Sexual Misconduct Process and Procedures

Policy Number: #

Responsible Executive(s):

  • Associate Vice President for Human Resources

Responsible Office(s):

  • Equal Opportunity and Title IX

Date Adopted: 08-13-2020

Date Revised: 08-14-2020

Regis University (“Regis”) policy, “Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Retaliation” prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct and retaliation within its community. This Process and Procedures document shall be used, in accordance with applicable law, when allegations of sexual misconduct are reported to Regis.

  1. Definitions.

    1. Report. The submission of any allegation in part or in full of Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct, or Retaliation to the EO and Title IX Coordinator or Deputy EO & Title IX Coordinators.

    2. Actual Knowledge. Notice of sexual misconduct or allegations of sexual harassment to Regis’s Title IX Coordinator or any official of the recipient who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of Regis.

    3. Preliminary Inquiry. The EO & Title IX Coordinator or designee will conduct a preliminary inquiry to determine whether the allegations, assuming the alleged facts to be true, would rise to the level of a violation of our policies, and therefore, warrant a full investigation. If formal investigation is not warranted, the EO & Title IX Coordinator will either close the matter without further review or work with parties for alternative resolutions.

    4. Supportive Measures. Supportive measures are individualized services and supports that are reasonably available, non-punitive, non-disciplinary, and not unreasonably burdensome to any party. Supportive Measures are designed to ensure equal educational access, protect safety, and/or deter any continuation of any prohibited conduct.. Supportive measures are implemented to: address safety concerns; minimize the impact of the alleged conduct on involved parties; be temporary, pending the results of an investigation, or may become permanent as determined by Regis. Supportive Measures can be requested by any party to a complaint and facilitated with or without a Formal Complaint.

    5. Informal Resolution. If both parties are willing and it is deemed appropriate by the University, Informal Resolution can be available for complaints sexual misconduct and parties may voluntarily seek resolution of a complaint informally, meaning, without a Formal Investigation. An Informal Resolution must be agreed upon by both parties. Informal Resolutions may involve, but are not limited to, mediation, educational programming, and/or direct communication.

    6. Formal Complaint. A Formal Complaint is a document filed by a complainant or signed by the Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual misconduct against a Respondent and requests that the allegations be investigated. A Formal Complaint can be submitted via electronic submission, or paper submission that includes a physical, digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the Complainant is the person filing the Formal Complaint. At the time of filing a Formal Complaint, a complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the recipient with which the formal complaint is filed.

    7. Formal Investigation. If, following a Preliminary Inquiry, the EO & Title IX Coordinator or designee determines an investigation should proceed, Regis will conduct a fair, impartial and prompt investigation. Regis will provide written notice to the parties regarding the status of the investigation at each stage, upon request, and if and when an extension is needed.

  2. Investigations

    Regis must investigate the allegations in any formal complaint. It will send written notice to both parties (complainants and respondents) of the allegations contained in the formal complaint.

    1. Regis will assign an investigator whose responsibility is to gather evidence relevant to the investigation. This investigator will provide written notice of any investigative interviews or meetings. In addition, the investigator will send parties, and their advisors, relevant evidence collected and provide ten (10) business days for the parties to inspect, review, and respond to evidence provided.

    2. Regis will provide equal opportunity to both the complainant and respondent to present witnesses and provide evidence germane to the investigation. Parties ability to gather evidence will not be unnecessarily restricted.

    3. Medical, psychological, and similar treatment records will not be accessed without the parties written consent.

    4. Parties have the right to an advisor of their choice. (See “Right to an Advisor”, below) This advisor may be, but need not be, an attorney.

    5. Written notice of hearings will be provided by the Title IX coordinator or designee.

    6. Investigators will prepare a written investigative report drafted utilizing evidence collected. This investigative report will be sent to the parties and their advisors. Each party will have ten (10) days to review and respond.

    7. Dismissal of allegations.

      1. Regis will dismiss allegations of conduct that do not meet the definition of sexual harassment, if they did not occur in Regis educational program or activity, or against a person in the United States. A dismissal for these reasons does not preclude Regis from addressing the conduct under other applicable Regis policies, handbooks, or codes of conduct.

      2. Regis may, in its discretion, dismiss a formal complaint or allegations contained therein if the complainant informs the Title IX Coordinator, in writing, of their desire to withdraw the formal complaint, if the respondent is no longer a member of the Regis community, or if Regis and its investigator are unable to gather sufficient evidence to reach a determination.

      3. Written notice of dismissal shall be provided to the parties. This notice shall include the reasons for the dismissal.

  3. Right to an Advisor. The parties may each have up to 2 Advisors of their choice present with them for all meetings and interviews within the investigative and hearing process, if they so choose. The parties may select whomever they wish to serve as their Advisor as long as the Advisor is eligible and available. Regis University may permit parties to have more than one Advisor upon special request to the Title IX Coordinator. The decision to grant this request is at the sole discretion of the Title IX Coordinator and will be granted equitably to all parties.

    1. Choosing an Advisor who is also a witness in the process creates potential for bias and conflict-of-interest. A party who chooses an Advisor who is also a witness can anticipate that issues of potential bias will be explored by the hearing Decision-maker(s).

    2. The parties are expected to inform the Investigator(s) and EO and Title IX Coordinator of the identity of their Advisor at least two (2) business days before the date of their first meeting with Investigators (or as soon as possible if a more expeditious meeting is necessary or desired).

    3. The parties are expected to provide timely notice to the Title IX Coordinator if they change Advisors at any time. It is assumed that if a party changes Advisors, consent to share information with the previous Advisor is terminated, and a release for the new Advisor must be secured. Parties are expected to inform the Title IX Coordinator of the identity of their hearing Advisor at least two (2) business days before the hearing.

    4. The Advisor may be a friend, mentor, family member, attorney, or any other individual a party chooses to advise, support, and/or consult with them throughout the resolution process. The parties may choose Advisors from inside or outside of the Regis University community.

    5. The Title IX Coordinator will also offer to assign a trained Advisor for any party if the party so chooses. If the parties choose an Advisor from the available pool. Training for advisors in the pool will be provided by the University. Trainings will be published and available for public inspection.

    6. If the parties choose an Advisor from outside the pool of those identified by the EO & Title IX Coordinator, the Advisor may not have been trained by the EO & Title IX Coordinator and may not be familiar with University policies and procedures.

    7. Parties also have the right to choose not to have an Advisor in the initial stages of the resolution process, prior to a hearing. Per federal Title IX regulations, an Advisor is required during the hearing portion of the process.

    8. Under U.S. Department of Education regulations applicable to Title IX, cross-examination is required during the hearing, and must be conducted by the parties’ Advisors. The parties are not permitted to directly cross-examine each other or any witnesses. If a party does not have an Advisor for a hearing, the EO & Title IX Coordinator will appoint a trained Advisor for the limited purpose of conducting any cross-examination. A party may reject this appointment and choose their own Advisor, but they may not proceed without an Advisor. If the party’s Advisor will not conduct cross-examination, the EO & Title IX Coordinator will appoint an Advisor who will do so thoroughly, regardless of the participation or non-participation of the advised party in the hearing itself. Extensive questioning of the parties and witnesses will also be conducted by the Decision-maker(s) during the hearing.

    9. The parties may be accompanied by their Advisor in all meetings and interviews at which the party is entitled to be present, including intake and investigation interviews. Advisors should help the parties prepare for each meeting and are expected to advise ethically, with integrity, and in good faith.

    10. Regis University cannot guarantee equal Advisory rights, meaning that if one party selects an Advisor who is an attorney, but the other party does not or cannot afford an attorney, the University is not obligated to provide an attorney.

    11. Advisors may request to meet with the administrative officials conducting interviews/meetings in advance of these interviews or meetings. This pre-meeting allows Advisors to clarify and understand their role and Regis University policies and procedures.

    12. All Advisors are subject to the same University policies and procedures, whether they are attorneys or not. Advisors are expected to advise their advisees without disrupting proceedings. Advisors should not address Recipient officials in a meeting or interview unless invited to (e.g., asking procedural questions). The Advisor may not make a presentation or represent their advisee3 during any meeting or proceeding and may not speak on behalf of the advisee to the Investigator(s) or other Decision-maker(s) except during a hearing proceeding, during cross-examination.

    13. The parties are expected to ask and respond to questions on their own behalf throughout the investigation phase of the resolution process. Although the Advisor generally may not speak on behalf of their advisee, the Advisor may consult with their advisee, either privately as needed, or by conferring or passing notes during any resolution process meeting or interview. For longer or more involved discussions, the parties and their Advisors should ask for breaks to allow for private consultation.

    14. Any Advisor who oversteps their role as defined by this policy will be warned only once. If the Advisor continues to disrupt or otherwise fails to respect the limits of the Advisor role, the meeting will be ended, or other appropriate measures implemented. Subsequently, the EO & Title IX Coordinator will determine how to address the Advisor’s non-compliance and future role.

    15. Regis University expects that the parties may wish to have the University share documentation and evidence related to the allegations with their Advisors. Parties may share this information directly with their Advisor or other individuals if they wish. Doing so may help the parties participate more meaningfully in the resolution process.

    16. Regis University also provides a consent form that authorizes the University to share such information directly with their Advisor. The parties must either complete and submit this form to the EO & Title IX Coordinator or provide similar documentation demonstrating consent to a release of information to the Advisor before the University is able to share records with an Advisor.

    17. Advisors are expected to maintain the privacy of the records shared with them. These records may not be shared with third parties, disclosed publicly, or used for purposes not explicitly authorized by Recipient. Recipient may seek to restrict the role of any Advisor who does not respect the sensitive nature of the process or who fails to abide by the Recipient’s privacy expectations.

    18. Regis University generally expects an Advisor to adjust their schedule to allow them to attend meetings, including investigation interviews. Scheduled meetings may change to accommodate an Advisor’s inability to attend, if doing so does not cause an unreasonable delay.

    19. Regis University may also make reasonable provisions to allow an Advisor who cannot attend in person to attend a meeting by telephone, video conferencing, or other similar technologies as may be convenient and available.

    20. A party may elect to change Advisors during the process and is not obligated to use the same Advisor throughout. Notice of a change of advisor must be provided in writing to the Title IX Coordinator and the assigned investigator.

  4. Hearing. A Formal Complaint alleging a violation of Sexual Misconduct, when resulting in an Investigation will culminate in a Live Hearing.

    1. A Live Hearing:

      1. will include Advisors of each parties choosing

      2. will include Relevant Cross-Examination

      3. will include A Decision Maker or panel of Decision Maker

      4. will include An Audio Recording mechanism

      5. may include Witness Testimony

      6. may include Presence of the Title IX Coordinator

      7. may include Closed Circuit Television feed

    2. Questions. At the Live Hearing, the Decision Maker(s) will ask questions and must permit each party’s advisor to ask the other party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those challenging credibility.

      1. Only relevant Cross-Examination and other questions may be asked of a party or witness.

      2. Before a Complainant, Respondent, or Witness answers a Cross-Examination or other question, the decision-maker(s) must first determine whether the question is relevant and explain any decision to exclude a question as not relevant.

      3. Questions and evidence about a party’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant unless such questions and evidence unless they are explicitly connected to the case being heard and offered to prove consent, or that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant.

      4. Cross-Examination at the live hearing must be conducted directly, orally, and in real time by the party’s advisor and never by a party personally.

      5. If a party or witness does not submit to cross-examination, the decision maker(s) must not rely on any statement of that party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility. Decision maker(s) must not rely on any statement of that party or witness who refuse cross-examination in reaching a determination regarding responsibility.

    3. Recording & Party Isolation

      1. All Live Hearings will be audio recorded. Audio recordings or transcripts will be available to the parties for inspection and review.

      2. At the request of either party, Regis University must provide for the live hearing to occur with the parties located in separate rooms with technology enabling the decision maker(s) and parties to simultaneously see and hear the party or the witness answering the questions. Hearing may be conducted with all parties physically present in the same geographic location, or virtually.

    4. Decision
      1. The Decision Maker(s) are selected from a pool of trained professionals and serve to review reports, materials, facilitate live hearings, and make determinations of whether or not policy has been violated, and if so, what sanctions should be applied.

      2. Decision Maker(s) will make a determination regarding responsibility applying the preponderance of the evidence standard and provide that determination in writing to parties simultaneously.

      3. The Decision Maker(s) will determine sanction when appropriate. Sanctions will be imposed immediately as dated in the decision letter.

      4. Parties have the ability to file for an Appeal of the decision as described in Regis University Appeal of Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct, and Retaliation Procedure

    5. Discipline & Sanctions. Being found responsible for a violation of policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion. Discipline and sanctions are decided by the decision-making body. The decision-making body reserves the right to broaden or lessen any range of recommended sanctions in the case of serious mitigating circumstances or egregiously offensive behavior. Neither the initial hearing officer(s) nor any appeals body or officer(s) will deviate from the range of recommended sanctions unless compelling justification exists to do so. This will be documented in the decision making process, if applicable, and included in the written outcome. Decisions are made with consideration of the severity of the incident, and any previous disciplinary violations, as well as discipline imposed in similar cases (precedent). Possible sanctions include but are not limited to:

      1. Assigned education or training

      2. Suspension and/or administrative leave

      3. A requirement for assessment for fitness to return

      4. Expulsion and/or termination

  5. Appeal Procedure. Complainants and Respondents have the right to appeal the decision of the hearing on the following grounds:

    1. A procedural irregularity occurred that significantly impacts the outcome of the hearing decision;

    2. The sanction imposed is grossly disproportionate to the offense (including any consideration of the respondent’s prior offenses);

    3. Title IX personnel had a conflict of interest or bias that affected the outcome of the hearing decision;

    4. Newly discovered evidence could affect the outcome of the matter.

    5. Deadline to Appeal. To exercise the right of appeal, complainants or respondents must petition the above individual within five (5) business days after receiving the written notification of the sanctions imposed. A party may make a request to the Title IX Coordinator for an extension on time to appeal that may be granted at the Title IX Coordinator’s discretion.

    6. Initial Review. Once the Appeal is submitted, it will be reviewed by a designated administrator who will review it to ensure that it meets the criteria for appeal.

      1. If it does not meet criteria for grounds to appeal, the appeal as well as a letter of denial of appeal will be sent to both parties with rationale for denial.

      2. If the request does meet criteria for appeal grounds, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the other party of the appeal request, share the appeal request, and offer 3 days for a response from the other party. 

    7. Appellate Officer Review.

      1. Once an appeal is approved, it is assigned to an Appellate Officer. Appellate Officers are chosen from a pool of designated and trained professionals.  

      2. The Appellate Officer will review the Appeal and determine one of the following outcomes:

        1. Denied and decision stands

        2. Granted and decision stands

        3. Remanded to Decision Maker(s) In order to correct a procedural error or address new evidence

        4. Remanded to Decision Maker(s) in order to review and adjust the sanction

    8. Appeal Decision. The decision of the Appellate Officer is final, and there are no other levels of appeal in this process. 

  6. Process Timeline. Regis University endeavors to keep reasonably prompt time frames for the this process and all of its components. The average process takes between 60 to 90 days. If the process needs to exceed the timeline for good cause, the complainant and respondent will receive written notice of the delay or extension. Good cause for delay may include nut is not limited to considerations such as the absence of a party, a party’s advisor, or a witness; concurrent law enforcement activity; or the need for language assistance or accommodation of disabilities.