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Institutional Policies

Sexual Misconduct Policy, Section VII: Investigation Process

A. Notification

If the college proceeds to a formal investigation, the Reporting Party and the Respondent are notified of the investigation. The notification will identify the alleged misconduct with specific information including date, time, location, alleged acts, and the applicable policy definition under investigation.

The parties will be notified about this policy, procedural steps and expectations, the role of an advisor, and support resources. The Respondent will also be given a date by which they must contact the investigator. Respondents who do not respond to the notification within the designated time frame or who cannot be contacted after reasonable attempts remain subject to an investigation and any sanction imposed as a result of a finding of responsibility. The college may place a hold on Respondent’s registration or transcript release during the investigation.

B. Fact-gathering

It is the responsibility of the college, not the parties, to gather information and interview witnesses.

The investigator will meet separately with the Reporting Party and Respondent. If not previously provided, each party is provided with information about procedural protections, the investigative process, avenues of appeal, and information about available resources.

The investigator will ask both parties for all information related to the alleged prohibited conduct; including names of witnesses, documents, emails, texts, social media posts, photographs, the existence of video footage, and call logs. The parties can provide further information or materials until Evidence Review. During the course of the investigation, the investigator may identify additional witnesses and gather supplemental evidence.

The College will designate an investigator with specific training and experience investigating allegations of sexual harassment and other forms of prohibited conduct. The investigator will be trained regarding their impartial role, and will be free of any conflict of interest. The investigator may be an employee of the College or an external investigator engaged to assist the College in its fact gathering.

The investigation is designed to provide a fair and reliable gathering of the facts. The investigation will be thorough, impartial, and fair, and all individuals will be treated with appropriate sensitivity and respect. The investigation will be conducted in a manner that is respectful of individual privacy concerns.

Students, staff, and faculty contacted as witnesses have the responsibility to participate fully and truthfully in College investigations. Written statements are not accepted in lieu of live in-person or video interviews by the designated investigator.

C. Evidence Review

At the conclusion of the investigation, the Reporting Party and the Respondent are given an individual and separate opportunity to review the information collected. This is called Evidence Review. Information collected is reviewed in its original form. Information that is excluded from review will not be considered in making findings of fact or determining responsibility. The Title IX Coordinator or Assistant Dean of Student Rights and Responsibilities may exclude evidence from review that violates the privacy rights of third parties.

Witness statements, physical and documentary evidence, and audio/visual material is provided for review. Parties are not provided copies, allowed to download or reproduce, or allowed to take photographs. Parties may take notes. As with all aspects of investigation and adjudication, the parties may bring their advisor with them to Evidence Review.

D. Hearing

At the time of Evidence Review, the parties will be notified about the schedule and procedures for a hearing. If the conduct under investigation falls within the scope of Title IX, a Live Hearing with an adjudicator will be scheduled. The Live Hearing will be held no sooner than ten (10) calendar days after Evidence Review by the parties.

If the conduct under investigation is covered by this policy but is not within the scope of Title IX (for example, the Reporting Party is not a current student or the conduct happened outside the United States), a hearing panel or hearing by an adjudicator can be convened by the Assistant Dean of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Parties will be notified regarding the identities of any decision-maker, the schedule and format of the hearing, the role of an advisor, and any conduct expectations during the hearing.

Any adjudicator or member of a hearing panel must have the required training under this policy, experience sufficient to serve as an impartial decision-maker, and be free of conflict of interest toward the parties or the incident(s).

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