Not all forms of discrimination or sex or gender-based misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses. The University reserves the right to impose differing sanctions, depending on the severity and/or pervasiveness of the offense. The University will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the respondent in implementing sanctions.
The University reserves the right to impose differing sanctions for employees, including a verbal or written warning, training or other programming, suspension, or dismissal from employment, depending on the severity and/or pervasiveness of the offense.
In determining the appropriate sanctions for a violation of this policy, a number of factors will be considered, including but not limited to the following: 1) level of risk and/or harm to the community; 2) severity of injury and/or harm; 3) use of alcohol or drugs by the respondent; 4) whether the incident was motivated by bias; 5) level of cooperation with the University and public officials; 6) prior conduct record; and 7) prior violations of the same or similar type.
Certain University officials may be informed of the outcome of an investigation (for example, the President, Dean of Students, or Campus Safety Director) and in accordance with other applicable federal, state or local laws. If, based on the investigation findings, there is reliable information that a crime has occurred, a University official may notify local law enforcement consistent with the University’s lawful obligation to report.
During an investigation, matters that are determined to be violations of the Student Handbook or the Human Resources Policy Manual, but not a violation of this policy, shall be sanctioned in accordance with the guidelines of the Student Handbook and/or the Human Resources Policy Manual.
With respect to findings of sexual misconduct by a student, the minimum sanctions are as follows:
• nonconsensual intercourse is likely to result in a minimum of suspension or expulsion;
• nonconsensual contact and sexual harassment are likely to result in a minimum of a second level warning and can potentially result in suspension or expulsion as described in the Student Handbook;
• sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking are likely to result in a minimum sanction of probation and may result in suspension or expulsion as is described in the Student Handbook.
Decisions involving sexual misconduct may be appealed to the Provost or their designee. To exercise the right of appeal, complainants or respondents must petition the above individual within three business days after receiving the written notification of the sanctions imposed. A finding of a violation of the other forms of discrimination, are not eligible for an appeal.
Any party who files an appeal must do so in writing to the Provost or their designee. If an appeal is available and is timely, the Provost or their designee will respond to the appeal and provide the Title IX Coordinator with a copy of the appeal. The Title IX coordinator will share a copy of all appeals with the party not appealing. The original finding and sanction will stand if the appeal is not timely or eligible, and the decision shall be final. In the event that a respondent accepts the findings of an investigation, those findings cannot be appealed.
An appeal from the complainant or respondent is only available in the following circumstances:
- sanctions of suspension, expulsion or termination; or
- finding(s) of no violation.
All sanctions imposed by the Dean of Students or the Associate Vice President of Human Resources will be in effect during the appeal. A request may be made for special consideration to suspend sanctions in exigent circumstances, but the presumptive stance of the University is that the sanctions will stand. Graduation, study abroad, internships/externships, etc. do not in and of themselves constitute exigent circumstances, and students may not be able to participate in those activities during their appeal. In cases where the appeal results in reinstatement to the institution, or if other privileges are reinstated, all reasonable attempts will be made to restore the student to their prior status.
The only grounds for an appeal are:
- a procedural error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the investigation, such as substantiated bias or a material deviation from established procedures; or
- new information not presented during the investigation exists.
The Provost or designee will promptly render a written decision on the appeal to all parties. The decision to deny an appeal request is final.
- the Provost or their designee may consider new evidence, but only if that evidence was unavailable during the original investigation and if it could substantially impact the original finding or sanction;
- a summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included in the appeal and timely submitted; and
- if the Provost or their designee determines that new information should be considered, they will return the complaint to the investigator to reconsider the new information only in light of the new evidence.