Reporting and complaint resolution


Bluffton University strongly supports and encourages prompt reporting of sexual misconduct. Prompt reporting helps to provide immediate resources to victims and contributes to keeping the campus safe. Additionally, prompt reporting helps to ensure preservation of evidence that may assist in proving a violation of university policy and/or a criminal offense. All Bluffton community members (students, staff and faculty) should help ensure that possible and alleged violations of sexual misconduct are promptly reported.

All Bluffton employees (except those designated as confidential resources) are mandatory reporters as defined by state law.  Student employees who have positional responsibility for the welfare of others, such as hall directors, resident advisors and ministry assistants are also considered mandatory reporters. This means reporting actual knowledge of sexual harassment, allegations of sexual harassment or any information known or learned through the disclosure of others related to possible or alleged instances of sexual misconduct.

Making a report gives notice to the university to provide resources and initial support. Making a report is not the same as filing a Formal Complaint. The filing of a Formal Complaint is part of the Complaint Resolution process described later in this document.

Making a Report

If a person believes he or she, or someone he or she knows, has been the victim of sexual misconduct, he or she must promptly make a report to the university’s Title IX coordinator, the university’s Title IX deputy coordinator or a member of the Bluffton University residence life staff. Reports can be made by email, phone, in-person or through the Title IX Sexual Misconduct Report form located on student, faculty and staff's account.

Title IX Coordinator
Megan Coffman ( or 419-358-3376)

Title IX Deputy Coordinator
Mark Bourassa ( or 419-358-3217)

Reporting to Law Enforcement

Instances of sexual misconduct may violate both university policy and the law. As a result, the university encourages victims to pursue their complaints through both the university’s processes and the criminal justice system. In addition to helping ensure protection for the campus community, criminal investigations may be useful in gathering of relevant evidence, particularly forensic evidence. The Bluffton Police Department, which can be reached at 419-358-4050, can explain the procedures for pursuing a criminal investigation. The Bluffton Police Department will investigate every incident reported to it to determine if a crime has been committed.

A Complainant has the right to choose whether to notify, or decline to notify law enforcement, except when the allegation is a felony charge under the law. As required by Ohio law, felonies reported to the university must be reported to law enforcement by the university. The university does not share any identifying information without the permission of the Complainant unless required by a court request.

University proceedings will be instituted against a person charged with conduct that potentially violates both the criminal law and the policy without regard to the pendency of civil or criminal litigation. University proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings. Determinations made or sanctions imposed by the university will not necessarily be subject to change because criminal charges arising out of the same facts giving rise to violation of university policy were dismissed, reduced or resolved in favor of or against the criminal law defendant.

Amnesty for Those Who Report Sexual Misconduct

The university encourages reporting and seeks to remove any barriers to reporting by making the procedures for reporting transparent and straightforward. The university recognizes that an individual who has been violating other campus policies (alcohol, drug, open hours, etc.) at the time of an act of sexual misconduct may be hesitant to make a report because of potential consequences for her/his own conduct. An individual who reports sexual misconduct, either as a complainant, reporting party or a third-party witness, will not be subject to disciplinary action by the university for her/his own personal violation of campus policy at or near the time of the incident, provided that any such violations did not and do not place the health or safety of any other person at risk. The university may, however, initiate an educational discussion or pursue other educational remedies regarding alcohol or other drugs.

Administrative Report

The university has the authority to institute an administrative formal complaint against any student, faculty member, administrator or staff member if a violation of the policy occurs. In Formal Complaints initiated by the Title IX Coordinator, the coordinator is not considered the Complainant and will comply with their prescribed regulatory duties.

Protection of Minors

In the event that the university receives a report of prohibited conduct from a minor, the university will make all necessary reports and disclosures pursuant to Ohio law. The university will take any further steps necessary to protect the minor from further prohibited conduct and/or harm.

False Reports

The university will not tolerate intentional false reporting of incidents. It is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct to make an intentionally false report of any policy violation, and it may also violate state criminal statutes and civil defamation laws.

Privacy of Information

The Title IX coordinator or designee will seek consent for a Formal Complaint from the Complainant before beginning a formal investigation. If the Complainant requests confidentiality or asks that the report not be pursued, the university will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the report consistent with the request for confidentiality or the request not to pursue an investigation. The university will evaluate such requests in the context of its responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all members of the community. Thus, the university may weigh the request for confidentiality against factors including but not limited to the following: the seriousness of the alleged harassment; the Complainant’s age; whether there have been other harassment complaints about the same individual; and the alleged Respondent’s rights to receive information about the allegations if the information is maintained by the school as an “education record” under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 C.F.R. Part 99.15

If the university determines that it cannot ensure confidentiality, it will notify the Complainant of that determination. If a Complainant insists that his or her name or other identifiable information not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator, the university will inform the Complainant that the university’s ability to respond may be limited. Even if the university cannot take disciplinary action against the alleged Respondent because the Complainant insists on confidentiality, the university will attempt to pursue other steps to limit the effects of the improper conduct and prevent its recurrence.

The university will also inform the Complainant that Title IX prohibits retaliation, and that it will take action to prevent retaliation as well as action against anyone who engages in retaliation.                                       

Virtual and Pastoral Counseling

If a Complainant would like to discuss the details of the incident but not report the incident to the university’s Title IX Coordinator, the Complainant may speak with:       

Virtual counseling services: The Virtual Care Group
Activate an account at Once registered, follow the directions provided and call anytime to set up an appointment. 

Campus Pastor, Chalsi Campbell
Upper level, Marbeck Center; 419-358-3654;   

The above employees will maintain confidentiality except in extreme cases of immediate threat or danger, or abuse of a minor. Campus counselors are available to help students free of charge. These employees will submit per semester anonymous, aggregate statistical information for Clery Act purposes unless they believe it would be harmful to a specific student. No personally identifiable information will be disclosed when reporting this statistical information.

While The Virtual Care Group and pastoral counselors are not required, in most cases, to make a report to the Title IX Coordinator, the university encourages these counselors, if and when they deem it appropriate, to inform the person they are counseling to consult this policy for information in the event that the person wishes to ultimately make a report to the Title IX Coordinator.

Counseling and health services are also available to the Respondent. 

Finally, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights is a federal entity charged with enforcing Title IX compliance. Inquiries about these issues and complaints regarding violations of rights guaranteed under Title IX may also be referred to the Office for Civil Rights/Cleveland at U.S. Department of Education, 600 Superior Avenue East, Suite 750, Cleveland, OH 44114, or by calling 216-522-4970.


Supportive Measures

Upon notification of alleged sexual misconduct, the university will offer interim supportive and reasonable protective measures 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, provide a safe educational and/or work environment, or prevent further acts of misconduct. The university will determine the necessity and scope of any interim measures. Even if a Complainant or Respondent do not specifically request that supportive action be taken, the university may choose to impose interim measures at its discretion to ensure the safety of any individual, the broader university community or the integrity of the review process.

Persons seeking such assistance should speak with the Title IX Coordinator or the Title IX Deputy Coordinator, who will coordinate such requests on behalf of the person. The university will maintain contact with the parties to ensure that all concerns regarding safety and emotional or physical well-being are being addressed.

All individuals are encouraged to report concerns about failure of another individual to abide by any restrictions imposed by an interim measure. The university will take immediate and responsive action to enforce measures previously ordered or implemented by the university.

The university may impose any remedy that can be tailored to the involved parties to achieve the goals of this policy, even if not specifically listed here. The range of interim measures may include:

No Contact Directive

A Complainant or Respondent may request, or the university may impose mutual, communication and contact restrictions as non-punitive, non-disciplinary supportive measure to prevent further potentially harmful interaction. These communication and contact restrictions generally prohibit direct and indirect contact including, but not limited to face-to-face contact, email or other written correspondence, phone calls, voicemail, text messages, contact through social media or apps or contact through a third party, including mutual friends. A No Contact Directive does not ensure that parties will not ever see one another but is intended to intentionally limit points of interaction. In some cases, an individual may also wish to consider a protection order from the local courts. This is a civil proceeding independent of the university. If a court order is issued, the university will, to the best of the institution’s ability, assist the protected person in benefiting from the restrictions imposed by the court and facilitate on-campus compliance with the order. The university may also limit an individual’s or organization’s access to certain university facilities or activities as part of the no-contact directive.

Academic, Employment or Residence Modifications

A Complainant will be offered the ability to request an academic or employment accommodation or a change in residence after a report of sexual misconduct. An individual who requests assistance in changing his or her academic, employment or living situation after an incident of sexual misconduct will receive appropriate and reasonably available accommodations. The university will keep all such accommodations confidential, unless maintaining such confidentiality would impair the university’s ability to provide the accommodation(s).

These accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic accommodations, including a change in class schedule, taking an incomplete, dropping a course without penalty, attending a class via electronic or other alternative means, providing an academic tutor or extending deadlines for assignments.
  • Change of residential living assignment.
  • Change in work assignment or schedule.
  • Providing an escort to ensure safe movement around campus.
  • Emotional support, including access to counseling services or assistance in obtaining a referral to off‑campus agencies. 
  • Leave of absence
Interim Separation

Where the report of sexual misconduct poses an ongoing risk of harm to the safety or well-being of an individual or members of the campus community, the university may place an individual or organization on interim suspension or impose leave for an employee. Pending resolution of the report, the individual or organization may be denied access to campus. When interim suspension or leave is imposed, the university will make reasonable efforts to complete the investigation and resolution in an expedited time frame. If a decision is made to impose an interim separation, the notification and appeal procedures of the emergency withdrawal process will be followed. This information can be found in the student handbook.            

Victim Support Information

Bluffton University is committed to providing support for students who have been victims of sexual misconduct in any form. Below is a brief description of resources available. For more information or to request accommodation which may not be listed, victims should contact the Title IX Coordinator or the Title IX Deputy Coordinator.

Available resources

  • Confidential counseling and support services are available through The Virtual Care Group ( or off-campus at Crime Victim Services, 877-867-7273.
  • Assistance finding confidential medical services through referrals to an outside agency.
  • Assistance making a police report, which could include accessing a trained victim’s advocate from Crime Victim Services. A victim may seek support from Crime Victim Services by contacting that agency at 877-867-7273.


Complaint Resolution

Initial Assessment

After receiving a report of prohibited conduct committed by a student or employee, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will make an initial assessment of the reported information and respond to any immediate health or safety concerns raised by the report and offer the university’s immediate support and assistance as able.  They will assess the nature and circumstances of the report, determine if the allegations fit within the parameters of the policy, including whether it provides the names and/or any other information that personally identifies the Complainant, the Respondent, any witness and/or any other individual with knowledge of the reported incident and if there is a Complainant who desires to move forward with a formal investigation.

The assessment will also ascertain the ages of the Complainant and Respondent, if known, and, if either of the parties is a minor (under 18), take all necessary actions based upon the facts and circumstances of the case, including contacting the appropriate child protective service agency, if required by law.

Unless extenuating circumstances exist, this initial assessment will be completed within five (5) business days.

The Title IX Coordinator will also ensure that the Complainant receives an explanation of all available resources and options, including the following:

  • Immediate support and assistance available through university resources and the Complainant’s right to supportive measures regardless of whether they choose to participate in a university or law enforcement investigation.
  • The opportunity to meet with the Title IX Coordinator in person to discuss their resources, rights and options.
  • Expectation of a prompt and equitable response to a report of prohibited conduct that involves a reliable, thorough and impartial process conducted by trained individuals free from conflict of interest and bias.
  • Expectation of a process that presumes that a Respondent is not responsible until a determination of responsibility is made at the conclusion of the process.
  • The Complainant’s right to contact or decline to contact law enforcement.
  • The Complainant’s right to seek medical treatment and information on preserving potentially key forensic and other evidence.
  • The Complainant’s right to seek protective measures when the university conducts an investigation.
  • The Complainant’s option of identifying an individual to attend all meetings, interviews, and/or hearing as an advisor.
  • The university’s prohibition against retaliation, that the university will take prompt action when retaliation is reported and how to report acts of retaliation.
  • Notification of how the Complainant may choose to, or decline to, participate in the various steps of the process, including filing a Formal Complaint.
  • Notification that the Title IX Coordinator may, in certain circumstances, proceed without Complainant’s participation and that non-participation may limit the ability of the university to respond.

In the event when a Formal Complaint is filed, protective measures are imposed or any other action that impacts a Respondent, the Title IX Coordinator will meet with the Respondent to also ensure that Respondent is notified and receives written information on available resources and options. The Title IX Coordinator will ensure that a Respondent is informed of:

  • The nature of the investigation, the identities of the parties (if known), the Complainant’s written statement or if there is no written statement, a concise summary of the conduct at issue, and potential policy violations.
  • The opportunity to meet with the Title IX Coordinator in person to discuss their resources, rights and options.
  • Expectation of a prompt and equitable response to a report of prohibited conduct that involves a reliable, thorough and impartial process conducted by trained individuals free from conflict of interest and bias.
  • Expectation of a process that presumes that a Respondent is not responsible until a determination of responsibility is made at the conclusion of the process.
  • The immediate support and assistance available through university resources.
  • The Respondent’s option of identifying an individual to attend all meetings, interviews, and/or hearing as an advisor.
  • The university’s prohibition against retaliation, that the university will take prompt action when retaliation is reported and how to report acts of retaliation.

Upon completion of the Initial Assessment, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will determine the course of action under this policy, which may include:

  1. Formal resolution: includes a) an investigation and review panel hearing to determine, by a preponderance of the evidence, if there has been a policy violation; b) the imposition of sanctions and other appropriate remedies if there has been a finding; and c) the opportunity to challenge the outcome of the investigation or the sanction through an appeal;

  2. Student conduct system: if a respondent accepts responsibility for the alleged violation, AND if conduct would be dismissed under Title IX, the sanctioning process may be handled through the regular student conduct system;
  1. Additional remedies: may include training and other educational measures to members of the university community.

The Title IX Coordinator’s course of action will be guided by

  • Whether the Complainant wishes to file a formal complaint, requests anonymity, requests that an investigation not be pursued, and/or requests that no disciplinary action be taken.
  • The availability of information or evidence suggesting that a policy violation may have occurred
  • The university’s Title IX obligation to investigate or otherwise determine what happened and take corrective action as appropriate to eliminate, prevent and address the effects of the prohibited conduct.

Formal Complaint

The filing of a Formal Complaint initiates the resolution process. The Formal Complaint is a document filed by and signed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment and/or other forms of sexual misconduct against a Respondent and requesting that the university investigate the allegations.  In Formal Complaints signed by the Title IX Coordinator, the coordinator is not considered the Complainant and will comply with their prescribed regulatory duties.

A Formal Complaint may be withdrawn if the Complainant informs the Title IX Coordinator in writing that they want to withdraw the complaint or the allegations. The Title IX Coordinator may choose to withdraw a Formal Complaint if a Respondent is no longer participating in or attempting to participate in the education or program activity of the university or the Complainant submits a written request to withdraw the complaint. In the event that a Formal Complaint is withdrawn, either by the Complainant or Title IX Coordinator, all parties will be notified in writing of the decision.

Formal Resolution

A complete and thorough investigation into a formal complaint will be conducted by the Title IX team or its designee. The investigation shall be concluded within a reasonable amount of time. The investigation will be conducted in a manner that is thorough, prompt, reliable and impartial, and will likely include interviews of the parties involved, interviews of witnesses, and gathering of other relevant information and documentation. Both parties will be notified in writing of the allegation and investigation and provided with a copy of this policy. In this notice, each party will be reminded that he/she can identify an individual to attend meetings in the capacity of advisor (who can be an attorney),that all parties have the opportunity through the investigation to suggest witnesses and questions, to provide evidence and fully review and respond to evidence collected, the presumption that the Respondent is not responsible until a determination of responsibility is made at the conclusion of the process and information regarding the university’s conduct policy on the making of false statements and retaliation.

The Coordinator or Deputy will assign two formally trained Title IX investigators to gather information relating to the Complainant’s report. The names of the investigators will be included in the Notice of Investigation. Within two (2) business days of this notification, the Complainant or the Respondent may identify to the Title IX Coordinator in writing alleged conflicts of interest that may exist with these investigators. In the event that the Coordinator or Deputy determine that a conflict of interest exists, a new investigator(s) will be selected.

If a conflict of interest between the university and the Complainant and/or Respondent is identified with the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Coordinator or president of the university, investigators from outside the institution may be employed to complete the investigation.

Upon receiving the Notice of Investigation, the Investigators will conduct interviews with the Complainant, the Respondent and any third-p;arty witnesses, including witnesses identified by the Complainant and Respondent. The Complainant and the Respondent may submit questions to be asked of the other party and/or any witnesses. Investigators will review submitted questions and may choose which questions are necessary as they deem relevant and appropriate to the investigation. Recording of any meetings that are part of the process is not permitted. The Investigators will be taking notes during the interviews and a summary of the interview will be made available for review and verification. Comments regarding notes on which the interviewer and Complainant or Respondent do not agree will be included as part of the final report presented to the Review Panel.

The investigators will also gather any available physical evidence, written documentation, communications between the parties and other electronic records, so long as the investigator is able to obtain such documentation. Parties may provide any evidence related to the allegations. Examples include, but are not limited to, screenshots of social media posts or electronic conversations (e.g. Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, TikToks, text messages, etc.) written communication, audio or video recordings, photos, receipts, call logs or any other relevant information.

After completing interviews and gathering evidence, both parties will be given ten (10) business days to review the evidence collected during the investigation and submit a written response. In this response, the parties may address the relevance of any evidence that the parties believe should be included in or excluded from the investigative report and suggest other activities or questions that they believe are necessary for the investigation. If the party desires to submit additional evidence as part of this response, they should include an explanation of the relevance of the evidence and reasoning on why evidence was not previously provided during the investigation.

A person’s privileged and confidential documents, such as medical, counseling/psychological, and similar treatment records will not be required to disclose. In situations where a party provides their written permission to share privileged records as part of the investigation, only the portion of the records directly related to the allegations raised in the formal complaint will be included in the case file for review by the other party and for use in the investigative process.

Evidence related to the prior sexual history of the Complainant is generally not relevant to the determination of a policy violation unless it is offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the alleged conduct, or in cases where it is offered to prove consent. While sexual history between the parties may be relevant in understanding the manner of their previous sexual communications, as indicated in the policy section on Consent, “a current or previous dating or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent, and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.”

Investigators will produce a final report that fairly summarizes the evidence gathered.

Investigators will promptly schedule separate meetings with the Complainant and Respondent and their advisors to present the investigator’s final report, review the Review Panel Hearing process, provide this process in writing and answer any questions the parties may have regarding the process. At this time, the parties will be given 10 days to respond in writing to the report. In this response, the parties may address the relevance of any evidence that the parties believe should have been included in or excluded from the report and may include a written statement of position. The investigators will share each written response with the other party. After this time, the report is considered finalized.

Review Panel Hearing
The Title IX Coordinator will assign a three-member review panel to determine if a violation occurred based on a preponderance of evidence standard (is it more likely than not that a violation occurred) and if necessary, sanctions for the violation(s).

The three-member review panel will consist of the chair of the campus conduct board committee, (who will serve as the Review Panel Chair) and two trained investigators (who have not been assigned to the case). 

The Complainant and Respondent will each have a pre-hearing meeting convened by the Review Panel Chair. The party’s advisor and the Title IX Coordinator must be in attendance. During this meeting the Hearing Chair will discuss guidelines and expectations for the hearing.

The Complainant and Respondent and their advisors as well as the two investigators will meet with the review panel to allow for questions and responses to the final report. Witnesses may also be present as determined by the Chair. Parties can choose to be present via electronic means to allow for the two parties to not be physically present in the room at the same time. The Review Panel Hearing will be recorded and made available to the parties for their review during the formal resolution process. Recordings are the property of Bluffton University.

At the Review Panel Hearing, the Chair will provide an introduction on the purpose of the hearing, an overview of the procedures and order, have all present introduce themselves and their role, and remind all parties of the expectation to be honest in their responses. The Complainant and Respondent have an opportunity to make opening statements and respond to any questions from the Review Panel and advisors. If witnesses are present, they would make their statements and then be questioned by the panel and advisors

At the hearing, each party’s advisor is responsible for asking relevant questions to the other party and any witnesses. Questions must be relevant; those that tend to prove or disprove a fact at issue or challenge credibility. Questions should not be inappropriate, harassing, intimidating, irrelevant or repetitive. 

Examples of questions that are not relevant include:

  • Questions related to prior sexual history of the Complainant, unless it is offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the alleged conduct, or in cases where it is offered to prove consent.
  • Questions related to information that is protected by a legally recognized privilege.
  • Questions related to a person’s privileged and confidential documents, such as medical, counseling/psychological, and similar treatment records unless the party has given written consent.
  • Repeating the same question.

The Review Panel will objectively evaluate all evidence to determine its relevance, materiality, weight and reliability. Prior to either party or any witnesses responding to questions from an advisor, the Review Panel Chair will first determine whether the question is relevant and provide a brief explanation regarding any decision of relevancy, or request rephrasing of the question. The Chair is not required to give a lengthy explanation of a relevancy determination during the hearing. The Chair reserves the right to remove an advisor who questions in an abusive, intimidating, harassing, disrespectful or repetitive manner. In the event that an advisor is removed, the Review Panel Hearing will be suspended until an alternative advisor is found or assigned.

The Review Panel cannot infer responsibility based only on nonparticipation or refusal to answer cross-examination questions.

The Complainant and Responded may provide impact statements to the Review Panel. These statement are to remain sealed during the hearing and are only opened and considered as part of the sanctioning process if the Respondent is found responsible for violating the university sexual misconduct policy.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Review Panel will determine based upon a preponderance of the evidence provided in the investigation report and the hearing if a Policy violation has occurred. The Review Panel will render a finding of “responsible” or “not responsible” and will provide the rationale for the decision. If the Review Panel determines that the Respondent is responsible for a violation of Policy, it will determine any disciplinary sanctions.

The Review Panel Chair will notify the Complainant and Respondent in writing of the panel's decision. The review panel will have five (5) business days to render a decision. The written decision will include the following: 

  • Description of the allegations of violation of policy.
  • Description of the procedural steps taken by the university from the filing of the Formal Complaint through responsibility determination.
  • Finding of facts brought up at the review panel hearing supporting the determination.
  • Conclusions regarding the application of facts to the policy.
  • Statement and rationale for the determination of responsibility.
  • Any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the Respondent.
  • Statement and rationale for any additional remedies that will be provided to the Complainant.
  • Statement on university’s procedures for appeal of the decision.
  • The written notification will be provided to the Complainant and Respondent simultaneously. 

The determination of responsibility becomes final either on the date that the university provides the parties with the written determination of the result of the appeal, if one is filed, or if the appeal is not filed, on the date on which an appeal would no longer be considered timely filed.

Any notifications sent pursuant to this policy will not constitute a violation of section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g), commonly known as the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).


Sanctions are intended to address violation of the Policy and restore or preserve equal access to the university's education program or activity and may include supportive measures or remedies that are punitive or would pose a burden to the Respondent.

The following sanctions may be imposed upon any member of the community found to have violated the policy. The following are the typical sanctions that may be imposed upon students or employees:

Student sanctions (listed below and defined in Student Handbook)

    Written warning     Expulsion
  Community service   Withholding diploma
  Fine/restitution   Probation        
  Organizational sanctions   Suspension
  Other actions    

Employee sanctions (listed below and defined in Employee Handbook)

    Warning – written or verbal     Suspension without pay
  Performance improvement plan   Suspension with pay
  Required counseling   Revocation of tenure
  Required training or education   Termination


Examples of sanctioning for sexual misconduct
  • Any person found responsible for nonconsensual sexual contact (where no intercourse has occurred) will likely receive a sanction ranging from probation to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous disciplinary violations.*
  • Any person found responsible for nonconsensual sexual intercourse will likely face a recommended sanction of suspension or expulsion (student) or suspension or termination (employee).*
  • Any person found responsible for sexual exploitation or sexual harassment will likely receive a recommended sanction ranging from warning to expulsion or termination, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous disciplinary violations.*

*The decision-making body reserves the right to broaden or lessen any range of recommended sanctions in the case of serious mitigating circumstances or egregiously offensive behavior. Neither the Review Panel nor any appeals body or officer will deviate from the range of recommended sanctions unless compelling justification exists to do so.


A decision reached by the Review Panel may be appealed by the Complainant or Respondent to the vice president of enrollment management or a designee. An appeal must be submitted in writing within five (5) business days of receiving the decision of the Review Panel. An appeal will only be considered if it falls within one of the following categories: 

  • A procedural error or omission occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the Review Panel.
  • Sanction(s) imposed were substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation of the policy which the Responding party was found to have committed.
  • To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original investigation, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original investigation.
  • The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or decision maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or the individual Complainant or Respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.

The vice president or designee will notify the opposing party of the appeal and afford that party the opportunity to author a written response supporting or challenging the panel decision or to decline the opportunity to respond. The response is to be submitted within five (5) business days of the notification.

After receiving the appeal and written responses from both parties, or in the case of no response from the opposing party after five (5) business days of the notification, the vice president or designee will render a decision the appeal and notify the Complainant and Respondent in writing within five (5) business days of the appeal decision. The appeal decision of the vice president or designee is the final decision of the university.

If an appeal is upheld by the vice president or designee, the matter shall be returned to the original Review Panel to allow reconsideration of the original determination and/or sanction(s). The vice president or designee may also remand the hearing back to a new panel or order a new investigation. If an appeal is not upheld, the matter shall be considered final and binding upon all involved.       

All records related to the complaint resolution process will be maintained for a period of not less than seven years.