12.3.9. Initial Meeting, Assignment of Investigator, and Investigation

The complainant and the respondent will both have the opportunity to meet with the Title IX coordinator to discuss the investigation process and ask any questions they may have. The Title IX coordinator will provide the complainant and respondent with written information about the process, including a statement of rights and information on available support resources.

Once the initial meeting(s) has taken place, the Title IX coordinator will assign the case to the dean of students or other trained designee for investigation.  The Title IX coordinator will share the investigators name and contact information with the complainant and the respondent and will forward the complaint and any other relevant information to the investigator.

Upon being appointed, the investigator will promptly begin his or her investigation. The investigation may involve conducting interviews with the complainant, the respondent, and third party witnesses; where applicable, collecting and preserving relevant evidence (in cases of corresponding criminal complaints, this step may be coordinated with law enforcement agencies); reviewing law enforcement investigation documents, if applicable; reviewing student and personnel files; other appropriate steps taken in an investigation. The investigation will be adequate, reliable, impartial, and prompt and include the opportunity for both parties to present witnesses and other evidence.

Throughout the investigation, the complainant and respondent will be provided periodic status updates. During the investigation, all parties will be treated equitably.  Both parties will have the option of changing on-campus residence and/or an adjustment to their academic schedule, if such changes are reasonably available.  All investigations will be kept as confidential as possible and any information gathered during the investigation is disclosed only on a “need to know” basis.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator completes the investigation report. The report may include, but is not limited to, items such as summaries of all interviews conducted, photographs, descriptions of relevant evidence, summaries of relevant electronic records, and a detailed report of the events in question. The Title IX coordinator may ask further clarifying questions of the complainant, respondent, or witnesses to supplement the investigation report.

The Title IX coordinator shall review the investigation report and determine whether there is sufficient information to support charging the respondent with a violation of this policy. If a determination is made that the available information will not support a violation, then the respondent will not be charged and the complainant and respondent will simultaneously be provided written notice of that determination.

If the Title IX coordinator determines that there is sufficient information that a respondent may have committed a violation of this policy, then the Title IX coordinator refers the matter to the hearing coordinator, who will then begin the process of convening a hearing panel. The determination to refer a case to the hearing coordinator does not mean that the respondent will be found responsible for a policy violation. Instead, it means that the Title IX coordinator has determined that based upon the available information, the case warrants further review by a hearing panel. The respondent will only be found in violation if the hearing panel determines, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the respondent has committed a violation of the policy. The hearing cannot be convened until the investigation report is completed.

Both parties shall be given the substantially equivalent opportunities to present relevant evidence and witnesses.