Student Sexual Misconduct - Title IX Complaint Resolution Procedures

  1. Covered Behaviors
    The following behaviors, as defined below, are covered under these procedures:
    1. Sexual Harassment
    2. Sexual Assault
    3. Dating Violence
    4. Domestic Violence
    5. Stalking
  2. Officials

    For the purpose of these procedures, relevant officials with key responsibilities are:

    1. Investigator – An Investigator for the campus student affairs office, or an appropriate designee, will conduct fact-finding as the Investigator and will issue the Preliminary and Final Investigation Report.
    2. Hearing Panel – The hearing panel will review the case at the hearing and make a decision regarding whether or not the Respondent is found responsible and propose sanctions, if applicable. The Hearing Panel Chair will coordinate the process and make any determinations of relevance regarding questions asked by advisors.
    3. Sanctioning Official – Upon a finding of responsibility by the Hearing Panel, the Sanctioning Official will review the proposed sanctions and make the final determination of the sanctions to be applied to the Respondent.
    4. Student Affairs Official – The Student Affairs Official, which may be the campus dean of students, or an appropriate designee, may review the decision and sanction following an appeal by either party, and make a subsequent determination.
  3. Investigation
    1. Upon receipt of a formal complaint of an allegation of Title IX sexual misconduct, the Investigator(s) will notify the Complainant and the Respondent. The Respondent will be provided a date by which an appointment must be made to discuss the matter. The Respondent shall be informed of the allegations made against them and shall be provided the opportunity to respond.
    2. The investigation may include, but is not limited to interviews with the Complainant, the Respondent, and other witnesses identified as having information relevant to the allegations made, as well as the examination of written statements by the parties, relevant documents, and other relevant information. Information for the investigation may be provided by Complainants, Respondents, witnesses identified by any party, or the university. Any individual believed to have information relevant to an investigation may be contacted and requested to make an appointment to discuss the matter. The university shall determine what information and evidence will be included in the Investigation Report, and all information submitted will be included in the Investigation File.
    3. Prior or subsequent conduct of the Respondent may be included in the investigation and considered in determining pattern, knowledge, intent, or motive. The determination of the relevance of pattern evidence will be based on an assessment of whether the previous or subsequent conduct was substantially similar to the conduct under investigation or indicated a pattern of similar prohibited conduct.
    4. All members of the university community, including the parties and witnesses, are expected to cooperate with the investigative and hearing process. Failure to comply with a request to make and/or keep an appointment related to an investigation may result in a disciplinary hold being placed on a student’s account and/or the initiation of student conduct charges for failure to comply.
    5. Following the investigation, the Investigator will provide a Preliminary Investigation Report and Investigation File to each party and their advisor.  The parties will be provided 10 calendar days to review the Preliminary Investigation Report and the Investigation File and provide any additional and/or clarifying information to the Investigator. This period of 10 days will be the final opportunity for parties to submit any additional information to the Investigator.
    6. At the conclusion of the 10-day period, the Investigator will review the information submitted by either party and determine whether and to what extent to incorporate such information into a Final Investigation Report. The Investigator will provide the Final Investigation Report and Investigation File to each party and their advisor at least 10 days prior to the scheduled hearing.
    7. When preparing the Final Investigation Report, the Investigator will determine the appropriate charge(s), if any, under this policy, to be placed on Respondent, and include the charge(s) in the Final Investigation Report. If the Investigator places a charge(s), the Final Investigation Report will be submitted to a hearing panel for the determination of responsibility, and the parties will be provided the Final Investigation Report and notified of next steps. If the Investigator determines that there is insufficient evidence to support placing a charge under the Title IX Complaint Resolution Procedures, the parties will be provided the Final Investigation Report and notified that no charges will be placed under Title IX sexual misconduct. If there are remaining charges under this policy or the Student Code, those may proceed according to the applicable procedures. 
    8. If it is determined at any time during this process that the allegations do not fit within Title IX sexual misconduct, the complaint will be dismissed under these procedures. The complaint may then be referred to other procedures within this policy or Student Code, if appropriate. The Complainant and Respondent will be notified of this dismissal and referral to other procedures (if applicable) in writing. The Complainant and Respondent will have the opportunity to appeal the dismissal to the designated Student Affairs official.
    9. The Complainant may request to withdraw the complaint prior to the conclusion of the investigation by contacting the Investigator or appropriate Deputy Title IX Coordinator in writing. The Investigator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator will then determine whether to close the case or refer the complaint to other procedures within this policy or Student Code.
    10. The investigation and determination of responsibility will be conducted in a reasonable timeframe given the circumstances of the specific case.
  4. Selection of Advisors
    1. The Complainant and Respondent must have a Hearing Advisor that will be present during the hearing to conduct questioning of other parties. If the party does not identify in advance an advisor for this purpose, one will be appointed by the university. The university-provided Hearing Advisor is selected by the university and will not necessarily be an attorney, even if the other party is represented by an attorney. The Hearing Advisor may not participate or speak for the parties except during the questioning of other parties and witnesses. The Hearing Advisor is permitted to review the Investigation File.
    2. The Complainant and Respondent may have another advisor throughout the complaint resolution process that may accompany them during proceedings. The non-hearing advisor is not permitted to conduct any questioning at the hearing. Any advisor(s) engaged that is external to the university is at the expense of that party.
  5. Alternative Resolution Options
    1. In appropriate cases, including cases where the Respondent expresses a willingness to accept responsibility for any or all charges, the university may pursue alternative resolution with the consent of all parties at any point in the complaint resolution process. Alternative resolution options may include, but are not limited to, acceptance of responsibility (see below), mediation, development of action plans, voluntary resolutions, appropriate sanctions, and/or appropriate remedies.
    2. Under any alternative resolution, the Complainant will not be required to resolve the problem directly with the Respondent, unless desired by the Complainant. All parties must be notified of the right to end the alternative resolution process at any time and to begin or resume the complaint resolution process. Face-to-face mediation may not be used in cases involving physical or sexual violence. The Investigator shall document the outcome of any alternative resolution and share with the parties.
    3. In cases where the Respondent expresses a willingness to accept responsibility for any or all charges in a case, the Respondent may be offered the opportunity to waive the right to a formal hearing as to the specific charge(s) and all related procedural guarantees, and agree to receive a sanction from the designated student affairs officer. In such situations, the parties will each be provided the opportunity to submit a written statement to the conduct officer for consideration in determining appropriate sanctions. The conduct officer shall consider only the parties’ written statements regarding sanctions, the relevant facts from the investigation, and past conduct history of the Respondent (if applicable). In such cases, the right to appeal will be limited to an appeal on the grounds that the sanction is disproportionate to the violation(s) committed, in light of all relevant aggravating and mitigating factors, and in consideration of applicable university guidelines.
  6. Sexual Misconduct Hearing
    1. A three-person hearing panel will be assembled to make a determination of Respondent’s responsibility as to the specific charge(s) set forth in the Final Investigation Report.
    2. Hearing panel members will be drawn from the pool of faculty, staff, graduate students, and/or hearing officers retained by the university for purposes of adjudicating these hearings. At a minimum, at least one panel member shall be a student affairs administrator.
    3. Upon review of the Final Investigation Report, all witnesses deemed relevant to the specific allegations will be called to the hearing.
    4. The hearing is closed except for the parties, their advisor(s), the hearing panelists and other university officials necessary to facilitate the proceedings.
    5. The hearing will take place in-person or will be conducted remotely via secure university software. Complainant and Respondent are expected to be available in-person or via video and audio for the duration of the hearing. Witnesses are expected be available in-person or via video and audio for the portion of the hearing relevant to their statement.
    6. The Chair of the hearing panel shall review the charge(s) placed against the Respondent and the specific facts alleged.
    7. Both the Complainant and the Respondent will have equal opportunity to provide a statement to the hearing panel.
    8. No one other than the hearing panel members and the each party’s Hearing Advisor may pose questions during the hearing. The Complainant and Respondent may not directly question each other, but may provide questions to their Hearing Advisor to be asked of the other party on their behalf. The Chair, in consultation with hearing panelists and appropriate university officials, will determine if questions are relevant to the case.
    9. The sexual misconduct hearing is recorded. Deliberations by the panel, following the hearing, are not recorded.
    10. If any party or witness does not participate in the sexual misconduct hearing, the hearing may proceed; however, when deliberating, the panel may not consider the non-participating individual’s statements during the investigation in the determination.  Evidence provided that is something other than a statement by the party or witness may be considered. The panel may consult with legal counsel to determine questions of admissibility. If Complainant or Respondent does not appear at the hearing, their Hearing Advisor should still ask any relevant questions of other party(ies) and witness(es) on their behalf.
  7. Decision & Sanctions
    1. At the conclusion of a hearing, the panel shall deliberate without the parties present to determine responsibility for the specific charge(s) based on the evidence.
    2. If, after deliberations, the hearing panel determines that the information contained in the Final Investigative Report and gathered during the hearing does not support by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) that the Respondent is responsible for a violation of this policy and the Student Code, the hearing panel will notify both the Respondent and the Complainant by means of a written notice. The Complainant and/or Respondent may request an appeal (see below).
    3. If, after deliberations, the hearing panel determines that the information contained in the Final Investigative Report and gathered during the hearing does support by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) that the Respondent is responsible for a violation of this policy and the Student Code, the hearing panel will propose sanctions. The proposed sanctions will be reviewed by the Sanctioning Official (or designee) to ensure that the sanctions are proportional to the severity of the violation and consistent with university standards. In the event of a conflict between the hearing panel and the Sanctioning Official, the Sanctioning Official will make the final decision regarding appropriate sanctions. The hearing panel will then notify the parties of the decision and sanctions by means of a written notice. The Respondent and/or the Complainant may request an appeal (see below).
    4. Possible sanctions for cases in which a student is found in violation of this policy and the Student Code for acts of sexual misconduct include, but are not limited to formal warnings, behavioral assessment and/or counseling, required educational training, disciplinary probation, suspension, and/or permanent expulsion.
  8. Appeal
    1. The Respondent or the Complainant may appeal the decision of the Title IX hearing panel to the campus Student Affairs official (or designee). To initiate an appeal, a party must send written notice of appeal to the designated official. The written notice must include the basis(es) for seeking the appeal and include information to support such basis(es) (see below).
    2. Timing:

      The notice of appeal must be filed no later than ten calendar days after the date the written decision sent. If an appeal is submitted by a party, all parties will be notified and given the opportunity to submit a written statement, and the underlying decision and any corresponding sanction will be held in abeyance until final notice of the appeal outcome. During this time, supportive measures in place will remain in effect (e.g., no contact order). If no written request for an appeal is received by the university within the time specified, the decision of the hearing panel and any sanction(s) imposed will be final and in effect.

    3. Basis(es) for Appeal:

      The designated Student Affairs official will have the sole discretion in determining whether the basis for appeal has been met and whether the appeal can move forward. An appeal must be based on one or more of the following criteria:

      1. Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome;
      2. New evidence that was not reasonably available at time determination or dismissal made, that reasonably could have affected the outcome;
      3. The Title IX Coordinator(s), Investigator(s), or hearing panelists had a conflict of interest or bias for or against the party(ies) that affected the outcome; and/or
      4. The sanction imposed is disproportionate to the violation(s) committed, in light of all relevant aggravating and mitigating factors, and in consideration of applicable university guidelines.
    4. Determination and Sanction
      1. If the basis for appeal has been met, the designated Student Affairs official will review the written appeal and the pertinent part of the sexual misconduct hearing panel record only. The designated Student Affairs official will not consider new evidence or information that is not a part of that record, unless the appeal is submitted on the basis of newly available information. The designated Student Affairs official must render a determination within 15 calendar days of receipt of the appeal and may take any of the following actions:
        1. Affirm the original decision regarding responsibility.
        2. Affirm the original decision concerning the disciplinary sanction(s) to be imposed.
        3. Set aside the original decision regarding responsibility and impose a new decision.
        4. Set aside the original decision regarding responsibility and order that a new sexual misconduct hearing be held before a new hearing panel.
        5. Set aside the original decision concerning the disciplinary sanction(s) to be imposed and impose a different sanction or set of sanctions.
      2. The designated Student Affairs official will notify the Respondent and the Complainant, in writing, of the determination and will initiate the necessary procedures to effectuate the determination.
      3. The determination of the designated Student Affairs official is final and there will be no further appeals.
  9. Notice

    The Complainant and the Respondent will be provided written notice of the outcome of the sexual misconduct hearing, the appeals process, and the appeal determination, if applicable. Written notice will be provided electronically through Indiana University email accounts.

  10. Requests for Accommodations and Special Circumstances
    1. Just as students with disabilities may be eligible for accommodations in their classes, accommodations may be available for these procedures as well. Students with disabilities requesting accommodations and services under these procedures will need to present a current accommodation verification letter from the campus disability services office before accommodations can be considered and provided.
    2. In appropriate circumstances, the university may utilize language translation services to assist in the investigation and/or hearing proceedings.
  11. Expectations for a Respectful Process

    Every individual involved in a proceeding under this policy is entitled to be treated with respect. All parties and their advisors are required to follow the rules and procedures put in place to ensure a fair and respectful process. No one may intentionally harass or intimidate any party or witness, and university officials are authorized to halt such behavior.