Some incidents of sexual harassment may be resolved through informal resolution.
The informal resolution process does not include a formal investigation or a determination that a policy was violated. With the voluntary consent of the parties, informal resolution may be used to agree upon disciplinary sanctions.
Informal Resolutions may include, but are not limited to;
- Placing a Respondent on notice that, if such behavior has occurred or is occurring, such conduct should cease immediately;
- A written warning;
- Education and/or training for a Respondent and/or department;
- Permanent Supportive Measures for Complainant;
- Mediation or other informal communication between the Complainant and Respondent;
- Messaging to the campus community;
- Events and/or trainings offered to the campus community or particular departments;
- Referral and/or collaboration with another District department in order to address the allegations and eliminate any potential sexual misconduct; and/or other forms of resolution that can be tailored to the needs of the parties
Once a Formal Complaint is filed, the Title IX Coordinator will initiate a prompt review of the Formal Complaint to determine the next steps in the grievance process, including referring the matter to an investigation or referral to the appropriate office.
If the formal complaint falls under the jurisdiction of the Sexual Harassment Policy, the Title IX Coordinator will refer the matter for investigation.
The investigation includes interviews with the parties, witnesses, and the collection of other evidence.
The parties will be given an opportunity to respond to the evidence that is collected during the course of the investigation.
The investigator(s) will prepare a final investigation report and the parties will have an opportunity to issue a written response to the report.
All hearings will be conducted in a live hearing format which means all parties and the decision-maker may be physically present in the same geographic location, or at the request of either party or the University, the parties may be located in separate rooms with technology enabling the decision-maker and parties to simultaneously see and hear the party or the witness answering questions.
For incidents which have reached the definitional and jurisdictional thresholds of sexual harassment as prescribed by Title IX, the parties will be provided with an equal opportunity for their advisors to conduct cross-examination of the other party and of relevant witnesses. A typical hearing may include: brief opening remarks by the decision-maker; questions posed by the decision- maker to one or both of the parties; cross-examination by either party’s advisor of the other party and relevant witnesses; and questions posed by the decision-maker to any relevant witnesses.
For non-Title IX adjudication proceedings for students, questioning is done by the decision-maker and not the party’s advisor.
Non-Title IX adjudication proceedings for employees will be adjudicated in accordance with the policies and procedures outlined in the University Handbook, including, when applicable, the Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy.
Appeals are available after a complaint dismissal or after a final determination is made. Appeals can be made based on the following:
Procedural irregularities in the investigation affecting the outcome;
New evidence that could affect the outcome but was not reasonably available at the time the determination or dismissal was made; or
The Title IX Coordinator, investigator, or decision-maker had a bias or a conflict of interest that affected the outcome.
Rights of the Parties:
In the event that a Formal Complaint is filed, the Complainant and the Respondent will receive a written notification of their rights regarding the adjudication process, to include the following:
- Complainants and Respondents will be treated equitably by the University which includes providing remedies to a Complainant where a determination of responsibility for sexual harassment has been made against the Respondent, and by following a grievance process that complies with this Policy.
- The University’s procedures provide for a prompt, fair, equitable, and impartial investigation and resolution that begins promptly and is completed within reasonably prompt timeframes.
- Participants will be treated with dignity, respect, and sensitivity.
- A Respondent is not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the applicable adjudication proceeding.
- The decision-makers will conduct an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence, including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence, and provide that credibility determinations may not be based on a person’s status as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness.
- The University will use a resolution process that is consistent with University policies, transparent to the Complainant and Respondent, and in which the burden of proof and of gathering evidence rests with the University and not the parties.
- The parties will have the right to an advisor of the party’s choosing during the grievance process. If a party does not have an advisor present at any Title IX Hearing per this Policy, the University will provide without fee or charge, an advisor of the University’s choice for purposes of conducting cross-examination.
- Both the Respondent and Complainant have a right to similar and timely access to information that will be used at the hearing or adjudication process.
- The parties have the right not to be retaliated against for filing a Formal Complaint and/or for participating in an Informal or Formal Resolution process.
- Any false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the grievance process, constitutes a violation of Student Rights and Responsibilities Section 5.10A. False Information/Obstruction or the University Handbook which will result in a referral for disciplinary action that is separate and independent from the grievance process in this Policy. A finding of not responsible is not the same as a false report.
Report Flowchart - PDF
Incident Reports - PDF