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Statement and Purpose

The University's grievance procedures are intended to provide a prompt, fair, and impartial resolution of complaints. The purpose of this Procedure is to provide an internal resolution process for Formal Complaints of prohibited forms of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking as defined in the Title IX Sexual Harassment and Related Conduct Policy. 

This Procedure is intended to satisfy the requirements imposed by Title IX and 34 CFR 106.45 with respect to Formal Complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment, as defined in 34 CFR 106.


Table of Contents



Certain terms in this procedure are defined at the Title IX Sexual Harassment and Related Conduct Policy

Download Procedure as PDF

Entities Affected By This Procedure

This Procedure applies to all students, staff, faculty, volunteers, and other individuals participating in or seeking to participate in the University’s programs or activities, including education and employment.

Reason for Procedure

Where a Complainant seeks to utilize this Procedure for resolving allegations that SPU’s Title IX Sexual Harassment and Related Conduct Policy (hereafter “the Policy”) has been violated, a Complainant may file a written Formal Complaint with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, by email, or other means. The Formal Complaint must contain the Complainant’s physical or digital signature or otherwise indicate that the Complainant is the person filing. At the time a Formal Complaint is filed, the Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the University’s Programs or Activities in order for the Formal Complaint to trigger these resolution procedures. If at the time a Formal Complaint is filed the Complainant is not participating or attempting to participate in the University’s Programs or Activities, the Title IX Coordinator has the discretion to determine whether the Complaint may be investigated, or otherwise resolved according to this Procedure.

The Title IX Coordinator also has discretion to file a Formal Complaint even if the Complainant chooses not to participate in the process and/or does not wish to file a complaint. When making this decision, the Title IX Coordinator will balance the wishes of the Complainant with the University’s responsibility to investigate. For more information on what is considered in this decision please see Appendix C of the Policy. Where the Title IX Coordinator signs a Formal Complaint, the Title IX Coordinator is not a Complainant or otherwise a party to the resolution processes. The Title IX Coordinator’s decision to sign a Formal Complaint is not a basis to assert that the Title IX Coordinator is biased toward the Respondent, or respondents generally.

Upon the filing of a Formal Complaint, whether by a Complainant or the Title IX Coordinator, the University will proceed with one of the following options:

  1. Proceed with an investigation under the formal resolution process;
  2. Proceed with alternative resolution;  or
  3. Refer the matter to another University office for resolution, as appropriate, if the Title IX Coordinator determines that a Formal Complaint filed by a Complainant is outside the scope and jurisdiction of the Policy.




Policy Version: 1.0

Responsible Office: Title IX Office
Responsible Executive:
  Vice President for Business and Finance

Effective Date: September 6, 2022
Last Updated:  
September 6, 2022


Possible Dismissal of Formal Complaints


If the Formal Complaint sets forth allegations that, if true, would 1) not allege Title IX Sexual Harassment as defined in the Policy, 2) did not occur in the University’s Programs or Activities, or 3) did not occur against a person who is participating in, or attempting to participate in a University Program or Activity, and/or 4) did not occur in the United States, then the Title IX Coordinator will dismiss the Formal Complaint for Title IX purposes. Despite dismissal of the Formal Complaint for purposes of Title IX, the Title IX Coordinator has discretion to continue to investigate and adjudicate a Formal Complaint in accordance with this Procedures if the alleged conduct meets the definition of of one or more forms of prohibited sexual harassment and otherwise occurred within the scope and jurisdiction of the Policy. In such cases, the formal resolution process will include a comprehensive investigation and a written determination by a Decision Maker; however, a Title IX hearing with cross-examination by advisor is not required. See sections 3 and 4  for more details.

In addition, the Title IX Coordinator may exercise discretion to dismiss a Formal Complaint under the Policy if at any time during the investigation or resolution process:

  1. A Complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the Complainant would like to withdraw the Formal Complaint (or allegations asserted in the Formal Complaint);
  2. The Respondent is not enrolled or employed by the University; or
  3. Specific circumstances prevent the University from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the Formal Complaint.

If a Formal Complaint, or allegations therein, are dismissed for any of these reasons, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly send written notice of the dismissal and reason(s) for the dismissal simultaneously to the parties, along with information about how to appeal the Title IX Coordinator’s decision.

If the Title IX Coordinator dismisses the Formal Complaint for purposes of Title IX but elects to continue to investigate the conduct in accordance with this Procedure, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly send written notice of this decision simultaneously to the parties, including notice of the decision to move forward with the Formal Complaint, notice of and reasons for the dismissal for purposes of Title IX, and information about how to appeal the Title IX Coordinator’s decision to dismiss the Formal Complaint for purposes of Title IX.

Consolidation of Allegations into a Single Formal Resolution

The Title IX Coordinator has the discretion to consolidate multiple Formal Complaints, or allegations related to those complaints, into a single investigation and/or hearing if the allegations arise out of similar facts or circumstances. Consolidation might involve multiple Complainants and a single Respondent, multiple Respondents, or multiple Formal Complaints between the same Complainant and Respondent.

Written Notice of Allegations

Upon receipt of a Formal Complaint, and a determination that the Formal Complaint is within the scope and jurisdiction of this Policy, the Title IX Coordinator will send the parties a written Notice of Allegations that contains the following:

  1. Notice and information about the formal resolution and alternative resolution processes used by the University;
  2. Notice of the allegations of prohibited conduct, providing sufficient detail known at the time and sufficient time for a response to be prepared before any initial interview, including:
    1. identities of the parties, if known;
    2. the conduct allegedly constituting sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking;
    3. the date and location of the alleged incident, if known; and
    4. the Policy provisions the conduct is alleged to violate;
  3. A statement that the Respondent is presumed not responsible for violations of the Policy until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the formal resolution process;
  4. Notice that each party may have an advisor of their choice who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney and who may inspect and review evidence;
  5. Notice that the University prohibits knowingly making false statements and knowingly submitting false information during the resolution process; and
  6. The University’s prohibition against retaliation.

If at any time during the resolution procedures the University determines that additional allegations, not contained in the written Notice of Allegations, will be investigated as part of the same resolution, the University will provide the parties with a supplemental Notice of Allegations.

Options for Resolving a Formal Complaint

The University is committed to providing a prompt, thorough, equitable, and impartial resolution of all Formal Complaints of violations of the Policy. In doing so, the University offers two processes to resolve Formal Complaints of Sexual Harassment:

  1. a formal resolution, involving an investigation and, if applicable, a hearing; or
  2. an alternative resolution, allowing for an informal or remedies-based option for resolving reports.

Formal Resolution: Investigation


The Title IX Coordinator will appoint one or more investigators to assist in investigating the Formal Complaint. An investigator may be a University employee or a third party engaged by the University. The investigator will conduct a prompt and equitable investigation to gather information relevant to the Formal Complaint. 

During the formal resolution proceedings, both the Complainant and Respondent have equitable opportunities, including the opportunity to participate in the investigation; to review and present information and evidence; to be accompanied by an advisor of their choice to any meeting and proceeding; and to timely notice of meetings at which their presence will be requested or required.

The investigator, not the parties, is responsible for gathering relevant evidence. The Complainant and Respondent will be asked and have the opportunity to identify witnesses and provide other relevant information, such as documents, communications and other evidence, if available. The parties are encouraged to provide all relevant information as promptly as possible to facilitate prompt resolution and are encouraged to preserve relevant evidence. In the event that a party declines to voluntarily provide material information, the university’s ability to conduct a prompt, thorough and equitable investigation may be impacted.

The investigator will receive annual training on: (1) issues of relevance; (2) the definition of sexual harassment provided in the Policy; (3) the scope of the University’s programs or activities; (4) how to conduct an investigation; and (5) how to serve impartially, including by avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias. The investigator will be impartial and free from conflict of interest or actual bias for or against the Complainant or Respondent and complainants or respondents generally.

Initiating the Investigation

Before any interview, the individual being interviewed will be informed in writing of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of the interview. Such notice will be provided with sufficient time for the individual to prepare for the interview.

Investigative Steps

During an investigation, the investigator will seek to meet separately with the Complainant, Respondent, and relevant witnesses. Witnesses are individuals who may have information relevant to the incident, including individuals who may have observed the acts in question, may be able to provide contextual information, or may have other information related to the incident, the disclosure, the parties or related matters. Witnesses may not participate solely to speak about an individual’s character. Where witnesses are interviewed as part of the investigation, the name of the witness and the information gathered in the interviews will be included in the final investigative report, which the parties will have the opportunity to review at the conclusion of the investigation. The investigators may record interviews with the consent of the interview participants. The investigator will also gather other relevant information or evidence, including documents, photographs, communications between the parties, medical records (subject to the consent of the applicable person), and other electronic records as appropriate. 

Social Media and Personal Communications

While the burden of gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding responsibility rests on the University and not on the parties, the University does not actively monitor online sources. Therefore, and as with all potentially relevant information, the Complainant, Respondent and witness should bring online information to the attention of the investigator if they believe it is relevant. The investigator may also consider information accessible from online sources that comes to the attention of investigator.  

The investigator may consider communications involving or relating to one or both parties that either party brings to the attention of the investigator or that is provided by the parties in response to a request by the investigator. The investigator may also seek to review information stored on University devices or servers, consistent with the University’s technology policies. 

Other Evidence: Site Visits and Experts

The investigator may visit relevant sites or locations and record observations through written, photographic, or other means. In some cases, the investigator may consult with relevant experts when deemed appropriate and necessary by the University. The University will not consider polygraph results as relevant.

Medical and Counseling Records

In general, a person’s medical and counseling records are confidential and not accessible to the investigator unless the person voluntarily chooses to share those records with the investigator in writing. In those instances, information from those records that is relevant or directly related to the allegations must be shared with the other party.

Prior or Subsequent Conduct

Prior or subsequent conduct may be considered in determining pattern, knowledge, intent, or motive. For example, evidence of an articulable pattern of prohibited conduct by the Respondent, either before or after the incident in question, regardless of whether there has been a prior finding of a Policy violation, may be deemed relevant to the determination of responsibility for the allegations under investigation. The determination of relevance of pattern evidence will be based on an assessment of whether the previous or subsequent conduct was substantially similar to the allegations. The investigator will determine the relevance of this information, which may involve additional investigative steps, and both parties will be informed if evidence of prior or subsequent conduct is deemed relevant.

Prior Sexual History

The sexual history of the Complainant will never be used to prove character or reputation. Evidence related to the prior sexual history is generally not used in determining whether a violation of the Policy has occurred and will only be considered when a determination is made that it is directly relevant to the investigation. For example, if Consent is at issue, the sexual history between the parties may be relevant to determine the nature and manner of communications between the parties, which may inform the determination whether Consent was sought and reasonably appeared to have been given during the incident in question. As set forth in the Consent definition, even in the context of a relationship, Consent on one occasion does not constitute Consent on a subsequent occasion. In addition, prior sexual history may be relevant to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant. The investigator will determine the relevancy of this information and both parties will be informed if evidence of prior sexual history is deemed relevant.

Impact and Mitigation Statements

Complainants and Respondents may voluntarily submit a written impact or mitigation statement. The University will not draw any adverse inference solely from a Complainant’s or Respondent’s decision to submit or not submit an impact or mitigation statement. 

An impact statement is written information from the Complainant regarding how the alleged Sexual Harassment has affected them and the Complainant’s views on their desired outcome. A mitigation statement is written information from the Respondent regarding any potential mitigating factors.

Parties will receive a copy of the impact or mitigation statement provided by the other party.

Relevance

The investigator will review all information identified or provided by the parties and will determine the relevancy of the information developed or received during the investigation. In general, the investigator will not consider statements of personal opinion or statements as to any party’s general reputation.

Expectations of the Parties

The University expects all members of the University community to cooperate fully with the University’s procedures for resolving a Formal Complaint. It is understood that there may be circumstances in which a Complainant or Respondent wish to limit their participation, and the University will respect the choice of the Complainant or Respondent as to how to engage in the process. The University may, however, move forward with an investigation and resolution without the participation of a party or parties.

If a Complainant or Respondent chooses not to answer any or all questions in an investigation for any reason, the University will continue its process. The University will not draw any adverse inference solely from a Complainant’s or Respondent’s decision not to participate in the investigation or alternative resolution; however, the Complainant or Respondent should be aware that declining to participate in the investigation may impact the timing and outcome of the case.

Parties are reminded that any form of retaliation, including intimidation, threats of violence, or other conduct intended to cause a party or witness to not participate in an investigation or not appear for a hearing are expressly prohibited.

Timing of Investigation

The investigator (or Title IX Coordinator) will provide periodic updates to the parties about the status of the investigation, with a goal to complete the fact-gathering portion of the investigation within approximately 50 Business Days.

Review of the Evidence

At the conclusion of the fact-gathering portion of the investigation, the Complainant and Respondent will have an equal opportunity to inspect and review all evidence, both inculpatory and exculpatory, obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations in the Formal Complaint, regardless of whether the University intends to rely on that evidence in reaching a determination.

The evidence will be made available to the Complainant and the Respondent, and each party’s advisor, if any. The evidence subject to the parties’ inspection and review will be available at the live hearing and each party will have an equal opportunity to refer to such evidence during the hearing.

Each party will have ten (10) Business Days to:

  1. provide written comment or feedback,
  2. submit additional information,
  3. identify additional witnesses, and/or
  4. request the collection of other information by the investigator.

The investigator will determine the appropriateness of additional investigative steps and the relevance of additional information. If either party provides a written response or makes a request for additional investigation, the written response and any additional information gathered by the investigator will be shared with the other party and incorporated as appropriate in the final investigative report.

Any information gathered through additional investigation steps will be shared with both parties, and, as appropriate, each will have the opportunity for further response. Typically, each party will have three (3) Business Days to review any additional substantive information.

As necessary, the investigator will designate reasonably prompt timeframes to ensure a timely completion of the process while also providing an adequate opportunity for both parties to respond thoroughly to the information gathered during the investigation.

Investigative Report

Unless there are significant additional investigative steps requested by the parties or identified by the investigator, normally within ten (10) Business Days after receipt and consideration of additional comments, questions, and/or information from the parties, the investigator will prepare a final investigative report that fairly summarizes the relevant evidence. At least ten (10) Business Days prior to a hearing, the investigator (or Title IX Coordinator) will provide each party and each party’s advisor, if any, access to the investigative report for their review and optional written response. Both parties will receive simultaneous written notification of the availability of the final investigative report. Parties must provide their written response to the final investigative report, if any, to the Title IX Coordinator at least two (2) Business Days prior to the scheduled hearing. In the absence of good cause, information known to a party (or obtainable with reasonable diligence) but not provided to the investigator before the hearing will not be considered by the Decision Maker in determining responsibility for the allegation(s).

If a Title IX hearing is not required, the investigator (or Title IX Coordinator) will provide each party and each party’s advisor, if any, access to the investigative report for their review and optional written response. Both parties will receive simultaneous written notification of the availability of the final investigative report. Parties must provide their written response to the final investigative report, if any, to the Title IX Coordinator within 10 Business Days. In the absence of good cause, information known to a party (or obtainable with reasonable diligence) but not provided to the investigator during the investigation will not be considered by the Decision Maker when making a determination of responsibility after the conclusion of the hearing.


Formal Resolution: Title IX Hearing

If the allegations of the Formal Complaint are consistent with Title IX Sexual Harassment definitions and jurisdiction, a hearing will be scheduled consistent with section 3 of this Procedure. If the allegations do not include allegations of Title IX Sexual Harassment, no hearing will be required before a Decision Maker makes a written determination of responsibility. If no hearing is required, the completed investigative report, along with any responses from the parties, will be sent to the Decision Maker for the purpose of making a written determination of responsibility, consistent with section 4.

Decision Maker

The Decision Maker is the individual designated by the University to preside over the Title IX hearing, if a hearing is required, and to issue a written determination regarding responsibility. The Decision Maker will be impartial and free from actual bias or conflict of interest. The Decision Maker will receive annual training regarding the University’s policies and procedures; the handling of Title IX Sexual Harassment cases; how to conduct a hearing; issues of relevance, including when questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant; how to serve impartially by, among other things, avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias; and other relevant issues. The Decision Maker will also be trained on any technology that might be used during a hearing.

The Decision Maker is typically the University administrator with appointing or disciplinary authority over the Respondent:

  1. If the Respondent is a faculty member, the Decision Maker will be the Provost (or the Provost’s designee).
  2. If the Respondent is a residential undergraduate student, then the Decision Maker will be the Director of Residence Life (or designee).
  3. If the Respondent is a non-residential undergraduate student, the Decision Maker will be the Assistant Provost for Community Life (or designee).
  4. If the Respondent is a graduate student, the Decision Maker will be the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (or designee).
  5. If the Respondent is an employee (other than a student employee), the Decision Maker will be the employee’s Area Vice President (or designee); and
  6. If the Respondent does not fit into any of the preceding categories, the Decision Maker will be an individual designated by the Title IX Coordinator.

The parties will be informed of the identity of the Decision Maker at least five (5) Business Days before the hearing, if a hearing is required. If a hearing is not required, the parties will be informed of the identity of the Decision Maker at least (5) days before the issuance of a written determination of responsibility. If the Decision Maker has concerns that they cannot conduct a fair or unbiased review, the Decision Maker must report those concerns to the Title IX Coordinator and a different Decision Maker will be assigned. Similarly, a Complainant or a Respondent who has concerns that the assigned Decision Maker cannot conduct a fair and unbiased hearing, may report those concerns to the Title IX Coordinator who will assess the circumstances and whether a different Decision Maker should be assigned.

Hearing Process

  1. Hearings will ordinarily be scheduled within 10 Business Days of providing the final investigative report to the parties. The Title IX Coordinator will provide written notice to the Complainant and Respondent of the hearing date, time, location, and procedures. Unless otherwise approved by the Title IX Coordinator, no one may attend the hearing unless the individual is a Complainant, Respondent, witness, advisor, or University administrator or contractor who has a role in conducting the hearing. 
  2. Live hearings may be conducted with all parties physically present in the same geographic location or, at the Decision Maker’s discretion, any or all parties, witnesses, and other participants may appear at the live hearing virtually, with technology enabling participants simultaneously to see and hear each other. In addition, at the request of either party, the University will provide for the live hearing to occur with the parties located in separate rooms with technology enabling the Decision Maker and parties to simultaneously see and hear the party or the witness answering questions.
  3. If an individual who is asked to attend the hearing does not appear at the scheduled hearing, then at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, the hearing may be rescheduled, or may continue in the individual’s absence (in which case, at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, a follow-up hearing may be scheduled).  In making a determination, the Title IX Coordinator will consider the importance of the individual’s participation, availability of the parties, the reason the individual did not attend, and other relevant factors.
  4. The live hearing will be facilitated by the Decision Maker. The Decision Maker may receive assistance from the Title IX Coordinator, the University’s legal counsel or designee in conducting the hearing. The Decision Maker may question any party or witness and must also permit each party's advisor to ask the other party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those challenging credibility. Such cross-examination at the live hearing must be conducted directly, orally, and in real time by the party's advisor of choice and never by a party personally. Only relevant cross-examination and other questions may be asked of a party or witness. Before a Complainant, Respondent, or witness answers a cross-examination or other question, the Decision Maker must first determine whether the question is relevant and explain any decision to exclude a question as not relevant. Responses provided to questions during the hearing may be used in determining responsibility.
  5. If a party does not have an advisor present at the live hearing, the University will provide without fee or charge to that party, an advisor of the University’s choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, to conduct cross-examination on behalf of that party.
  6. Questions and evidence about the Complainant's sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless:
    1. Such questions and evidence about the Complainant's prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant, or
    2. If the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the Complainant's prior sexual behavior with respect to the Respondent and are offered to prove consent.
  7. The Decision Maker has the authority to remove any advisor from the hearing who does not follow the University’s hearing procedures. If a party’s advisor is removed, the University will appoint an advisor to conduct cross-examination of the other party and witnesses.
  8. The University will create a recording of any live hearing and make the transcript available to the parties for inspection and review.
  9. In general, no additional investigation will be performed after a live hearing. However, if a Decision Maker determines that additional investigation should be performed, each party will be provided with an opportunity to review the additional evidence.  Each party will have five (5) Business Days to provide a written response regarding the new evidence once the new evidence is made available to the party, and the investigator will add an addendum to the investigator’s report, which will be shared with both parties. The Decision Maker and Title IX Coordinator will schedule an additional live hearing to address the new evidence.

Written Notice of Outcome, including Remedies and/or Sanctions

The University’s Formal Resolution process is designed to determine whether there has been a violation of the Policy and identify and implement a tailored and individual response intended to eliminate prohibited forms of sexual harassment, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects while supporting the University’s educational mission and legal obligations. Remedies and sanctions may also serve to promote safety and/or deter other individuals from similar future behavior. Other remedies may include corrective action that is intended to be non-punitive, such as targeted or broad-based educational programming or training.

After the live hearing, or after the completion of the investigative process if no hearing is required, the Decision Maker will make a finding of responsibility using the preponderance of the evidence standard to determine whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent(s) violated the Policy and will issue a written notice of outcome. 

Regardless of their participation in the Formal Resolution process, the Complainant and Respondent will simultaneously receive the written notice of outcome.

If the Decision Maker determines that the Respondent is responsible for violating the Policy, the Decision Maker will determine the appropriate remedies and/or sanction(s). Remedial measures and sanctions will not be imposed until any appeal process described in this Procedure is complete.

Sanctions and Corrective Action for Student Respondents

  • Sanctions and corrective actions for student Respondents include warning, censure, disciplinary probation, removal from University housing, suspension, expulsion, restriction from employment at the University, educational program attendance, educational project, professional assessment, removal from specific courses, activities or organizations, notification to receiving institutions (if required), withholding or delaying the conferral of a degree, prohibitions against participation in academic honor ceremonies, such as graduation, training, guidance, and measures to protect health and safety.
  • Student-employees who are reported to have engaged in prohibited conduct in their employment capacity may be subject to sanctions both in connection with their employment and in connection with their student status, as appropriate under applicable processes. If a student is employed through a financial aid package, such as work study, any modification to the employment will not result in a decrease in student aid funds.

Sanctions and Corrective Action for Staff Respondents

Sanctions and corrective actions for staff Respondents include oral or written warning, disciplinary probation, suspension, termination of employment, no rehire, mandatory training and/or coaching, guidance, adjustment of responsibilities, limitation on participation in University committees, events, organizations, or programs and activities, and measures to protect health and safety.

Sanctions and Corrective Action for Faculty Respondents

Sanctions and corrective actions for faculty Respondents include oral or written warning, reprimand, censure, training, guidance, adjustment of supervisory, evaluative or other academic or non-academic responsibilities, measures to protect health and safety, leave, suspension, dismissal, non-reappointment, and a recommendation that proceedings be initiated to terminate tenure under section 11.6.4 of the Faculty Handbook.

Formal Resolution: Appeals

The Complainant or Respondent may appeal the 1) dismissal of the Formal Complaint and 2) the written notice of outcome based on the grounds for appeal described below. Written appeals must be submitted within five (5) Business Days of receiving the applicable notice. The appeal will be conducted in an impartial manner and equivalent procedural rights will be provided to both parties throughout the process.

Appeals Officer

The appeal review will be conducted by an Appeals Officer. The Appeals Officer will be impartial and free from actual bias or conflict of interest and will receive annual training regarding the University’s policies and procedures and other relevant issues.

Grounds for Appeal

A Complainant or Respondent may appeal on one or more of the following grounds:

  1. There was a material deviation from the procedures that affected the outcome of the case.
  2. There is new and relevant information that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made that could affect the outcome of the matter.
  3. The sanction(s) was clearly inappropriate and/or disproportionate to the conduct for which the Respondent was found responsible.
  4. The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or Decision Maker had an actual bias or conflict of interest for or against the Complainant or Respondent, or against complainants or respondents generally that affected the outcome of the matter.

Process for Review

  1. The appeal shall consist of a plain, concise and complete written statement outlining the reason(s) for appeal and all relevant information to substantiate the appeal.  Dissatisfaction with the outcome is not sufficient grounds for appeal. The appeal will be narrowly tailored to the stated appeal grounds.
  2. Each party will be given the opportunity to review and respond in writing to the other party’s appeal. Any response by a party to the other party’s appeal must be submitted within three (3) Business Days of receiving the other party’s appeal.
  3. The Appeals Officer will review the matter based on the issues identified in the appeal(s) materials. The Appeals Officer has the authority to determine the appropriateness of evidence, including whether certain evidence should be considered, and the strength and weight that evidence will be given. The Appeals Officer will consider the final investigative report, the written notice of outcome, and any written appeal submissions by the parties. The Appeals Officer may request additional information as necessary.
  4. Appeals are not intended to be a reevaluation of the facts gathered, nor may the Appeals Officer substitute their judgment for that of the investigators or Decision Maker merely because they disagree with the outcome. The finding and sanction are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately, and the Appeals Officer should give deference to the underlying outcome unless there is clear error based on the stated appeal grounds.
  5. Based upon its review of an appeal of a dismissed Formal Complaint, the Appeals Officer may:
    1. Deny the appeal and uphold the dismissal; or
    2. Grant the appeal and refer the Formal Complaint back to the Title IX Coordinator with instructions.
  6. Based upon its review of an appeal of a written notice of outcome, the Appeals Officer may:
    1. Deny the appeal and affirm the outcome;
    2. Grant the appeal and refer the matter back for a new hearing (or review of evidence for non-Title IX complaints) with instructions;
    3. Grant the appeal and refer the matter back to the investigative process with instructions;
    4. Affirm the Decision Maker’s findings and refer the matter to the supervisor of the Decision Maker for modification of the sanctions.

The Appeals Officer will strive to complete the appeal review within 10 Business Days of receipt of all documents. The entire appeal process, from the date the appeal is filed through the written notice of the outcome of the appeal, will ordinarily take no more than 21 Business Days. In the event good cause requires an extension of that timeframe, the University will inform the parties and provide the reasons for the extension of the timeframe. Both parties will be provided with written notice of the outcome of the appeal simultaneously. The notice will describe the result of the appeal and rationale for the Appeals Officer’s decision. The determination by the Appeals Officer is final, except in cases where the Appeals Officer refers the matter for further action, as stated above.

Alternative Resolution

  1. Alternative resolution is a voluntary and remedies-based resolution that may be available after a Formal Complaint is filed. Alternative resolution requires the mutual informed written consent of all parties and the University. Alternative resolution is not available to resolve allegations that an employee sexually harassed a student.
  2. Potential remedies may include targeted or broad-based educational programming or training, supported direct conversation or interaction with the Respondent, and/or indirect action by the Title IX Coordinator. Depending on the form of alternative resolution, resolutions may involve disciplinary action against a Respondent. Disciplinary action will only be imposed against a Respondent where there is a sufficient factual foundation and both the Complainant and the Respondent have agreed to forego the Formal Resolution procedures set forth in this Policy and accept an agreed upon sanction.
  3. The University will not compel a Complainant or Respondent to engage in any form of alternative resolution. The decision to pursue alternative resolution may be made at any time after a Formal Complaint is filed and prior to reaching a determination regarding responsibility, provided that:
    1. The University provides the parties a written notice informing the parties of the following: (i) the allegations; (ii) the requirements of the alternative resolution process, including the circumstances under which it precludes the parties from resuming a formal complaint arising from the same allegations; (iii) that at any time prior to agreeing to a resolution, any party has the right to withdraw from the alternative resolution process and resume the formal resolution process with respect to the Formal Complaint; and (iv) any consequences resulting from participating in the alternative resolution process, including the records that will be maintained or could be shared; and
    2. The University obtains the parties’ voluntary, written consent to engage in the alternative resolution process.
  4. A completed alternative resolution agreement will not result in a substantiated finding of responsibility by a Decision Maker. Either party can request to end alternative resolution and resume formal resolution with respect to the Formal Complaint at any time prior to signing an alternative resolution agreement.
  5. If the agreement reached is acceptable to all parties and the University the terms of the agreement will be implemented, and the matter will be deemed resolved and closed. If an agreement is not reached and the Title IX Coordinator determines that further action is necessary, or if a Respondent fails to comply with the terms of the alternative resolution, the matter may be referred for an investigation under the formal resolution process.
  6. Where the Complainant or the Respondent withdraws from alternative resolution or alternative resolution is otherwise terminated for any reason, any statements or disclosures made by the parties to the University during the alternative resolution may be considered in a subsequent investigation under the formal resolution process, to the extent required by law.

Alternative Resolution Timeframe

The alternative resolution process, from the date of the Formal Complaint through a final resolution, will ordinarily take between 30 Business Days. In the event good cause requires an extension of that timeframe, the University will inform the parties and provide the reasons for the extension of the time frame.



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