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Informal Resolution Process

Informal resolution provides Complainants and Respondents with a voluntary, structured environment in which to resolve allegations of sexual misconduct following the filing of a Formal Complaint. The process is intended to be flexible while also providing for a full range of possible outcomes.

An informal resolution involves a remedies-based, non-judicial process designed to eliminate or address potential sexual misconduct. The process is separate and distinct from Vanderbilt’s formal investigation process. This process aims to:

  • Assure fairness,
  • Facilitate communication between the parties, and
  • Maintain an equitable balance of power between the parties.

If the parties agree to a resolution during an informal resolution process:

  • The Title IX Informal Resolution/Supportive Measures Manager will oversee implementation of the resolution,
  • The original complaint will be deemed resolved, and
  • The matter will be terminated.

The agreed upon resolution will be considered binding and breaching the resolution would give rise to a new complaint, which may restart the investigation and/or resolution hearing process. 

For complaints with a student Respondent, at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, the parties may choose to pursue an informal resolution as an alternative to a normal resolution hearing. Vanderbilt will halt any investigation or scheduled resolution hearing so that the parties can fully explore the possibility of an informal resolution. Informal resolution is not an option when the Respondent is not a student.

To participate in the informal resolution process, a Formal Complaint must have been filed with the Title IX Office. A complaint can be filed using the Incident Reporting and Accommodation Request form (Link). Once an incident has been reported, a member of the Title IX Office will reach out to meet with the Complainant.

Participation in the informal resolution process is voluntary, and either party can withdraw from the informal resolution process at any time and return to the prior investigation or hearing proceeding. Vanderbilt does not compel face-to-face confrontation between the parties or participation in any particular form of informal resolution. 

Yes. The Title IX Coordinator must review and approve the terms of the informal resolution agreement. Additionally, if the Title IX Coordinator determines at any point in the process that informal resolution is no longer appropriate, the Title IX Coordinator may terminate the process and return to a formal investigation.

Questions related to the informal resolution process can be directed to the Informal Resolutions and Supportive Measures Manager (