August 20, 2018

Investigation, Evidence Review and Hearing (Student Misconduct)

It is the responsibility of the Title IX Coordinator to oversee prohibited conduct reports and investigations to ensure timely resolution and compliance with Title IX and this policy.

Both parties have the right to have an advisor present at every meeting described in this section.

A. Investigation 

  1. Notification

If the university proceeds to a formal investigation, the Reporting Party and the Respondent are notified of the investigation and the charged policy violations.

The Respondent is also provided information about the policy, procedural protections, support resources, and appropriate referrals. The Respondent will also be given a date by which they must contact the investigator. Respondents who do not respond to the notification within the designated time frame or who cannot be contacted after reasonable attempts remain subject to an investigation and any sanction imposed as a result of a finding of responsibility. The university may place a hold on Respondent’s registration or transcript release during the investigation. See Procedural Protections section above.

  1. Fact-gathering

It is the responsibility of the university, not the parties, to gather information and interview witnesses.

The investigator will meet separately with the Reporting Party and Respondent. If not previously provided, each party is given a summary of procedural protections (see section VII), the investigative process, avenues of appeal, and information about available resources.

Written statements are not accepted in lieu of interviews of parties and witnesses by the Title IX Office.

The investigator will ask both parties for all information related to the alleged prohibited conduct; including names of witnesses, documents, emails, texts, social media posts, photographs, the existence of video footage, and call logs. Information may be presented by the parties until Evidence Review.

During the course of the investigation, the investigator may identify additional witnesses and gather supplemental evidence.

Students, staff, and faculty have the responsibility to participate fully and truthfully in University investigations

  1. Evidence Review

At the conclusion of the investigation, the Reporting Party and the Respondent are given an individual and separate opportunity to review the information collected. This is called Evidence Review.

Evidence Review occurs at the Title IX Office. Witness statements, physical and documentary evidence, and audio/visual material is provided for review. Parties are not provided copies or allowed to take photographs. Parties may take notes. Parties are permitted to review the material for as much time as requested.

Parties are encouraged to submit questions to be asked of the other party by the Title IX Coordinator at the Evidence Hearing. Parties may submit written questions within twenty-four (24) hours from the conclusion of the Evidence Review.

Information collected is reviewed in its original form. Information that is excluded from review will not be considered in making findings of fact or determining responsibility. The Title IX Coordinator may exclude evidence from review that violates the privacy rights of third parties.

  1. Evidence Hearing

After each party has reviewed the evidence, the Reporting Party and Respondent are given an individual and separate opportunity to respond. This is called the Evidence Hearing.

The Evidence Hearing occurs at the Title IX Office and is held by the Title IX Coordinator and assigned investigator. It is an opportunity for each party to respond orally or by submission of a written statement to the evidence collected during the investigation and viewed in Evidence Review. The information reviewed is available for reference and consultation at the Hearing. Written responses are not accepted in lieu of attendance at the Hearing.

At this time, the Title IX Coordinator will ask each party the questions submitted by the other. The Title IX Coordinator has the responsibility to exclude questions that are inflammatory, argumentative, or relate to character evidence or non-relevant sexual history. Responses provided are considered evidence and may be used in the findings of fact and responsibility.

If new information is shared by a party during the Evidence Hearing, the opposing party will be provided an opportunity to review and respond. New information is relevant, material, and temporally proximate to the conduct at issue, and tends to make a fact or inference more or less likely; it is not responsive commentary or emotion.