Policy Name: Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, and Sex Discrimination
Date Approved: June 18, 2020
Policy Category: Board of Governors - University Operation
Date Effective: August 14, 2020
Policy Number: 1.2.155
Date Last Revised:
Approval Authority: Board of Governors
Review Cycle: 5 years
Responsible Department: Office of the President
The University of Central Missouri (“UCM” or the “University”) seeks to foster a safe and healthy environment built on mutual respect and trust and is committed to affording equal opportunity in employment and education. Sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, sexual violence, and other forms of sexual misconduct will not be tolerated.
University policy and applicable law prohibit sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, stalking, domestic violence, and sexual exploitation in the University’s education programs and activities, and further prohibit discrimination on the basis of any protected characteristic, including under this policy sex, pregnancy, gender identity, gender expression, and gender (non)conformity. UCM does not tolerate sex discrimination. As used in this policy, the word “sex” is also inclusive of the term “gender.”
The University strictly prohibits retaliation against any person for making any good faith report under this policy to a Title IX Coordinator or for filing, testifying, assisting, or participating in any investigation or proceeding involving allegations under this policy. Any person who engages in such retaliation shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion or termination of employment. Any person who believes they have been subjected to retaliation is encouraged to promptly notify the Title IX Coordinator. The University will promptly investigate all claims of retaliation.
Reporting by Students, Employees, Volunteers, and Visitors. The University cannot remedy sexual discrimination of which it is unaware. Students, employees, volunteers, and visitors of the University who have experienced any form of sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, are encouraged to report the incident promptly to the Title IX Coordinator. In addition, students, volunteers, and visitors of the University who have witnessed such conduct are encouraged to report the incident promptly to the Title IX Coordinator. The University will investigate and appropriately resolve all such reports.
For questions regarding confidentiality or requests that the Complaint not be pursued, contact the Title IX Coordinator. In considering confidentiality and whether to pursue the complaint, the Title IX Coordinator must consider the campus community as a whole and the aim to provide a safe environment for all, including potential future victims. In order to foster reporting and participation, the University may provide amnesty to Complainants, Respondents, and witnesses for student conduct violations ancillary to the incident.
Mandated Reporters. The University will provide a fair and equitable response to complaints alleging sex discrimination in any university education program or activity, and will take actions deemed necessary to remedy violations of this policy. In order to facilitate this response, except as noted below, all University employees other than student employees or temporary employees are identified as Mandated Reporters under this policy. Mandated Reporters are required to report incidents of possible sexual misconduct as defined in this policy to the Title IX Coordinator, regardless of whether the recipient of the alleged behavior is a student, employee, volunteer, or visitor of the University. Mandated reporters must report violations of this policy and not try to resolve themselves. Failure to report sexual misconduct as required may result in disciplinary action. Nothing in this policy prohibits an individual from intervening in a circumstance in an effort to effectuate immediate physical safety or to involve emergency authorities, such as calling 911.
Employees with a Legal Obligation of Privilege or Confidentiality. Employees with a legal obligation or privilege of confidentiality (including health care providers, mental health clinicians, lawyers, and their associated staff) are not considered Mandated Reporters and are not required to report when the information is learned in the course of a confidential communication. This exemption from the general requirement of all employees to report is applicable only when the employee seeking the exemption is employed by the University for that specific purpose and was acting in that capacity when the confidential disclosure was made. If the employee is not employed by the university in their licensed capacity (for example, an MD teaching an academic course) or the information is not learned in the course of confidential communication (for example, behavior is observed in class or at an event) then the employee has the same obligation as a Mandated Reporter.
Required Reporting and Disclosure. A Mandated Reporter is required to promptly report the information to the appropriate Title IX Coordinator. The Mandated Report must be made regardless of whether the person relaying the information to the Mandated Reporter requests confidentiality and regardless of how the Mandated Reporter becomes aware of the offensive behavior (personal observation, direct information from the subject of the behavior, indirect information from a third party, etc.). If the Complainant requests confidentiality or that the charges not be pursued, the Mandated Reporter should warn the Complainant that, at this stage in the process, the Mandated Reporter must report all known information to the Title IX Coordinator. Mandated Reporters are not relieved of their obligation to report because another Mandated Reporter has already notified the Title IX Coordinator of the subject of the report.
Content of Mandated Report to Title IX Coordinator. Mandated Reporters must report all details that they possess. This includes names of the Parties, if known, and all other information in the Mandated Reporter’s possession.
Non-compliance. Failure to comply with this policy can result in disciplinary action. Employees also are cautioned that non-compliance with this policy may increase their risk of personal liability. Further, an individual who fails to report as required under this policy may be determined to be ineligible for defense or protection by the University for any associated claims, causes of action, liabilities or damages.
Impact of Optional Report to Law Enforcement. A report of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator is not the same as a report to law enforcement. Individuals aware of sexual violence are encouraged to report that information to local law enforcement where the alleged incident occurred. UCM has no control in whether a criminal case will be pursued by local law enforcement. In accordance with federal law, the Title IX Coordinator will not wait for the conclusion of a criminal investigation or criminal proceeding to begin the Title IX preliminary investigation. It may be necessary to delay temporarily the fact-finding portion of a Title IX preliminary investigation while the police are gathering evidence. The Title IX Coordinator will promptly resume the preliminary Title IX investigation as soon as deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator in consultation with the Office of General Counsel. The Title IX Coordinator will implement appropriate interim steps during the law enforcement agency’s investigation period to provide for the safety of the Complainant and the campus community and the avoidance of retaliation.
Due process and fundamental fairness. UCM will respond promptly to sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct under this policy in a manner that is not deliberately indifferent, which means that a response is not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances. The University cannot guarantee that sexual harassment or other conduct prohibited by this policy will never occur in education programs or activities, but the University will respond to alleged misconduct in ways designed to ensure complainants’ and respondents’ equal access to education programs and activities without depriving any party of educational access without due process or fundamental fairness.
In implementing this policy, UCM will not restrict rights protected under the U.S. Constitution, including the First Amendment, Fifth Amendment, and Fourteenth Amendment.
Dissemination of policy
The University prominently displays the contact information for the Title IX Coordinator and the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Education, and the notice of non-discrimination on the University’s website and in University handbooks and catalogs. The University will also notify applicants for admission and employment and all applicable unions of the name or title, office address, e-mail address, and telephone number of the Title IX Coordinator.
Inquiries about the application of Title IX may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, to the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Education, or both.
Title IX Coordinators. Title IX is the federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities in the United States. It requires designation by a school of a Title IX Coordinator or Coordinators. Duties and responsibilities of the University’s Title IX Coordinators include monitoring and oversight of overall implementation of not just Title IX compliance at the University, but all laws and prohibitions covered by this policy, including coordination of training, education, communications and coordination of the sexual misconduct grievance process for faculty, staff, students and other members of the University community and investigation of complaints of sex discrimination and other sexual misconduct under this policy. The University may designate Deputy Coordinators as needed to assist in fulfillment of the Coordinator’s duties and responsibilities. All references to “Title IX Coordinator” throughout this policy refer to the Title IX Coordinator or the Coordinator’s designee.
The following individuals serve as Title IX Coordinators and are designated to handle inquiries regarding this policy:
Corey Bowman, Associate Vice President for Student Services/Title IX Coordinator
Office of Student Experience and Engagement
214 Administration Building
If the Complaint involves the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Complaints may be made to the University President.
Office of the President
202 Administration Building
If an individual desires, they may contact the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) with the U.S. Department of Education with questions related to Title IX and its application to UCM. Missouri's regional OCR office is located in Kansas City and is available to provide assistance:
U.S. Department of Education
Assistant Secretary, Office for Civil Rights
One Petticoat Lane
1010 Walnut St., Suite 320
Kansas City, MO 64106
This policy applies to all students, employees, volunteers, visitors, contractors, customers, and other participants in any of the university’s education programs or activities, whether such programs or activities occur on-campus or off-campus. This policy extends to all aspects of the University’s educational programs and activities, including but not limited to admissions, employment, academics, athletics, housing, and student services. Education programs or activities include locations, events, or circumstances over which the University exercised substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurred, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the University. Ownership or control by an employee, student, or member of a student organization does not equate to ownership or control by a student organization.
This policy supersedes other University policies and procedures when addressing sexual misconduct within the campus community. This does not preclude the University from taking immediate, concurrent, or subsequent actions as warranted to address threats to safety or health of individuals or campus, or to address conduct not meeting the definitions in this policy under the student code of conduct or other applicable policies.
“Complainant” means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment or other violation of this policy.
“Consent” is permission and willingness to engage in sexual activity, and must be knowing and voluntary. Consent, lack of consent, and withdrawal of consent can be given by word or action. Consent to one form of sexual activity cannot be automatically taken as consent to any other form of sexual activity. Further, consent to engage in sexual activity with one person or in one instance does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another person or at another time. Silence or lack of resistance does not equate to consent. Someone who is incapacitated cannot give consent, and consent does not exist when the respondent knew or should have known of the other individual’s incapacitation. Consent cannot not be given by someone who has not met the legal age of consent or someone who does not have knowledge of the nature of the act or the ability to make a reasonable judgment concerning the nature of the act. Coercion, force, or intimidation, or the threat of any of these, invalidates consent.
“Employee” means any individual hired directly by UCM to perform work at the direction of the University, whether hired part-time or full-time, at will or contractual, temporary or budgeted, and whether staff, faculty, or administrator.
“Formal complaint” means a document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment or other violation of this policy against a respondent and requesting that the university investigate the allegation(s) of sexual harassment.
“Incapacitation” is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., they lack the ability to understand the "who, what, when, where, why or how" of their sexual interaction). This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, illness, involuntary physical restraint, or from the effect of drugs.
The perspective of a reasonable person will be the basis for determining whether one knew or should have known about the person's ability to give consent. Relevant factors may include, but are not limited to, the following: lack of awareness of circumstances or surroundings, inability to communicate coherently, lack of control over physical movements. The use of alcohol and other drugs never makes someone at fault for being sexually assaulted. The use of alcohol or other drugs will not function as a defense to a violation of the sexual misconduct policy.
“Informal Resolution” Informal resolution may be pursued only after a Formal Complaint is filed and, after being informed of their options, both parties mutually and voluntarily agree in writing to informal resolution. Informal resolution may include, but is not limited to mediation, voluntary written agreements, voluntary no contact orders, and other voluntary agreed upon boundaries and expectations. Agreement to engage in informal resolution may be withdrawn any time prior to agreeing to a resolution. Informal resolution may not be used to resolve allegations that an employee engaged in sexual misconduct toward a student.
“Preponderance of the Evidence Standard” means a violation of this policy will be found if the decision maker concludes it is more likely than not that allegations constituting sexual harassment or other violation of this policy occurred.
“Respondent” is an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment or other violation of this policy.
“Retaliation” Retaliation is any adverse action taken against a person because of that person’s participation in protected activity. That includes, without limitation, intimidating, threatening, coercing, or discriminating against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by this policy, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this policy.
“Sexual exploitation” occurs when one person takes nonconsensual or abusive sexual advantage of another person for one’s own advantage or benefit or for the advantage or benefit of anyone other than the person being exploited and which behavior does not constitute any other form of sexual misconduct. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, the following activities done without the consent of all participants:
“Sexual harassment” means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
“Sexual misconduct” includes conduct that can be classified as sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, and other conduct of a sexual nature as defined in this policy.
“Student” is a person who is currently enrolled at the University or was at the time of the alleged violation of this policy.
“Supportive measures” are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the complainant or the respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the university’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the university’s educational environment, or deter sexual harassment.
Supportive measures will not be automatically implemented upon filing or receipt of a complaint, but on an individualized basis may include counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus, and other similar measures.
UCM will establish and follow the sexual misconduct grievance process administered by the Title IX Coordinator as approved by the President in consultation with the Office of General Counsel. The process will include complaint filing details, confidentiality provisions, formal and informal resolution methods, investigation standards, hearing process, and an opportunity for immediate appeal of both interim measures and decisions after hearing. The process will be written in plain language to ensure it is accessible and understandable to parties who may be experiencing crisis or trauma. The process will be publicly posted on the University website, as will training given to persons involved in the process.
Other than supportive measures, no disciplinary sanctions or other actions will be imposed against a respondent until and unless the sexual misconduct grievance process is completed and results in a finding of violation by the preponderance of the evidence or the parties agree to other outcomes through informal resolution.
The following is the Sexual Misconduct Grievance Process required by BOG Policy 1.2.155 – Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, and Sex Discrimination. The full text of Policy 1.2.155 is available above.
The University treats all disclosures and reports of sexual misconduct with great care and discretion while also balancing the duty to provide fairness and safety to our community. UCM provides support for members of the University community who have experienced sexual misconduct, while also providing an equitable resolution process. A formal complaint does not need to be filed in order to seek assistance or supportive measures. Please contact the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator with questions.
If a student or employee experiences sexual misconduct, they are urged to seek immediate assistance from any of the following resources and they are encouraged to submit a complaint to the University's Title IX coordinator.
Individuals may make a complaint of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator. Mandated Reporters as defined by this policy are required to report possible sexual misconduct as defined by this policy to the Title IX Coordinator. Although UCM encourages complainants to talk to someone, we have also developed an online tool for reporting of sexual misconduct. Complainants and non-mandated reporters are not required to share personally identifying information on this page, but if a reporter chooses to provide those details, this may serve as notice to the University for the purpose of triggering an investigation.
The university is limited in its ability to act on anonymous complaints. The investigation of anonymous complaints or reports by confidential sources may be restricted to documenting when, where, and under what circumstances the reported misconduct occurred for inclusion in the University's Annual Safety Report.
Upon receipt of a report, the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will respond to sexual harassment promptly in a non-deliberately indifferent manner. Upon receipt of a report, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will:
and explain to the complainant the process for filing a formal complaint.
The University is committed to the safety and welfare of our University community members and seeks to facilitate access and remove barriers to those reporting and to those participating in a sexual misconduct process. Sometimes persons are reluctant to report instances of sexual misconduct or reluctant to participate in a process because they fear being charged with policy violations, such as underage alcohol consumption or drug usage.
To encourage reporting and facilitate access to supportive measures, participants of sexual misconduct investigations will not be charged with alcohol, drug and most other policy violations under the student code of conduct related to their efforts to seek medical assistance or provide information about the alleged conduct. They may, however, be asked to discuss these choices in an educational context and supportive measures can be offered.
All members of the University community are expected to be honest and straightforward in their dealings with University processes, policies, activities, and personnel. Dishonesty, refusal to cooperate, or being disruptive to this grievance process (whether by a complainant, respondent, witness, advisor, or other participant) is grounds for disciplinary action. Choosing to not provide a statement or answer questions is not considered dishonest or disruptive behavior under this procedure, but parties, witnesses, and other participants are asked to keep the Title IX coordinator, investigator, and/or hearing officer timely informed of their willingness to participate in the various aspects of this process.
After a report is filed, a complainant may wish to proceed to a formal complaint against a respondent or the university may independently choose to proceed with a formal complaint against the respondent. Filing a complaint of sexual harassment is a formal process. To initiate this grievance process, a complainant must prepare and sign a formal complaint submitted to the Title IX Coordinator.
So that the University has sufficient information, the complainant should complete a formal complaint which will require disclosure of: (1) the date(s) and time(s) of the alleged conduct; (2) the names of all person(s) involved in the alleged conduct, including possible witnesses; (3) all details outlining what happened; and (4) contact information for the complainant so that the University may follow up appropriately.
In cases where the complainant is unwilling or unavailable to sign a formal complaint, or is not participating or attempting to participate in a program or activity, or otherwise does not meet the legal requirements of filing a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator may sign a formal complaint on behalf of the complainant.
The Title IX Coordinator will consider a range of factors, including any potential risk that the respondent will commit additional acts of sexual misconduct, such as:
When weighing the decision to initiate a complaint without permission from the complainant, the Title IX Coordinator may consult with UCM's Threat Assessment Team or other confidential advisors. This does not constitute a violation of confidentiality for any involved parties.
The University will initiate a grievance process when a complainant files, or a Title IX Coordinator signs, a formal complaint. The only University official who is authorized to initiate a grievance process against a respondent is the Title IX Coordinator (by signing a formal complaint) or their designee.
In the absence of a formal complaint signed by either the complainant(s) or the Title IX Coordinator(s), the University will not pursue disciplinary action or informal resolution under the sexual misconduct policy, but may proceed under other policies, if appropriate.
The University will keep confidential the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of sexual misconduct, including any individual who has made a report or filed a formal complaint of sexual harassment, any complainant, any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of sex discrimination, any respondent, and any witness, except as may be permitted by, or as required by, law, including the provision of supportive measures and the conduct of any investigation or hearing.
The university may dismiss a complaint in its discretion if:
Supportive measures are individualized services reasonably available, without fee or charge, that are non-punitive, non-disciplinary, and not unreasonably burdensome to the other party or to the University while designed to ensure equal educational access, protect safety, or deter sexual misconduct. Supportive measures can be provided to the complainant or the respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity.
The Respondent should expect an equitable grievance process. The University will not treat a respondent as responsible for sexual misconduct nor impose disciplinary action as a supportive measure without making findings to warrant the imposition of sanctions, all while providing due process protections.
If a lawful order of protection is in place, the order should be provided to the Title IX Coordinator. The University will take all reasonable and legal action to allow the implementation and to not interfere with the implementation of the order.
The University may remove a respondent from the University’s education programs or activities on an emergency basis, an interim measure, with or without a grievance process provided:
The Title IX Coordinator or designee will serve as the point of contact for the impacted students to ensure that the supportive measures are appropriate and modify if warranted.
The Title IX Coordinator or designee is authorized to coordinate and implement supportive measures through other offices and departments, as deemed appropriate.
The following are examples of support and interim measures available, which include but are not limited to:
The University’s sexual misconduct grievance process treats complainants and respondents equitably by providing a fair and equitable process that adheres to the principles of due process and fundamental fairness. This process recognizes the need for complainants to receive remedies where a respondent is determined responsible for sexual misconduct, and for respondents to face disciplinary sanctions only after a fair process determines responsibility.
Respondents are presumed not responsible for the behavior unless responsibility is established through the grievance process.
UCM’s sexual misconduct grievance process for a formal complaint can include a formal investigation or an informal resolution process is available for most formal complaints. Informal resolution is not permitted where no formal complaint has been filed, and may not be used to resolve allegations that an employee sexually harassed a student.
UCM’s sexual misconduct grievance process addresses a range of behaviors objectionable to the University community. The sexual misconduct policy addresses behaviors that constitute sexual harassment as defined under Title IX, sexual harassment as defined under Title VII, and other forms of sexual misconduct. The University recognizes that various laws use definitions that may overlap in confusing ways.
Under Title IX, sexual harassment is actionable if it is found to be both severe and pervasive. Under Title VII, sexual harassment is actionable if it is either severe or pervasive. The investigator is tasked with gathering all relevant evidence and including it in the investigative file for use at the hearing described below, where the hearing officer will determine whether the conduct occurred, and whether it was severe and/or pervasive. If it is determined that neither Title IX nor Title VII thresholds are met, the University may address the behavior under other appropriate conduct or grievance processes.
UCM will respond promptly to sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct under this policy in a manner that is not deliberately indifferent, which means that UCM’s response is not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances. The University cannot guarantee that sexual harassment or other conduct prohibited by this policy will never occur in education programs or activities, but the University will respond to alleged misconduct in ways designed to ensure complainants and respondents equal access to education programs and activities without depriving any party of educational access without due process or fundamental fairness.
In implementing this policy, UCM will not restrict rights protected under the U.S. Constitution, including the First Amendment, Fifth Amendment, and Fourteenth Amendment.
In all cases, upon receipt of a formal complaint, the University will provide a written notice to the parties. The notice will inform the parties of the University’s grievance process and informal resolution process.
The notice will include the allegations potentially constituting sexual misconduct, including sufficient details known at the time, and will provide the parties sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview. Sufficient details include the identities of the parties alleged to be involved in the incident, if known, the conduct allegedly constituting sexual harassment, and the date and location of the alleged incident, if known.
The written notice will also include:
Only after a formal complaint is filed, involved parties may pursue the voluntary use of an informal resolution process at any time prior to a final determination regarding responsibility. An informal resolution process does not involve a full investigation and adjudication. If an informal resolution process is pursued, the Investigator will make no attempt to determine whether sexual harassment has occurred. Informal resolution will not be facilitated by the Investigator assigned to the complaint, and the investigation is put on hold pending attempts at informal resolution.
Informal resolution processes may not be used to resolve allegations that an employee sexually harassed a student.
Informal resolution may include, but is not limited to:
Prior to the initiation of an informal resolution process, the University will provide the parties with a written notice of the allegations and also describe the parameters of the informal resolution process. Initiation of this process requires the parties’ voluntary, written consent to commence and participate in the informal resolution process.
If an informal resolution is pursued the parties will receive a written notice disclosing:
Involved parties may not re-initiate the formal process after parties have voluntarily agreed to the outcome of the informal resolution. However, if prior to a final outcome the informal process fails or the Title IX Coordinator determines it inappropriate to continue, the formal grievance process will resume.The Title IX Coordinator may seek the assistance of a third party to facilitate an informal resolution, where appropriate.
The University will dismiss the sexual harassment elements of a formal complaint, when the conduct alleged in the formal complaint would not constitute sexual harassment as defined in this policy, did not occur in the University’s education program or activity, or did not occur against a person in the United States. Such a dismissal does not preclude action under another provision of the University’s code of conduct, including employee discipline for matters found to have violated Title VII as described above.
The University may dismiss the formal complaint or any allegations therein, if at any time during the investigation or hearing:
If conduct did not occur against a person in the United States, then the University will dismiss the formal complaint with regard to that conduct for purposes of sexual harassment under Title IX. If an incident of sexual misconduct occurs outside of the United States, such as study abroad programs, the University reserves the right to pursue an investigation or disciplinary proceedings through student or employee conduct processes.Upon a dismissal of a formal complaint, the University will send written notice of the dismissal and reason(s) for the dismissal simultaneously to both parties.
The University may consolidate formal complaints as to allegations of sexual harassment against more than one respondent, or by more than one complainant against one or more respondents, or by one party against the other party, where the allegations of sexual harassment arise out of the same facts or circumstances.
Where a grievance process involves more than one complainant or more than one respondent, references in this policy to the singular “party,” “complainant,” or “respondent” include the plural, as applicable.
Once a formal complaint is filed, the Investigating Officer will commence an investigation of it as soon as practicable. The purpose of the investigation is to gather and review all directly related evidence from involved parties, determine if the objectionable behavior potentially constitutes a violation of the Sexual Misconduct policy and provide all evidence relevant to that determination in an investigative report.
If the investigation determines that the charges may constitute sexual misconduct under the policy, then the investigative report will be forwarded to a hearing officer for a Hearing.
If the investigation determines that the charges do not implicate sexual harassment under Title IX or Title VII legal requirements, but may constitute other forms of misconduct or policy violation, then the investigative report may be forwarded to a hearing officer or department for appropriate action under grievance, employee conduct or student conduct processes.
The Investigating Officer may receive counsel from University administrators, the University's attorneys, or other parties as needed.
In general, the University does not investigate matters that do not take place on property not owned or controlled by the University or matters outside the context of the University’s academic programs and activities. The University will enforce this procedure when a situation occurs in locations, events, or circumstances over which the University exercised substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the alleged misconduct occurs, including any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the University.
The following is further information and steps in the investigation process:
The University will generally resolve formal complaints within 99 days, from the initial receipt of a formal complaint through the appeal process. Some complaints may not require the 99 day time frame and can be resolved in less time, whereas other complaints may require more time, based on the complexity of a complaint, additional allegations presented, university closures, or other delays.
If either the complainant or respondent needs additional time to prepare or to gather their witnesses or information beyond the timeframe, they shall notify the Investigating Officer in writing explaining how much additional time is needed and why it is needed. The Investigating Officer shall respond to any such request generally within five (5) days, and keep the other parties informed of any extensions granted.
The following is an example outline of how a complaint may be processed within the general 99 day timeframe:
|Report received||Day 1|
|Initial interview and fact gathering from the Complainant||Day 2-7|
|Notice sent to Respondent(s)||Day 8|
|Respondent reviews and responds to complaint (10 days)||Day 9-18|
|Interviews with witnesses or other involved parties (average 2 weeks)||Day 19-32|
|Preparation of investigative report (average 2 weeks)||Day 33-46|
|Parties review and may respond to preliminary report (10 days)||Day 47-56|
|Finalize and distribute investigative report||Day 57-58|
|Involved parties review investigative report (10 days)||Day 59-68|
|Hearing officer reviews facts and issues finding (10 days)||Day 70-79|
|Opportunity to appeal (10 days)||Day 80-89|
|Appeal officer reviews and responds to appeal (10 days)||Day 90-99|
Temporary delays of the grievance process or the limited extension of time frames for good cause are permitted with written notice to the complainant and the respondent of the delay or extension and the reasons for the action. Good cause may include considerations such as the absence of a party, a party’s advisor, or a witness; concurrent law enforcement activity; or the need for language assistance or accommodation of disabilities.
The University will provide a fair and equitable hearing process adhering to the principles of due process and fundamental fairness. The University exists first and foremost to provide educational services to students; it is not a court of law and is not vested with subpoena powers. The hearing process will include objective evaluation of all relevant evidence including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. The standard of evidence to be used to determine responsibility is the preponderance of the evidence standard. If they deem it helpful, either the Title IX coordinator or the hearing officer may schedule a pre-hearing conference or conferences with the parties in their discretion, utilizing the meeting notice provisions outlined in section V. above.
In cases that do not meet the criteria for sexual harassment under Title IX or Title VII, the University may use existing conduct processes and hearings to address the behavior.
In cases that may meet criteria for sexual harassment under provisions of Title IX or Title VII, the University will conduct a hearing where a formal complaint remains pending. The role of the hearing officer is to review the content of the investigation and determine whether it is more likely than not that the alleged behavior occurred and, if so, whether it constitutes sexual misconduct under the policy.
Before, during, and after the hearing, the Hearing Officer may consult with the Title IX Coordinator, University administrators, the University's attorneys, or other parties as needed.
If a policy violation is found, the hearing officer will outline reasonable steps to correct the effects of such conduct on the complainant and others and to prevent the recurrence of sexual misconduct and retaliation. Sanctions, remediation and other appropriate actions are discussed more below.
In complaints involving University employees, this may involve coordination with complainant and respondent supervisors; this is not a violation of confidentiality.
If no violation of this policy is found, it does not necessarily mean that the complainant’s allegations were false or unfounded, or that no other policy was violated.
The written determination becomes final upon the earlier of when: (i) the parties are notified of the determination on appeal; or (ii) the time to file an appeal has passed with neither party appealing.
The University will carefully review each incident on an individual basis. The specifics of the incident, will determine the severity of the sanctions imposed. The University may impose various sanctions, ranging from verbal warning to expulsion or termination of employment, depending on the severity of the offense. Sanctions will be determined by the hearing officer after a hearing described above.
If the Respondent is found in violation of the sexual misconduct policy, sanctions may include, but are not limited to:
If the University's investigation reveals that a party made a bad faith false complaint, the complaint was intentionally malicious to gain personal benefit, or to intentionally misuse the policy to address matters not related to sexual misconduct, the complaint will be dismissed and the person who filed or otherwise participated in the knowingly false complaint may be subject to discipline.
1. Grounds for Appeal
The complainant or respondent may appeal the determination of a complaint or dismissal of a formal complaint or allegations therein only on the following grounds:
2. Method of Appeal
Appeals must be filed with the Title IX Coordinator within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the hearing officer’s written report determining the outcome of the complaint. The appeal must be in writing and contain the following:
An Appellate Officer will be assigned by the Title IX Coordinator. The appellant may request a meeting with the Appellate Officer, but the decision to grant a meeting is within the Appellate Officer's discretion. However, if a meeting is granted, then the other party will be granted a similar opportunity. The non-appealing party will be notified of the appeal and allowed to submit a written statement in response. Those who wish to appeal a decision can submit the appeal through the Sexual Misconduct Appeal Form, https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?UnivofCentralMissouri&layout_id=21
3. Resolution of the Appeal
The Appellate Officer will resolve the appeal generally within ten (10) days of receiving it and may take any and all actions that he/she determines to be in the interest of a fair and just decision. The Appellate Officer shall issue a short and plain, written statement of the resolution of the appeal, including whether the appeal states sufficient grounds for appeal as set forth above, and any changes made to the Hearing Officer's previous written determination. The written statement shall be provided to the complainant, respondent, and the Title IX Coordinator simultaneously, via email or hard copy. The decision of the Appellate Officer is final and not subject to further review within the University.
Retaliation is prohibited. Involved parties may not intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or the Sexual Misconduct policy, or because the individual has engaged in protected conduct, to include that they made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this part. Intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination constitute retaliation if based on the underlying protected conduct. Complaints alleging retaliation under this policy should be filed with the Title IX Coordinator.
The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute retaliation. Charging an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding under this part does not constitute retaliation.
1. Training of Title IX personnel includes:
2. Training materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, investigators, hearing officers, appellate officers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process, must not rely on sex stereotypes and will promote impartial investigations and adjudications of formal complaints of sexual harassment. Investigators will receive training on issues of relevance to create an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence.
3. The University will post materials used to train Title IX personnel on its websites or provide links to material as appropriate.
1. The university will maintain for a period of seven years from the time of item noted below or seven years from the date of exit from the university as student or employee, whichever is later, records of: