14.5. Informal Resolutions & Mediation

Based on the judgment of the Title IX Coordinator, certain cases may be appropriate for an Informal Resolution process with the aim of entering into an Informal Resolution Agreement. The Informal Resolution Agreement is a set of terms that both Parties agree to in writing which represents a conclusion to the grievance process. Informal Resolution Agreements are treated as contracts; the Parties negotiate the terms of the agreement through an intermediary and, once entered into, it becomes binding according to its terms. To proceed with an Informal Resolution, the Parties provide voluntary, written consent to the process.

An Informal Resolution is typically initiated by the Title IX Coordinator, but either Party may indicate directly to the Title IX Coordinator that they are open to a resolution at any time. The Title IX Coordinator will present the option of an Informal Resolution and proposed terms to each Party independently and in writing. All related communication should go through the Title IX Coordinator. Participation in an Informal Resolution is voluntary for all Parties and requires full informed and written consent. If either Party does not agree with the proposed terms, or is uninterested in engaging in negotiations, they may continue with the University’s grievance process at any time before signing the Informal Resolution Agreement.

A facilitated mediation with a third-Party mediator may also be available in certain circumstances. The request for mediation may be initiated by either Party, or the Title IX Coordinator, typically before the investigation. Mediation is also voluntary and both Parties must agree to participate. The Title IX Coordinator will select one trained mediator from among the faculty, staff, or an outside source where appropriate. The goal of mediation is the same of a typical Informal Resolution but provides additional facilitation and requires Parties to be in attendance.  The Title IX Coordinator will set a date for the mediation to take place.  At the conclusion of a successful mediation process, both the Complainant and the Respondent may sign an Informal Resolution Agreement with the agreed upon terms, and their case will be concluded.  If either Party believes that the mediation process was unsuccessful, they may continue with the University’s grievance process.

Informal resolutions may take up to thirty (30) calendar days once initiated. Informal resolutions with mediation may take up to forty-five (45) calendar days once initiated. Timeframes are subject to reasonable delays or extensions for good reason as determined by the Title IX Coordinator. In such instance of a delay the Parties will be noticed in writing.

Informal resolutions are not permissible to resolve allegations that an employee sexually harassed a student.