinary procedure. However, the Title IX Investigator will determine an outcome with the information available to him/her.
Upon receipt of a report of sexual misconduct, the University will provide interim support and reasonable protective measures to prevent further acts of misconduct, and to provide a safe educational, work and/or living environment. The University will determine the necessity and scope of any interim measures. The range of interim measures which may be applied to the complainant and/or the respondent include, but are not limited to: no contact orders, academic accommodations, changes in class/work schedules, changes in housing assignments, time off from work, and/or interim suspension.
Time Frame for Resolution
The investigation and resolution (including appeal) of all reports of sexual misconduct will generally be completed within 60 days. Extenuating circumstances including the complexity and severity of a complaint may arise that require the complaint process to extend beyond 60 days. In general, a complainant and respondent can expect to receive periodic updates as to the status of the review or investigation. In the event that the investigation and resolution exceed this time frame, the University will notify all parties of the need for additional time and best efforts will be made to complete the process in a timely manner.
Location of Records
A copy of the complaint, investigative file (including any written materials, interview notes, and/or other items that make up the file), and outcome shall be maintained in the Dean of Student Affair’s Office for complaints against students and in the Human Resources Office for complaints against faculty, staff and others for the period of time mandated by University’s record retention policy and applicable law. Should a violation of this policy be found, a record of the complaint and disciplinary action taken shall be made part of the personnel or student file of the person(s) found to have violated the policy. In the event that the investigation does not result in a finding of violation of this policy, no record of the complaint or investigation will become a part of any individual’s personnel or student file.
It is a violation of this policy to retaliate against a person who reports sexual misconduct, assists someone with a report of misconduct, or participates in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a sexual misconduct report. Retaliation includes threats, intimidation, reprisals, and/or adverse actions related to employment or education.