Summary of Rights and the Formal Grievance Processes

If a Complainant chooses to file a formal complaint as outlined in the Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy, certain rights are afforded to the Complainant and Respondent when engaging in a Formal Grievance Process. For the full list of rights, please see the Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy, Section 21: Rights of the Parties.

  • The right to be informed of available interim actions and supportive measures, such as counseling; changes to academic, living, and/or working situations; advocacy; health care; legal, student financial aid, visa, and immigration assistance; or other services, both on campus and in the community.
  • The right to an equitable and fundamentally fair investigation and resolution of all credible allegations of prohibited harassment or retaliation made in good faith to University officials.
  • The right to timely written notice of all alleged violations, including the identity of the parties involved (if known), the precise misconduct being alleged, the date and location of the alleged misconduct (if known), the relevant policies and procedures, and possible sanctions.
  • The right to have an Advisor of their choice to accompany and assist the party in all meetings and/or interviews associated with an Informal Resolution or Formal Grievance Process.
  • The right to fair opportunity to provide the Investigators with their account of the alleged misconduct and have that account be on the record.
  • The right to provide the Investigators/Decision-Maker with a list of questions that, if deemed relevant by the Investigators/Decision-Maker, may be asked of any party or witness
  • The right to receive a copy of the Investigative Report, including all factual, policy, and/or credibility analyses performed, and all relevant and directly related evidence available and used to produce the Report, subject to the privacy limitations imposed by state and federal law.
  • The right to be promptly informed in a written Notice of Outcome letter of the finding(s) and sanction(s) of the grievance process and a detailed rationale of the decision, delivered simultaneously and without undue delay to the parties.
  • The right to be informed of the opportunity to appeal the finding(s) and sanction(s) of the resolution process, and the procedures for doing so in accordance with the standards for appeal established by the University.

Depending on the nature of the report, including whether or not the behavior occurred in an educational program or activity controlled by the institution, and providing there is enough information to suggest the behavior could substantiate sexual harassment or retaliation, the Complainant has the right to pursue an Informal Resolution (i.e. alternate resolution mechanisms such as mediation, restorative justice practices, or negotiated resolution) or either Formal Grievance Process A or Formal Grievance Process B.

Both Process A and Process B include the following:

  • The right for both parties to have an Advisor present at any meeting, interview, and hearing within a grievance process
  • A Notice of Investigation sent to both parties
  • An investigation in which both parties and witnesses are interviewed and relevant evidence is considered
  • An opportunity for both parties to review the Investigative Report which summarizes the information obtained in the investigation

Process A determines whether or not policy violations were committed by the Respondent via a hearing. Both parties must participate in a live hearing and submit to questioning (cross-examination) by the other party’s Advisor. An independent Decision-Maker will preside over the hearing and use the Final Investigative Report and the information gathered in the hearing to determine whether or not policy violations were committed by the Respondent.

Process B determines whether or not policy violations were committed by the Respondent via the Investigators who conducted the investigation. At the conclusion of their investigation, the Investigators determine whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent committed policy violations.

At the end of both Process A and Process B, both parties have the opportunity to appeal the decision.

For more information about Informal Resolution, Process A, Process B, and the Appeal Process, please see the Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy.

Updated September 2021

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