Skip to main content
Quick Exit

Staff Title IX Processes

Formal Grievance Protocol (FGP)

This is the formal policy required by the new Title IX Final Rule that went into effect in August 2020.

  1. Covered Offenses and Jurisdiction Requirements
  • For all offenses covered by the new Title IX Final Rule – includes:
    • Sexual Harassment (quid pro quo and hostile environment)
    • Sexual Assault
    • Dating Violence
    • Domestic Violence
    • Stalking
  • In addition, all of the following three conditions must be present (otherwise the case will be addressed through the Sexual Misconduct Policy)
    • Must be on campus or on VU owned or controlled property
    • Must be part of a VU education program or activity
    • Must be in the US
  1. Covered offenses that do not meet the jurisdictional requirements, as well as other forms of unacceptable sexually-based conduct are addressed under the Sexual Misconduct Policy
  2. How a Determination is reached, and a Sanction is imposed under the FGP (hearings will happen in all cases adjudicated under the FGP):
    1. The Investigation
      1. TIX Office holds an Informational Meeting with the Complainant, providing them with information, resources, and explores whether the Complainant wishes to implement any supportive measures
      2. Complainant files Formal Complaint (TIX Coordinator can also decide to file but this does not happen very often)
      3. TIXO sends a written Notice to the parties outlining the allegations and process for investigation and adjudication
      4. Each party may be accompanied by an adviser of that party’s choice for all stages of the process – if the party wishes to have an adviser but doesn’t have one chosen, we provide them a list of approved advisers to choose from
      5. TIXO interviews the Complainant about the allegations, and asks the Complainant if there are any additional witnesses they would like the TIXO to interview or any evidence the Complainant can provide
      6. TIXO holds an Informational meeting with the Respondent, providing them with information, resources, and explores whether the Respondent wishes to implement any supportive measures
      7. TIXO interviews the Respondent about the allegations, and asks the Respondent if there are any additional witnesses they would like the TIXO to interview or any evidence the Complainant can provide
      8. TIX Investigator interviews witnesses identified by and compiles evidence submitted by the parties
      9. TIX Investigator identifies additional witnesses to interview or evidence to collect that will be probative in the investigation, and conducts these interviews and collects this evidence
      10. TIX Investigator issues a Preliminary Report, which is a fair and impartial summary of the witness interviews and evidence, and issues it to the parties for review and comment.
      11. TIX Investigator issues a Final Report, which incorporates any responses by the parties to the Preliminary Report, as well as any follow up interviews or investigation necessitated by the comments to the Preliminary Report, and issues it to the parties for review and comment
      12. Final Report fairly summarizes all relevant evidence
      13. Final Report does NOT make a determination as to responsibility
    2. The Hearing and Sanctioning Process
      1. The Final Report is referred to a hearing officer (or hearing panel for faculty) for adjudication
      2. The TIXO facilitates a pre-hearing conference with the parties and the Adjudicator (or panel for faculty) to go over the hearing protocol, decorum and behavior expectations, and the order for the parties to speak
      3. The Adjudicator (or panel for faculty) is independent and free of conflict or bias and is not be the Title IX Coordinator or Investigator
      4. The Adjudicator (or panel for faculty) will oversee the hearing, question parties and witnesses, and rule on acceptability of questions for questioning by the other party’s advisor
      5. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Adjudicator (or panel for faculty) will reach a decision as to responsibility and present recommended sanctions (if any)
      6. The Decision will be based on the preponderance of the evidence standard – this means that the Adjudicator will determine if it is more likely than not (greater than 50% chance) that the Respondent engaged in the behavior at issue
      7. If the Adjudicator (or panel) finds that, based on a preponderance of the evidence, it is more likely than not that the Respondent engaged in the conduct, the Adjudicator (or panel for faculty) will refer to the appropriate office for sanctioning if necessary: Human Resources for staff, the Dean of the college for faculty, and Student Accountability for students
      8. The relevant office will issue a sanction and inform both parties simultaneously of the outcome

Limited right to appeal:  If there is newly discovered evidence that was not available prior to the determination and that would affect the outcome; if there was conflict of interest or bias on the part of the Investigator, Title IX Coordinator, or Adjudicator, that affected the outcome; if the university did not follow its own processes and that affected the outcome; or if the sanction goes against the great weight of the evidence.

Sexual Misconduct Policy (SMP)

This policy covers all behaviors in the FGP (sexual harassment (quid pro quo or hostile environment)), sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking, that might not meet the necessary jurisdictional requirements (not on campus, or not part of a VU program or activity, or not in the US).  It also covers sexual exploitation, aiding or facilitating anyone in any of the prohibited behaviors, attempts to commit the prohibited behaviors, and retaliation against anyone for participating or attempting to participate in the TIX process.  Because the SMP is not a federally mandated process, we have more flexibility in how we administer it.  The intake and investigation process is largely the same as that in the FGP.  Hearings are not always required under the SMP, and in some cases the investigator will make the determination as to responsibility.  Sanctioning, like in the FGP, is done by the appropriate office.

IF THE COMPLAINANT IS A STUDENT AND THE RESPONDENT IS AN EMPLOYEE

  1. There is NO HEARING
  2. The process is as follows:
    1. TIX Office holds an Informational Meeting with the Complainant, providing them with information, resources, and explores whether the Complainant wishes to implement any supportive measures
    2. Complainant files Formal Complaint (TIX Coordinator can also decide to file but this does not happen very often)
    3. TIXO sends a written Notice to the parties outlining the allegations and process for investigation and adjudication
    4. Each party may be accompanied by an adviser of that party’s choice for all stages of the process – if the party wishes to have an adviser but doesn’t have one chosen, we provide them a list of approved advisers to choose from
    5. TIXO interviews the Complainant about the allegations, and asks the Complainant if there are any additional witnesses they would like the TIXO to interview or any evidence the Complainant can provide
    6. TIXO holds an Informational meeting with the Respondent, providing them with information, resources, and explores whether the Respondent wishes to implement any supportive measures
    7. TIXO interviews the Respondent about the allegations, and asks the Respondent if there are any additional witnesses they would like the TIXO to interview or any evidence the Complainant can provide
    8. TIX Investigator interviews witnesses identified by and compiles evidence submitted by the parties
    9. TIX Investigator identifies additional witnesses to interview or evidence to collect that will be probative in the investigation, and conducts these interviews and collects this evidence
    10. Respondent has the opportunity to review the evidence and provide comments
    11. The TIX Investigator issues the Final Report, which includes a determination of responsibility based on the preponderance of the evidence standard and determination of responsibility are issued (after Respondent has had an opportunity to review and comment) by the Title IX Investigator
    12. Referred to appropriate Department Head or Dean for sanctioning (according to HR process or Faculty Manual as appropriate)
    13. Appeals on limited grounds: If there is newly discovered evidence that was not available prior to the determination and that would affect the outcome; if there was conflict of interest or bias on the part of the Investigator, Title IX Coordinator, or Adjudicator, that affected the outcome; if the university did not follow its own processes and that affected the outcome; or if the sanction goes against the great weight of the evidence.

IF THE COMPLAINANT IS AN EMPLOYEE AND THE RESPONDENT IS AN EMPLOYEE

  1. There is NO HEARING
  2. The process is as follows:
    1. TIX Office holds an Informational Meeting with the Complainant, providing them with information, resources, and explores whether the Complainant wishes to implement any supportive measures
    2. Complainant files Formal Complaint (TIX Coordinator can also decide to file but this does not happen very often)
    3. TIXO sends a written Notice to the parties outlining the allegations and process for investigation and adjudication
    4. Each party may be accompanied by an adviser of that party’s choice for all stages of the process – if the party wishes to have an adviser but doesn’t have one chosen, we provide them a list of approved advisers to choose from
    5. TIXO interviews the Complainant about the allegations, and asks the Complainant if there are any additional witnesses they would like the TIXO to interview or any evidence the Complainant can provide
    6. TIXO holds an Informational meeting with the Respondent, providing them with information, resources, and explores whether the Respondent wishes to implement any supportive measures
    7. TIXO interviews the Respondent about the allegations, and asks the Respondent if there are any additional witnesses they would like the TIXO to interview or any evidence the Complainant can provide
    8. TIX Investigator interviews witnesses identified by and compiles evidence submitted by the parties
    9. TIX Investigator identifies additional witnesses to interview or evidence to collect that will be probative in the investigation, and conducts these interviews and collects this evidence
    10. The TIX Investigator issues the Final Report, which includes a determination of responsibility based on the preponderance of the evidence standard and determination of responsibility are issued (after Respondent has had an opportunity to review and comment) by the Title IX Investigator
    11. Referred to appropriate Department Head or Dean for sanctioning (according to HR process or Faculty Manual as appropriate)
    12. There may be a review of the sanction as permitted by the relevant HR process, collective bargaining agreement, or Faculty Manual.

IF THE COMPLAINANT IS AN EMPLOYEE AND THE RESPONDENT IS A STUDENT

  1. There IS a hearing
  2. The process is as follows:
    1. TIX Office holds an Informational Meeting with the Complainant, providing them with information, resources, and explores whether the Complainant wishes to implement any supportive measures
    2. Complainant files Formal Complaint (TIX Coordinator can also decide to file but this does not happen very often)
    3. TIXO sends a written Notice to the parties outlining the allegations and process for investigation and adjudication
    4. Each party may be accompanied by an adviser of that party’s choice for all stages of the process – if the party wishes to have an adviser but doesn’t have one chosen, we provide them a list of approved advisers to choose from
    5. TIXO interviews the Complainant about the allegations, and asks the Complainant if there are any additional witnesses they would like the TIXO to interview or any evidence the Complainant can provide
    6. TIXO holds an Informational meeting with the Respondent, providing them with information, resources, and explores whether the Respondent wishes to implement any supportive measures
    7. TIXO interviews the Respondent about the allegations, and asks the Respondent if there are any additional witnesses they would like the TIXO to interview or any evidence the Complainant can provide
    8. TIX Investigator interviews witnesses identified by and compiles evidence submitted by the parties
    9. TIX Investigator identifies additional witnesses to interview or evidence to collect that will be probative in the investigation, and conducts these interviews and collects this evidence
    10. TIX Investigator issues a Preliminary Report, which is a fair and impartial summary of the witness interviews and evidence, and issues it to the parties for review and comment.
    11. TIX Investigator issues a Final Report, which incorporates any responses by the parties to the Preliminary Report, as well as any follow up interviews or investigation necessitated by the comments to the Preliminary Report, and issues it to the parties for review and comment
    12. Final Report fairly summarizes all relevant evidence
    13. The Final Report is referred to a hearing officer (or hearing panel for faculty) for adjudication
    14. The TIXO facilitates a pre-hearing conference with the parties and the Adjudicator (or panel for faculty) to go over the hearing protocol, decorum and behavior expectations, and the order for the parties to speak
    15. The Adjudicator (or panel for faculty) is independent and free of conflict or bias and is not be the Title IX Coordinator or Investigator
    16. The Adjudicator (or panel for faculty) will oversee the hearing, question parties and witnesses, and rule on acceptability of questions for questioning by the other party’s advisor
    17. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Adjudicator (or panel for faculty) will reach a decision as to responsibility and present recommended sanctions (if any)
    18. The Decision will be based on the preponderance of the evidence standard – this means that the Adjudicator will determine if it is more likely than not (greater than 50% chance) that the Respondent engaged in the behavior at issue
    19. If the Adjudicator (or panel) finds that, based on a preponderance of the evidence, it is more likely than not that the Respondent engaged in the conduct, the Adjudicator (or panel for faculty) will refer to Office of Student Accountability for sanctioning
    20. Office of Student Accountability will issue a sanction and inform both parties simultaneously of the outcome

Limited right to appeal:  If there is newly discovered evidence that was not available prior to the determination and that would affect the outcome; if there was conflict of interest or bias on the part of the Investigator, Title IX Coordinator, or Adjudicator, that affected the outcome; if the university did not follow its own processes and that affected the outcome; or if the sanction goes against the great weight of the evidence.