Report flow

In general there are six (6) steps to any formal investigation. There may be times when they do not fall in the same order as below or times when the investigation bounces back and forth between different sections of the process. In a formal investigation each one of these items should be completed.

  1. Complaint Received
  2. Preliminary Inquiry
  3. Notice of Allegation
  4. Formal Investigation
  5. Panel Review
  6. Appeal

6 Steps of Investigation Process (click to expand)

1. Complaint Received

A concern related to sexual misconduct can come to the college through several different methods:

  • Title IX Coordinator;
  • Investigators;
  • Student Life;
  • Non-Mandatory Reporters;
  • College Support Persons;
  • Faculty;
  • Staff

Support resource details

Our goal is to keep you safe on campus and to ensure you are able to continue your education. To aid in this we can discuss interim measures to ensure your safety and peace of mind. Options may include:

  • Dorm relocation
  • Class schedule changes
  • Assistance in rescheduling academic assignments
  • Adjustments to meal schedule and/or location
  • Alternative course completion options
  • Escorts to and from specific campus locations
  • On or off-campus counseling assistance
  • Other adjustments for safety as necessary

Please contact the Title IX Coordinator to discuss your options further.

If a report is made to anyone other than the Title IX Coordinator, it needs to be relayed to the Title IX Coordinator – Monica Miller

2. Preliminary Inquiry

This step allows us to determine if a formal investigation is necessary. If the reporter requests an informal resolution or that the report be recorded with no action, this is the step that helps us determine if those are viable next steps. There could be situations where the institution has an obligation to ensure campus safety and may have to investigate the concern with or without the reporter’s permission.

A preliminary investigation may occur in which the investigator meets with the reporter, responding party, and maybe even some witnesses, with the purpose of understanding the scope and severity of the complaint. A determination may be made at this step to proceed to a formal investigation, or resolve the concern raised through informal, or formal means.

Informal resolutions may include discussions, mutually agreed upon plans of action, or mediation. Informal resolutions are only available if the Title IX Coordinator agrees that it provides the best possible outcome for the situation and there are no additional safety concerns. In cases where the responding party admits to the action, and it was a violation of policy, this report may move straight to the Student Development Council (SDC) for review and recommended action.

There may be situations in which a formal investigation may need to occur. This is determined following the preliminary inquiry and the facts provided in the investigation. There may be situations in which the reporter, responding party, or both request a formal investigation in lieu of informal options available.

3. Notice of Allegation

This is the official “kickoff” to the formal investigation. In this step, the investigator provides a letter to the responding party that notifies them of a formal investigation, to include the details of the concern raised.

4. Formal Investigation

With a formal investigation, the Title IX Coordinator or an authorized designee will conduct an investigation, to include gathering evidence, conducting witness interviews, and will provide facts related to the investigation to the Student Development Counsel to action.

5. Panel Review

When an investigation is completed, a report is written by the investigator that contains the facts of the investigation. This report is provided to a 3-member panel made up of faculty and staff. The panel is responsible for determining if there was a policy violation, and for recommending appropriate action based on this determination. The threshold used during a formal investigation is whether a violation of policy more likely than not occurred. The result of the panel review is provided via a letter to the reporter and the responding party.

6. Appeal

A reporter or responding party may appeal an investigation decision. The appeal process will be included in the determination letter. The appeal can only be based on one or more of the following grounds:

  1. There is new information that was not known or available at the time of the decision that would have resulted in a different outcome
  2. There was a procedural error that materially affected the determination as to whether or not a policy violation occurred
  3. The action taken is substantially disproportionate to the findings in the case (i.e. too lenient or severe)
  4. The finding as to whether or not a policy violation occurred is clearly erroneous in light of the evidence

The appeal must be made in writing to the Title IX Coordinator within 5 business days of the date of the determination letter. If an appeal fails to assert one or more of the grounds specified above, it will be dismissed. If the appeal falls under one of these circumstances, two Vice Presidents from the Administrative Council will review the documents and provide an appeal decision. If an employee is the reporter or responding party in the investigation, the Vice President for whom they report to is not allowed to participate in the appeal process. The decision made on appeal is final and there will be no further appeals.