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Title IX - What to Expect from UCM - University of Central Missouri

What to Expect from UCM

How to Make a Report

As previously discussed, UCM has confidential reporting options, options that can maintain privacy, and an anonymous reporting option.

The following section is designed to answer any questions you might have about what happens when you make a report, how you will be supported, and how the university will investigate and respond in a timely manner.

Student and Employee Processes

Students concerns will be addressed through the Student Conduct process while Employee concerns will be addressed by the Employee Grievance Process. While there may be minor procedural differences due to the unique needs of each population, both administrative systems are based on the same policy and share a common philosophy of care and support for the victims of sexual misconduct.

Both student and employee processes follow this basic model:

Prompt and Effective Response:

The University will handle all complaints of a sexual nature with due regard to the parties' concerns of privacy. Once a complaint is made, both the Complainant and Respondent will be directed to have no additional contact with each other throughout the subsequent process.


Someone who has filed a complaint of sexual misconduct will not be expected to directly confront or be in the same room as the respondent.


As an important early step in this process, you will be advised of options including immediate steps the University can take (for example, we can relocate you to another residence, relocate you to another class, grant temporary absence from classes, make temporary alterations to work schedules, send warning and letter of restriction(s) to the Respondent, etc.) as well as the option for a formal investigation.


UCM will take action to assist you if you ask for help in relation to an incident of sexual misconduct. Please understand, however, we can only take action against your assailant if you decide to file a report.


The university’s actions are guided by the safety needs of the community. Due regard and respect will be given to your wishes and, if requested, your desire not to be identified. Please understand if the situation demonstrates a possible threat to others in the campus community, an investigation may proceed without your permission (although this will always be evaluated on a case by case basis with deep consideration of your wishes).

If any occurrences of a sexual nature pose a general threat to the University community, the University will determine whether and how to take affirmative steps to notify students, faculty and staff of the potential danger. Appropriate notification will be made to local law enforcement.

No Contact Orders

When a complainant makes a report of sexual misconduct, the university may issue a “No contact” order in order to protect the complainant from retaliation and prevent the situation from escalating. This is usually implemented by public safety or the Title IX Coordinator when a concern is first reported.

“No contact “ means no communication whatsoever including direct communication (talking, calling, texting, etc.), indirect communication (through friends or third parties), or contact through social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

In some cases, the University may need to make temporary changes to living accommodations or class enrollments in order to ensure that there is no contact between parties. In other cases, due to safety concerns, the university may restrict a respondent from returning to campus until they have first met with the Associate Vice provost for Student Services.

The “No contact” order does not imply any wrongdoing; it is a safety precaution. Violation of the “No contact” order, however, is considered a serious and potentially threatening breach of university policy and may result in immediate suspension.

Both the complainant(s) and the respondent(s) are expected to avoid all contact with each other while the report is under investigation.

Investigations:

The University's student conduct process and employee grievance process act independently of any legal proceedings, but you may decide to proceed with a criminal investigation at any time. University investigations of possible sexual misconduct will be timely and impartial.

Once a complaint has been made, the university reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary against a respondent in response to an allegation of sexual misconduct in order to protect student and employee rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to:

UCM works closely with local authorities to combat sexual misconduct and assist those who have been adversely affected.

In campus investigations, common legal terms like "guilt,” "innocence," and "burdens of proof" are not strictly applicable. In a university investigation, all parties will have the opportunity to provide witnesses and evidence. Campus investigations are conducted to take into account the totality of all evidence available, from various relevant sources, and a decision will be based on the “preponderance of evidence” standard (i.e., it is more likely than not that sexual harassment or misconduct occurred). 

Investigations will be thorough and may take 3-4 weeks.

Administrative Hearing:

Once the investigation concludes, a hearing officer reviews the findings and determines if policy has been violated.

The Title IX officer may meet with the Complainant and the Respondent before making a decision, but the two parties will not be required to be in the same room at the same time during this process. In cases where the Respondent is unresponsive or unavailable to attend an administrative hearing (for example: due to incarceration), the hearing officer may make a decision based upon the information available.

The preponderance of evidence standard is used to determine if policy has been violated. The preponderance of evidence standard is the standard utilized in most civil cases.

Review of investigative material and subsequent hearings generally take 1-2 weeks

Notification of Findings and Appeals:

At the conclusion of an investigation, all parties will be notified, in writing, of the outcome. Either party may appeal these findings by contacting the Title IX Coordinator at 660-543-4114. In general, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will serve as an impartial hearing officer for matters of sexual misconduct. If either party objects to the Title IX Coordinator or designee’s impartiality, an alternate hearing officer may be designated if good cause can be demonstrated. This appeal must be submitted, in writing, within 5 days of the original findings. 

In general, the entire investigation and resolution should take no more than 60 days. In cases where this is not possible, both the complainant and respondent will be given periodic updates and explanations of delays.

Sanction Guidelines:

The University will carefully review each incident on an individual basis. Depending on the specifics of the incident, more or less severe sanctions may be imposed. The university reserves the right to impose various sanctions, ranging from verbal warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense. Additional sanctions imposed for violation of the University's Sexual Misconduct Policy may include, but are not limited to, removing the assailant from class, banning the assailant from certain buildings, or temporary suspension of their student status, or termination of employment, depending on the severity of the offense.

If the Respondent is found in violation of the sexual misconduct policy, sanctions may include, but are not limited to:

Remediation

If a respondent is found to have violated policy, the university will protect and remediate the educational interests of the complainant.

Retaliation Will Not Be Tolerated:

The University, in accordance with Title IX, will not tolerate any form of retaliation against any individual who files a complaint or participates in the complaint process. Additionally, the University will take steps to prevent the recurrence of discrimination and harassment and will take steps to correct discriminatory effects.

Retaliation takes many forms and common restrictions may include a complete ban on any in person, second-hand or social media contact between complainant and respondent. Contact by third parties (at the request or on behalf of respondents) may also constitute retaliation and will not be tolerated.


The ban on retaliation will remain in effect even if it is determined that the sexual misconduct policy has not been violated.


Specific Guidance
The Student conduct process and employee grievance process are based on the same philosophies and policy. The two processes may have minor differences based upon the unique needs of the populations involved. If you have any questions or concerns about how to proceed, please contact the Title IX Coordinator.