More Information About Investigation, Conduct Hearing, and Case Review

In matters involving allegations of sexual or gender-based harassment, misconduct, or violence, which do not constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment, the below processes, requirements, and standards will be applied. Incidents of Sexual and gender-based harassment, misconduct, and violence, as well as incidents of Title IX Sexual Harassment ,fail to meet the University’s value of the inherent dignity of all humans and may result in investigations, conduct hearings, and appeal. The specific processes and language related to incidents of Title IX Sexual Harassment are described in the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy, available at up.edu/titleix. 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 “complainant”) will be interviewed and asked to give a statement through a Title IX Office team member or outside investigator.

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

Any time after a report is made, a no-contact order may be implemented between the parties as appropriate to the situation. The purpose of a no-contact order is to help parties and/or witnesses to a an incident of sexual and gender-based harassment, misconduct or violence avoid situations of potential conflict or confrontation. No-contact orders may include, but are not limited to, directions related to not engaging with other specified individuals, changes to living arrangements, changes to course schedules, and directions related to use of common areas such as dining locations, the library, and the Beauchamp recreation center. All reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate the concerns of the students involved.

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

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

Both the complainant and the respondent may identify witnesses who possess relevant information about the alleged incident of sexual or gender-based harassment, misconduct, or violence to the 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 complainant and the respondent will have access to the other party’s statement upon request to Student Conduct.

The Title IX Office will engage in a good faith effort to conduct a fair, impartial investigation in a timely manner designated to provide all parties with resolution. The time frame for finishing an investigation may be affected by many factors, including for example when the parties and witnesses are available to be interviewed, the number of interviews conducted, the complexities of a case, the University academic calendar, or other legitimate reasons that require an extension of time to promote the integrity and completeness of the investigation. 

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 complainant and/or respondent 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 complainant and the respondent have the same right to have a support person of their choosing present throughout the conduct hearing. Please note that role and expectations related to a support person are different than the role and expectations of an advisor in a process related to Sexual Harassment as defined by Title IX; support persons serve to provide emotional/moral support for the student while advisors have a more active role in the hearing.

Both the complainant and the respondent will receive equivalent notice of process.

The conduct hearing will be conducted with both the complainant and the respondent present. The conduct hearing may be conducted using video-conferencing technology to allow parties equal participation, and the ability to see and hear the other, without being in the same room. 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. 

Generally, the hearing panel consists of three hearing officers: a presiding hearing officer (generally the Associate Director for Community Standards) and two other hearing officers. The University may alter the hearing panel or related procedures when circumstances warrant.

Both the complainant and the respondent have the same right to present relevant evidence throughout the conduct hearing. The presiding hearing officer will determine the admissibility and relevance of all evidence, including that offered by the parties and/or witnesses. 

The hearing panel 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 complainant and the respondent.

Both the complainant and the respondent may request an appeal according to the process set forth below in subsection “C. Appeal.”

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.  Appeal.

Both the complainant and the respondent have the right to request an appeal.

The student must submit written requests for an appeal to Student Conduct within five (5) business days of being informed of the original decision. Failure to submit an appeal request within that time period will render the original decision final.

The sanctions issued because of the original decision will not become effective until the review process is completed or until the 5 days to request an appeal have passed without request.

A request for appeal must be submitted by completing a “Appeal Request Form” available online on the Student Conduct website. The Appeal Request Form must be completed in its entirety, attach all supporting documents, and contain the student’s signature.

An appeal 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 and this irregularity affected the outcome of the matter;

•   New and significant evidence is available which was unknown and could not have been known at the time of the hearing.

 

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

After an appeal request is submitted to Student Conduct within five (5) business days following the original decision, Student Conduct and/or its designee(s) will provide a written response to the appeal 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 an appeal involves sexual or gender-based harassment, misconduct, or harassment, the appeal will be decided by the Vice President for Student Affairs or a designee.

The Vice President for Students Affairs or his/her designee will have the opportunity to review the student’s conduct file, request for appeal, 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 appeal itself will not involve an additional meeting with the parties.

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

D.  Compliance with federal and state law.

The University intends to comply with all applicable requirements under federal and Oregon law. If there are any inconsistencies between the University's policies/procedures and such requirements, the University will follow federal and Oregon requirements.