2018 - 2019 Policy Library 
    
    Sep 16, 2019  
2018 - 2019 Policy Library [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Civil Rights Policy: IV. College’s Response to Report of Prohibited Conduct and Grievance Procedures




General Provisions

Role and Neutrality of Chief Civil Rights Officer and Title IX Coordinator

The College’s President has delegated comprehensive oversight of the College’s civil rights-related policies, including this Policy, to the College’s Chief Civil Rights Officer and has designated specific responsibility for oversight of Title IX compliance to the Title IX Coordinator. The President may designate Deputy Civil Rights Officers or Deputy Title IX Coordinators. These employees collectively have the following responsibilities: 

  • Being knowledgeable and trained with respect to relevant federal, state and other laws or regulations related to civil rights matters;
  • Developing and maintaining the College’s comprehensive civil rights compliance program, including policy review, development, administration, and enforcement as well as training, education and awareness programs;
  • Overseeing the intake, assessment and resolution of all reports of Prohibited Conduct to ensure a Claimant understands the reporting options, providing a prompt and fair process for all participants, and providing care and support to all parties; and
  • Fundamental responsibility to oversee the College’s compliance with federal and state civil rights-related laws.

In view of these overarching responsibilities, the Chief Civil Rights Office and the Title IX Coordinator are not able to provide direct advocacy on behalf of any Claimant or Respondent.
Whenever a document or Policy indicates that the Title IX Coordinator is responsible for a certain action, that same authority is vested in the Chief Civil Rights Officer and Deputy Title IX Coordinators.

Protections for All Parties

As part of its commitment to providing a prompt and equitable process, the College will:

  • Treat all parties with respect, dignity, and sensitivity throughout the process.
  • Provide both the Claimant and the Respondent access to support services, including those provided by Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services for students and the Employee Assistance Program for faculty and staff.
  • For students, protect confidentiality consistent with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). 
  • For all parties, make all reasonable efforts to protect confidentiality consistent with relevant legal requirements and with the need to conduct a fair and equitable investigation, including by restricting access to information to those with a legitimate need to know. 
    • All parties should understand that information collected through the Grievance Procedures may be subpoenaed in a criminal and/or civil proceeding.
  • Provide written notice of the policies implicated by the complaint, these Response and Grievance Procedures, the alleged facts related to any potential Policy violation, and the maximum possible sanctions that may be imposed if Respondent is found responsible.
  • Provide both parties the opportunity to challenge the appointment of the Title IX Coordinator, the Investigator, the Hearing Officer, Appeal Officer, a Panel member, or the Sanctioning Officer if there is a possible or actual conflict of interest or bias.
    • Bias or a conflict of interest on the part of the officer is not presumed. In order to establish an allegation of bias or conflict of interest, the party making the assertion must demonstrate facts that support an unacceptable likelihood of partiality.
  • Allow the Claimant and the Respondent to choose to participate or decline to participate in the event the Grievance Procedures are activated, with the understanding that the Grievance Procedures may continue without their involvement and that the College will determine an outcome based on the information available.
  • Notify both parties of the option to have a Support Person of their choice present at any meeting related to a complaint and at any point during the Response or Grievance Procedures. This includes notice that such Support Person may be legal counsel of an individual’s choosing, so long as such legal counsel agrees to participate in these Procedures as a Support Person.
  • Provide written notice of the resolution of any Grievance Procedures, including any appeal.
  • Seek to complete the Response Procedures and any Grievance Procedures within a timely manner, when feasible, recognizing that this time frame will vary based upon the nature of the case and the need for an equitable and prompt process.

Confidentiality

To ensure an equitable process and to minimize the possibility of Retaliation, all proceedings initiated under this Policy are confidential, which means:

  • Claimants, Respondents, and Witnesses may be provided with confidential access to written materials or other confidential information throughout the Grievance Procedures. The parties may share such confidential information with individuals with a party’s support group, such as a  Support Person, or other close family members, as may be reasonably necessary and appropriate to promote an equitable process. However, confidential information that is obtained by a party through any proceeding initiated under this Policy may not be shared outside these parameters. In the absence of obtaining relevant written consent, this duty of confidentiality shall continue after the conclusion of these Response Procedures and any Grievance Procedures.
  • College representatives are permitted to share confidential information within the organization among those who have a reasonable need to know in order to assist in the active review, investigation or resolution of the report pursuant to these Procedures. The College will not disclose the information to third parties who are not serving as College agents without: i) the express consent of the individual; ii) compliance with its FERPA responsibilities; or, iii) in response to a legally-binding request to disclose.
  • A willful violation of these confidentiality provisions can subject a person to discipline with a maximum possible sanction of separation from the College (for students) or termination from the College (for staff or faculty).

See Appendix B for more background information related to confidential and privacy considerations.

Advisors

The Claimant and Respondent may choose an Advisor to provide guidance throughout the Grievance Procedures outlined in this Policy. The Advisor may attend any meeting with their party as it related to the Grievance Procedures. The role of the Advisor is distinguished from the Support Person due to duties performed at the Hearing. Advisors are tasked with conducting questioning or cross examination of any witness or party. Parties will not be permitted to cross examine the opposing party directly. To serve as an Advisor, the individual will be required to complete a form consenting to their agreement to the scope of their participation prior to serving as an Advisor.

Legal counsel is permitted to serve in the role of an Advisor but must adhere to the same limitations as any other Advisor. Legal counsel can provide advice and other support of their client. Parties are limited to one Advisor.

Support Persons

The Claimant and Respondent may choose to be supported by a Support Person during the Hearing. The Support Person may be present in a support capacity only, and shall not directly participate or intervene in meetings, the investigation, or other matters related to the College’s response under this Policy. Parties are limited to one Support Person.

Time Frames

As a general guide, the College seeks to resolve all reports of Prohibited Conduct in a timely manner when in receipt of the report, excluding appeals. All time frames expressed outlined in these Response and Grievance Procedures are meant as guidelines rather than rigid requirements. Extenuating circumstances may arise that require the extension of time frames. Extenuating circumstances may include the complexity and scope of the allegations, the number of witnesses, the availability of the parties or witnesses, the effect of a concurrent criminal investigation, any intervening College break or holiday, or other unforeseen circumstances. In the event that the process exceeds these time frames, the College will notify the Claimant and Respondent of the reason(s) for the delay and the expected adjustment in time frames. Best efforts will be made to complete the process in a timely manner by balancing principles of thoroughness and fundamental fairness with promptness.
In the event that the delay is caused by the lack of response of either party the College will move forward with the process with the information available at that time.

Interim Measures

In response to all reports of Prohibited Conduct, the College may implement Interim Measures as necessary to support and protect the health and safety of the parties, the safety of the College community/its members, and fairness of any process activated under this Policy. In general, Interim Measures are designed to minimize the impact on the party making a credible report of Prohibited Conduct and to provide for a fair and equitable process.

With the exception of Non-Academic or Academic suspensions (for students), Paid Leave of Absence (for staff), or Emergency Suspension with Pay (for faculty), which are discussed below, Interim Measure determinations are not subject to appeal.

However, the Title IX Coordinator has the authority to adjust an Interim Measure during the Grievance Procedure process. The Title IX Coordinator is also charged with the responsibility of insuring that Interim Measures are reasonably related to safety or the fairness of the process and that they remain in place only for so long as is reasonably necessary.

Non-Academic or Academic Suspensions for Students or Paid Leaves of Absence for Staff

The Title IX Coordinator may place a student Respondent on Interim Suspension (Non-Academic or Academic) or a staff Respondent on a Paid Leave of Absence based on the following factors:

  • The severity of the alleged Prohibited Conduct (e.g., sexual assault, use of force or intimidation, etc.);
  • The Respondent poses a potential threat to another;
  • The safety and well-being of members of the College community and/or the preservation of College property are threatened by the Respondent’s presence on campus;
  • The Respondent poses a threat of disruption or interference with the normal operations of the College; or
  • The Respondent commits violations of other College policies or Interim Measures imposed.

An Interim Suspension (Academic or Non-Academic) is the immediate, non-disciplinary, temporary separation of a student from the College pending the outcome of the Grievance Procedures. A Respondent placed on Non-Academic Interim Suspension is permitted to continue her or his academic program at the College, although the Title IX Coordinator may restrict the Respondent’s privileges at the College (including, but not limited to, removing the Respondent from student housing, restricting participation in athletics or student government, prohibiting attendance at on or off-campus College events, and participating in sponsored internships or work study programs).

A Respondent placed on Academic Interim Suspension is prohibited from participation in any College activities/privileges described immediately above as well as prohibited from taking classes at any of The Claremont Colleges. Academic Interim Suspensions will only be considered in circumstances in which the Title IX Coordinator determines that Respondent presents a material threat of disruption or violence to the College community.

A Paid Leave of Absence for staff is the immediate, non-disciplinary, and temporary removal of a staff member from campus pending the outcome of the Grievance Procedures.

Appealing Interim Suspensions, Paid Leaves of Absence and Emergency Suspensions with Pay

A Respondent has the right to appeal the Interim Suspension/Paid Leave of Absence/Emergency Suspension with Pay. The Chief Civil Rights Officer will receive the appeal and consider it in consultation with the appropriate supervising Vice President (although the Chief Civil Rights Officer retains the final authority in ruling on the appeal):

  • Vice President of Student Affairs (or designee) for student Respondents;
  • Vice President for Business and Administration (or designee) for staff member or third party Respondents.

Alleged Violations of Terms of Interim Measures

In the event of being notified of a possible violation of any term of an Interim Measures by any Respondent, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly arrange a meeting with the Respondent to discuss the possible violation. The Title IX Coordinator will decide, based on a preponderance of evidence, whether the Respondent violated any term of an Interim Suspension, and if so, the appropriate sanction for the violation. Typically, the Title IX Coordinator will use graduated sanctions, but a single serious violation or one that threatens the integrity of this process, such as an attempt to intimidate or otherwise influence a witness, can result in the imposition of a full Academic Suspension, or leave without pay or termination for staff.

Providing for the Safety of the Claimant, Respondent, and the Community

In reviewing all initial and subsequent reports of Prohibited Conduct, the College will assess as appropriate any risk of harm to the Claimant, Respondent or to the broader campus community and will take steps necessary to address those risks. These steps will include any Accommodations and/or Interim Measures to provide for the safety of the Claimant, Respondent, and the College community.

In addition, whenever the College receives a report of potential misconduct that indicates an immediate threat to Claimant, Respondent, or other member of the community, the College will seek to notify appropriate first responders (including law enforcement and emergency medical responders) as soon as reasonably possible. The College will also implement any Interim Measures as it determines are necessary and appropriate to provide for the safety of Claimant, Respondent or the College community.

Intake and Assessment of a Report of Prohibited Conduct

Intake and Assessment occurs whenever the College receives a report of Prohibited Conduct under this Policy. Intake and Assessment is designed to develop a comprehensive response plan with respect to the report.

Intake Meeting with Claimant or Reporting Party

Upon receipt of a report of Prohibited Conduct, the Title IX Coordinator will request a confidential meeting with the Claimant to review the alleged misconduct and advise on the Claimant’s ability to bring a Support Person.

This meeting is not intended to serve as an exhaustive interview, but rather to provide the Title IX Coordinator  with sufficient contextual information to determine the appropriate next steps to support the Claimant and to guide the College’s response.

Below is a summary of the topics that the TItle IX Coordinator will address in the meeting:

  • Assistance with care and support resources, medical providers, and law enforcement;
  • Accommodations;
  • Interim Measures;
  • Procedures for determining reasonable cause and appropriate resolution process;
  • Options for participating in an Alternative Resolution or Formal Grievance Procedures if reasonable cause exists; and
  • Appropriate Non-Disciplinary Administrative Measures.

Requests for Confidentiality / Not to Proceed in Sexual Misconduct Complaint involving Student Respondent

Sexual misconduct cases involving students present unique considerations related to privacy and confidentiality. If a Claimant reporting to the College, including to a Responsible Employee, indicates that they wish to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the College’s general policy is to respect such request unless certain overriding factors are present related to the College’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all members of the community, including the Claimant.

If the College honors a student Claimant’s request for confidentiality, the College’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident, pursue Interim Measures, and impose discipline against the Respondent may be limited.

There are circumstances in which the College may not be able to honor a student Claimant’s request in order to provide a safe, non­discriminatory environment for all members of the community

In evaluating these requests, the Title IX Coordinator will consider a range of factors, including the following:

  • Whether there have been other sexual violence complaints about the same individual;
  • Whether the individual has a history of arrests or records from a prior institution indicating a history of violence;
  • Whether the individual threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the victim or others;
  • Whether the sexual misconduct was committed by multiple alleged perpetrators;
  • Whether the sexual misconduct was perpetrated with a weapon;
  • Whether the Claimant is a minor; and
  • Whether the report reveals a pattern of misconduct.

The Title IX Coordinator will inform the Claimant if factors require the College to activate the Grievance Procedures against a Claimant’s wishes and will explain that the Claimant is not required to participate in the Grievance Procedures. If the Claimant does not want to participate, the Title IX Coordinator will appoint a representative from the College to serve in the role of Institution as Claimant.

Determining Whether Reasonable Cause Exists

After meeting with Claimant or Reporting Party, the Title IX Coordinator will evaluate whether additional information may be necessary to determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe that Prohibited Conduct may have occurred. Reasonable cause means that based on the information available, there is a fair probability that the Prohibited Conduct may have occurred. Reasonable cause is more than a mere suspicion but less than a preponderance of the evidence.

If the Title IX Coordinator determines reasonable cause might exist and the Claimant wants to participate in the Grievance Procedures or the College elects to serve as Institution as Claimant, the Title IX Coordinator will complete Intake and Assessment with the Respondent before making a final determination as to reasonable cause, as described immediately below.

The Title IX Coordinator may request an Investigator to conduct a brief factual inquiry to help in the determination of whether reasonable cause exists. If an Investigator wishes to interview a Respondent in conjunction with this brief factual inquiry, the Title IX Coordinator will first conduct an Intake and Assessment with the Respondent. 

Intake and Assessment Process for Respondent

If the Title IX Coordinator determines reasonable cause might exist that the Respondent engaged in Prohibited Conduct, the Title IX Coordinator will contact the Respondent to request a confidential meeting to review the alleged misconduct and advise the Respondent of the ability to bring a Support Person.

In the Title IX Coordinator’s meeting with the Respondent, the Respondent will be notified of the nature of the alleged misconduct and the facts which give rise to the alleged violation based on the limited information available to the Title IX Coordinator at that time.

This meeting is not intended to serve as an exhaustive interview, but rather to provide an opportunity to the Respondent to engage in the Intake Process with the Title IX Coordinator. 

The Title IX Coordinator will discuss the same topics with Respondent during the Intake meeting as is detailed for the Claimant, with the addition of describing Respondent’s choice to participate or not in an Alternative Resolution or Formal Grievance Procedures.

If the Title IX Coordinator Finds No Reasonable Cause to Believe Respondent Engaged in Prohibited Conduct

Upon concluding Intake and Assessment, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the parties in writing of the decision that no reasonable cause exists to believe Respondent engaged in Prohibited Conduct. This notice will briefly describe why reasonable cause was lacking. A Claimant may appeal this decision as described in this Policy.

If the Title IX Coordinator Finds Reasonable Cause to Believe Respondent Engaged in Prohibited Conduct

Upon concluding Intake and Assessment, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the parties in writing of the decision that reasonable cause exists to believe Respondent engaged in Prohibited Conduct, whether the report qualifies for possible Alternative Resolution, or whether the report will be sent to the Formal Grievance Procedures. If the report will be sent to the Formal Grievance Procedures, this notice will inform the parties whether the Title IX Coordinator selected a Type 1 or Type 2 Procedures (as described below). The decision about whether to initiate a Type 1 or Type 2 Procedures is final and not appealable. 

Alternative Resolutions

The College allows parties, if they so desire, to seek a mutually agreeable Alternative Resolution provided (i) the general safety of the campus community is not compromised, and (ii) the college is acting in full accordance with relevant laws and standards. The College has therefore adopted this Alternative Resolution Process to enable the Title IX Coordinator to identify the cases potentially appropriate for Alternative Resolution, discuss this option with the Claimant and Respondent, and, if they wish, assist them in reaching an agreed-upon set of understandings and conditions to resolving a complaint.

In the Alternative Resolution Process, the Title IX Coordinator does not serve in the role of fact finder but rather helps the parties identify potential resolution(s) to the complaint. If the parties agree to an Alternative Resolution, the Title IX Coordinator will normally request the Claimant to submit a written statement describing the circumstances and the requested Alternative Resolution within five (5) business days of the decision to proceed with Alternative Resolution. The Title IX Coordinator may share the Claimant’s statement with the Respondent, who will then have five (5) business days to submit a written response to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator may share the Respondent’s submission with the Claimant.

If the parties can agree on a resolution, such resolution will be documented by the Title IX Coordinator with signatures by both parties accepting the terms of the Alternative Resolution.

In addition to the Alternative Resolution Process discussed here, the Title IX Coordinator may choose another form of resolution when appropriate. Any process will adhere to relevant standards under Title IX, Title VII, FEHA, or other applicable federal or state law as appropriate. Mediation may be pursued with the consent of both parties, although it is never an option in cases involving non-consensual sexual intercourse. The parties should not contact each other to discuss mediation but instead request it through the Title IX Coordinator. If the mediation results in a resolution, the matter will be closed and no further action will be taken. The Title IX Coordinator will document the successful mediation and the parties will sign a document accepting any terms agreed upon during the mediation.

If the Title IX Coordinator subsequently determines that either party has violated a material term or condition of any Alternative Resolution, the matter will be referred to the appropriate Grievance Procedures or other appropriate disciplinary process (e.g., Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect , Faculty Handbook Staff Handbook  ).

If the parties are unable to reach an agreed-upon resolution through the Alternative Resolution Process, the Title IX Coordinator will proceed with the Formal Resolution Process as described in this handbook.

The Title IX Coordinator will maintain records of all reports and conduct referred for Alternative Resolution. Alternative Resolution will typically be completed within 30 business days of the initial report. In circumstances when it is not possible to complete the process in this time frame, both parties will be notified in writing regarding the delay and the anticipated time frame for completion.

Grievance Procedures

Introduction and General Provisions

The Civil Rights Grievance Procedures (“Grievance Procedures”) address the College’s commitment to providing an equitable and prompt process to investigate and resolve reports or complaints of Prohibited Conduct defined above. In addition, if the same set of alleged facts for a matter reviewed by these Procedures also implicate any other College Policy, that other Policy violation will be integrated into and resolved by these Procedures.

The maximum possible sanctions for Policy violations pursuant to this Grievance Procedure include:

  • Suspension or expulsion for students;
  • Dismissal or termination of employment for staff members;
  • Dismissal or termination for adequate cause for faculty members; and
  • Banning from campus and terminating contracts with third parties.

The College exercises its judgment in designing reasonable sanctions. Not all violations will be deemed equally serious offenses, and the College reserves the right to impose different sanctions depending on the severity of the offense and to take non-disciplinary, administrative actions as appropriate. The following provisions apply to all formal Grievance Procedures.

Written Notice

The Title IX Coordinator will provide each party with a written Notice of Referral for Formal Resolution, which will include:

  • Names of the parties;
  • Specific Prohibited Conduct and related Policy violations at issue;
  • Description of alleged facts and other information supporting the Formal Referral, including the date, time, and location of the alleged conduct as best developed during Intake and Assessment;
  • For students and faculty respondents, identifying whether the Type 1 or Type 2 Grievance Procedures will be followed;
  • The maximum possible sanctions that may be imposed if Respondent is found responsible
  • A link to the relevant Grievance Procedures; and
  • A reminder of the support and other resources available to both parties, including the ability to have an attorney serve in the role of Support Person.

Decision-Making Standard

In order to determine whether a Respondent is responsible for a violation of any of CMC’s Civil Rights Policies, the College applies a Preponderance of the Evidence decision-making standard. 

Evidentiary Considerations

While these Formal Grievance Procedures are not governed by civil or criminal rules of evidence, it should include only information that is relevant, non-repetitive and the sort of information a reasonable person would find reliable. Evidence is relevant if it makes a fact of consequence in the matter more or less likely or if it reflects on the credibility of a participant. Within that framework, the Investigator and Hearing Officer will adhere to the following:

  • The Hearing Officer may not make an adverse inference from a Respondent’s decision not to participate in the Formal Grievance Procedures and will make a determination of Responsibility or Non-Responsibility based solely upon the information presented. 
  • Information about the Claimant’s past sexual history with anyone other than the Respondent is not allowed except in the unusual circumstances where such conduct is directly tied to Claimant’s credibility (e.g. where Claimant alleges lack of sexual experience which can be rebutted or such past sexual activity is alleged to be the source of a physical injury). 
  • Information about the Respondent’s past sexual history with anyone other than the Claimant is not allowed except in the unusual circumstances where such prior conduct could prove or disprove a pattern of conduct or knowledge of wrongdoing.
  • Where there is a sexual history between the Claimant and the Respondent and consent is at issue, their prior sexual history may be relevant to assess consent. However, the mere fact of a current or previous dating or sexual relationship, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute consent nor does it preclude a finding of a Policy violation.
  • Information about the good or bad character of the Claimant or Respondent is generally not relevant except in the unusual circumstance when such information could prove or disprove a relevant pattern of conduct or knowledge of wrongdoing. Information that shows a pattern of similar behavior may be included if the Investigator deems it relevant, regardless of whether the prior behavior was the subject of any disciplinary proceeding.
  • In cases where the Faculty is the Respondent, the Chief Civil Rights Officer will consult with the Chair of the faculty review panel, to determine the admissibility of evidence.
  • The Title IX Coordinator will determine if the Investigator and the Hearing Officer will have access to prior complaints involving either party if there is a pattern of similar behavior or if a prior complaint may be deemed material in the current investigation.

Alcohol or Substance Use

The use of alcohol or other drugs will never be a defense for or mitigate any behavior that violates College Policy.

Accepting Responsibility

At any point during a Formal Grievance Process, a Respondent can accept Responsibility for the identified Policy violation(s) and proceed directly to Sanctions. In doing so, the Respondent waives any right to appeal the determination of Responsibility.

No Communication Amongst Participants During the Formal Process

To promote an equitable process, the Claimant, Respondent and witnesses should not discuss the matter amongst themselves during the pendency of the Formal Grievance Process.

The Appeal Panel Members may not discuss the matter with any participant during the pendency of the Formal Grievance Process, except as permitted during the Appeal Meeting and deliberations.

Any Support Person who fails to adhere to the requirements set forth herein may be prohibited from further participation in the Grievance Process. The Chief Civil Rights Officer will seek to provide reasonable warnings and opportunities to conform prior to prohibiting an individual from further participation as a Support Person.

Formal Resolution Procedures for Staff or Third Party Respondents

The Chief Civil Rights Officer will appoint a trained internal or external investigator (the “Investigator”) to conduct an equitable and prompt investigation of the complaint.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigator will prepare an Investigation Report, which will contain a summary of issues, key findings of fact, and an analysis of disputed facts based on all available evidence. The Investigation Report will include recommended findings of fact based on a preponderance of the evidence standard, and an assessment of any Policy violations based on such findings of fact. Although not required, the Investigation Report may contain such underlying investigation materials as the Investigator determines is reasonably appropriate in view of the nature of the complaint and the investigation.

The Investigation Report will be made available to both parties for review, who will then have five (5) business days for them to submit a response to the Chief Civil Rights Officer. Except for good cause shown and accepted at the discretion of the Chief Civil Rights Officer, late responses or responses of more than five (5) pages (including any exhibits or appendices) will not be considered. 

The Chief Civil Rights Officer may allow exceptions to these timing and length requirements upon written request by a Party and for good cause shown. The Chief Civil Rights Officer’s determination with respect to whether to allow any exception is discretionary and is not subject to appeal.

The Chief Civil Rights Officer will then review the Report and any responses with the relevant Sanctioning Officer as identified in the Sanctions section of this Policy, based on the Respondent’s status. The Sanctioning Officer will determine whether to accept or reject the Investigator’s Report, will make a final determination of Responsibility, and will impose sanctions upon a finding of Responsibility.

As to staff and third parties, the determination of Responsibility and sanctions are final and are not subject to appeal. Nothing in this Policy or these Grievance Procedures alters an employee’s at will employment status.

For the purposes of these Formal Grievance Procedures, coaches (excluding head coaches on renewable contracts in the Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation), and all other employees with the Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation, and teachers and all other employees with The Children’s School are considered staff. Students are always treated as students under the Formal Grievance Procedures, even if the conduct giving rise to the alleged Policy violation occurred while the student was working for the College.

Formal Resolution Procedures for Student and Faculty Respondents

Type 1 Formal Procedures for Students and Faculty Respondents

These procedures will be followed in circumstances in which, even if everything the Claimant alleges is true, the resulting sanction would not rise to the level of suspension or expulsion. These procedures are appropriate where probable sanctions could include a warning or conduct probation.

The Title IX Coordinator/Chief Civil Rights Officer will appoint a trained internal or external investigator (the “Investigator”) to conduct a reasonable, impartial, and prompt investigation of the complaint.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigator will prepare an Investigation Report, which will contain a summary of issues, key findings of fact, and an analysis of disputed facts based on all available evidence. The Investigation Report will include recommended findings of fact based on a preponderance of the evidence standard, and an assessment of any Policy violations based on such recommended findings. Although not required, the Investigation Report may contain such underlying investigation materials as the Investigator determines are reasonably appropriate in view of the nature of the complaint and the investigation. The Investigation Report will be made available to both parties for review, who will then have five (5) business days to submit a response to the Chief Civil Rights Officer. Except for good cause shown and accepted at the discretion of the Chief Civil Rights Officer, late responses or responses of more than five (5) pages (including any exhibits or appendices) will not be considered. The Chief Civil Rights Officer will then review the Investigation Report and any responses with the relevant Sanctioning Officer as identified in this Policy, based on the Respondent’s status. The Sanctioning Officer will determine whether to accept or reject the Investigator’s Report, will make a final determination of Responsibility, and will impose sanctions upon a finding of Responsibility.

Both parties will have five (5) business days to review the report and submit an appeal. The Appeal will be submitted to the Chief Civil Rights Officer or the Dean of Faculty for Faculty Respondents. The grounds for appeal are limited to the categories “significant procedural error” or “new information”. The appeal should not exceed (5) pages, including all attachments and exhibits. 

The decision on appeal is final.

Type 2 Formal Procedures for Students

Types 2 Procedures will be followed in circumstances in which the alleged Prohibited Conduct is severe enough to warrant potential suspension or expulsion. Type 2 Procedures will be utilized in all cases of alleged non-consensual sexual intercourse or other forms of alleged serious Sexual Misconduct.

Appointment of Investigator: The Title IX Coordinator will appoint a trained internal or external investigator or investigative team (the “Investigator”) to conduct a reasonable, impartial, and prompt investigation of the complaint. The Title IX Coordinator’s choice of Investigator will be based on several factors, including the parties involved, the complexity of the complaint, and the need to avoid any potential conflict of interest. Where appropriate, and at the discretion of the Investigator, the Investigator may engage the independent assistance of professional experts, such as case involving an unusual or otherwise complex question (e.g., academic freedom, mental health or trauma issues).

Appointment of Hearing Officer: The Title IX Coordinator will appoint a trained internal or external Hearing Officer or Hearing Officer team (the “Hearing Officer”) to conduct a reasonable, impartial, and prompt adjudication meeting of the complaint. The Title IX Coordinator’s choice of Hearing Officer will be based on several factors, including the parties involved, the complexity of the complaint, and the need to avoid any potential conflict of interest.

The Hearing Officer is responsible for maintaining an orderly, fair, and respectful hearing and has the authority to respond to disruptive or harassing behavior. The Hearing Officer can adjourn or exclude the offending person at any time during the Hearing proceedings. The Hearing Officer also has the authority to direct or refrain any party from asking questions that are harassing or that do not seek information relevant under the Policy.

Investigation Phase One: The Investigator will establish an Investigation Plan. The Investigator will brief the Title IX Coordinator and Hearing Officer on the preliminary investigation plan in writing or orally. The Investigator will then conduct an Investigation based upon the facts and circumstances reported to the College and developed through the course of the investigation, including interviews and follow-up interviews as feasible and appropriate with the Claimant, the Respondent, and any witnesses, and gathering other relevant materials (i.e. text messages, social media posts, pictures) to the extent reasonable and appropriate.

Claimant, Respondent, and witnesses are expected to respond to the Investigator’s request to schedule an interview or to provide other evidentiary materials within a timely manner, generally within five business days of the Investigator’s request. If a party or witness fails to respond in a reasonable time, the Investigator may continue the investigation without the benefit of this information.

The Investigator will prepare a written summary of each interview and send the same to the witness for a review of accuracy. Unless the witness requests additional time, the witness statement will be deemed accurate if the witness does not provide feedback on the statement within two business days of the Investigator emailing it to the witness.

Information may be developed during the course of the investigation that indicates additional potential Policy violations in addition to those identified in the Notice of Referral for Formal Resolution. In such circumstances, the Investigator shall review such additional potential violations with the Title IX Coordinator, who shall assess whether reasonable cause exists to believe the Respondent engaged in the newly-discovered Prohibited Conduct. If so, the Title IX Coordinator shall send a written Amended Notice of Referral for Formal Resolution to include the relevant information.

When the Investigator determines that the investigation is reasonably complete, the Investigator will prepare a Preliminary Investigation Report, which will include:

  • A summary of the incident, alleged Policy violations from the initial notice, the Claimant’s allegations, and the Respondent’s response;
  • Identification of any new potential Policy violations raised by the information developed through the investigation and as authorized for incorporation by the Title IX Coordinator;
  • A description of relevant, material undisputed facts; and
  • A description of relevant, material facts in dispute.

The Investigator will notify the Title IX Coordinator once the Preliminary Investigation Report is available for review. The Investigator will share the Preliminary Investigation Report with the Title IX Coordinator for approval. Once approved the Title IX Coordinator will notify the parties and Hearing Officer when the Preliminary Investigation Report is available by confidential access (such as a protected, “read-only” posting to a secure web portal) to view the Report. Neither the Claimant nor Respondent (nor anyone on their behalf) may copy, remove, photograph, print, image, videotape, record, or in any manner otherwise duplicate or remove the information provided. 

Response to Preliminary Investigation Report: The parties will have five business days to submit a written request outlining any additional investigation steps that they believe are necessary or objections to the information included the Report, including:

  • Posing any follow-up issues or questions for any witness, the Claimant or Respondent;
  • Requesting a follow-up interview with the Investigator to clarify or provide any additional information that such party believes is relevant to the investigation or to seek clarification from the Investigator on aspects of the Preliminary Investigation Report;
  • Identifying any new witnesses who should be interviewed (including a description of what topics/issues the witness should be asked to address and why this is necessary for the investigation);
  • Identifying any additional evidentiary materials that should be collected and reviewed to the extent that such items are reasonably available (e.g., text messages, social media postings, etc.), understanding that the Investigator lacks the power to subpoena evidence; and,
  • Identifying and objecting to any information that such party believes was inappropriately included in the Preliminary Report.

After considering these requests, the Investigator will develop a Final Investigation Plan that outlines any additional investigatory steps to be taken and briefly explains any denied requests. The Investigator will also address any objections to the information included in the Preliminary Report. To the extent such objections are accepted, the Investigator will redact the Preliminary Investigation Report and investigation materials accordingly. The Investigator will maintain copies of both the complete and redacted investigation materials. To the extent such objections are not accepted, the Investigator will summarize these reasons but also note the party’s objection(s).

The Investigator will brief the Title IX Coordinator on the Final Investigation Plan in writing or orally. The Title IX Coordinator will share the Final Investigation Plan with the parties. If no one requests any further investigation or otherwise objects to the Preliminary Investigation Report, such Report shall be deemed the Final Investigation Report.

Investigation Plan and Final Investigation Report

Investigation Phase 2: The Investigator will complete the investigation as outlined in the Final Investigation Plan. After the Investigator determines that the final investigation is reasonably complete, the Investigator will prepare a Final Investigation Report. The Investigator will share the Final Investigation Report with the Title IX Coordinator for approval. Once approved the Title IX Coordinator will notify the parties and Hearing Officer when the Final Investigation Report is available to review and will provide confidential access (such as a protected, “read-only” posting to a secure web portal) to view the Final Investigation Report. The Final Investigation Report will highlight any additions or modifications from the Preliminary Investigation Report for ease of reference.

Neither the Claimant nor Respondent (nor anyone on their behalves) may copy, remove, photograph, print, image, videotape, record, or in any manner otherwise duplicate or remove the information provided.

The Hearing Officer will have the opportunity to review the Final Investigation Report. The Hearing Officer can make requests for additional investigation or clarification to the Title IX Coordinator on aspects of the Final Investigation Report. The Title IX Coordinator will relay the request to the Investigator.  If the Hearing Officer makes additional requests, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the parties.

Hearing

A Hearing will be held in which the Hearing Officer will make findings of fact on disputed facts and determine if a Policy violation occurred based on the facts the Hearing Officer determined to have occurred. At the Hearing, the Hearing Officer will question the parties and whichever witnesses the Hearing Officer deem necessary to make their decision.  Through Advisors, the parties can also question the opposing party and witnesses.

The Hearing date will be scheduled no sooner than ten (10) business days after the release of the Final Investigation Report. The Title IX Coordinator will notify the parties and witnesses of the Hearing date in writing. The Investigator must be available during the Hearing and may be called upon as a witness. All parties and witnesses must attend the Hearing.

If either Party chooses not to participate in the Investigation, they cannot present new information at the Hearing. The Party will be limited to cross-examination on facts developed during the Investigation.

If either Party chooses to attend the Hearing and not participate, they will be permitted to do so. Their participation will be limited to attendance only. They will not be permitted to cross examine any witnesses.

If either Party participates in the Investigation they must also participate in the Hearing. If a Claimant chooses not to participate in the Hearing, the College’s ability to fully investigate and respond to the complaint will be limited. The College may not be able to move forward to determine if a Policy violation occurred. 

The Hearing is closed and not open to the public. The Investigator and witnesses will only be in the Hearing room when they are called as a witness. A party may make a request to participate in the Hearing in an alternative meeting room or with a partition screen in the Hearing room. The alternative meeting room will be equipped with videoconferencing capabilities so that they can participate throughout the Hearing. The parties must make their request at least 48 hours before the date of the Hearing. The parties’ Advisor may remain in the Hearing room for the duration of the Hearing. 

If a party does not have an Advisor when the Final Investigation Report is issued, the Title IX Coordinator will assist the party in selecting an Advisor.

Five (5) business days before the Hearing, each party must submit questions to the Title IX Coordinator that they plan to pose to each witness and party at the Hearing. Questions will be limited to facts developed during the investigation. The Title IX Coordinator will share those questions with the Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer will briefly explain any denied question request in writing and share with the parties the day before the Hearing.

During the Hearing, a party may submit any additional questions to the Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer will determine during the Hearing which questions will be accepted or denied. No request will be accepted after the witness or party has been dismissed. The parties will not be able to re-cross examine any witness or party.

The Hearing will be audio recorded and a Court Reporter will be present for the duration of the Hearing. Audio recordings will be maintained by the College. Transcripts of the Hearing may be made available upon parties’ request.

Hearing Procedures

The Chief Civil Rights Officer and Title IX Coordinator will be present for the duration of the Hearing. The Hearing Officer will oversee the Hearing Meeting, which will follow the format below:

  • The Title IX Coordinator will make opening introductions.
  • The Hearing Officer will explain the rules for the Hearing.
  • Witnesses called
    • The Hearing Officer will determine the order of witnesses and ask questions of the witnesses,
    • Claimant’s Advisor will ask questions of the witnesses
    • Respondent’s Advisor will ask questions of the witnesses
  • Claimant called
    • Hearing Officer will ask questions of the Claimant
    • Claimant’s advisor will ask questions of the Claimant
    • Respondent’s advisor will ask questions of the Claimant
  • Respondent called
    • Hearing Officer will ask questions of the Respondent
    • Claimant’s advisor will ask questions of the Respondent
    • Respondent’s advisor will ask questions of the Respondent
  • The Claimant will have five (5) minutes to give an oral closing statement.
    • The Claimant may have the advisor make their closing statement.
  • The Respondent will have five (5) minutes to give an oral closing statement.
    • The Respondent may have the advisor make their closing statement.
  • Hearing Officer will adjourn the Hearing

Notice of Hearing Decision

The Title IX Coordinator will notify the parties when the Hearing transcript has been received. The Title IX Coordinator will send the written Hearing Officer’s decision to the parties within seven (7) business days of receipt of the Hearing transcript.

If Neither Party Appeals

  • If the Hearing Officer does not find Respondent Responsible for any Prohibited Conduct or other violation of College Policy, the Grievance Process will be closed.
  • If the Hearing Officer finds Respondent Responsible for the alleged Prohibited Conduct or other violation of College Policy, the matter will be referred for Sanctioning.

If Either Party Appeals

  • Sanctioning will take place after the Appeal for Students in Type 2 Formal Procedures are completed.

Appeals for Students in Type 2 Formal Procedures

The following provisions apply to Appeals for Students in Type 2 Formal Procedures pursuant to these Grievance Procedures. Appeals are confined to a review of the case record. They are not a de novo hearing. In any request for Appeal, the burden of proof lies with the party requesting the Appeal, as the original determination and any findings of fact are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately.

Claimant and Respondent each may appeal an adverse finding. For a Claimant, an “adverse finding” is a decision by the Title IX Coordinator that no reasonable cause existed to pursue any or all alleged Policy violations or a Hearing Officer’s finding that the Respondent was not Responsible for any or all alleged Policy violations. For a Respondent, an “adverse finding” is the Hearing Officer’s finding that the Respondent is Responsible for any or all alleged Policy violations.

The party who first submits the written appeal shall be the “Appellant,” and the responding party shall be the “Appellee.” The grounds for appeal are limited to the following categories:

  • Significant Procedural Error: A procedural error occurred that significantly impacted the relevant decision/determination as it applies to the Appellant (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.). A description of the procedural error and its impact must be described. If the appeal is based on information that the Appellant believes either should have been included or excluded from the Final Investigation Report and/or Hearing Officer’s decision, the Appellant must show that, had the information been included or excluded, the decision on Responsibility/No Responsibility would have altered the decision or determination. 
  • New Information: New information has arisen which was not available, known, or reasonably could have been known to the Appellant, prior to the relevant decision or determination, or information that was improperly excluded from the Investigation despite a request from the Appellant to include it, which would have altered the decision or determination. Information that was known to the Appellant but which they chose not to present is not new information. A summary of this new or excluded evidence and its potential impact on the decision or determination must be specified.
  • Abuse of Discretion: This ground for appeal is only available in cases in which the Title IX Coordinator determined during Intake and Assessment that no reasonable cause existed to believe a Respondent engaged in Prohibited Conduct. It is not a ground for an appeal after a finding of Responsibility or No Responsibility for a report of Prohibited Conduct. An abuse of discretion is established if the Title IX Coordinator failed to exercise sound, reasonable decision-making skills during Intake and Assessment to evaluate whether the report implicated Prohibited Conduct.

An Appeal is not allowed simply to express dissatisfaction with the findings. If an Appeal does not state one of the three permissible grounds for Appeal, it will be rejected by the Chief Civil Rights Officer. The Chief Civil Rights Officer will notify the party if they can cure the impermissible grounds for Appeal and give a new deadline to submit the corrected Appeal.

The Claimant has five (5) business days from receiving either the written notice of the Chief Civil Rights Officer’s decision not to proceed with the Grievance Process or the written notice of the Hearing Officer’s decision to submit a written Appeal to the Chief Civil Rights Officer.

The Respondent has five (5) business days from receiving the written notice of the Hearing Officer’s decision to submit a written Appeal to the Chief Civil Rights Officer.

The Chief Civil Rights Officer will share the request for Appeal with the Appellee, who shall have five (5) business days to submit a response statement. The Appeal and Appeal Response are limited to ten (10) pages (including any attachments or exhibits that are not part of the Final Investigation Report). Except for good cause shown and accepted at the discretion of the Chief Civil Rights Officer, late responses or responses of more than ten (10) pages will not be considered.

The Appeal Record consists of the Final Investigation Report (with attachments), the Hearing transcript, the Hearing Officer’s decision, the Appeal, the Appeal Response, and, when called into question by an Appeal, the Investigator’s Final Investigation Plan.

During the pendency of the appeal, Respondent’s relationship with the College will maintain the status quo (e.g. if Respondent was on Interim Suspension or Leave pending the Process, the Interim Suspension or Leave remains in place).

The Chief Civil Rights Officer will refer the Appeal Record to an Appeal Officer.  The Chief Civil Rights Officer will appoint a trained internal or external Appeal Officer (such as a retired judicial officer, student affairs officer, or similarly experienced professional) (“Appeal Officer”) to conduct a fair and impartial review of any appeals submitted by a Claimant or Respondent.

If the Appeal Officer determines that reasonable cause existed to believe a Respondent engaged in Prohibited Conduct and the Title IX Coordinator declined to initiate the Formal Grievance Process for that violation (either in total or in part), the Appeal Officer will send the case back to the Title IX Coordinator with instructions to initiate the Formal Grievance Process for the allegation(s).

If the Appeal Officer determines that a Procedural Error significantly impacted the decision or determination, the Appeal Officer will return the case to the Title IX Coordinator with instructions to correct the error. In rare cases when the procedural error cannot be corrected (as in cases of bias), the Appeal Officer may order a new Hearing.

If the Appeal Officer determines that New Information (or previously excluded information) should have been considered, the Appeal Officer will return the case to the Title IX Coordinator with instructions for the Investigator to include the information in the Final Investigation Report. The Appeal Officer may also order a new Hearing.

Appellant and Appellee will be notified in writing by the Title IX Coordinator of the outcome of the appeal within ten (10) business days of receipt of Appellee’s response statement. The Appeal Officer’s decision is final and not subject to appeal.

Sanctions for Students

See Sanctions section below.

Type 2 Formal Procedures for Faculty Respondents

Relationship to the College’s Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Procedures

If a claim of discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct arises during the College’s Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure (“APT”) Procedures, such claim will be routed to this Grievance Procedures to determine if a Policy violation occurred and, if so, an appropriate sanction, provided the sanction does supplant the APT process.  The APT procedure will be held in abeyance until completion of the Grievance Procedures.  Upon completion of the Grievance Procedures, the findings of the Grievance Process shall be conveyed to the then-pending step, and subsequent steps, of the APT procedure. The APT process, including any appeal, shall give due consideration to the Grievance Procedures findings. Remedial actions, if any, for an APT candidate against whom a Policy violation occurred may include, among others, providing the candidate with additional time, requesting additional references, or remanding the dossier for reconsideration. If an APT candidate is found responsible for a Policy violation, the APT process may result in, among other options, denying or delaying appointment, tenure or promotion.

Determination of Procedures

Type 2 Procedures will be followed in circumstances in which the alleged misconduct is sufficiently severe to warrant potential suspension without pay or termination of a faculty member. Type 2 Procedures will be utilized in all cases of alleged serious sexual misconduct involving faculty Respondents that are referred for Formal Resolution.

If the Title IX Coordinator determines that the Type 2 Procedures may be appropriate in the matter involving a faculty Respondent, the Title IX Coordinator will assemble an Investigation Review Panel as outlined in the section “Appointment of Investigation Review Panel and Panel Chair” and provide the Panel Chair with the available case details. If the Panel Chair concurs with the Title IX Coordinator that the Type 2 process is appropriate, the complaint will then be referred to the Type 2 Procedures.

If the Panel Chair does not agree that Type 2 Process is appropriate, then the case will be forwarded to the entire Investigation Review Panel. If at least two out of five members of the Investigation Review Panel agree that, assuming the truth of the Claimant’s report and considering the information in the light most favorable to Claimant, suspension without pay or termination for adequate cause may be a reasonably appropriate sanction, then the matter will be referred to the Type 2 process. If fewer than two members of the panel agree, the matter is referred to the Type 1 process. These determinations are not subject to appeal.

Appointment of Investigator: The Title IX Coordinator will appoint a trained internal or external investigator or investigative team (the “Investigator”) to conduct a reasonable, impartial, and prompt investigation of the complaint. The Title IX Coordinator’s choice of Investigator will be based on several factors, including the parties involved, the complexity of the complaint, and the need to avoid any potential conflict of interest. Where appropriate, and at the discretion of the Investigator, the Investigator may engage the independent assistance of professional experts, such as in a case involving an unusual or otherwise complex questions (e.g., academic freedom, mental health or trauma issues, or collection of electronic evidence).

Appointment of Investigation Review Panel and Panel Chair:

The Title IX Coordinator will also designate an Investigation Review Panel. All Investigation Review Panel members receive advance training with respect to the College’s Civil Rights Policies. The principal functions of the Investigation Review Panel are to:

  • Provide an independent, community-based procedural check to help ensure an equitable Process; and;
  • Following a confidential deliberation, make ultimate findings of fact as to Responsibility for the alleged Policy violation(s) by a preponderance of the evidence. 

Composition of Review Panel for Faculty Respondents

The Chief Civil Rights Officer will select five (5) faculty members of the Administration Committee by lot, provided that all Panel members shall be faculty of equal or higher rank than the faculty Respondent. The panel will elect its Chair.  If any prospective Panel Member discloses a potential or actual conflict of interest that precludes such individual from serving, another Panelist will be chosen by lot.

The Panel Chair’s responsibilities include:

  • Providing input on the appropriateness of a Type 1 or Type 2 Procedures;
  • Reviewing and consulting with the Investigator as to the Preliminary Investigation Plan;
  • Reviewing the Preliminary Investigation Report, including any requests by the parties for further or follow-up investigation, and requesting additional or follow-up investigation;
  • Reviewing the Final Investigation Report, asking final questions of the Investigator; and,
  • Moderating the Investigation Review Meeting.

The Title IX Coordinator will promptly notify the parties of the proposed composition of the Investigation Review Panel. If a party objects to a Panel Member’s involvement based upon a conflict of interest or bias, the party must provide written notice explaining the alleged conflict or bias to the Title IX Coordinator within two business days. The Title IX Coordinator will promptly rule on the objection and provide notice to the party and, if the Title IX Coordinator finds a possible or actual conflict of interest or potential bias, a new Panel Member shall be selected through the appropriate process.

Preliminary Investigation Phase: The Investigator will establish a Preliminary Investigation Plan. The Investigator will brief the Panel Chair on the basic nature of the case and the preliminary investigation plan in writing or orally. The Panel Chair has two business days to provide any input to the Investigator on the preliminary investigation plan, including with respect to any potential issues that may warrant special consideration or expertise, such as questions of academic freedom, mental health or trauma issues, or electronic evidence. The Investigator reserves the right to begin investigating prior to receiving input on the plan if the composition of the Review Panel is delayed or if waiting for input could impact the timely gathering of information.

The Investigator will then conduct a Preliminary Investigation based upon the facts and circumstances reported to the College and gathered in preceding steps of the process. The Preliminary Investigation shall include interviews and follow-up interviews as feasible and appropriate with the Claimant, the Respondent, and any witnesses who may have relevant information. It shall also include collection of other pertinent evidentiary materials to the extent reasonable and appropriate.

The Claimant, Respondent, and any witnesses shall respond to the Investigator’s request to schedule an interview or to provide other evidentiary materials in a timely manner, generally within five (5) business days of the Investigator’s request. If a party or witness fails to respond in reasonably timely fashion, the Investigator may continue the investigation without the benefit of this information.

The Investigator will prepare a written summary of each interview and send the same to the witness for a review of accuracy.  Unless the witness requests additional time which is deemed reasonable by the investigator, the witness statement will be deemed accurate if the witness does not provide feedback on the statement within two business days of the Investigator’s emailing it to the witness at the individual’s College email address or, for individuals not affiliated with the College, an email address they have previously provided.

Information may be developed during the course of the preliminary investigation that indicates additional potential Policy violations in addition to those identified in the Notice of Referral for Formal Resolution. In this circumstance, the Investigator shall review such additional potential violations with the Title IX Coordinator, who shall assess whether a reasonable fact-finder could find a Policy violation by a preponderance of the evidence based on the information developed through the Preliminary Investigation. If so, the Title IX Coordinator shall send a written Revised Notice of Referral for Formal Resolution that includes the relevant information and new potential violations. This determination is not subject to appeal.

Once the Investigator determines that the Preliminary Investigation is reasonably complete, the Investigator will prepare a Preliminary Investigation Report. The Report shall include: 

  • A summary of the incident, alleged Policy violations from the initial notice, the Claimant’s allegations, and the Respondent’s response;
  • Identification of any new potential Policy violations raised by the information developed through the Preliminary Investigation and as authorized for incorporation by the Title IX Coordinator;
  • A description of undisputed facts;
  • A description of material facts in dispute; and
  • An analysis and assessment of disputed facts based on all available evidence, including witness credibility.

The Investigator will notify the parties once the Preliminary Investigation Report is available to review and will provide confidential access (such as a protected, “read-only” posting to a secure web portal) to view the Report.  Neither the Claimant nor Respondent (nor anyone on their behalf) may copy, remove, photograph, print, image, videotape, record, or in any manner otherwise duplicate or remove the information provided. 

Response to Preliminary Investigation Report: The parties will have five (5) business days to submit a written request outlining any additional investigation steps that they believe are necessary or objections to the information included in the Report, including:

  • Posing any follow-up issues or questions for any witness, the Claimant or Respondent;
  • Requesting a follow-up interview with the Investigator to clarify or provide any additional information that such party believes is relevant to the investigation or to seek clarification from the Investigator on aspects of the Preliminary Investigation Report;
  • Identifying any new witnesses who should be interviewed (including a description of what topics/issues the witness should be asked to address and what the interview would contribute to the investigation);
  • Identifying any additional evidentiary materials that should be collected and reviewed to the extent that such items are reasonably available (e.g., text messages, social media postings, etc.), understanding that the Investigator lacks the power to subpoena evidence; and,
  • Identifying and objecting to any information that such party believes was inappropriately included in the Preliminary Report.

After considering these requests, the Investigator will develop a Final Investigation Plan that will outline any additional investigatory steps to be taken and will also briefly explain any requests that the Investigator recommends be denied. The Investigator will also address any objections to the information included in the Preliminary Report. To the extent such objections are accepted, the Investigator will redact the Preliminary Investigation Report and investigation materials accordingly. The Investigator will maintain copies of both the complete and redacted investigation materials. To the extent such objections are not accepted, the Investigator will summarize these reasons but also note the party’s objection(s).

The Investigator will then circulate the Preliminary Investigation Report (as may be redacted), the parties’ responses (if any), and the Final Investigation Plan to the Review Panel, who will have five (5) business days to review the materials and to provide feedback to the Panel Chair. The Investigator will consult with the Panel Chair on the proposed Final Investigation Plan in writing or in a meeting. After considering the Panel Chair’s feedback, the Investigator will complete a Final Investigation Plan and will notify the parties and the Review Panel of the Final Plan in writing, which will again include a brief explanation as to the reasons for denying or not pursuing any requests for additional investigation.

Any appeal based on an Investigator’s determinations set forth in the Final Investigation Plan is limited to the grounds and timing specified in Appeals, below (Section 6) and can only be appealed by Respondent after the sanctioning phase or by the Claimant after a finding of Non-Responsibility.

If no one requests any further investigation or objects to the Preliminary Investigation Report, such Report shall be deemed the Final Investigation Report, and the Title IX Coordinator will schedule the Investigation Review Meeting consistent with the steps described below.

Final Investigation Phase:  The Investigator will complete the investigation as outlined in the Final Investigation Plan.  After the Investigator determines that the final investigation is reasonably complete, the Investigator will prepare a Final Investigation Report. The Investigator will notify the parties and the Review Panel once the Final Investigation Report is available to review and will provide confidential access (such as a protected, “read-only” posting to a secure web portal) to view the Final Investigation Report.  The Final Investigation Report will highlight any additions or modifications from the Preliminary Investigation Report for the parties’ and Review Panel’s ease of reference. The parties and Review Panel will have ten business days to review the Final Investigation Report.  The parties and their counsel will have electronic access to the report.  However, neither the Claimant nor Respondent (nor anyone on their behalf) may copy, remove, photograph, print, image, videotape, record, or in any manner otherwise duplicate or remove the information provided. 

Scheduling the Investigation Review Meeting:  The Title IX Coordinator will schedule the Investigation Review Meeting and will provide written notice to the parties, Investigator, and the Review Panel of the date, time, and location of the Meeting. This Investigation Review Meeting will normally be held within five (5) business days following the conclusion of the review period designated for the Final Investigation Report.

This notification will also remind the parties that they have the ability to present a written statement in response to the Investigator’s Final Investigation Report.  Any written statement must be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator two business days in advance of the Investigation Review Meeting and will be shared with the other party and the Review Panel. Written statements are limited to no more than ten pages (including any attachments or exhibits that are not part of the investigation record). Except for good cause shown and accepted at the discretion of the Panel Chair, late responses or responses of more than 10 pages will not be considered.

In addition to the written statement, both parties will be allowed to make oral presentations to the Review Panel at the Investigation Review Meeting. Written or oral statements to the Review Panel cannot contain material which the parties requested to be pursued by the Investigator and which the Title IX Coordinator determined was not relevant to this matter. The Title IX Coordinator will redact any such material in a written submission and will halt any oral presentation that includes such material with instructions to the Review Panel to disregard and an instruction that further attempts to discuss the irrelevant material will result in the party forfeiting their right to continue with the oral presentation.

Investigation Review Meeting:  The Panel Chair moderates the Investigation Review Meeting and will explain the scope and sequence of the Meeting.

The Title IX Coordinator will attend in an oversight capacity only to monitor that the meeting conforms to the standards for fairness, neutrality, and equality, as well as to address any procedural questions that may arise. If requested and appropriate under the circumstances, the Title IX Coordinator will make arrangements for either party to participate from a remote location or to participate without being in the other party’s direct physical presence, while still permitting both parties to hear the proceedings.

The purpose of the Investigation Review Meeting is for the Review Panel to make findings of fact and to determine whether the Respondent is responsible for violating the identified policies by a preponderance of the evidence. The burden of proof rests on the Claimant. The Review Panel shall receive the Final Investigative Report and access to any underlying investigative materials it may request.

The Investigation Review Meeting will be recorded, and the Panel Chair has unreviewable discretion to provide either audio or video recording, with the recording made available to the Claimant and Respondent upon request after the Meeting. The Meeting will normally follow the sequence set forth below:

  • The Investigator will make a summary presentation of the Final Investigation Report;
  • The Review Panel may ask the Investigator questions to clarify any aspect of the Final Investigation Report;
  • The Claimant will have an opportunity to make a closing statement to the Review Panel, followed by the Respondent’s closing statement;
  • The parties and Investigator are then excused from the Meeting;
  • The Title IX Coordinator provides general instructions as to the deliberation process and addresses any procedural questions from the Review Panel.

Review Panel’s Deliberations:  The Review Panel will then deliberate in confidence, and the deliberations cannot be recorded, nor may any Review Panel member discuss the deliberations with anyone following the deliberations. The Title IX Coordinator will be present during deliberations to serve in a consulting role for members of the Review Panel but will not participate in the deliberations or have a vote.

Determining Responsibility

Faculty Respondents

  • Each Review Panel member has single vote and will note their individual vote (using the preponderance of the evidence standard) for each alleged Policy violation on a form provided by the Title IX Coordinator. 
  • A finding of Responsibility will be made if at least four (4) out of five (5) Review Panel members find a violation of Policy. For any positive finding of Responsibility, the Review Panel member will also make an independent, simultaneous decision, noted on the form provided by the Title IX Coordinator, as to whether that Policy violation was also established by a clear and convincing evidence standard. This is relevant solely to sanctions, described below in Section 5.
  • The Title IX Coordinator drafts a Findings Summary and submits the draft to the Panel Chair, who prepares the Findings Summary. The Panel Chair may adopt the draft in whole or in part.  The Findings Summary must explain the Panel’s decision with enough specificity for the parties to be able to file meaningful appeals. Thus, the Findings Summary should explain the information deemed important to the decisions, including why significant or contested information may have been deemed unreliable or unpersuasive. However, the Findings Summary will not attribute any statements or opinions to any individual Review Panel member.
  • The Title IX Coordinator will distribute the Findings Summary to the Claimant and Respondent within five (5) business days of the Review Meeting.

Appeals for Faculty in Type 2 Formal Procedures

The following provisions apply to appeals for Faculty in Type 2 Formal Procedures pursuant to this Grievance Process. Appeals are confined to a review of the Appeal Record (as defined below). They are not a de novo hearing. In any request for Appeal, the burden of proof lies with the party requesting the appeal, as the original determinations and any findings of fact are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately. 

Claimant and Respondent each have a limited right to appeal.  The party who first submits the written appeal shall be the “Appellant,” and the responding party shall be the “Appellee.” An appeal is not allowed simply to express dissatisfaction with the findings. Instead, the grounds for appeal are limited to the following categories:

  • Significant Procedural Error:  A procedural error occurred that significantly impacted the relevant decision/determination as it applies to the party (e.g., substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures). A description of the error and its impact must be included in the written appeal. If the appeal is based on information which the party believes either should have been included or excluded from the Final Investigation Report, the party must show that, had the information been included or excluded, the decision on Responsibility/No Responsibility would have been different. 
  • New Information:  New information has arisen which was not available or known to the party prior to the relevant decision or determination, or information that was improperly excluded from the Investigation Review Meeting despite a request from the party to include it, which could have substantially impacted the decision or determination. Information that was known to the party but which they chose not to present is not new information. A summary of this new or excluded evidence and its potential impact on the decision or determination must be specified.

The Claimant may appeal the following decisions:

  • The Chief Civil Rights Officer’s determination after Intake and Assessment that no Formal Process is implicated by the Claimant’s allegations (either as to the allegations made at the initial Intake and Assessment or as to additional Policy violations which were revealed after the preliminary investigation was completed but which the Chief Civil Rights Officer decided not to include);
  • The Investigator’s refusal to conduct further investigation upon a proper, timely request following the Preliminary Investigation Report; or
  • A finding of No Responsibility through the Formal Resolution Process.

The Claimant has five (5) business days from receiving written notice of the Chief Civil Rights Officer’s decision not to proceed with the Grievance Process, five (5) business days from receiving written notice of the Review Panel’s determination of No Responsibility, or five (5) business days from receiving determination of sanctions to submit a written appeal to the Chief Civil Rights Officer.

The Respondent may appeal the following decisions:

  • The Investigator’s refusal to conduct further investigation upon a proper, timely request following the Preliminary Investigation Report; or
  • A finding of Responsibility through the Formal Resolution Process.

The Respondent has five (5) business days from receiving written notice of the Sanction to submit a written appeal to the Chief Civil Rights Officer. A Claimant may not appeal the appropriateness of a sanction, or lack of sanction, imposed on a Respondent. 

The Chief Civil Rights Officer will share the request for Appeal with the Appellee, who shall have five (5) business days to submit a response statement.

The Chief Civil Rights Officer will appoint a trained Appeal Officer, to conduct a fair and impartial review of any appeals submitted by a Claimant or Respondent. For faculty Respondents the Appeal Officer will be the Vice President for Academic Affairs, unless there is a conflict of interest as determined by the review committee chair, in which case the President will serve as the Appeal Officer.

In lieu of an internal Appeal Officer, the Chief Civil Rights Officer may appoint an external Appeal Officer who has appropriate experience, such as a retired judge or similar professional. The Chief Civil Rights Officer will also refer the written appeal, any response, and the underlying case record (the “Appeal Record”) to the Appeal Officer. Requests for appeal and responses to them shall not exceed 10 pages (including any attachments or exhibits that are not part of the investigation record). Except for good cause shown and accepted at the discretion of the Appeal Officer, late responses or responses of more than 10 pages will not be considered.

The Appeal Officer will determine whether any grounds for the Appeal are substantiated. 

If the Appeal Officer determines that a reasonable fact-finder could find a Policy violation by a preponderance of the evidence, and the Chief Civil Rights Officer declined to initiate the Formal Process for that violation (either in total or in part), the Appeal Officer will send the case back to the Chief Civil Rights Officer with instructions to initiate the Formal Process for the allegation(s).

If the Appeal Officer determines that the Request for Appeal shows a Procedural Error that significantly impacted the relevant decision or determination, the Appeal Officer will return the complaint to the Chief Civil Rights Officer with instructions to correct the error and to reconvene the Investigation Review Panel Meeting to reconsider the findings as appropriate. In rare cases where the procedural error cannot be corrected (as in cases of bias), the Appeal Officer will order a further process that removes the earlier source of error. The results of a reconvened Investigation Review Panel Meeting cannot be appealed.

If the Appeal Officer determines that the Appeal shows New Information (or previously excluded evidence) that should have been considered, the complaint will be returned to the Chief Civil Rights Officer, who in turn will direct the Investigator to draft a new Final Investigation Report in light of the new or previously-excluded information only. The Chief Civil Rights Officer will promptly reconvene the Investigation Review Panel Meeting to reconsider the original findings as appropriate. The findings of the reconvened Investigation Review Panel Meeting are not appealable.

The Appeal Officer will prepare a written Appeal Outcome Notice that will include an explanation of the basis of the decisions on appeal. The Appeal Outcome Notice will generally be provided to Appellant and Appellee within ten business days of receipt of Appellee’s response statement. The Appeal Officer’s Appeal Outcome Notice is final.

During the pendency of the appeal, Respondent’s relationship with the College will maintain the status quo (e.g., if Respondent was on Interim Suspension pending the Process, the Interim Suspension remains in place).

Sanctions

If a Respondent is found responsible for violating a Policy adjudicated under this Process, after the Appeal Process has been completed the Chief Civil Rights Officer will notify the parties in writing that the matter is being referred for Sanctioning as follows:

  • For staff and third party Respondents: the Director of Human Resources (or designee) determines sanctions.
  • For student Respondents: the Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) determines sanctions.
  • For faculty: described below.

If the Chief Civil Rights Officer determines that the designated Sanctioning Officer has a conflict with a particular case, the Chief Civil Rights Officer will appoint an appropriate, non-conflicted Sanctioning Officer.

Any one or more of the sanctions listed below may be imposed on a Respondent found responsible for a violation under this Grievance Process. Sanctions not listed here may be imposed in consultation with and approval by the Chief Civil Right Officer. Sanctions are assessed in response to the specific violation(s) and any prior discipline and academic dishonesty history of the Respondent. Some of the sanctions listed are applicable only to students, as indicated.

The College exercises its judgment in designing reasonable sanctions. Not all violations will be deemed equally serious offenses, and the College reserves the right to impose different sanctions depending on the severity of the offense and to take non-disciplinary, administrative actions as appropriate. Sanctions may not be appealed.

Sanctioning Procedures for Student, Staff, and Third Party Respondents

The Claimant and the Respondent may submit a Consideration of Sanctions statement to the Title IX Coordinator within five (5) business days of receiving the Final Investigation Report or upon receiving the Appeal Decision. The Consideration of Sanctions statement should outline the sanctions the party believes should be considered by the Sanctioning Officer as well as an explanation of why the requested sanctions are reasonable and appropriate.

After the time period for submitting any Consideration of Sanctions statements has expired, the Sanctioning Officer will determine or recommend sanctions. The Sanctioning Officer will receive the case record, Consideration of Sanctions statements, and Respondent’s prior conduct history (including any prior employment discipline history).

The Sanctioning Officer shall notify the Title IX Coordinator in writing of the sanctioning decision within five (5) business days of receiving the case. The Title IX Coordinator will notify the parties of the sanctioning decision within two business days of receiving it from the Sanctioning Officer.

Sanctioning Procedures for Faculty Respondents

The Claimant and the Respondent may submit a Consideration of Sanctions statement to the Chief Civil Rights Officer within five (5) business days of the Chief Civil Rights Officer’s notification. The Consideration of Sanctions statement should outline the sanctions the party believes should be considered by the Sanctioning Officer as well as an explanation of why the requested sanctions are reasonable and appropriate. 

The Chief Civil Rights Officer will provide the statements to the Chair of the Review Panel, who will reconvene the Panel to determine sanctions, consistent with this framework and any prior disciplinary history of the Respondent. 

If the Panel Chair finds that the violation(s) constitute adequate cause for suspension without pay or termination for cause as defined in the Faculty Handbook (Section 4.3.1), then the Review Panel will reconsider whether the violation(s) were established by clear and convincing evidence. If four (4) out of five (5)  Review Panel Members do not find at least one serious Policy violation established by clear and convincing evidence, suspension without pay or termination for cause may not be imposed. A serious violation of a Civil Rights Policy will normally be sufficient to establish that a Respondent engaged in “personal misconduct that is directly and substantially related to the fitness of a faculty member as a teacher and/or a researcher” as outlined in the Faculty Handbook.

The Panel Chair shall notify the parties of the sanctioning decision within five (5) business days of receiving the case from the Chief Civil Rights Officer.

Possible Sanctions for All Respondents

Possible sanctions include, but are not limited to:

  • Warning: Written notice that the Respondent’s behavior was in violation of the College’s Civil Rights and/or other College Policy and that future violations will result in more severe sanctions.
  • Restitution: Reimbursement by the Respondent(s) to the College, another Claremont College, the Claremont University Consortium, the Claimant(s), or a member of The Claremont Colleges community to cover the cost of property damage or other loss.
  • Fine: A monetary penalty assessed as appropriate to the violation.
  • Service Hours (students only): A set number of work hours the Respondent must complete. The Title IX Coordinator will determine the nature of the work to be performed. Generally, service hours are conducted on campus.
  • Educational Program/Project: Programs and activities designed to help the Respondent become more aware of College policies and help the Respondent understand the inappropriateness of their behavior, including, but not limited to, participation in an educational program or completion of an online program.
  • Referral for Assessment: A referral for an assessment with an appropriately-trained therapist who will recommend a process for treatment. Reinstatement is conditioned upon receiving proof of completion of the recommended treatment. 
  • Loss of Privileges (students only): Denial of specific privilege(s) for a defined period of time. Privileges include, but are not limited to, participation in extra-curricular activities and events such as social events, intercollegiate athletics, intramural programs, student organizations, and student government, as well as the privilege of living on campus, living in a specific residence hall, participation in commencement ceremonies, or having a vehicle on campus. 
  • Restricted Access: Conditions which specifically dictate and limit the Respondent’s presence on campus and/or participation in College-sponsored activities. The restrictions will be clearly defined and may include, but are not limited to, presence in certain buildings or locations on campus or a no contact order. In cases involving parties from different Claremont Colleges, restricted access may extend to exclusion from another college campus.
  • Removal of Offending Cause: Requirement to remove the item which was the subject of the complaint.
  • Relocation or Removal from Residence Halls (students only): Requirement that the Respondent relocate to another residence hall, or off-campus, by a specified date.
  • Conduct Probation (students only): Formal, written notice that the Respondent’s behavior is in violation of College policies and an expectation that the Respondent exhibit good behavior for a defined period of time. Any violation during the probationary period will result in increased sanctioning and may result in suspension or expulsion from the College. Notice of Conduct Probation is sent to the Respondent’s academic advisor as well as to the Respondent’s parent(s)/guardian if the Respondent is a minor.
  • Employment Probation: Formal, written notice that the employee’s conduct is in violation of College policies and an expectation that the employee exhibit good behavior for a defined period of time. Any further violations during the probationary period will result in increased sanctioning and may result in employment suspension without pay or termination of employment.
  • Suspension (students only): Separation from the College for a defined period of time. During the suspension period the Respondent is not permitted on campus, is not permitted to participate in any College-sponsored or affiliated program or activity, and is not permitted to earn any credits towards the Respondent’s degree. The terms of the suspension may include the designation of special conditions affecting eligibility for re-enrollment or special conditions to be in effect upon re-enrollment, including a term of Conduct Probation.
  • Suspension without Pay (staff and faculty): Separation of employment for a defined period of time without pay for the time of separation.
  • Employment Termination: Permanent separation of the employee from the College if the respondent is staff or faculty and permanent separation of the employee from their student position if the respondent is a student.
  • Expulsion (students only): Permanent separation from the College. A Respondent who has been expelled is not permitted on campus and is not permitted to participate in any College-sponsored or affiliated program or activity

Sanctioning Guidelines for Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse

Although it is not possible to outline specific sanctions to be imposed in all cases adjudicated under the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the following guidelines have been established to provide notice to the community and provide context for the Sanctioning Officer in determining appropriate sanctions:

  • For staff or third party Respondents: Normally termination for cause or lifetime ban from campus.
  • For student Respondents: Normally expulsion or a minimum 1-year suspension.
  • For faculty Respondents: Normally suspension without pay or termination for adequate cause.

Miscellaneous and Special Provisions

Record Retention

The College maintains Grievance Procedure records for seven years. For a student Respondent, the records will be maintained for seven years past the student’s graduation (or if the student leaves the College before graduation, for seven years after departure). For a faculty or staff Respondent, the records will be maintained for seven years past the conclusion of the Grievance Process or seven years past the end of employment, whichever is later.

Modification of Grievance Procedures

For good cause, and when not in substantial conflict with the Grievance Process, the Title IX Coordinator retains the authority to adapt or modify the investigation and disciplinary process as part of the Title IX Coordinator’s responsibility to ensure an equitable and prompt process for all parties. For example, certain modifications may be necessary to allow for the fair and prompt resolution of a complaint when it is received at the end of a term or during a break in the College’s academic schedule.

Termination of Grievance Process Upon Satisfactory Resolution

The College reserves the right to terminate the Formal Resolution Process when it is able to reach a settlement with Respondent that satisfies the College’s obligations under Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, and other relevant discrimination laws to end the alleged conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects on Claimant and the College community.

Independent Investigation

The College, at the discretion of the General Counsel, may conduct an additional, investigation independent of the circumstances involved in the Grievance Process at any time.

Notations in Academic Records

The College will note “Ineligible to Register” on a student’s official CMC transcript if a student is suspended or expelled from the College under this Process. In cases of suspension, the notation will remain on the official transcript during the period of suspension only. If a student is expelled, the notation will remain on the official transcript permanently. In addition, the Dean of Students will truthfully respond, consistent with FERPA, to another institution’s verification of status request sent as a result of a student’s attempt to enroll at another institution. 

Continuation of Process if Respondent Withdraws

If a student withdraws while this process is pending, the presumption is that the College will complete the process (or any portion of the process) despite the student’s withdrawal. If the College elects to defer the process while the student is no longer enrolled, the student will be ineligible to register at the College until the process is completed. In such cases, the College will record “Ineligible to Register” on a student’s official transcript.