More Information About Investigation, Conduct Hearing, and Case Review

In matters involving allegations of sexual or gender-based harassment, misconduct, or violence, the below processes, requirements, and standards will be applied.  Formal rules of process, procedure, or rules of evidence such as those applied in criminal or civil courts are not used in the student conduct process.


A.  Investigation prior to student conduct hearing.

The student making a report (the “reporting party”) will be interviewed and asked to give a statement through a Title IX Investigator.

Upon receipt of the statement, the University will conduct a fact-finding investigation.

Once allegations are made and a student conduct investigation begins, a no-contact order will be issued between the two parties. Therefore, it might be necessary to make changes to living arrangements, course schedules, and dining locations to avoid confrontations between the students. All reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate the concerns of the students involved.

The student who is named in the report (the “responding party”) will also be contacted to provide a statement.

The fact-finding report will include the statements of both parties as well as other information and reports collected and completed by the Title IX Investigator. The report will be submitted to Student Conduct.

Both the reporting party and the responding party may identify witnesses who possess relevant information about the alleged incident of sexual or gender-based harassment, misconduct, or violence to the Title IX Investigator. The Investigator will conduct interviews and will document them during the investigation. This documentation will be forwarded on for use within the conduct process in lieu of witnesses attending the conduct hearing in person.

Once both statements are submitted, the reporting party and the responding party will have access to the other party’s statement upon request to Student Conduct.

The investigation will be completed within a reasonable time frame, generally sixty (60) calendar days unless exceptional circumstances exist warranting an extension of the time frame.


B.  Student conduct hearing.

Students may have the support person of their choosing at the conduct hearing, including parents or attorneys. If a student brings an attorney to serve as their support person during a meeting or hearing, the University's attorney may also be present. Support persons may be present in the hearing setting but are not permitted to participate in the hearing process. The reporting party and/or responding party must submit the name of the support person they wish to bring to the hearing officer twenty-four (24) hours prior to the hearing. Both the reporting party and the responding party have the same right to have a support person of their choosing present throughout the conduct hearing.

Both the reporting party and the responding party will receive equivalent notice of process.

The conduct hearing will be conducted with both the reporting party and the responding party present. Reasonable arrangements, such as the use of a physical barrier, will be made to prevent the reporting party and the responding party from directly facing one another. If a student chooses not to attend the hearing, the hearing panel will proceed in reaching a decision about the outcome of the case and possible sanctions without the absent student(s)’ participation in the hearing process.

Both the reporting party and the responding party have the same right to present relevant evidence throughout the conduct hearing.

No questions, statements, or information about the sexual activity of the reporting party with anyone other than the responding party may be introduced. Questions, statements, or information about past sexual activity between the reporting party and the responding party may only be discussed if relevant to the issue of consent.

The hearing officers will make a decision based on the “preponderance of evidence” standard, i.e., whether it is “more likely than not” that the alleged incident occurred.

The decision will be made within a reasonable timeframe after the conclusion of the hearing unless exceptional circumstances exist warranting an extension of the timeframe.

The University will disclose, in writing, the final results of any institutional conduct proceedings to both the reporting party and the responding party.

Both the reporting party and the responding party may request a case review according to the process set forth below in subsection “C. Case review.”

Students who are found responsible for violating University policies regarding sexual or gender-based harassment, misconduct, or violence may be subject to disciplinary sanctions, including, without limitation, suspension or dismissal from the University.


C.  Case review.

Both the reporting party and the responding party have the right to request a case review.

The student must submit written requests for a case review to Student Conduct within three (3) business days of being informed of the original decision. Failure to submit a case review request within that time period will render the original decision final.

Generally, if a request for case review is filed in a timely manner, the sanctions issued because of the original decision will not become effective until the review process is completed.

A request for case review may be submitted by completing a “Case Review Request Form” found online on the Student Conduct website. The Case Review Request Form must be completed in its entirety and contain the student’s signature.

A case review may be based solely on one of the following criteria:

  • The procedures outlined in Life on the Bluff were not followed during the student’s original hearing; or
  • New and significant evidence is available which was unknown and could not have been known at the time of the hearing.

The severity of sanction is not considered a legitimate ground for case review.

After a case review request is submitted to Student Conduct within three (3) business days following the original decision, Student Conduct and/or its designee(s) will provide a written response to the case review request. This response may include any information that the hearing officer(s) regards as relevant to the review, including any information used by the hearing officer(s) in making his or her determination.

Where a case review involves sexual or gender-based harassment, misconduct, or harassment, the case reviewer is the Vice President for Student Affairs or a designee.

The case reviewer will have the opportunity to review the student’s conduct file, case review request, and the written response from the original hearing officer(s). The reviewer may then do any of the following: (1) refer the case back for more information, (2) request that the case be reheard, or (3) make a decision regarding the case on the basis of the information provided. Generally, the case review itself will not involve an additional meeting with the charged student.

The decision made by the Vice President for Students Affairs or his/her designee is final.