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Complaint Process

Formal Complaint, Assessment, Notification, Investigation, Determination & Appeal

Under the university's discrimination complaint procedure for employees or students, reports are initially assessed by the Civil Rights Review Team to make determinations as to the appropriate course of action. If an initial determination to investigate a report is made, the allegations to be investigated are shared with the parties, and the respondent is given an opportunity to respond. Trained investigators interview the parties and witnesses, collect and analyze evidence such as emails and other records, and submit an investigation report to the Determination Official.

For allegations that do not include Title IX policy violations, the Determination Official may resolve the matter administratively or to proceed forward to a live hearing. If one or more of the allegations are classified as Title IX sexual harassment, the matter automatically proceeds to a hearing. The hearing is conducted by a hearing panel. The hearing panel's determination is based on the preponderance of the evidence. Either party may appeal the hearing panel determination or sanctions imposed to the appellate officer. 

The university seeks to resolve matters promptly, within approximately 60-90 business days of a report. Timelines may be extended for a variety of reasons upon written notification to all parties.

Stages of the Process
I. Pre-Investigation Phase
  • Formal Complaint Received.
  • Civil Rights Review Team Assessment.
  • Authorized Investigation, Referred to Another Process, or Dismissed.
  • Appeal Dismissal of Title IX policy violation.
  • Process meeting with both parties and advisors for formal complaints authorized for investigation.
II.  Investigation Phase
  • Interviews with parties and witnesses.
  • Collection of documentary evidence.
  • Review of all evidence collected and right to respond and request more investigation.
  • Production and distribution of final investigation report.
III. Determination Phase
  • Administrative Determination, if appropriate for formal complaints not including Title IX policy violations.
  • Live Hearing conducted by Hearing Panel (or Faculty Hearing Panel for faculty respondents)
  • Notification of determination, sanctions if applicable, and right to appeal.
IV.  Appellate Phase
  • Either party may appeal determination, sanction or both.
  • Four basis for appeals - new material evidence, material procedural error,  weight of the evidence does not support the finding, or bias.
  • Appellate officers determination is final. 

This flow chart graphic (pdf) provides highlights of each phase of the process.