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  • Implementing Title IX Provisions and Policies

    The University will take appropriate action (i.e., an investigation, adjudication and disciplinary and remedial/corrective steps) in response to a complaint made pursuant to the complaint policies/procedures listed above. The University will make every effort to handle complaints and investigations with sensitivity to both the rights of the person who complains and the rights of the accused.

    The University handles complaints discreetly and attempts to maintain privacy throughout the investigatory process, to the extent practicable and appropriate under the circumstances. However, in order to conduct an investigation, it is generally necessary to discuss the allegations with the accused and other potential witnesses. Additionally, the University may have legal obligations to disclose information to law enforcement or in the context of legal proceedings.

    Complaints may be made anonymously. While the University endeavors to investigate all complaints, including anonymous complaints, the nature of anonymous complaints makes investigation, determination, and remediation more difficult and, at times, impossible. Further, while the University attempts to protect the identity of complainants who do not wish to be identified, this may not always be possible.

    In appropriate cases as determined by the University, conflict resolution for student on student complaints may be possible. This is permitted only where both the complainant and accused voluntarily agree to participate, and either party may terminate informal resolution attempts and commence formal Grievance procedures at any time prior to reaching a mutually acceptable resolution. Depending on the circumstances, a mediated resolution may not necessarily involve face‐to‐face discussions between the complainant and the accused. Certain cases are not appropriate for conflict resolution, such as complaints of particularly egregious sexual harassment or cases involving sexual assault or violence. Occasionally, an individual makes a complaint and later wishes to revoke or discontinue the investigation or adjudication process. Similarly, it may occur that someone other than the victim reports an incident, and the victim declines to participate in the investigation or adjudication process. In other instances, complaints may be received anonymously and/or the victim may not wish to be personally identified. The University endeavors to respect the wishes of a victim to either not be identified and/or not participate in the process. In these situations, the University attempts to investigate and address complaints in accordance with the victim's wishes.  

    If a victim wishes to talk about an incident with the assurance that the discussion will be confidential and will not result in an investigation or follow up action, the University offers confidential resources through the Counseling Center or Chaplain. Contact with the confidential resources does not result in a complaint being filed with the University or result in action being taken by the University. Anyone wishing to have an incident investigated, mediated or adjudicated must make a complaint either orally or in writing in accordance with the procedures described above.

    In determining whether sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct occurred, the University does not apply the criminal standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt," nor do formal court rules of evidence apply. Instead, the University uses a "preponderance of the evidence" standard, and the University may consider any evidence it deems relevant. A “preponderance of the evidence" means the evidence which is of greater weight or is more convincing than opposing evidence such that it is "more likely than not" that an act occurred.

    If the applicable investigatory or adjudicatory process allows for parties to offer witnesses and evidence, the complainant and the accused will have an equal opportunity to do so.  The complainant and the accused will be informed in writing of the outcome of the complaint, to the extent permitted by law. An accused who is a student may appeal the outcome to an impartial decision maker. The particular method and grounds for appeal are explained in the student policies listed above. An employee who is deemed guilty shall have whatever rights are granted by law and University employment policy.  

    The University endeavors to resolve complaints promptly. Ordinarily, the investigative stage will take no longer than 60 calendar days from the time the complaint is received.  In exceptional circumstances (including but not limited to especially complex cases or when the University is not in session), it may be necessary to extend these timelines. If that occurs, the parties will be informed of the expected timeline for completion.

    The University prohibits retaliation against any individual who in good faith makes a complaint of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct or participates as a witness in a proceeding under this or any other University policy. Retaliation is also unlawful pursuant to Title IX and other laws.