Grievance Procedure

Overview of Procedural Options (Student, Staff, Faculty): While procedures will differ based on whether the respondent is a student, staff, or faculty member, JSU will endeavor in good faith to administer these policies and procedures fairly and impartially.

 

The Title IX Coordinator and/or the Deputy Title IX Coordinators are the only JSU employees who have the authority to formally institute corrective measures on behalf of JSU. Therefore, reports should be made directly to one of these individuals.

Conflict of Interest/ Bias: The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), and/or decision-maker(s) must be free from any conflict of interest or bias for or against any party involved in the case. Furthermore, if an informal resolution process is facilitated, the person designated to facilitate that process must also be free from any conflict of interest or bias for or against any party involved in the case. Therefore, if at any point during an investigation, a party believes the coordinator, informal facilitator, investigator(s), and/or decision maker(s) has a conflict of interest, the party shall make the Title IX Coordinator or Vice President of Student Affairs aware of the potential conflict or bias in writing (via e-mail or written letter) and request that another individual(s) be assigned.  No retaliation will be permitted based on said notice and request.

Advisor: Each party will be given the opportunity to be accompanied to any meeting, interview, or proceeding by an advisor of their choice. However, neither party’s advisor will be able to advocate or otherwise actively participate in said meetings, interviews, or proceedings except to question the other party during the hearing. At the request of either party, JSU will provide either party with an advisor who is familiar with the JSU Title IX policy and grievance procedure. Each party must have an advisor to question the other party during the hearing. Therefore, if either party does not have an advisor to serve it that role at that time, JSU will appoint an advisor to serve in that capacity at that time. 

Support Person: In addition to an advisor, each party is also allowed to be accompanied to any meeting, interview, or proceeding by a support person of their choice. However, the support person is present solely for support and is not an active participant in said meeting, interview, or proceedings. If this support person is distracting or disruptive during the meeting, interview, or proceeding,  JSU may, in its discretion, terminate or restrict the support person’s ability to participate in future proceedings.

Initial Title IX Review: Once a report is received, the university will initiate an immediate assessment of any risk of harm to individuals or to the campus community and will begin taking steps necessary to address those risks. These steps may include supportive measures/accommodations discussed above.

Thereafter, further action may be initiated depending on a variety of factors, such as the complainant’s thoughts on pursuing  a formal complaint, the risk posed to any individual or the campus community by not proceeding, and the nature of the allegation.

As part of the initial assessment of the facts, the university will:

  • Assess the nature and circumstances of the allegation;
  • Respond to and address immediate physical safety and emotional well-being;
  • Notify the complainant of the options to contact law enforcement, seek medical treatment, and mental health treatment;
  • Notify the complainant of the importance of preservation of evidence;
  • Assess the reported conduct for the need for a timely warning under the Clery Act;
  • Provide the complainant with information about resources (on and off campus);
  • Notify the complainant of the range of available supportive measures;
  • Provide the complainant with an explanation of the procedural options, including informal resolution and formal resolution options;
  • Assess for pattern evidence or other similar conduct by the respondent;
  • Discuss the complainant’s expressed preference for manner of resolution and any barriers to proceeding; and
  • Explain to the complainant the university’s policy prohibiting retaliation.

How to File a Report or Formal Complaint: To file a formal complaint, the complainant (or complainant’s parents or legal guardian, if the parents or a legal guardian have a legal right to act on behalf of the complainant) must meet with the Title IX Coordinator or one of the Deputy Title IX Coordinators. A meeting can be arranged via e-mail or telephone and can occur on campus or at a mutually agreed-upon location off campus. Every effort will be made to meet in person; however, in some circumstances, this meeting can occur via video conference. During said meeting, the complainant will be given the opportunity to request any accommodations needed, will be given the opportunity to review the policy and procedures, and will be given the option of filing an informal report or formal complaint. The differences between these options will be explained, and the complainant will be allowed to ask any questions regarding the options. The complainant will be allowed additional time to consider all options and will not be required to make a decision at the time of said meeting. The complainant can notify the Title IX Coordinator and/or one of the Deputy Title IX Coordinators at any time in the future if any/additional accommodations are needed or if the complainant decides to pursue a formal complaint.

Notice to the Title IX Coordinator and/or any of the Deputy Title IX Coordinators ensures that JSU is aware of the issue and can work to address it appropriately. As such, if one of the Deputy Title IX Coordinators receives any information regarding any misconduct described in this policy, that Deputy Title IX Coordinator is required to immediately (within 12 hours) contact the Title IX Coordinator and provide the Title IX Coordinator with all the information that Deputy Title IX Coordinator has regarding the situation.   

 

Formal Complaint Requirement: A complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in a JSU educational program or activity at the time of filing a formal complaint. Examples of individuals who may be considered as a complainant attempting to participate in a JSU educational program or activity may be an alumna/alumnus who intends to apply for admission to work toward another degree, an alumna/alumnus who intends to remain involved with alumni programs/activities, an individual who is on a leave of absence, or an individual who has left school due to sexual harassment with an expressed desire to re-enroll if there is an appropriate response to the sexual harassment. 

Formal Grievance Process: Formal disciplinary action against a respondent may only be taken through the formal grievance process. Because the relationship of students, staff, and faculty to the university differs in nature, the procedures that apply when seeking formal disciplinary action necessarily differ somewhat as well. Each of the procedures, however, is guided by the same principles of fundamental fairness and respect for all parties, which require notice, an opportunity to be heard, and an opportunity to respond to a formal complaint under this policy.

Student Respondent: For a report against a student, disciplinary action may be taken by a hearing panel of three trained individuals.

Employee Respondent: For a report against a staff member, disciplinary action may be taken by the Director of Human Resources after a full investigation and a separate hearing by a panel of three trained individuals.

Timeline for Investigations/Hearings/Decisions/Sanctions/Appeals:

 

To the extent possible:  1) Investigations will be completed, and an investigative report will be provided to the hearing panel members within 60 business days from the filing of the formal complaint; 2) Hearings will be completed within 20 business days from the date that the investigation report is provided to the hearing panel members. The decision letter will be provided to each of the parties within three (3) business days of the hearing. 

All appeals (from either party) will be filed no later than 4:30 p.m. on the 7th business day after the hearing (e.g., if a hearing was held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, and the university was closed only on Saturday and Sunday, the appeal would need to be filed no later than 4:30 p.m. on the Thursday the week after the hearing). The other party will have an opportunity to provide a written statement in support of or challenging the outcome, but said statements must be provided no later than five (5) business days after the appeal request form is submitted. All appeals will be reviewed by the appeal panel members, and a decision on any appeal filed will be issued to each party (either in person or via jsu.edu) within 30 business days of the hearing date. 

If an extension of any of these time frames is requested by either party or is, for good cause, needed, the Title IX Coordinator will provide written notice to each of the parties, explaining the reason for the delay. 

Informal resolution will temporarily pause/delay the running of the period of time set forth above. For more information about informal resolution, please see the “Informal Resolution” section.

Consolidation: If the Title IX Coordinator believes that it would be appropriate, then formal complaints under this policy against more than one respondent, by more than one complainant against one or more respondents, or by one party against the other party-where the allegations (of violations of this policy) arise out of the same facts or circumstances-may be consolidated for investigation and/or hearing and/or appeal purposes. Where a grievance process involves more than one complainant or more than one respondent, references in this section to a singular “party,” “complainant,” or “respondent” include the plural, as applicable.

If the cases are consolidated for purposes of an investigation and/or hearing, the investigator(s) may issues a single investigative report.

Presumption

JSU will presume that a respondent is not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process.

Standard of Evidence: JSU uses a “preponderance of the evidence” standard when determining responsibility for any violation of this policy. This requires a showing of evidence that is over 50% or indicates that the information provided leads the hearing panel to decide that “more likely than not” the person is “responsible” for the violation.  In a situation where the panel finds that the evidence in a case is “equal” or “level,” the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard would result in a finding of not responsible. The preponderance-of-the-evidence standard is lower than the standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is used in criminal court cases.   

This standard of evidence applies regardless of whether the respondent is a student or employee (staff or faculty).

Burden of Proof: Throughout the grievance process, the burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence sufficient to meet the standard of evidence (including determining responsibility and the existence of consent) rests on the university, not on the parties.  However, it is important to note the following:

  • The university cannot access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use a party’s records that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in the professional’s or paraprofessional’s capacity (or assisting in that capacity), and which are made or maintained in connection with the provision of treatment to the party, unless the university obtains the party’s voluntary, written consent to do so for a grievance process. (When legally required, then the university must obtain the voluntary, written consent of the party’s parent or legal guardian.)
  • The university will provide an equal opportunity for the parties to present witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence.
  • There will be no restriction on the ability of either party to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence.
  • The parties will have the same opportunities to have an advisor and a support person present during any meeting or hearing.
  • Any time a party’s participation is invited or expected, that party will be provided notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all hearings, investigative interviews, or other meetings with the party. That party will also be provided sufficient time for the party to prepare to participate. If a hearing, interview or meeting is scheduled and the party who is to participate does not feel they have been provided sufficient time to prepare to participate, that party should contact the Title IX Coordinator (preferably via e-mail to TitleIX@jsu.edu); request that the meeting, interview, or hearing be rescheduled and provide additional dates and times when the party is available to participate.  

Notice of Investigation: Upon receipt of a formal complaint, written notice will be provided to the respondent (a copy of which will be provided to the complainant).  This notice will generally be provided via an e-mail to each party’s jsu.edu e-mail account.  Attached to said e-mail will be the notice/letter of investigation, a copy of JSU’s policy and procedure, and a copy of the rights for said individual during the process.

This notice will be provided to the respondent at least 24 hours before the proposed initial interview time. However, if this does not provide the reporting party with sufficient time to prepare a response before the initial interview, the reporting party should e-mail the Title IX Coordinator, request that the initial interview be rescheduled and provide additional dates and times when the party is available to participate.    

Amended Notice of Investigation: If, in the course of an investigation, there is a decision to investigate allegations that are not included in the initial notice of investigation, an amended notice of investigation will be provided to the parties.

Informal Resolution: This is a resolution option that allows corrective action to be taken without formal disciplinary action against the respondent. Corrective action under an informal resolution could include educational programming or training, direct confrontation of the respondent, or facilitated discussions between the complainant and/or respondent and/or witnesses. However, the university will never compel a complainant to engage in an informal resolution process or directly confront the respondent and/or particular form of informal resolution.  

Once a formal complaint is filed, an informal resolution may be a potential resolution option. This option can be pursued at any time prior to 24 hours before the scheduled start time of the disciplinary hearing. If either party would like to discuss the option of informal resolution, then that party can contact the Title IX Coordinator and discuss the informal resolution they would propose. If the Title IX Coordinator determines that said proposal may be a viable option for resolution, then the Title IX Coordinator will discuss the proposal with the other party. If an agreeable resolution is determined after each party has had an opportunity to consult with the Title IX Coordinator, then the Title IX Coordinator will prepare the informal resolution agreement and give each party the opportunity to sign said agreement. 

If the informal resolution agreement is signed by the complainant, the respondent and the Title IX Coordinator, then the investigation and resolution process will be placed on hold to allow the terms of the informal resolution agreement to be fulfilled.

Once the terms of the informal resolution agreement are fulfilled in a timely manner and as specified in the agreement, the Title IX Coordinator will e-mail the complainant and the respondent to notify them that the terms have been fulfilled and the case is being closed. 

The Title IX Coordinator’s first priority must be maintaining the safety of the parties involved and the campus as a whole. The Title IX Coordinator reserves the right to not sign/approve the informal resolution agreement for any reason. Furthermore, the Title IX Coordinator cannot sign/approve any informal resolution agreement involving an employee’s prohibited conduct directed toward a student. 

If the agreement is not signed by either party or the Title IX Coordinator, the case will continue forward. If both parties sign the agreement, but all terms of the agreement are not fulfilled in a timely manner and/or as specified in the agreement, the case will continue forward.

If a case continues forward, the parties maintain all of their rights to due process and to be heard and the case continues forward as if the informal resolution did not exist. The exception is that the informal resolution can be mentioned in any hearing as a reason for a delay in the resolution of the case. 

 

Dismissals: There are certain situations (listed below) that require or permit dismissal of a Title IX case under this policy.  If at any point during the process the case is dismissed, both parties will be notified of said dismissal, the reason for said dismissal and if the case has been referred for review under any other policy or code of conduct.  Furthermore, either party will have the opportunity to file an appeal of the dismissal decision.  An appeal must be filed no later than 4:30 pm on the 4th business day after receiving notification of dismissal (e.g., if the notification of dismissal was e-mailed to the parties at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday and the university was closed only on Saturday and Sunday, the appeal would need to be filed no later than 4:30 pm on Monday the week after the notification of dismissal). Either party may file an appeal regarding the dismissal decision.     

Required Dismissal: The case will be dismissed under this policy and referred for review and potential charges under other policies or codes of conduct if at any point during the process it is determined that the conduct or behavior alleged in the formal complaint:  

  • Would not violate this policy even if proven;
  • Did not occur in a JSU educational program or activity (as defined above); or
  • Did not occur against a person in the United States.

Potential Dismissal: The case may be dismissed under this policy and referred for review and potential charges under other policies or codes of conduct if at any point during the process:

  • The complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein;
  • The respondent is no longer enrolled in or employed by Jacksonville State University; or
  • Specific circumstances prevent the recipient from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations therein.

Investigation: When a report is received and the Title IX Coordinator determines that, based on all information known about the behavior, the location of the incident, and the other elements are present to allow the university to move forward under this policy, the university may initiate a formal investigation. The Title IX Coordinator will designate a trained investigator(s) who has specific training and experience investigating allegations of sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, domestic violence and dating violence. Any investigator(s) assigned will be impartial and free of any conflict of interest.

Parties and witnesses are strongly encouraged to provide all evidence and contact information for any potential witness(es) as early as possible in the process. This will assist in completing in investigation as promptly as possible. Please note that new evidence may not be introduced at the hearing without the agreement of the other party; therefore, it is important to provide all of the information and evidence during the investigation. 

Preliminary Investigative Report: Once the investigation is complete, a preliminary investigative report will be created that will fairly summarize the relevant evidence. 

Each party will be notified (via their jsu.edu e-mail address), and each party’s advisor (who has been identified by the party) will be notified (at the e-mail address provided by the party for the advisor). In said notification e-mail, the party and that party’s advisor will be invited to meet with the investigator(s), where they will be provided with a hard copy of the preliminary investigative report and all evidence. During the meeting, the investigator(s) will seek to answer any questions the parties may have regarding the investigation. The investigator(s) will verify that there are no additional witnesses that need to be interviewed nor any additional evidence that needs to examined. The investigator(s) will discuss any requested changes to the preliminary investigative report.  The parties are encouraged to make corrections and provide appropriate context. The investigator(s) will invite the parties to provide a written response and/or will invite each party to meet with the investigator(s) and/or review the evidence and/or report as frequently as needed.  This initial meeting to receive the report and evidence should be held as quickly as possible after the initial notification and invitation to meet.  Each party is allowed to submit a response, which the investigator(s) will consider prior to completion of the investigative report, but that response would need to be provided to the investigator(s) within ten(10) days.

Final Investigative Report: Once the parties’ requested changes have been addressed in the investigative report, then the investigator(s) send notification to each of the parties explaining that the final investigative report is ready for review and schedule any meeting that the parties request at this time.  Any meeting to discuss the final investigative report should be scheduled as quickly as possible, as any suggested changes to the final investigative report will need to be provided within ten (10) business days of receiving notification that the final investigative report has been completed.

Once the parties’ have had an opportunity to review the final investigative report, then the final report will be provided to the Title IX Coordinator, who will begin preparing for the hearing.

Reviewing Documents and/or Evidence: The investigative report and all documents that are able to be provided will be provided to the parties (and their advisors) at least ten (10) business days before the hearing. However, originals of documents will need to be retained in the Title IX office or UPD custody. Therefore, to review originals simply follow this review procedure. 

 

To the extent required and permitted by law, The Title IX Coordinator will make available the evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the formal complaint.  This will be available for inspections and/or review by either party and their advisors during the normal university operating hours, so long as it is scheduled at a mutually agreed-upon time, at least 24 hours in advance. To schedule said inspection and/or review, please e-mail the Title IX Coordinator at titleix@jsu.edu to request a time to inspect and/or review said evidence. Please provide the Title IX Coordinator with at least three (3) different times on three (3) different dates on which you are available to allow for the inspection and/or review to be scheduled at a time that is equally convenient for the Title IX Coordinator and the requesting party. 

Privacy is generally of great concern to the parties in these matters. Therefore, the Title IX team will endeavor in good faith to maintain the privacy of the parties, including the reports, evidence, and other materials involved in these matters. As such, the Title IX team also requests that the information not be shared with anyone else except as needed for purposes of preparing for the hearing.    

There are certain situations where a party does not want to have possession of the documents or evidence and/or does not want their advisor to have possession of the documents or evidence. If a party does not want to (or does not want their advisor to) receive the evidence and documents, then they will need to complete a form with the Title IX office. Even if this form is completed, then the party will still be allowed to review the documents and evidence, at any point, in the Title IX office.

All evidence and reports will be made available to each party at the hearing and each party will have the opportunity to refer to such evidence during the hearing, including for purposes of questioning any/all parties and witnesses.

Hearing Panel: The hearing panel will consist of three (3) hearing panel members who are designated by the Title IX Coordinator, who is tasked with ensuring that each hearing panel member has the appropriate training regarding allegations of sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, domestic violence and dating violence. Any hearing panel member assigned will be impartial and free of any conflict of interest.  Neither the Title IX Coordinator nor the investigator(s) on the case can serve as a member of the hearing panel.

The Title IX Coordinator will be responsible for scheduling the hearing and providing the investigative report to the hearing panel members for review. The Title IX Coordinator will also be available on the day of the hearing to assist with logistical matters.   

Pre-Hearing Details: Preparing for a hearing that will include three hearing panel members, two parties, two advisors, support persons, and potentially three (or more) locations requires a great deal of planning and preparation. In an effort to make the hearing proceedings more efficient and less hectic for everyone involved, we ask for the parties’ assistance in providing their preferences and requests in advance.

Witness Scheduling: If either party wants the university to schedule a particular person to address the hearing panel to answer questions, then that party should provide the Title IX Coordinator with the name and contact information for that witness so that arrangements can be made for that witness to be available for said hearing. (For example, if a party wants the university to make a non-party faculty member come to the hearing to answer questions, then arrangements will need to be made to ensure availability on the day of the hearing.)

Evidence: If either party wants the university to make additional copies or otherwise ensure that a particular piece of evidence is available in a certain form at the hearing, then that party should provide that information to the Title IX Coordinator with appropriate notice so that arrangements can be made for that evidence to be available in the preferred form. (For example, if a piece of evidence is housed in the evidence locker at UPD, then additional scheduling will be required for that evidence to be viewed in person.)

Requested Witness Order/Schedule: If either of the parties and/or witnesses have a preference regarding the order of witnesses or parties based on schedules or other preference, then that party and/or witness should make their preferences known to the Title IX Coordinator at least three (3) days before the hearing date to allow for the Title IX Coordinator to coordinate the attendance of each witness at the appropriate time. This particular order will not be able to be guaranteed as there are several people and schedules involved. (For example, if a witness desires to answer questions as the first person due to a class schedule conflict later in the day, then we will do our best to accommodate that request. If we are unable to accommodate such a request, then the Title IX Coordinator will work with the witness to provide an excuse or other appropriate assistance.)

Impact Statements: Impact statements are statements that are provided regarding the impact of the case on the party and that may provide to the panel members the party’s thoughts on a fair sanction.

  • Impact statements are only read by the panel members if there is a finding of “responsible.”
  • In order to make these statements available to the panel members in the event of a “responsible” finding, the statements should be provided by each of the parties to the Title IX Coordinator before the hearing time. It is recommended that these statements be provided to the Title IX Coordinator at least 24 hours before the beginning of the hearing, but said statements will be accepted by the Title IX Coordinator up to 1 hour before the hearing time.
  • Impact statements must be provided to the Title IX Coordinator in a sealed envelope. 
  • If, after the entire hearing, the panel returns a finding of “not responsible,” then the envelope will never be opened and will be shredded by the Title IX Coordinator. In the event of a “not responsible” finding (after the appeal, if an appeal is filed), the Title IX Coordinator will contact the party or parties who provided the impact statement(s) to let the party or parties know that the statements are to be shredded and can shred these statements in the presence of the party who provided the statement to prove that the envelope was never opened and was never read by any of the panel members.
  • If, after the entire hearing, the panel returns a finding of “responsible,” then the Title IX Coordinator will provide the statements (in their sealed envelopes) to the panel members for their consideration regarding sanctioning.  The panel members will then open the statements in the presence of all members of the panel and consider these statements during their deliberations regarding sanctioning.

Hearing:

Recording: All hearings will be recorded by JSU to allow for a proper records of the proceedings.  This recording will be available for inspection and review by the parties using the same procedure for review of original documents and evidence described above.

Location: The hearing will be scheduled for an appropriate location that will allow for a comfortable atmosphere for each of the parties.  When selecting a location, the privacy of the participants will be considered. 

Virtual Attendance: JSU may, in the exercise of its discretion, require that any/all questioning and/or the entire hearing occur with the parties and/or any witnesses located in separate locations with technology enabling the panel members and parties to simultaneously see and hear the party and witness answering the questions.

Participation/Lack of Attendance: The panel members will not draw an inference about the determination regarding responsibility based solely on a party or witness’s absence at the hearing or refusal to answer any questions.  However, if any party or witness does not participate in the hearing (including answering all relevant questions by each party or advisor), then their previous statements will not be able to be considered by the hearing panel members.

Evidence and Reports: All evidence and reports will be made available to each party at the hearing and each party will have the opportunity to refer to such evidence during the hearing, including for purposes of questioning any/all parties and witnesses.

 

Procedure/Process for the Hearing: The hearing will begin with a brief introduction and overview of the procedure for the hearing. 

Each of the parties will be given the opportunity to make a short (up to 5 minutes in length) statement during the hearing. Once that statement has been concluded, the other parties will be allowed to ask any relevant questions to that party.

Then questioning of each witness and party will begin. The witnesses and parties will submit to questioning in the order selected by the decision makers, following this questioning order:  

  • Panel members will ask questions first.
  • Respondent will ask questions second.
  • Complainant will ask questions third.
  • Respondent will have another opportunity to ask questions fourth.
  • Complainant will have another opportunity to ask questions fifth.
  • Hearing panel members will have another opportunity to ask any remaining questions sixth.
  • Then, the hearing will move forward with the next witness.
  • After the last witness, the hearing panel members will explain the process of how and when to expect the decision document will be delivered, and the hearing will dismiss.

Questioning the Other Party: Each party will have an opportunity to ask the other party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including questions challenging credibility. However, questions to the other party will be asked by the questioning party’s advisor. 

  • If either party does not have an advisor present at the hearing, JSU will provide that party with an advisor (at no cost to the party/parties), who is familiar with the JSU grievance process.

Decorum: These proceedings require that all persons present, including the parties, their advisors, any support persons, witnesses, and hearing panel members maintain appropriate decorum and participate respectfully and non-abusively throughout the proceedings.

  • Abusive language and/or behaviors that disrupt the hearing will not be tolerated.
  • Badgering any witness, including either party, is forbidden.
  • Each party, advisor, and support person will remain seated in their designated seat throughout the proceedings, except during breaks.    
  • Conferring with one another loudly in such a way that the hearing is disrupted is prohibited.

Relevant Questions: The chairperson of the hearing panel must determine whether any question is relevant before the questioned individual responds. To accomplish this, there will be a “pause” in the proceedings after each question BEFORE the answering party provides the answer. This pause will allow the chairperson (with or without input from the other panel members) to determine if the question is relevant before the answer is provided.  This will require patience, but it is an important element of the hearing process. 

  • The determination as to whether the question is relevant or not will be made by chair of the hearing (with or without input from the other panel members) by applying logic and common sense.
  • Duplicative and/or repetitive questions may be deemed to be irrelevant.
  • If any questions are excluded as not relevant, the chairperson of the hearing panel will explain to the party/the advisor who sought to ask the question why the question is due to be excluded.
  • Questions requesting information regarding the following will be deemed non relevant:
    • Information protected by a legally recognized privilege (such as attorney-client privilege, medical provider privilege, etc.);
    • Any party’s medical, psychological, or similar records (unless the party has given voluntary, written consent);
    • Party or witness statements that have not been subjected to cross-examination at a live hearing;
    • Evidence about a complainant’s prior sexual history unless said sexual history evidence or question is offered:
      • To prove that someone other than the respondent committed the conduct alleged in the formal complaint; or
      • To demonstrate specific incidents of the complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the respondent and are offered to prove consent. (This exception only applies to situations where consent is an issue at the hearing).

New Evidence: All evidence should be provided during the investigation phase.  If either party attempts to present new evidence at the hearing, the hearing will end and the case will be sent back for further investigation. In the event that the  other party agrees to allow for the new evidence to be presented, the hearing will break for at least 30 minutes to allow the new evidence to be properly reviewed before the hearing resumes.

Credibility Assessments: The panel members will make credibility assessments of all parties and witnesses. However, these assessments will not be based on a person’s status as a complainant, respondent, or witness

Decision: After the hearing process is complete, the panel members will deliberate and make a finding of either “responsible” or “not responsible” based on a preponderance of the evidence. The panel will use a disciplined, unbiased evaluation of admissible, relevant evidence to reach this decision.

Sanctioning: If, after the entire hearing, the panel members make a finding of “responsible,” then they will be provided with a copy of the impact statements.  These statements are statements provided by one or both parties to the Title IX Coordinator in a sealed envelope before the beginning of the hearing. After fully reading the impact statements, then the panel members will be responsible for making a decision regarding the appropriate sanction. Again, the sanctioning determination does not need to be unanimous, but must be agreed upon by at least two of the three panel members.

Decision Letter: The panel members will provide a written decision letter to each of the parties (via their jsu.edu e-mail address) within three (3) business days of the hearing. If the hearing panel members find the respondent responsible for a violation of the policy, the decision letter will also include the sanction decided upon by the panel members.  This letter will be signed by the panel members and then provided to the Title IX Coordinator, who will e-mail the letter to each of the parties and their advisors.    

Potential Sanctions:

The following are a list of potential sanctions that can be implemented upon a finding of responsible after a proper investigation and hearing:

Warning- Notice, in writing, that any continuation or repetition of prohibited conduct for a specific or indefinite period of time may be cause for further disciplinary action. 

 

Educational Sanction- Requiring the individual to perform mandated service, or to participate in an educational program or activity, including but not limited to an educational seminar, a treatment program, or another program/task designed to manage the behavior, understand why the behavior was inappropriate, and/or assist the individual in learning more about how their behavior impacted themselves and/or the community. 

  

Disciplinary Probation- A period during which an individual must behave in a manner acceptable to the university and comply with specific terms. Under the status of disciplinary probation, an individual is encouraged to seek advice from appropriate university officials. Conditions of probation may be set forth that restrict the individual’s participation in specific activities. Violation of the terms of probation or additional incident(s) of misconduct while on probation may result in suspension or dismissal. 

 

Facilitated Discussion- Informal facilitated conversation between the respondent and other impacted parties to resolve conflict, to formulate an action plan, and/or to decide whether and how to implement change.  

 

Loss of Privileges- The withdrawal of a privilege, use of a service, participation in a program or organization, event or activity for a specific period of time.  The loss of privileges may prohibit an individual from participating in co-curricular activities, continuing in a degree program, being present in or using certain campus facilities or services, and/or prohibit an individual from enrolling in a class or classes. 

 

Formal Performance Improvement Plan- A plan designed to improve the individual’s performance in the future.  This can include terms that require completion of certain tasks, programs, or other behavior modification items that is specifically designed for the individual.

 

Termination of Employment- An individual may be terminated from their employment with the university and/or be prohibited from applying for employment with the university for a specific amount of time. This will be recorded in the employee’s file.

 

No Contact Order – No contact orders are designed so that individuals involved in a conduct process do not have any communication with each other to help minimize further altercations between those involved.  Individuals who receive no contact orders are directed to refrain from contacting an identified individual using ANY means. This includes but is not limited to comments, words or gestures in person, through postal mail, e-mail, social networking sites, or by having others (friends, acquaintances, family members, etc.) act on the individual’s behalf.  Any order of no contact will remain in place until both parties agree in writing to cancel the order, pending final approval by the Title IX Coordinator. 

 

Suspension- Any action that excludes an individual from class attendance, residence in university- owned or managed housing, and use of university facilities for a specified period of time. This action results in loss of privilege unless there is specific written permission, otherwise obtained from the Title IX Coordinator. Suspension typically includes a trespass from all university property during the designated suspension timeframe. Should an individual who is suspended be found on university property, further disciplinary action may be warranted. 

                                i.            A suspension may be imposed in any increment (weeks, months, academic year or calendar year) but must be specific as to when the individual will be allowed to return to the educational program or activity, including whether the individual may be allowed to participate in online activities or not.   

                              ii.            A suspension may be deferred based on the timing of the semester (e.g., end of semester). This decision is at the discretion of the panel members and will only be considered if the individual’s presence on campus is deemed not to be a threat. Should the individua be readmitted, further incident(s) of misconduct may result in additional suspension periods or dismissal from the university. Additionally, the failure to observe the terms and conditions of a suspension may cause the extension of the suspension period or further disciplinary action. 

                            iii.            A suspension will take place once the appeal time frame or process is complete. In the event of an academic suspension, individuals are encouraged to consult with Student Accounts and the University Registrar regarding possible tuition and fee refunds. The panel members will make no determination regarding potential refunds.

   

Deferred Suspension- This sanction is a suspension that is delayed pending specified behavioral performance. A definite period of observation and review occurs during a deferred suspension. If an individual is again found responsible of violating any (or a specific) code of conduct, the suspension will take place immediately, without appeal.  The expectation will be addressed fully in a sanctioning document.

 

Dismissal- The permanent loss of the privilege of registration, class attendance, employment, and/or residence in university owned or university-managed housing. The privilege to use university facilities or property is typically also permanently withdrawn by this action. An individual who has been dismissed is not eligible for readmission or reemployment. Any individual who is dismissed will not be entitled to any refund of tuition or fees. Dismissal typically includes a trespass from all university property. Should an individual who is dismissed from the university be found on university property, further disciplinary action may be warranted. 

 

Transfer of Work Assignment- The temporary or permanent transfer from one work assignment and/or location to a different work assignment and/or location.

 

Delay of Tenure Track Progress- The temporary or permanent delay of tenure track progress.

 

Revocation of Tenure- The temporary or permanent loss of tenure.

 

Assignment to Different Supervisor- The temporary or permanent reassignment to alternative supervisor.

 

Demotion- A change in employment status to reflect of loss of a promotion.

 

Denial of Pay Increase- The loss of an opportunity for a pay increase that would have ordinarily been provided.

 

Loss of Pay Grade- A decrease in pay and/or benefit for a specific amount of time.

 

Restriction of Stipends, Research, and/or Professional Development Resources- A general or specific restriction placed on an employees ability to receive stipends, research resources, and/or professional development resources.

 

Enhanced Supervision, Observation, or Review- A general or specific enhancement of supervision, observation, or review for employees.

Remedies: If there is a finding of “responsible,” the panel and/or the Title IX Coordinator can address remedies. Remedies are individualized services that are designed to restore or preserve equal access to JSU’s educational programs or activities.  These may include the same or similar individualized services that are described in the “Supportive Measures” section. However, these remedies need not be non-disciplinary nor non-punitive and need not avoid burdening the respondent.

Remedies may include:

  • Counseling;
  • Extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments;
  • Modifications of work or class schedules for either party;
  • Campus escort services;
  • Restrictions on contact between the parties;
  • Changes in work or housing locations for either party;
  • Leaves of absence;
  • Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of campus; and
  • Other similar measures.

The Title IX Coordinator will be responsible for the effective implementation of these remedies. Any remedies that are provided to the complainant will not be disclosed to the respondent unless said remedies directly affect the respondent, and disclosure is required for effective implementation.