1.6 – Formal Complaint
Formal complaint means a document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator (in a Coordinator Initiated Complaint) alleging sexual misconduct against a respondent and requesting that Austin College investigate the allegation of sexual harassment. A formal complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information listed in Section 1.41 of this policy.
1.6(a) – Formal Complaint Requirements
1) A Formal Complaint may only be submitted by the individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment or any of the violations defined in this policy
2) At the time of filing a Title IX or Non-Title IX formal complaint, the complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of Austin College.
3) A Formal Complaint may not be filed anonymously. The Complainant cannot remain anonymous or prevent the complainant’s identity from being disclosed to the respondent via the written notice of allegation.
4) The Formal Complaint should contain all known details about the allegations of misconduct including: date & time, location, parties, what happened, witnesses, and any other information relevant to the complaint.
Following the submission to the Title IX Coordinator or their designee of a signed Formal Complaint:
1) The Title IX Coordinator or their designee will review the formal complaint and determine what allegations, if any, must be dismissed or may be dismissed under section 1.62 of this policy. Any dismissal may be appealed by either party using the appeal process outlined in section 1.9 of this policy.
2) Any surviving allegations may then be resolved through either the Formal or Informal resolution process, as appropriate.
3) The Title IX Office will send out a Notice of Allegations of surviving allegations to all known parties.
1.61 Notice of Allegations
Upon receipt of a Title IX or Non-Title IX formal complaint and approval by the Title IX Coordinator as described below in 1.62, the Title IX Office will provide the following written notice to the parties who are known:
A) Notice of the College’s Sexual Misconduct grievance process;
B) Notice of the allegations of sexual harassment potentially constituting sexual harassment, including sufficient details known at the time. Sufficient details include the identities of the parties involved in the incident, if known, the conduct allegedly constituting sexual harassment, and the date and location of the alleged incident, if known;
C) The written notice will include a statement that the respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process;
D) The written notice will inform the parties that they may have a Party Advisor (1.37.6) of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, and may inspect and review evidence;
E) The Written notice will inform the parties that they may have a Support Person (1.37.11) of their choice.
F) The written notice will inform the parties of any provision in Austin College’s code of conduct that prohibits knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the grievance process;
G) If, in the course of an investigation, the assigned Investigator decides to investigate allegations about the complainant or respondent that are not included in the initial notice, the Investigator will provide notice of the additional allegations to the parties whose identities are known;
H) The respondent will have a minimum of three calendar days to review the allegations and prepare a response before any initial interview.
1.62 Mandatory/Discretionary Dismissal and Consolidation of Formal Complaints
1.62.1(a) – Mandatory Dismissal of Title IX Formal Complaints
Upon receipt of a Title IX formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will review the listed information and make a determination regarding whether the Formal Complaint must be dismissed or may continue through the Title IX process. If the conduct alleged in the Title IX formal complaint: 1) would not constitute Prohibited Misconduct (as defined in this policy under section 1.2, excluding section 1.22) even if proved, 2) did not occur in Austin College’s education program or activity (section 1.1(a)), 3) did not occur against a person in the United States, or 4) if the complaint was not filed by a named Complainant (or the Title IX Coordinator) participating in or attempting to participate in the college’s education program or activity, then the Title IX Coordinator must dismiss the formal complaint with regard to that conduct for purposes of sexual harassment under Title IX; such a dismissal does not preclude action under another provision of Austin College’s code of conduct if applicable. If there is more than one allegation of misconduct, the trained college designee will make a determination as to each allegation. If any or all allegations in a Formal Complaint are dismissed, all parties will receive notice of the decision and an explanation for the decision. The dismissal of a Formal Complaint may be appealed by either party.
1.62.1(b) – Mandatory Dismissal of Non-Title IX Formal Complaints
Upon the receipt of a Non-Title IX formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will review the listed information and make a determination regarding whether the Formal Complaint must be dismissed or may continue through the Non-Title IX process. If the conduct alleged in the Non-Title IX formal complaint: 1) would not constitute Prohibited Misconduct (as defined in this policy under section 1.2, excluding section 1.21.2) even if approved, 2) did not occur in Austin College’s operations (section 1.1(b)), or 3) if the complaint was not filed by a named Complainant (or the Title IX Coordinator) participating in or attempting to participate in the college’s education program or activity, then the Title IX Coordinator will dismiss the formal complaint with regard to that
conduct for purposes of sexual harassment under Texas Law and college policy; such a dismissal does not preclude action under another provision of Austin College’s code of conduct if applicable. If there is more than one allegation of misconduct, the trained college designee will make a determination as to each allegation. If any or all allegations in a Formal Complaint are dismissed, all parties will receive notice of the decision and an explanation for the decision. The dismissal of a Formal Complaint may be appealed by either party.
1.62.2 – Discretionary Dismissal / Complaint Withdraw
Austin College’s Title IX Coordinator may dismiss the formal complaint or any allegations therein, if at any time during the investigation or hearing: A complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein; the respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by Austin College; or specific circumstances prevent Austin College from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations therein. If a Formal Complaint is dismissed both parties will receive notice of the decision and an explanation for the decision.
Specific Circumstances meriting discretionary dismissal are:
- When no complainant is identified during the investigation.
- When a formal complaint contains allegations that are precisely the same as allegations the recipient has already investigated and adjudicated.
- When the length of time elapsed between an incident of alleged sexual harassment, and the filing of a formal complaint, prevent a recipient from collecting enough evidence to reach a determination.
- When the complainant has stopped participating in the investigation but has not sent a written withdrawal request and the only inculpatory evidence available is the complainant’s statement in the formal complaint or as recorded in an interview by the investigator.
1.62.3 – Consolidation of Complaints
The Title IX Coordinator may consolidate formal complaints as to allegations of sexual harassment against more than one respondent, or by more than one complainant against one or more respondents, or by one party against the other party, where the allegations of sexual harassment arise out of the same facts or circumstances.
1.63 Timing of Formal Complaints
There is no time limit for the filing of a Formal Complaint. However, at the time of filing a formal complaint, the complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the Austin College’s education program or activity.
1.64 Title IX Coordinator Signs the Formal Complaint
The Title IX Coordinator has discretion to sign a formal complaint. The following are circumstances that the Title IX Coordinator will take into account when making the decision to sign a Formal Complaint: the complainant’s wishes, whether a complainant’s allegations involved violence, use of weapons, threats, serial predation, or similar factors.
1.65 “Participating in or Attempting to Participate in” Defined
Austin College only considers currently enrolled students and current employees to meet this definition.
1.7 – Informal Resolution Process
Where appropriate, the informal resolution process can be used to resolve allegations of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence by taking immediate and corrective action to stop the conduct, address its effects, and prevent recurrence without implementing a formal resolution process. An informal resolution process may also include a remedies-based process (mediation), which allows both participants to come to a mutual agreement regarding the resolution of the complaint. Informal resolutions may reach agreements between the parties, facilitated by the Title IX Coordinator or their designee, that include continued supportive measures but that also could include disciplinary measures, while providing finality for both parties in terms of resolving allegations raised in a formal complaint of sexual harassment.
The Informal Resolution Process may not be used to resolve a Formal Complaint alleging that an employee sexually harassed (1.21) a student.
The informal resolution process may include the range of Supportive measures described above, as well as targeted or broad-based training and educational programming for relevant individuals and groups or any other remedy that will achieve the goals of the College’s policy. This process is facilitated by the Title IX Coordinator or their designee. For example, both participants may agree that the permanent application of Supportive measures (e.g. no-contact order) may be sufficient to resolve the complaint. This option is available if the College determines that such a process would be appropriate, and all participants agree to participate.
To enter into the Informal Resolution Process, both parties must provide voluntary written consent after receiving and reviewing the Notice of Allegation, and rules regarding the Informal Resolution Process.
The participants in any informal resolution process will not be required to interact with each other directly. Instead, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will arrange for or facilitate a remedies-based process or other form of mediation between the involved participants who are in different rooms. Once an informal resolution process is complete, both participants will be notified simultaneously/ contemporaneously (to the greatest extent possible, and consistent with FERPA or other applicable law) of the resolution. Either party may withdraw from the Informal Resolution process at any time prior to signing the agreement. If the parties are unable to reach an Informal Resolution agreement, the informal process will end and the Formal Resolution
process will begin again. The Title IX Coordinator will inform both parties when one party has withdrawn from the informal resolution. If the parties indicate they are not able to agree to the proposed Informal Resolution(s), the Title IX Coordinator will end the Informal process and notify parties that the Formal resolution process has been initiated.
1.71 Administrative Agreement
The Administrative Agreement is an available form of Informal Resolution where the responding participant may elect to accept responsibility for the alleged policy violation through an Administrative Agreement, bringing an end to the Informal Resolution Process. To execute an Administrative Agreement both parties must acknowledge the policy violation, accept the proposed sanction(s), and waive any opportunity for appeal.
At any time prior to the final Informal Resolution/Administrative Agreement either party may withdraw from the informal resolution process and resume the grievance process with respect to the formal complaint.
Parties that wish to pursue the Administrative Agreement Informal Resolution must notify the Title IX Coordinator in writing of their desire to do so. After the Title IX Coordinator has received both parties written notice of desire to engage in the Administrative Agreement, the Title IX Coordinator will issue a draft Administrative Agreement which includes the acknowledgment of the policy violation, the proposed sanctions as determined by the Title IX Coordinator, and the waiver of appeal. If agreed to by both parties then the Resolution process will end, and the Title IX Coordinator will enforce the agreement.
1.8 – Formal Resolution Process
The formal resolution process includes a prompt, thorough, impartial, and fair investigation into and adjudications of the allegations. Throughout the formal resolution process, participants will be treated fairly and equitably. The Formal Resolution Process requires and will provide an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence—including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. All credibility determinations will not be based on a person’s status as a complainant, respondent, or witness.
The Title IX Formal Resolution Process utilizes an Investigation by a trained investigator, and a Live Hearing with Cross Examination of the opposing party and all witnesses performed by the Party Advisor in front of a Decision Maker who is not the investigator. The Non-Title IX Formal Resolution Process utilizes a trained Investigator to prepare an Investigative Report, allows for party review and response to that Report, follow up interviews by the investigator, a decision regarding responsibility made by the Investigator, and sanctions/remedies issued by the Title IX Coordinator.
1.8(a) Title IX Formal Resolution Process
The Title IX Formal Resolution Process will follow these steps as articulated in 34 C.F.R. 106.45(5)-(7):
1) An investigation to gather all relevant evidence.
2) All evidence collected is compiled by investigator and sent to both parties and their advisor. The parties will have 10 days to review and respond to the evidence collected. All responses are sent to the investigator.
3) The evidence collected and party responses submitted within the allotted 10 days to that evidence are incorporated into the Investigative Report which will fairly summarize all relevant evidence.
4) The Investigative Report will be sent to the parties and their designated Party Advisor. The parties will have at least 10 days to review and respond to the Investigative Report before the Formal Resolution Live Hearing. The Title IX Coordinator will communicate the date, time, and location (or online meeting link) to the parties and their advisors.
5) The Live Hearing Decision Maker reviews the Investigative report before the Live Hearing.
6) A Live Hearing where the Decision Maker and both party advisors may ask any party and witness relevant cross examination questions as determined by this policy and enforced by the Decision Maker.
7) The Publication of a Determination Regarding Responsibility which includes the rational and an outline of any sanctions and/or remedies imposed by Austin College.
8) Applicable appeals process.
1.8(b) Non-Title IX Formal Resolution Process
1) An investigation to gather all relevant evidence.
2) Both parties and their advisors are emailed the evidence collected by the investigator and have 10 days to submit written responses to the Investigator.
3) The Investigator creates the Investigative Report out of collected evidence and responses. The Investigative Report will fairly summarize all relevant evidence.
4) Both parties and their advisors are emailed the Investigative Report by the investigator and have 10 days to submit written responses to the Investigator.
5) The Investigator conducts any necessary follow-up interviews or discussions based on party responses to Investigative report.
6) The Investigator publishes a Determination Regarding Responsibility which includes the rational for each decision.
7) The Title IX Coordinator will, after reviewing the Investigative Report and consulting with the Investigator as needed, assign sanctions and/or remedies as they deem appropriate.
8) Applicable appeals process.
1.81 Investigation of Title IX and Non-Title IX Formal Complaints
The formal resolution process includes a prompt, thorough, impartial, and fair investigation into the allegations. Throughout the investigation and process, participants will be treated fairly and equitably. The Title IX Coordinator will assign an investigator(s) who has been trained in the investigation of, and other issues related to, sexual discrimination, sexual misconduct, and interpersonal violence. The investigator(s) shall not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against any participants involved in the potential policy violation. The investigator(s) will undertake an investigation for the purposes of creating an Investigative report that fairly summarizes evidence relevant to the allegations in the Formal Complaint.
1.81.1 Investigation Requirements:
1) It is the responsibility of the investigator(s) to gather the evidence relevant to the formal complaint and the facts raised in the participant’s statements, provided that the Investigator cannot access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use a party’s records that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in the professional’s or paraprofessional’s capacity, or assisting in that capacity, and which are made and maintained in connection with the provision of treatment to the party, unless the Investigator obtains that party’s voluntary, written consent to do so. Participants should make themselves available to the investigator(s) and can provide information they believe relevant to the
2) Both Parties will have an equal opportunity to present witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence.
3) The Title IX Office will not restrict the ability of either party to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence.
4) The Investigator will provide the parties with the same opportunities to have others present during any grievance proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by the advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney. Austin College will not limit either party’s choice or presence of advisor in any meeting or grievance proceeding. Timely notice of a party’s Change of Advisors must be made to the Title IX Office. During the Investigation, advisors may not advocate or present on behalf of the participant, they may only confer quietly with their participant as necessary, as long as it does not disrupt the investigation interview. This rule applies equally to both the complainant and the respondent.
5) The Title IX Office and/or the assigned investigator will provide to a party and their advisor whose participation is invited or expected, written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all, investigative interviews, with sufficient time for the party to prepare to participate. Sufficient time for the purpose of an interview under this section is at least 3 days.
6) Parties may submit to the Investigator questions they would like asked of any known potential witnesses or parties.
1.81.2 – Compilation of Evidence sent to Parties for Review and Response
6) After all initial interviews are completed and relevant evidence has been collected, the Investigator will send that compilation of evidence to both parties and their advisors for review and response. This Compilation of Evidence contains the evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in a formal complaint, including the evidence upon which Austin College does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence whether obtained from a party or other source, so that each party can meaningfully respond to the evidence prior to conclusion of the investigation. Parties will have 10 days to submit their responses to the investigator.
1.81.3 – Investigative Report Created, Sent to Parties
7) The Investigator will take the evidence collected, and the parties responses to the Compilation of Evidence sent to Parties to create the Investigative Report.
8) The Investigative Report will then be submitted electronically to both parties and their advisors. Both parties will have ten days to review and respond to the Investigative Report. Parties must submit their responses to the Investigator.
1.81.4 – Investigative Report Submitted to Decision Maker
9) After the allotted 10 days, the Investigative Report and the party responses to it will be sent to the Decision maker for review.
1.81.5 – Live Hearing Scheduled (Title IX Sexual Harassment Only)
10) The Title IX Office will communicate with both parties the time, location, and manner of Live Hearing, which will be held at least ten days after both parties are sent the Investigative Report.
1.85.6 – Submitting New Evidence
11) Parties and witnesses may submit new evidence to the Investigator that could affect the outcome of the matter if it was not reasonably known at the time of their interviews, within the 10 days allotted for review and response to the Investigative report under section 1.81.3(8). New Evidence submitted to the Investigator after the 10 days will not be received or discussed at the Live Hearing.
1.82 Live Hearing (Title IX Sexual Harassment Only)
1.82.1 – Hearing Order
The Live Hearing will proceed as follows:
1) Opening Statement by the Decision Maker, Complainant, and Respondent.
2) Examination of the Complainant by: Decision Maker, then Respondent Party Advisor
3) Examination of the Respondent by: Decision Maker, then Complainant Party Advisor
4) Examination of Witness One by: Decision maker, then Complainant Party Advisor, then Respondent Party Advisor. (Step 4 repeats until all witnesses have been examined.)
5) Either Party Advisor may request a brief re-cross of an opposing party or any witness.
6) Closing Statement by Complainant, then Respondent.
1.82.2 – Digital Hearing Request
At the request of either party, The Title IX Office must provide for the live hearing to occur with the parties located in separate rooms with technology enabling the decision-maker and parties to simultaneously see and hear the party or the witness answering questions.
1.82.3 – Cross Examination
At the live hearing, the decision-maker 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.
1.82.4 – Party Advisors
Such cross-examination at the live hearing must be conducted directly, orally, and in real-time by the party’s advisor of choice and never by a party personally. If a party does not have an advisor present at the live hearing, Austin College must provide without fee or charge to that party, an advisor of Austin College’s choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, to conduct cross-examination on behalf of that party.
1.82.5 – Decision Maker Determines Relevant Evidence Procedure
Only relevant cross-examination and other questions may be asked of a party or witness. 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. This determination will be made in real time; cross exam questions may not be approved as relevant or not relevant before the hearing. When the Party Advisor objects to the Decision Makers ruling on Relevance, they may make a brief statement to the Decision Maker as to why the question is relevant and doesn’t call for privileged information or non-relevant sexual behavior. The Decision Maker will either allow the question or rule it as not relevant.
Questions and evidence about the complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless such questions and evidence about the complainant’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the respondent committed the conduct alleged by the complainant, or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the respondent and are offered to prove consent.
Questions Procedure. Advisors will ask questions under the following procedure:
- The party advisor will ask a question of the applicable participant.
- Before the participant answers a question, the Decision Maker will rule as to whether the advisor’s question is relevant to the alleged conduct charges in one of three ways: 1) Relevant, 2) Not relevant, the questions asks about a detail that does not tend to prove or disprove the matter at issue or under discussion, or 3) Not relevant, calls for prior sexual behavior information without meeting one of two exceptions.
- If the Party Advisor asking the question objects to the Decision Makers ruling and/or explanation of the question as not relevant, the Party Advisor may offer a brief statement as to why it is relevant. If this is done the Decision Maker will consider the statement, and make a ruling one way or the other.
- If the hearing officer allows the question as relevant, the participant will answer it.
1.82.6 – Failure of a Party or Witness to Submit to Cross Examination
A decision-maker at a postsecondary institution may now consider statements made by parties or witnesses that are otherwise permitted under the regulations, even if those parties or witnesses do not participate in cross-examination at the live hearing, in reaching a determination regarding responsibility in a Title IX grievance process. For example, a decision-maker at a postsecondary institution may now consider statements made by the parties and witnesses during the investigation, emails or text exchanges between the parties leading up to the alleged sexual harassment, and statements about the alleged sexual harassment that satisfy the regulation’s relevance rules, regardless of whether the parties or witnesses submit to cross-examination at the live hearing. A decision-maker at a postsecondary institution may also consider, when relevant, police reports, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner documents, medical reports, and other documents even if those documents contain statements of a party or witness who is not cross-examined at the live hearing.
1.82.7 – Rules of Decorum
During the Live Hearing, the Clerk and/or Decision Maker(s) will enforce rules of decorum. Parties and their Advisors are forbidden from badgering the other party or any witness. Badgering includes yelling at, harassing, or asking the same irrelevant question multiple times. The Clerk will notify the party or their advisor when they are badgering the witness and will ask the party or advisor to conform their question asking to an appropriate, non-badgering manner. All communication by all participants toward any other participant must be done respectfully.
1.82.8 – Review of Exhibits
During the Live Hearing, Party Advisors may show relevant videos, pictures, and documents that were included in the Investigative Report and are ruled relevant by the Decision Maker. During their allotted time to examine the applicable participant, the Party Advisor will tell the Decision Maker which exhibit they plan on asking relevant questions about, and then the question procedure listed under section 1.82.5 of this policy will be followed.
1.82.9 – No New Evidence may be introduced at Live Hearing
Evidence that was not included in the Investigative Report may not be introduced at the Live Hearing. Both parties have the equal right to appeal the Determination regarding responsibility based on the availability of newly discovered evidence that may affect the outcome of the matter.
1.82.10 – Reasonable Time Limit on Hearing / Break
The Live Hearing will have a reasonable time limit determined by the Decision Maker. The Decision Maker may grant short breaks on their own, or as requested by the parties.
1.83 Determination Regarding Responsibility
1) The decision-maker, who cannot be the same person(s) as the Title IX Coordinator or the investigator(s), must issue a written determination regarding responsibility. To reach this determination, the Decision-maker will apply the preponderance of the evidence standard of evidence. Preponderance of the evidence means more likely than not. This standard is used in all Title IX and Non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct cases.
2) The written determination must include—
(A) Identification of the allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment as defined in this policy.
(B) A description of the procedural steps taken from the Title IX Office of the formal complaint through the determination, including any notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence, and hearings held;
(C) Findings of fact supporting the determination;
(D) Conclusions regarding the application of Austin College’s Sexual Misconduct policy to the facts;
(E) A statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including a determination regarding responsibility, any disciplinary sanctions Austin College imposes on the respondent, and whether remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to Austin College’s education program or activity will be provided by the Title IX Office to the complainant; and
(F) Austin College’s procedures and permissible bases for the complainant and respondent to appeal. (Described below)
(G) The Title IX Office must provide the written determination to the parties simultaneously. The determination regarding responsibility becomes final either on the date that Title IX Office provides the parties with the written determination of the result of the appeal, if an appeal is filed, or if an appeal is not filed, the date on which an appeal would no longer be considered timely.
(H) The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for effective implementation of any remedies.
If a participant is found in violation of a college policy, sanctions will be determined by the Decision Maker(s) in a Title IX process OR the Investigator and Title IX Coordinator in the Non-Title IX process based on a number of considerations. Such considerations may include: severity, persistence, or pervasiveness of the policy violation; nature of the policy violation, including whether the policy violation included violence; impact on the reporting participant; impact on the responding participant; impact or implications of the policy violation on the larger Austin College community; prior misconduct by the responding participant, including the responding participant’s relevant prior disciplinary history at the College; whether the responding participant accepts responsibility for the policy violation; maintenance of a safe, nondiscriminatory, and respectful environment conducive to learning; and any other mitigating, aggravating, or compelling factors.
Possible sanctions include one or more of the following:
- Educational Sanctions,
- Revocation or withholding of admission or degree pending completion of other sanctions,
- No Contact Orders,
- Time and place restrictions or bans,
- Housing restrictions,
- Extension of requirements used as supportive measures,
- Community Service,
- Loss of Privileges,
- Notation in permanent record,
- Sanctions withheld, such as additional sanctions if deadlines for sanctions are not met Restorative justice requirement,
- Specific sanctions that must be met before resuming status at Austin College,
- Referrals for assessment, such as counseling or medical assessment,
- Written warning or reprimand,
- Oral warning or reprimand,
- Termination of employment,
- Other sanctions deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator or designee.
1.84.1 Student Withdrawal or Graduation Pending Disciplinary Charges
If a student is ineligible to re-enroll at Austin College for a reason other than an academic or financial reason, Austin College will include on that student’s transcript a notation stating that the student is ineligible to re-enroll for a reason other than an academic or financial reason.
If a student withdrawals or graduates from Austin College pending disciplinary charges that may result in the student becoming ineligible to re-enroll in the college, the college will not end the disciplinary process until there is a final determination of responsibility. If, as a result of the process, the student is ineligible to re-enroll at Austin College for a not academic or financial reason, a notation stating such will be placed on that student’s transcript.
The Transcript Notation may be removed if: 1) the student becomes eligible to reenroll in the college, or 2) the college determines that good cause exists to remove the notation.
1.9 – Appeals
Once written notification of 1) the dismissal of a Formal Complaint or any allegations therein OR 2) the determination regarding responsibility has been issued, both parties have the right to submit an appeal.
1.91 Grounds for Appeal
Appeals may be submitted solely upon the following four grounds:
1) Procedural Irregularity
Procedural Irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;
2) New Evidence
New Evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the Investigative Report was published or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter; and
3) Conflict of Interest/Bias
The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or decision-maker(s) had a conflict of Interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the individual complainant or respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.
4) Sanction is Disproportionate to the Violation
1.92 Appeal Process
1) Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Title IX Coordinator within 7 days of the participants receiving either the Dismissal of a Formal Complaint or any allegations therein, or the Decision Regarding Responsibility.
2) Any information that is submitted will be made available to the other participant for review. The other participant may submit a rebuttal of the appeal in writing to the Title IX Coordinator within 7 days of receiving the appeal information.
3) Upon receiving an appeal and rebuttal, if one is submitted, the Title IX Coordinator will refer it to the appropriate appeal agent for review and final decision making.
- Appeals addressing procedural Irregularities in the investigation and resolution process in a way that substantially altered the outcomes of the case shall be referred to an alternate investigator(s) and or decision maker(s) for review and decision making.
- Appeals providing substantive new evidence, which is information that was not reasonably available before the publication of the Investigative Report or dismissal was made and that could affect the outcome of the matter shall be referred to an alternate investigator(s) and or decision maker(s) for consideration and determination of a finding based on the new information.
- Appeals alleging a Conflict of Interest/Bias by the Title IX Coordinator, Investigator, or decision maker for or against complainants or respondent generally, or the individual complainant or respondent, that affected the outcome of the matter shall be referred to an alternate investigator(s) and or decision maker(s) for review and decision making.
- Appeals alleging that the sanction is disproportionate to the violation shall be assigned to the following appellate agents for review and decision making: a) The Faculty Hearing Committee or designee if the responding participant is a faculty member, b) The Vice President for Business Affairs or designee if the responding participant is a staff member, c) The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee if the responding participant is a student, or d) An appropriate appeals agent as determined by the Title IX Coordinator if the responding participant is not a member of the groups listed above.
4) The College will seek to complete the appeals process within 21 business days unless the College determines in its discretion that more time is required, in which case the participants will be notified of the need for an extension of the 21-day period. The College will provide periodic updates as it deems appropriate.
5) The appropriate appeals agent will issue a written decision describing the result of the appeal and the rational for the result. The Title IX Coordinator or designee will notify the participants simultaneously, to the extent possible, in writing of the appeal agent’s decision.
6) Finding and sanction decisions made by appeal agent are final.