These FAQs are intended to respond to questions about the University’s policies and procedures regarding Title IX and sex discrimination as they pertain to matters involving conduct alleged to have occurred on or after August 14, 2020. For additional information, please visit your University’s Equity and Title IX website.
What conduct is prohibited by Title IX?
The University of Missouri System is committed to compliance with Title IX, which states in part that “[n]o person in the United States shall on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity.”
Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, pregnancy, gender identity, or gender expression. Prohibited conduct includes sexual harassment. Sexual assault, including rape, sodomy, sexual assault with an object, fondling, incest or statutory rape, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking are all forms of sexual harassment as it is defined under Title IX.
What is sex discrimination?
Sex discrimination is conduct that is based upon an individual’s sex, pregnancy, gender identity, or gender expression that adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a University program or activity.
Sex discrimination under the University’s equity policy (CRR 600.010) is defined as the following: (1) Sexual harassment that does not rise to the level of sexual harassment as it is defined under Title IX or conduct that does meet the Title IX definition but occurs outside the University’s education programs, activities, or employment, or occurs outside the United States, but nonetheless has an effect that interferes with or limits any person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s education programs, activities, or employment; (2) workplace sexual harassment; or (3) sex discrimination that does not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
What is sexual harassment under Title IX?
Sexual harassment, as it is defined under Title IX, means conduct on the basis of sex, that falls within one of the following categories:
- “Quid Pro Quo” - An employee of the University conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
- “Hostile Environment” - Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education program or activity;
- “Sexual assault” - Any sexual act that constitutes rape, sodomy, sexual assault with an object, fondling, incest, and statutory rape.
- “Dating Violence” - The term “dating violence” means violence committed by a person-- (A) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and (B) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (i) The length of the relationship, (ii) The type of relationship, and (iii) The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
- “Domestic violence” - The term “domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of Missouri, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Missouri.
- “Stalking” - The term “stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to--(A) fear for their safety or the safety of others; or (B) suffer substantial emotional distress.
What does it mean to consent to sexual activity?
Consent to sexual activity is knowing and voluntary. Consent to sexual activity requires of all involved persons a conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. Each person engaged in the sexual activity must have met the legal age of consent. It is the responsibility of each person to ensure they have the consent of all others engaged in the sexual activity. Consent must be obtained at the time of the specific activity and can be withdrawn at any time. Consent, lack of consent or withdrawal of consent may be communicated by words or non-verbal acts.
Someone who is incapacitated cannot consent. Silence or absence of resistance does not establish consent. The existence of a dating relationship or past sexual relations between the Parties involved should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent. Further, consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another. Coercion and force, or threat of either, invalidates consent.
Why does consent matter?
In certain situations, a person does not have the capacity to agree to participate in consensual sex. Examples include individuals who are under the age of consent, unable to consent due to incapacitation brought on by voluntary or involuntary alcohol or drug consumption, developmentally disabled, or mentally/physically unable to consent.
Why does incapacitation matter?
Sexual contact with someone who was known to be or reasonably should have been known to be incapacitated is a violation of policy.
A person is incapacitated if they are in a state or condition in which rational decision-making or the ability to consent is rendered impossible because of a person’s temporary or permanent physical or mental impairment, including but not limited to physical or mental impairment resulting from drugs or alcohol, disability, sleep, unconsciousness or illness. Consent does not exist when one knew or should have known of the other individual’s incapacitation. Incapacitation is determined based on the totality of the circumstances. Incapacitation is more than intoxication but intoxication can cause incapacitation.
Factors to consider in determining incapacity include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Lack of awareness of circumstances or surroundings (e.g., an inability to understand, either temporarily or permanently, the who, what, where, how and/or why of the circumstances; blackout state)
- Inability to physically or verbally communicate coherently, particularly with regard to consent (e.g., slurred or incoherent speech)
- Lack of full control over physical movements (e.g., difficulty walking or standing without stumbling or assistance)
- Physical symptoms (e.g., vomiting or incontinence).
Who is a Complainant?
The Complainant is the individual who is alleged to have been subjected to sexual harassment in violation of the University's Title IX policies.
Who is a Respondent?
The Respondent is the individual alleged to have committed an act of sexual harassment in violation of the University’s Title IX policies.
What is an Academic Medical Center?
Under Title IX, an Academic Medical Center is a designation given to an entity that is not a post-secondary institution although it may be affiliated with a post-secondary institution or even considered part of the same entity as the institution of higher education. At the University of Missouri, the University of Missouri Hospitals and Clinics have been designated an Academic Medical Center under Title IX and follow a separate resolution process for matters involving Title IX-related conduct.
Protections and Procedures
What are the rights of a Party in a Title IX Proceeding?
All parties involved will be treated equitably. During the Title IX process, a Party has a right:
- To be treated with respect by University officials.
- To be free from retaliation.
- To have access to University support resources (such as counseling and mental health services and University health services).
- To request a no contact directive between the Parties.
- To have a Support Person of the Party’s choice accompany the party to all interviews and meetings (excluding hearings) throughout the Title IX Process.
- To refuse to have an allegation resolved through the Informal Resolution Processes.
- To receive prior to a hearing or other time of determination regarding responsibility, an investigative report that fairly summarizes the relevant evidence in an electronic format or hard copy for their review and written response.
- To have an opportunity to present a list of potential witnesses and provide evidence to the Investigator.
- To have Formal Complaints heard in substantial accordance with these procedures.
- To receive written notice of any delay of this process or limited extension of time frames for good cause which may include considerations such as the absence of a Party, a Party’s Advisor or a witness; concurrent law enforcement activity; or the need for language assistance or accommodation of disabilities.
- To be informed of the finding, rationale, sanctions and remedial actions.
- To report the matter to law enforcement (if applicable) and to have assistance in making that report.
- To have an opportunity to appeal the dismissal of all or a portion of a Formal Complaint, and appeal the determination of a Hearing Panel or other decision-maker.
Additional Rights for Students as a Party:
- To request reasonable housing, living and other accommodations and remedies consistent with Section 600.030.H.
- To receive amnesty for minor student misconduct that is ancillary to the incident, at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator.
Additional Rights for Hearing Panel Resolution:
- To receive notice of a hearing.
- To have the names of witnesses who may participate in the hearing and copies of all documentary evidence gathered in the course of the investigation and any investigative report prior to the hearing.
- To be present at the hearing, which right may be waived by either written notification to the Hearing Officer or by failure to appear.
- To have present an Advisor during the hearing and to consult with such Advisor during the hearing, and have the Advisor conduct cross-examination and other questioning on behalf of the Party at the hearing.
- To have an Advisor of the University’s selection appointed for a Party where the Party does not have an Advisor of their own choice at a hearing.
- To testify at the hearing or refuse to testify at the hearing; however, if a Party or witness fails to submit to cross-examination at the hearing, the Hearing Panel shall not rely on any statement of that Party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility. The Hearing Panel shall not draw any inference about the determination regarding responsibility based solely on a Party’s or witness’s failure to submit to cross-examination.
- To have an equal opportunity to present and question witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and present relevant evidence.
- To request that the hearing be held virtually, with technology enabling participants simultaneously to see and hear each other.
Additional Rights for Academic Medical Center Process:
- To receive notice of the meeting with the decision-maker.
- To submit written, relevant questions that a Party wants asked of any Party or witness and to be provided with the answers to such questions.
- To be allowed additional, limited follow-up questions.
What are supportive measures?
Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the Complainant or the Respondent before or after the filing of a Formal Complaint or where no Formal Complaint has been filed. These measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other Party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all Parties or the University’s education environment, or deter sexual harassment.
What supportive measures are available to a Party when they report a Title IX-related incident?
Supportive Measures may include:
- Referral and facilitating contact for the Complainant or Respondent for counseling or other support services.
- Mutual restrictions on contact between the Parties.
- Providing campus escort services to the Parties.
- Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus.
- Adjusting the extracurricular activities, work schedules, work assignments, supervisory responsibilities, or work arrangements of the Complainant and/or the Respondent, as appropriate.
- If either Party is a student:
- Referral of that Party to academic support services and any other services that may be beneficial to the Party.
- Adjusting the courses, assignments, and/or exam schedules of the Party.
- Altering the on-campus housing assignments, dining arrangements, or other campus services for the Party.
- Providing limited transportation accommodations for the Parties.
- Informing the Parties of the right to notify law enforcement authorities of the alleged incident and offering to help facilitate such a report.
Can a Respondent be removed from the University after a report is made?
- A Respondent may be removed from a University education program or activity if the Title IX Coordinator, after conducting an individualized safety and risk analysis, determines that the Respondent poses an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations of sexual harassment justifying removal.
- In all cases in which an Emergency Removal is imposed, the Respondent will immediately be given notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision of the Title IX Coordinator either prior to such Removal being imposed, or as soon thereafter as reasonably possible but no later than five (5) business days following the Removal. Any challenge by Respondent shall be made in writing and directed to the Title IX Coordinator and must show cause why the Removal should not be implemented. The Title IX Coordinator will forward the challenge to the Emergency Removal Appeal Individual/Committee, which will make a final decision on removal within three (3) business days.
- Violation of an Emergency Removal under this policy may be grounds for discipline under applicable University conduct policy.
Can a Student Organization be suspended after a report is made?
- If the Title IX Coordinator finds and believes from available information that the presence of the student organization on campus would seriously disrupt the University or constitute a danger to the health, safety, or welfare of members of the University community, a Respondent Student Organization’s operations, University recognition, access to and use of the University campus/facilities/events and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the Respondent Student Organization might otherwise be eligible, may be suspended on an interim basis pending the completion of the Title IX Process.
- The appropriate procedure to determine the future status of the student organization will be initiated within seven (7) business days.
Can an employee be placed on administrative leave?
Administrative leave for an employee may be implemented in accordance with University Human Resources Policies. Administrative leave for an employee is not considered an Emergency Removal.
What constitutes retaliation under Title IX?
Retaliation is any adverse action taken against a person because of that person’s participation or refusal to participate in the Resolution Process to Resolve Complaints under Title IX as set forth in CRR 600.030. Specifically, no person may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing. Intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination, including charges against an individual for policy violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or Formal Complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, constitutes retaliation.
Examples of prohibited retaliation include, but are not limited to, giving a lesser grade than the student’s academic work warrants because the student filed a report or Formal Complaint of sexual harassment; giving lower than justified performance appraisals because a person was a witness in an investigation of alleged sexual harassment; and threatening to spread false information about a person for filing a report or Formal Complaint of sexual harassment.
Any person who believes they have been subjected to retaliation is encouraged to notify the Title IX Coordinator. The University will promptly respond to all claims of retaliation. Any person who engages in such retaliation shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion or termination, in accordance with applicable procedures.
What if a Party and/or witness requests confidentiality?
Although discretion will be used and disclosures will be made only on a need-to-know basis, it will be necessary to disclose to a Party the names of the opposing Party and/or any known witnesses in a case. Title IX mandates that the Parties shall be permitted to inspect and review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the Formal Complaint, including the evidence upon which the University does not intend to rely in reaching any determination regarding responsibility, and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence whether obtained from a Party or other source.
Title IX does, however, require that the University keep confidential the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of sex discrimination, including any individual who has made a report or filed a Formal Complaint of sexual harassment, any Complainant, any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of sex discrimination, any Respondent, and any witness, except as necessary to carry out the purposes of Title IX, including to conduct any investigation, hearing, or judicial proceeding arising under Title IX, or as may be permitted or as required by law.
If there is a sexual history between the Complainant and the Respondent, can it still be sexual assault?
A previous sexual history does not equate to consent during the time of the alleged event.
What is the difference between a Title IX investigation and a criminal investigation?
These investigations are very different. Criminal investigations are intended to determine whether or not a law has been broken, while Title IX investigations determine whether or not university policies have been violated. This is an important distinction as a criminal investigation can result in incarceration depending on the verdict, while a Title IX investigation will not result in incarceration but can result in disciplinary action by the University. A Title IX investigation will proceed regardless of whether a criminal investigation is pursued or ongoing. The University does not conduct criminal investigations.
If an incident occurs off campus, will the University have jurisdiction under the University Title IX policies?
Jurisdiction of the University of Missouri under the Title IX policies is limited to sexual harassment which occurs in an education program or activity of the University of Missouri against a person in the United States. “Education program or activity” means a location, event, or circumstance over which the University exercised substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the conduct occurred, and includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the University (e.g., a fraternity or sorority house).
The University of Missouri Title IX policies do not apply to sexual harassment which occurs outside of the United States, even when the conduct occurs in an education program or activity of the University (e.g., the prohibited conduct occurred in another country during a study abroad program).
If an incident occurred at a party and I was drinking or taking drugs, will I get in trouble?
In order to foster reporting and participation, the University may provide amnesty from disciplinary action to the Parties and witnesses for minor student conduct violations ancillary to the incident.
Why are Title IX cases adjudicated with the standard of proof of preponderance of the evidence?
The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, the regulatory authority for Title IX, allows the University to choose the standard of proof utilized in its Title IX proceedings. The preponderance of the evidence standard used for Title IX cases at the University is the same standard utilized in other University disciplinary and student conduct matters. This standard of proof means that the appropriate decision-maker must determine whether a complaint of discrimination or harassment is "more likely than not" to have occurred.
How long are records of an investigation kept? What if the report of a violation was unsubstantiated?
Files will be kept for a minimum of seven (7) years following final resolution. Even if the report was unsubstantiated, files must be kept in order to maintain records of any supportive measures that were provided, and to monitor progress in creating a safer campus by conducting assessments of the campus climate. In addition, files must be kept in order to identify and resolve harassment-related issues, patterns and problems.
Responsibilities and Personnel
Who can the Complainant contact if they have experienced a Title IX offense?
If you are in immediate danger, please call 911. If you need immediate assistance related to a sexual assault, call the 24/7 Crisis Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
All members of the University community as well as visitors and third parties can report incidents to the University Title IX Coordinator. Find your University's Title IX Coordinator’s contact information here. You can also file a report online through your University's Title IX and Equity Office website. Your University Title IX Coordinator will help guide you to other contacts, including the police if you wish to file a police report. If you wish to contact someone confidential, you can find a list of confidential reporting sources at your University here. Besides reporting, we encourage you to seek any resources you might need, including counseling and health services. Visit your University's Title IX and Equity Office website for a list of resources to help, or click here. In addition, if you find other reporting methods unsuitable or uncomfortable, or if you wish to report anonymously, the UM System Integrity and Accountability Hotline is available 24/7 by dialing 1-866-447-9821 or by making a report here. In addition, the Bias Hotline is available 24/7 by dialing 1-844-946-1837 or by making a report here.
Who can the Respondent contact when accused of a Title IX offense?
After the filing of a Formal Complaint, an official form of correspondence called “Notice of Allegations” will be sent to any known Party, including the Respondent. An Investigator from the Title IX Office will reach out to the Respondent to set up a time to interview the Respondent regarding the alleged violations, to explain the Title IX process, and to discuss supportive measures that are available.
As a Party in a Title IX matter, a Respondent has the right to have a Support Person of their choosing to accompany them to all meetings and interviews to provide support. If they are a student-party, they can request to be assigned a University Trained Support Person. A University Trained Support Person is an administrator, faculty or staff member at the University trained on the Title IX process who cannot be called upon as a witness by a Party in a hearing to testify about matters learned while that individual was acting in their capacity as a Trained Support Person.
We also encourage a Respondent to seek any resources needed, including counseling and health services. Visit your University's Title IX site for a list of resources to help.
What are the responsibilities of the Title IX Coordinator?
The Title IX Coordinator is a point of contact for those who wish to report a Title IX-related violation. This person ensures the prohibited conduct ends and ensures the safety of the affected individual and community. This person is responsible for preventing the Title IX prohibited conduct from reoccurring and identifying and addressing patterns or problems with particular individuals or groups.
Who are the Title IX Coordinators at each University?
The name and contact information for the Title IX Coordinators at each Title IX and Equity Office can be found here.
Who can an individual contact if they want information to remain confidential?
If confidential support, help or information regarding sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, is needed, an employee with a legal privilege of confidentiality or a confidential designee on campus can be contacted. Employees with a legal privilege of confidentiality include health care providers, counselors, and their associated staff. Confidential resources at each University can be located under the “Confidential Reporting” tab found here.
Who protects me if a Title IX Officer has harassed or assaulted me?
There are always three options you have when reporting an offense: 1) Your University Title IX Coordinator, 2) The University of Missouri System Title IX Coordinator, and 3) The University of Missouri System President or Chancellor. If your complaint includes any of the above mentioned, please do not hesitate to contact one of the other parties.
I am a student employee and I am aware of an incident of sexual harassment. When I became aware of the incident, I was not acting in the capacity of my employment. Do I have to report?
If you were not acting in the role of your employment at the time you became aware of the incident, you are not mandated to report it. However, as a university community member, you are strongly encouraged to report any incident of sexual harassment of which you become aware.
Am I a Mandated Reporter? What does it mean to be a Mandated Reporter?
Any employee of the University, except as noted below*, who becomes aware of sexual harassment as defined by CRR 600.020 (or any form of discrimination or harassment as defined by CRR 600.010) is a Mandated Reporter, regardless of whether the recipient of the behavior is a student, employee, volunteer or visitor of the University.
A Mandated Reporter is required to promptly report the information to the appropriate Title IX Coordinator. The Mandated Report must be made regardless of whether the person reporting the information to the Mandated Reporter requests confidentiality and regardless of how the Mandated Reporter becomes aware of the offensive behavior (personal observation, direct information from the subject of the behavior, indirect information from a third party, etc.). If the Complainant requests confidentiality or that the report not be pursued, the Mandated Reporter should warn the Complainant that, at this stage in the process, the Mandated Reporter must report all known information to the Title IX Coordinator.
Mandated Reporters must report all details that they possess. This includes names of the parties, if known, and all other information in the Mandated Reporter’s possession.
*NOTE: Employees with a legal obligation or privilege of confidentiality (including health care providers, counselors, journalists, lawyers, and their associated staff) are not considered Mandated Reporters and are not required to report when the information is learned in the course of a confidential communication. This also means that the employee seeking the exemption is employed by the University for that specific purpose and was acting in that capacity when the confidential disclosure was made. If the information is not learned in the course of confidential communication (for example, behavior is observed in class) then the employee has the same obligation as a Mandated Reporter.
Consistent with the law and upon approval from the Office of the General Counsel, Universities may also designate non-professional counselors or advocates as confidential for purposes of its mandated reporting policy and, therefore, excluded from the definition of Mandated Reporters.
What happens after a Title IX report is made?
Upon receiving a report, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly contact the Complainant to discuss the availability of Supportive Measures, consider the Complainant’s wishes with respect to Supportive Measures, inform the Complainant of the availability of Supportive Measures with or without the filing of a Formal Complaint, and explain to the Complainant the process for filing a Formal Complaint. In addition to the right to file a Formal Complaint with Title IX, a Complainant always has the right to file a report with local law enforcement if they believe a crime has occurred.
If a Formal Complaint is filed, a Notice of Allegations – which is a written document that contains, among other things, the known identities of the Parties involved in the incident, the conduct alleged to have occurred that constitutes sexual harassment and the date and location of the alleged incident – will be sent to any known Parties. An Investigator will be appointed by the Title IX Coordinator to investigate the allegation(s) of sexual harassment.
How do I file a report?
There are several ways you can make a report at each University. Your options include but are not limited to:
What is a Formal Complaint?
A Formal Complaint is a written document filed by a Complainant (or signed by a Title IX Coordinator) alleging sexual harassment against a Respondent and requesting that the University investigate the allegation of sexual harassment. In order to file a Formal Complaint, the Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in an education program or activity of the University.
What if I hear of something but I’m not sure it’s a Title IX offense?
Contact your University Title IX Coordinator with the information that you have. This person will get the necessary information to proceed accordingly.
Does speaking at a public awareness event, such as Take Back the Night, count as “reporting”?
Generally, no. In an effort to encourage preventive education and access to resources for survivors, such events usually receive an exemption from the mandated reporting policy to promote open communication. If you have questions, contact your Title IX and Equity Office to learn more.
Can International students report?
Yes. These individuals will go through the same reporting process as a domestic student and have the same rights.
What if I am participating in a Study Abroad program and I believe I was sexual harassed while abroad (i.e., not in the United States); should I make a report to Title IX Coordinator?
Yes. Although the conduct might not fall within the scope of Title IX if it did not occur against you within the United States, it still might fall within the jurisdiction of the University under a different University policy. In addition, the University may need to take action to investigate whether to institute disciplinary actions or take other corrective steps on behalf of or against a student or employee, depending on the circumstances.
What are the reporting obligations of residential staff when they have notice of a Title IX related incident?
All University of Missouri employees, including student staff employed in campus residences, must report all Title IX related concerns to the Title IX Coordinator.
What if a Mandated Reporter fails to report?
Failure to comply with this policy can result in disciplinary action. Employees also are cautioned that non-compliance with this policy may increase their risk of personal liability. Further, an individual who fails to report as required under this policy may be determined to be ineligible for defense or protection under Section 490.010 of the UM System Collected Rules and Regulations for any associated claims, causes of action, liabilities or damages.
Are there penalties for making false accusations?
False reporting is a serious offense subject to appropriate disciplinary action ranging from probation up to and including expulsion or termination.
Is there a statute of limitations for reporting incidents in the past? Now that people are trained in the new Title IX policies, are Mandated Reporters expected to report things that happened in the past? If so, how far back into the past?
We encourage anyone with knowledge of a Title IX violation to come forward and report it to their University Title IX Coordinator regardless of when the incident occurred. Any incident since the Mandated Reporter policy went into effect must be reported. It is also important to note that there are some constituencies on the campuses who have been required to report for many years.
If I reported being sexually harassed or assaulted to the Title IX Coordinator, do I still need to go to the police?
You are not required to report to the police. However, if you believe a crime has occurred, you are encouraged to report the incident to the police. The Title IX Coordinator can provide assistance in reporting to the police if you wish.
The Title IX Resolution Process
Who are Support Persons and what is their role?
Each Complainant and Respondent is allowed to have one Support Person of their choice present with them for all Title IX Process interviews and meetings. The Parties may select whomever they wish to serve as their Support Person, including an attorney or parent. The Support Person may also act as the Party’s Advisor.
If requested by a student Party, the Title IX Coordinator may assign a Trained Support Person to explain the Title IX process and attend interviews and meetings with a Party. University Trained Support Person(s) are administrators, faculty, or staff at the University trained on the Title IX Process. A Trained Support Person cannot be called upon as a witness by a Party in a hearing to testify about matters learned while that individual was acting in their capacity as a Trained Support Person.
Who are Advisors and what is their role?
An Advisor is the individual that conducts all cross-examination and other questioning on behalf of a Party at a Title IX hearing; a Party may not directly question any other Party or any witness. An Advisor may, but is not required to, be an attorney. The Parties may select whomever they wish to serve as their Advisor, including an attorney.
If a Party does not have an Advisor of their choice present at the hearing, the University will provide, without fee or charge to that Party, an Advisor of the University’s choice to conduct cross-examination and other questioning on behalf of that Party. The Parties may not require that the assigned Advisor have specific qualifications such as being an attorney.
At the hearing, a Party’s Advisor may ask the other Party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those challenging credibility. An Advisor may conduct cross-examination and other questioning for a Party, and object to questions on limited grounds as specified in the Rules of Decorum. The Advisor may not make a presentation or otherwise represent the Complainant or the Respondent during the hearing. The Advisor may consult with the Party quietly or in writing, or outside the hearing during breaks, but may not speak on behalf of the Party, other than to conduct cross-examination or other questioning for the Party. Advisors who do not follow the Rules of Decorum will be warned or dismissed from the hearing at the discretion of the Hearing Officer.
What if I am a Party or witness and I refuse to submit to cross-examination?
If a Party or any witness does not submit to cross-examination (i.e., refuses to answer questions of a Party’s Advisor at the hearing), no statements of that Party or witness can be considered by the Hearing Panel in reaching a determination regarding responsibility. No inference can be drawn from the fact that a Party or witness failed to submit to cross-examination.
Who serves on the Title IX Hearing Panels?
A hearing panel is comprised of three (3) members, consisting of a Hearing Officer and two individuals selected from the Hearing Panel Pool. Each University will create and annually train a pool of not less than five (5) faculty and five (5) administrators and/staff to serve in the hearing panel pool. Selection of the hearing panel pool members should be made with an attempt to recognize the diversity of the University community. Hearing Panel members from one University may be asked to serve on a hearing panel involving another University.
Will parties be given the names of individuals on their Title IX Hearing Panel?
Both the Complainant and the Respondent will be given a list of the names of each of the Hearing Panel members at least twenty (20) business days in advance of the hearing.
If a Complainant or Respondent is uncomfortable with a particular member on their Title IX Hearing Panel (e.g. due to familiarity with the member), will the member be removed from the Hearing Panel?
Both Parties will be given a list of names of each of the Title IX Hearing Panel members at least twenty (20) business days in advance of the hearing. Should either Complainant or Respondent object to any panelist, they must raise all objections, in writing, to the Title IX Coordinator at least fifteen (15) days prior to the hearing. Hearing Panel members will only be unseated if the Title IX Coordinator concludes that good cause exists for their removal. Good cause may include, but is not limited to, bias that would preclude an impartial hearing or learning environment due to the current or potential interactions with the panel member (e.g., a panel member being in the same department as either Party). Additionally, any panelist or Hearing Officer of the Hearing Panel who feels they cannot make an objective determination must recuse himself or herself from the proceedings when notified of the identity of the parties and all witnesses in advance of the hearing.
Is a Party allowed to appeal a decision of the Hearing Panel?
Either party may appeal a dismissal of a Formal Complaint, or any allegations therein, or the decision of a Hearing Panel on the following limited bases:
- A procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;
- To consider new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made that could affect the outcome of the matter;
- The Title IX Coordinator, Investigator(s), or decision-maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the individual Complainant or Respondent, that affected the outcome of the matter; or
- The sanctions fall outside the range typically imposed for the offense, or for the cumulative conduct record of the Respondent.