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Title IX Sexual Harassment Process

A. INTRODUCTION

This Title IX Sexual Harassment Process will be used to process any report or complaint of “Title IX Sexual Harassment,” as defined in this Article III. Any person may report Title IX Sexual Harassment under this policy, whether or not the reporting party is the person alleged to be the victim of the conduct. Reports of Title IX Sexual Harassment may be made in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail at any time (including during non-business hours) directed to the Title IX Coordinator using the contact information contained in Article IV, Section J and other sections of this Student Handbook; such information is also available on the Title IX Office website. If an Official With Authority, as defined in this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process, receives a report or otherwise has knowledge of a report or incident of Title IX Sexual Harassment, the Official With Authority must promptly report such information to the Title IX Coordinator.

Processing a report or complaint under this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process does not preclude processing some or all allegations of a report or complaint under other policies and procedures, to the extent allowed by Title IX and other laws.

This process complies with all requirements of Title IX and its implementing regulations and provides required notice of the procedure used to respond to complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment for necessary stakeholders.

If the regulations implementing Title IX at 85 Fed. Reg. 30026, 30026-30579, are enjoined or invalidated by a Federal Court with jurisdiction over Illinois Tech or reversed or replaced by any agency with sufficient authority, this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process will immediately cease to apply to reports and complaints of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, including Title IX Sexual Harassment, unless and until any such injunction, invalidation, reversal, or replacement is overturned or reversed. Upon such an event, Illinois Tech will process Title IX Sexual Harassment complaints under its Code of Conduct provisions as the same are set forth in Article II of this Student Handbook.

B. TITLE IX SEXUAL HARASSMENT DEFINITIONS

The following terms have the following definitions as used in this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process:

“Actual Knowledge” - Notice of Title IX Sexual Harassment or allegations of Title IX Sexual Harassment to Illinois Tech’s Title IX Coordinator or to any Official With Authority, as defined herein. Assumption of knowledge based solely on Illinois Tech’s status as an employer or other presumption under law does not constitute Actual Knowledge. This standard is not met when the only official of Illinois Tech with Actual Knowledge is the Title IX Respondent. “Notice” as used here includes, but is not limited to, a report or complaint of Title IX Sexual Harassment to the Title IX Coordinator or any Official With Authority in person, by mail, by telephone, or by email using the contact information listed for the Title IX Coordinator contained in Article IV, Section J and other sections of this Student Handbook, which information is also available on the Title IX Office website, or by any other means that results in the Title IX Coordinator or an Illinois Tech Official With Authority receiving the person’s verbal or written report.

“Business Days” - Days on which the Illinois Tech main office is open.

“Consent” - Consent as defined in Article IV, Section N of this Student Handbook.

“Education Program or Activity” - Locations, events, or circumstances in the United States over which Illinois Tech exercises substantial control over both the Title IX Respondent and the context in which Title IX Sexual Harassment occurs, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by Illinois Tech. Depending on the facts, such as whether it was an Illinois Tech sponsored event, this phrase may extend to off-campus Title IX Sexual Harassment incidents occurring in the United States.

“Formal Title IX Complaint” - A document filed by a Title IX Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging Title IX Sexual Harassment against a Title IX Respondent and requesting that Illinois Tech investigate the allegation. At the time of filing a Formal Title IX Complaint, a Title IX Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in Illinois Tech’s Education Program or Activity within which the Formal Title IX Complaint is filed. A Formal Title IX Complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or by email, by using the contact information required to be listed for the Title IX Coordinator included in Article IV, Section J and other sections of this Student Handbook, which information is also available on the Title IX Office website. As used here, the phrase “document filed by a Title IX Complainant” means a document or electronic submission (such as by email or paper or electronic form provided for this purpose by IIT) that contains the Title IX Complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the Title IX Complainant is the person filing the Formal Title IX Complaint. Where the Title IX Coordinator signs a Formal Title IX Complaint, the Title IX Coordinator is not a complainant or otherwise a party under this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process.

“Officials With Authority” - Includes any official designated by Illinois Tech to have authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the institution, specifically: President, Provost, Vice Presidents and those designated to serve in the role of Associate or Assistant Vice Presidents/Provosts; the Title IX Coordinator and Assistant Title IX Coordinators, academic deans, department chairs; student affairs and residential life directors; athletic director; and the Director and Assistant Directors of Public Safety.

“Supportive Measures” - Non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to a Title IX Complainant or Respondent before or after the filing of a Formal Title IX Complaint or where no Formal Title IX Complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to Illinois Tech’s Education Program or Activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or Illinois Tech’s educational environment and deter sexual harassment. Supportive Measures may include but are not limited to counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, changes in work or resident hall locations, leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus, and other similar measures.

“Title IX Appellate Decisionmaker” - An individual designated by Illinois Tech to conduct an appeal required by Title IX and this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process. The Title IX Appellate Decisionmaker cannot be the Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Investigator, Title IX Decisionmaker or Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator assigned to the same Formal Title IX Complaint, must be free from conflicts of interest or bias against complainants and respondents generally and against an individual Title IX Complainant or Respondent, and must be trained to properly implement this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process and to serve impartially.

“Title IX Complainant” - An individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment.

“Title IX Coordinator” - The individual designated and authorized by Illinois Tech to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under the regulations implementing Title IX at 85 Fed. Reg. 30026, 30026-30579. The identify of and contact information for the Title IX Coordinator is as contained in Article IV, Section J and other sections of this Student Handbook, which information is also available on the Title IX Office website. The Title IX Coordinator may delegate authority to perform any task under this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process to any duly trained individual.

“Title IX Decisionmaker” - An individual designated by the Title IX Coordinator or designee to reach a determination regarding responsibility in a Formal Title IX Complaint by applying the preponderance of the evidence standard of proof in a proceeding conducted in accordance with this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process. The Title IX Decisionmaker cannot be th e Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Investigator, Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator or Title IX Appellate Decisionmaker assigned to the same Formal Title IX Complaint, must be free from conflicts of interest or bias against complainants and respondents generally and against an individual Title IX Complainant or Respondent, and must be trained to properly implement this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process and to serve impartially.

“Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator” – An individual designated by the Title IX Coordinator to seek an informal resolution of a Formal Title IX Complaint in accordance with this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process. The Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator cannot be the Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Investigator, Title IX Decisionmaker or Title IX Appellate Decisionmaker assigned to the same Formal Title IX Complaint, must be free from conflicts of interest or bias against complainants and respondents generally and against an individual Title IX Complainant or Respondent, and must be trained to properly implement this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process and to serve impartially.

“Title IX Investigator” - An individual designated by the Title IX Coordinator to investigate a Formal Title IX Complaint according to this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process. The Title IX Investigator cannot be the Title IX Decisionmaker, Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator or the Title IX Appellate Decisionmaker assigned to the same Formal Title IX Complaint, must be free from conflicts of interest or bias against complainants and respondents generally and against an individual Title IX Complainant or Respondent, and must be trained to properly implement this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process and to serve impartially.

“Title IX Respondent” - An individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment.

“Title IX Sexual Harassment” - Conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

  • An Illinois Tech employee conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct; or
  • Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to Illinois Tech’s Education Program or Activity; or
  • Sexual assault as defined in 20 U.S.C. §1092(f)(6)(A)(v), dating violence as defined in 34 U.S.C. §12291(a)(10), domestic violence as defined in 34 U.S.C. §12291(a)(8), or stalking as defined in 34 U.S.C. §12291(a)(30).
    • Sexual assault means an offense classified as a forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system (UCR Program) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 20 U.S.C. §1092(f)(6)(A)(v). For more information regarding the FBI UCR Program, see www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/ucr/.
    • Dating violence means violence committed by a person: (1) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, and (2) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. 34 U.S.C. §12291(a)(10).
    • Domestic violence includes any felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction. 34 C.F.R. §12291(a)(8).
    • Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: (1) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress. 34 C.F.R. §12291(a)(30).

“Title IX Team” - The group of individuals responsible for addressing reports and complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment, including the Title IX Coordinator or designee, Title IX Investigators, Title IX Decisionmakers, Title IX Appellate Decisionmakers, and Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitators. Individuals on the Title IX Team may be employees of Illinois Tech and/or third-party professionals retained by Illinois Tech to perform assigned functions.

C. TITLE IX SEXUAL HARASSMENT INVESTIGATION PROCESS

If Illinois Tech has Actual Knowledge of Title IX Sexual Harassment, the institution shall respond in a manner that is not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances by using this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process. No person designated or serving as a Title IX Coordinator or designee, Title IX Investigator, Title IX Decisionmaker, Title IX Appellate Decisionmaker or Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator will have a conflict of interest or bias for or against Title IX complainants or respondents generally or against an individual Title IX Complainant or Title IX Respondent. The institution’s response will include, at a minimum, the following:

1. Whether or not a Formal Title IX Complaint alleging Title IX Sexual Harassment is filed, at a minimum, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will comply with the following:

  • Initial Meeting with the Complainant: The Title IX Coordinator or designee must promptly contact the Title IX Complainant to:
    • Inquire about and consider the Title IX Complainant’s wishes with respect to Supportive Measures;
    • Inform and discuss with the Title IX Complainant the availability of Supportive Measures with or without the filing of a Formal Title IX Complaint; and
    • Explain to the Title IX Complainant the process for filing a Formal Title IX Complaint as set forth in this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process.
  • Supportive Measures: The Title IX Coordinator will be responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of Supportive Measures; provided, however, the Title IX Coordinator may designate other Illinois Tech officials to assist her with implementing Supportive Measures. Illinois Tech will maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to the Title IX Complainant or Respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of Illinois Tech to provide the Supportive Measures. Illinois Tech may not impose any disciplinary sanctions or other actions that are not Supportive Measures against a Title IX Respondent unless a Formal Title IX Complaint has been filed and a finding of responsibility has been issued against the Title IX Respondent under this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process.
    • Emergency Removals/Leaves of Absence: Illinois Tech may after receiving Actual Knowledge or a Formal Title IX Complaint remove a student-Title IX Respondent from its Education Program or Activity on an emergency basis, provided that Illinois Tech makes an individualized safety and risk analysis, determines that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations of sexual harassment justifies removal, and provides the Title IX Respondent with notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal. Illinois Tech also may place a non-student employee Title IX Respondent on paid administrative leave during the pendency of this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process. Such emergency removals/leaves of absence must comply with any other relevant laws, policies, administrative procedures, and agreements governing removals of students and/or employees from the institution’s program or activity.

2. If a Formal Title IX Complaint alleging Title IX Sexual Harassment is filed or initiated, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will, at a minimum:

  • Notice of Allegations: Provide written notice to any known Title IX Complainants and Title IX Respondents including:
    • A copy or link to this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process;
    • Notice of the allegations of Title IX Sexual Harassment in the Formal Title IX Complaint, including the identities of all known parties involved in the incident(s), the conduct allegedly constituting Title IX Sexual Harassment, the date and location of the alleged incident, if known, and any other details necessary to prepare a response; such notice must be provided with sufficient time for the parties to prepare a response before any interview, which in no case shall be less than 48 hours;
    • A statement that the Title IX Respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct;
    • A statement that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the process;
    • Notice to the parties that they may have an advisor of choice who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney;
    • Notice to the parties that they may inspect and review evidence obtained during the investigation; and
    • Notice of any provision of Illinois Tech Code of Conduct that prohibits knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the process.

If at any time during the course of the investigation additional allegations of Title IX Sexual Harassment arise that will be investigated and that were not included in the written notice, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will, within 7 calendar days of the decision to add the allegations to the investigation, provide notice of the additional allegations as described above to the parties whose identities are then known.

  • Mandatory Dismissals: Within 10 calendar days of receiving a Formal Title IX Complaint filed by a Title IX Complainant, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will dismiss under this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process any allegation in the Formal Title IX Complaint that would not constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment, even if true; that did not occur in Illinois Tech’s Education Program or Activity; and/or that did not occur against a person in the United States. Nothing precludes action on any dismissed allegations under another policy, procedure, or rule of Illinois Tech or school. Upon such dismissal, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will send written notice of the dismissal and reason(s) therefor simultaneously to the parties.

  • Identification of Investigator: Identify and document one or more qualified Title IX Investigator(s) who will investigate the Formal Title IX Complaint. The Title IX Investigator(s) will investigate the allegations of Title IX Sexual Harassment in a Formal Title IX Complaint.

3. Informal Resolution. As provided for herein, if the Title IX Complainant and Respondent and Illinois Tech each freely agree, Illinois Tech will offer the option to participate in a voluntary informal resolution process in an attempt to resolve allegations of Title IX Sexual Harassment; provided, however, if a Formal Title IX Complaint involves an allegation of Title IX Sexual Harassment by an Illinois Tech employee against a student, then informal resolution is not an available option.

The Title IX Investigator will, within 7 calendar days of assignment to the Formal Title IX Complaint, notify, in writing, the Title IX Complainant and Respondent of the option to complete informal resolution, which will, among other things, set forth (i) the allegations; (ii) the requirements of the informal resolution process, including the circumstances under which it precludes the parties from resuming a Formal Title IX Complaint arising from the same allegations, provided, however, that at any time prior to agreeing to a resolution, any party has the right to withdraw from the informal resolution process and resume the Title IX Sexual Harassment Process with respect to the Formal Title IX Complaint; and (iii) any consequences resulting from participating in the informal resolution process, including the records that will be maintained or could be shared. The Title IX Complainant and Respondent may elect to participate in informal resolution process at any time prior to a determination regarding responsibility for the allegation(s) in the Formal Title IX Complaint being rendered. Further, either the Title IX Complainant or Respondent may at any time, prior to execution of a resolution agreement, request the informal resolution process be terminated by so notifying the Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator, in which case processing of the Formal Title IX Complaint under this policy will recommence.

Illinois Tech states that it does not require - as a condition of enrollment or continuing enrollment, or employment or continuing employment, or enjoyment of any other right - waiver of the right to an investigation and adjudication of Formal Title IX Complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment consistent with this policy.

As noted, the informal resolution process is voluntary and requires written consent from the Title IX Complainant and Respondent. The informal resolution process can only be initiated once a Formal Title IX Complaint has been filed with the Title IX Coordinator. Upon receipt of signed, voluntary consents to participate in the informal resolution process, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will designate a Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator to facilitate the informal resolution process. To maintain the integrity and impartiality of the informal resolution process, a Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator may not be called to testify, at any live hearing convened pursuant to this policy, as to any matter related to any informal resolution process to which the Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator has been assigned.

During the informal resolution process, all timeframes under this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process will be tolled. If no resolution is reached within 30 calendar days of commencement of the informal resolution, meaning the day after the Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator has been assigned, then, unless such 30-day time period is extended by agreement of the parties, or if the parties cease to engage in informal resolution, the Title IX Sexual Harassment Process and its timeframes will thereafter recommence where it left off.

In general, an informal resolution process will aim to restore a sense of safety to one who experienced harm, restore or maintain access to educational and/or employment opportunities, and/or in some instances repair harm. To this end, informal resolution processes can utilize a broad range of conflict resolution strategies, including, but not limited to, mediation, facilitated communication and/or restorative justice practices.

As an initial matter, the Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator typically will meet with each party separately—in person, by telephone, or by videoconference in one or more meetings, at the Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator’s discretion—to describe the process, including the role of the Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator; to gain an understanding of each party’s feelings, positions, and wishes with respect to resolution of the Title IX Formal Complaint; and to gather necessary information to identify any harm caused and opportunities loss. Any remaining steps of the process may be effectuated through separate or joint meetings of the parties with the voluntary agreement from the parties.

Though the facts and circumstances surrounding each Formal Title IX Complaint are unique, in general, the Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator will seek to facilitate its resolution, and this may be accomplished by one or more of the following options, which options are intended to be exemplary, not exhaustive:

  • Participation in educational programming;
  • Changes in academic, work, and living arrangements;
  • Assistance with requesting academic allowances and extensions;
  • Writing an impact statement;
  • Writing a statement acknowledging harm caused; and
  • Restrictions of contact between the parties.

The Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator does not have the power to make a decision for either party, but will attempt to help them find a mutually agreeable resolution and create a document for execution by all parties that summarizes the freely agreed upon solutions. Once a resolution agreement has been executed, Illinois Tech will neither resume nor initiate the Title IX Sexual Harassment Process with respect to any allegations resolved in therein or arising out of the same facts or circumstances as those allegations. If a party fails to fulfill the terms of the resolution agreement, Illinois Tech may initiate a Code of Conduct violation under Article II of this Student Handbook for Failure to Comply Code of Conduct charge.

4. During the investigation of a Formal Title IX Complaint and throughout this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process, the Title IX Team must:

  • Burdens: Ensure that the burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding responsibility rest on Illinois Tech and not on the parties, provided that Illinois Tech 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 and maintained in connection with the provision of treatment to the party, unless Illinois Tech obtains the voluntary, written consent to do so from that party.

  • Equal Treatment – Evidence Presentation: Provide an equal opportunity for the parties to present any inculpatory or exculpatory evidence, including fact and expert witnesses. Illinois Tech will not restrict the ability of either party to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence.

  • Equal Treatment – Advisors: Provide the parties with the same opportunities to have others present during any proceeding hereunder, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by an advisor of choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, and not limit the choice or presence of an advisor for either the Title IX Complainant or Title IX Respondent in any meeting or proceeding; however, IIT may establish restrictions regarding the extent to which the advisor may participate in the proceedings and meetings, if at all, as long as the restrictions apply equally to both parties and both parties are notified of the restrictions in writing, which notice may be in any notification required hereby or in a separate notification. In addition to any other restrictions that may be established from time to timr, during an investigation, advisors are free to act as a support for the party, but they cannot speak on behalf of the party during any investigator meeting.

  • Written Notice of Meetings: Provide, to a party whose participation is invited or expected, including, without limitation, the Title IX Complainant and Respondent and witness, written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all investigative interviews and other meetings, with sufficient time for the party to prepare to participate, which in no case shall be less than 48 hours.

  • Equal Opportunity – Evidence Review: Provide both parties and their advisors, if any, an equal opportunity to inspect and review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in a Formal Title IX Complaint, including evidence upon which Illinois Tech does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence whether obtained from a party or other source, so that each party can meaningfully respond to the evidence prior to conclusion of the investigation. Prior to completion of the investigative report, the Title IX Investigator(s) must send to each party and the party’s advisor, if any, the evidence subject to inspection and review in an electronic format or a hard copy, and the parties must have at least 10 calendar days to submit a written response, which the Title IX Investigator(s) will consider prior to completion of the investigative report.

  • Investigative Report: Within 90 Business Days of receipt of the Formal Title IX Complaint, the Title IX Investigator will create an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence and, at least 10 calendar days prior to a live hearing or other time of determination regarding responsibility, send to each party and the party’s advisor, if any, the investigative report in an electronic format or a hard copy, for their review and written response.

5. The process used to investigate and resolve a Formal Title IX Complaint will also meet the following additional requirements:

  • The process used must treat Title IX Complainants and Title IX Respondents equitably in all manners, including by providing remedies to a Title IX Complainant where a determination of responsibility for Title IX Sexual Harassment has been made against the Title IX Respondent, and by following this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process before the imposition of any disciplinary sanctions or other actions that are not Supportive Measures against a Title IX Respondent.

  • No evidence that constitutes or seeks disclosure of information protected under a legally recognized privilege will be required, allowed, or relied on unless the person holding such privilege has waived the privilege.

  • The Title IX Investigator and the Title IX Decisionmaker will objectively review all relevant evidence, including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence, and credibility determinations will not be based on a person’s status as a Title IX Complainant, Title IX Respondent, or witness.

  • All members of the Title IX Team will operate under a presumption that the Title IX Respondent is not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process.

  • Remedies may include, but are not limited to, the same individualized services described as Supportive Measures in this policy but need not be non-disciplinary or non-punitive and need not avoid burdening the Title IX Respondent. Student discipline can involve a range of consequences, which may include, but are not limited to, Supportive Measures, a warning, probation, suspension and expulsion, depending on the severity of the action and circumstances of the student(s) involved. The full range of applicable sanctions is listed under Article II Section C (Conduct Sanctions) of the Code of Conduct. For the avoidance of doubt, the Title IX Decisionmaker may impose any sanction provided for in Article Section C upon a Tile IX Respondent found responsible, after a live hearing, for Title IX Sexual Harassment. Discipline for employees also includes a range of options, including, but not limited to, a letter of reprimand, reassignment, suspension with or without pay, discharge or recommendation for discharge, notifying appropriate legal authorities and/or taking legal action against the employee.

  • The Title IX Coordinator or designee may consolidate Formal Title IX Complaints as to allegations of Title IX Sexual Harassment against more than one Title IX Respondent, or by more than one Title IX Complainant against one or more Title IX Respondents, or by one party against the other party, where the allegations of Title IX Sexual Harassment arise out of the same facts or circumstances.

  • E-mail correspondence sent to a student’s registered iit.edu e-mail address (or, in the case of a non-Illinois Tech student, such e-mail address as they shall provide) will be considered sufficient written notification in all instances where written notification is required under this policy. It is the party’s sole responsibility to monitor their e-mail. The date any such notification is e-mailed will serve as the start date for any time period within which or after which any subsequent action or proceeding is to commence. Illinois Tech’s sole obligation is to send notice to the Title IX Complainant and Respondent and witness; Illinois Tech shall have no obligation also to communicate with the advisors or parents or other representatives of such parties.

6. After the investigation of a Formal Title IX Complaint, the Title IX Coordinator or designee and the Title IX Decisionmaker will comply with the following:

  • Designation of Decisionmaker: The Title IX Coordinator or designee will identify one Title IX Decisionmaker for the Formal Title IX Complaint, which cannot include the Title IX Coordinator or designee, or the Title IX Investigator or Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator, if any, assigned to the Formal Title IX Complaint.

  • Live Hearing: A live hearing will be provided as part of the Title IX Sexual Harassment Process. The live hearing will comply with the following requirements:
    • The live hearing may, upon the request of either the Title IX Complainant or the Title IX Respondent, be held virtually, with parties located in separate rooms with technology enabling the Title IX Decisionmaker and parties to simultaneously see and hear the party or witness answering questions. Any live hearing may, at the discretion of the Title IX Decisionmaker, also held virtually as outlined above. Unless the live hearing is conducted virtually, all parties must be physically present in the same geographic location.
    • All hearings will be documented through audio recording, audiovisual recording, or transcript, at Illinois Tech’s discretion, and will be made available to the parties for inspection or review.
    • At the hearing, the Title IX Decisionmaker must permit each party’s advisor to ask the other party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those challenges credibility. Only relevant cross-examination and other questions may be asked of a party or witness. With respect to cross-examination:
      • Questions and evidence about the Title IX Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless such questions and evidence about the Title IX Complainant’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the Title IX Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Title IX Complainant, or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the Title IX Complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the Title IX Respondent and are offered to prove Consent.
      • The Title IX Decisionmaker must explain to the party proposing the questions any decision to exclude a question as not relevant. Cross-examination at the live hearing must be conducted directly, orally, and in real time by the party’s advisor of choice and never by the party personally.
    • Cross-examination must be conducted by the party’s advisor, and never by the party. If a party does not have an advisor present at the live hearing, Illinois Tech will provide an advisor of its choice, without charge to the party, who may be, but likely not will be, an attorney to conduct cross-examination on behalf of the party.
    • If a party or witness does not submit to cross-examination at the live hearing, the Title IX Decisionmaker cannot rely on any statement of that party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility; provided, however, that the Decisionmaker cannot draw an inference about the determination regarding responsibility based solely on the party or witness’s absence or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.

  • Illinois Tech Presenter: Illinois Tech, as the party bearing the burden of proof, shall assign an individual to present its case at the live hearing and shall have the right to participate in the hearing to the same extent as the Title IX Complainant and Respondent.

  • Statements: The Title IX Complainant and Respondent as well as the Illinois Tech Presenter shall each be afford the opportunity to make an opening and closing statement and to suggest to the Title IX Decisionmaker what they would consider an appropriate sanction in the event that the Title IX Decisionmaker were to find the Title IX Respondent responsible for all or some of the allegations brought against the Title IX Respondent.

  • Live Hearing Procedures. The Title IX Decisionmaker may establish rules for the live hearing, which may include, but are not limited to, governing decorum, setting time limits for opening and closing remarks, empowering the Title IX Decisionmaker to take a temporary recess, and any such other rules deemed prudent for the effective and efficient conduct of the live hearing; provided, however, any such rules must be consistent with this policy and must apply equally to the Title IX Complainant and Respondent and the Illinois Tech Presenter. Any rules applicable to the hearing will be included in the notice of hearing.

  • Written Determination: Within 21 calendar days of receipt of the final written responses and evidence from the parties, the Title IX Decisionmaker must issue a written determination regarding responsibility. To reach this decision, the Title IX Decisionmaker must apply the preponderance of the evidence standard, regardless of whether the Title IX Respondent is a student or an employee. The written determination must include:
    • Identification of the allegations potentially constituting Title IX Sexual Harassment;
    • A description of the procedural steps taken from the receipt of the Formal Title IX Complaint through the determination, including any notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence, and hearings held;
    • Findings of fact supporting the determination;
    • Conclusions regarding the application of this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process to the facts;
    • A statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including a determination regarding responsibility, any disciplinary sanctions Illinois Tech will impose on the Title IX Respondent, and whether remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to Illinois Tech’s Education Program or Activity will be provided by Illinois Tech to the Title IX Complainant; and
    • Illinois Tech’s procedures and permissible bases for the Title IX Complainant and Title IX Respondent to appeal.

  • Notice of Written Determination: The Title IX Decisionmaker or a designee must provide the written determination to the parties simultaneously.

  • Appeal: Both parties may appeal from either a determination regarding responsibility or from Illinois Tech’s dismissal of a Formal Title IX Complaint or any allegations therein, on the following bases:
    • Procedural irregularity or error that affected the outcome of the matter;
    • New evidence or information that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter;
    • Claims that the Title IX Coordinator or designee, Investigator(s), or Decisionmaker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the individual Title IX Complainant or Title IX Respondent that affected the outcome of the matter; and
    • The sanction is disproportionate with the violation.

A Title IX Complainant or Title IX Respondent who wishes to appeal must submit a notice of appeal to the Title IX Coordinator within 5 calendar days of the date of the Title IX Decisionmaker’s decision. An appeal must be filed by email to the Title IX Coordinator at foster@iit.edu.

7. Upon receipt of an appeal, the Title IX Coordinator or designee must do the following:

  • Notice of Appeal: Within 5 calendar days of receipt of the appeal, notify the other party in writing that an appeal was filed;

  • Equal Treatment – Appeal: Implement appeal procedures equally for both parties;

  • Different Title IX Appellate Decisionmaker: Ensure that the Appellate Decisionmaker is not the same person as the Title IX Decisionmaker that reached the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal, the Title IX Investigator(s) or Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator, if any, assigned to the Formal Title IX Complaint, or the Title IX Coordinator or designee; and

  • Appeal Standards Met: Ensure that the Title IX Appellate Decisionmaker complies with the standards set forth in this policy for appeals.

Upon receipt of an appeal, the Title IX Appellate Decisionmaker must do the following:

  • Equal Treatment – Written Statement: Given due consideration to the facts and circumstances of a particular case, give both parties a reasonable, equal opportunity to submit a written statement in support of, or challenging, the outcome. In general, this means that each party will be made aware of, on, at least, a summary basis, the reason(s) of any appeal filed by the other party and provided the opportunity to submit a response thereto within 5 calendar days;

  • Written Appeal Decision: Issue a written decision describing the result of the appeal and the rationale for the result within 30 calendar days of receipt of the notice of appeal; and

  • Notice of Written Appeal Decision: Provide the written decision on appeal simultaneously to both parties.

If an appeal is successful, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will remand the matter back to the appropriate member of the Title IX Team to remedy the concern. A determination regarding responsibility becomes final on the date that (1) if an appeal is filed, the Title IX Appellate Decisionmaker provides the parties with the written determination of the result of the appeal upholding the determination; or (2) if an appeal is not filed, the date on which an appeal would no longer be considered timely. The Title IX Coordinator or designee is responsible for effective implementation of any remedies.

8. After the conclusion of the Title IX Sexual Harassment Process, IIT or the parties may exercise any rights ancillary to this Title IX process as necessary, e.g. disciplinary processes for suspensions or expulsions of students; tenured faculty dismissal proceedings; any other pre-remedy process required by any applicable law, agreement, policy, or contract.

D. REQUIRED TITLE IX TRAINING

Any person serving as a Title IX Coordinator or designee, Title IX Investigator, Title IX Decisionmaker, Title IX Appellate Decisionmaker, or Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator, as those terms are defined by this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process, will be trained regarding the definition of Title IX Sexual Harassment, the scope of IIT’s Education Program or Activity, how to conduct this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process, including appeals and informal resolution processes, as applicable, and how to serve impartially, including by avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias.

Any person serving as a Title IX Decisionmaker or Title IX Appellate Decisionmaker under this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process will receive training on the issues of relevance of questions and evidence, including when questions and evidence about the Title IX Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant.

Any person serving as a Title IX Investigator under this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process will receive training on issues of relevance to create an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence.

Any materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, their designees, Title IX Investigators, Title IX Decisionmakers, Title IX Appellate Decisionmakers, and Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitators must not rely on sex stereotypes and must promote impartial investigations and adjudications of Formal Title IX Complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment. IIT will make all materials used to train Title IX Team members publicly available on its website.

E. REQUIRED TITLE IX RECORDKEEPING

The Title IX Coordinator or designee will maintain, for a period of at least 7 years, records of:

  • Any actions, including any Supportive Measures, taken in response to a report or Formal Title IX Complaint of Title IX Sexual Harassment. In each instance, the Title IX Coordinator or designee must document the basis for the conclusion that Illinois Tech’s response was not deliberately indifferent, and document that it has taken measures designed to restore or preserve equal access to Illinois Tech’s Education Program or Activity. If no Supportive Measures are provided to the Title IX Complainant, then the Title IX Coordinator or designee must document the reasons why such a response was not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances. The documentation of certain bases or measures does not limit Illinois Tech in the future from providing additional explanations or detailing additional measures taken;
  • Each Title IX Sexual Harassment investigation, including any determination regarding responsibility and any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the Title IX Respondent, and any remedies provided to the Title IX Complainant designed to restore or preserve equal access to IIT’s Education Program or Activity;
  • Any appeal and the result therefrom;
  • Any informal resolution and the result therefrom; and
  • All materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, their designees, Title IX Investigators, Title IX Decisionmakers, Title IX Appellate Decisionmakers, and Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitators.

F. CONFIDENTIALITY

Illinois Tech must keep confidential the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of sexual discrimination, including Title IX Sexual Harassment; any person who has filed a Formal Title IX Complaint of Title IX Sexual Harassment; any Title IX Complainant; any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of sex discrimination; any Title IX Respondent; and any witness, except as may be permitted or required by law or to conduct any investigation, informal resolution, hearing, appeal or other proceeding arising under this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process. When an exception is applicable, Illinois Tech will use its best efforts not to disseminate identifying information beyond those who have a need to know, which generally may include the parties to the Formal Title IX complaint, their advisors, investigators, decisionmakers, appeal decisionmakers, informal resolution facilitators, witnesses and Illinois Tech presenters. This includes instances in which the Title IX Coordinator files a Formal Title IX Complaint when an individual who has made a report or complaint of sexual discrimination, including Title IX Sexual Harassment elects not participate in the Title IX Sexual Harassment Process. In furtherance of the foregoing, only the Title IX Complainant and Respondent, their respective advisors, the Illinois Tech Presenter, witnesses and any needed language translators or aides necessary to provide reasonable accommodations will generally be allowed into the live hearing.

G. RETALIATION PROHIBITED

No person may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by the State or federal Constitution, State or federal statute, Illinois Tech policy, this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process.

Charging an individual with a Code of Conduct violation for knowingly making a materially false statement or knowingly providing false information in the course of an investigation under this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process is not prohibited retaliation; provided, however, that a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party made a materially false statement or knowingly provided false information. Complaints alleging retaliation may be filed under process and procedures set forth in Article II of this Student Handbook, entitled Code of Conduct and Conduct Discipline.

H. RIGHT TO PURSUE OTHER REMEDIES NOT IMPAIRED

The right of a person to resolution of a report or complaint under this policy shall not be impaired by the person’s pursuit of other remedies, such as criminal complaints, civil actions, or the like. Use of this policy and the processes herein are not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies and may not extend any filing deadline related to the pursuit of other remedies. If a person is pursuing another remedy subject to a complaint under this policy, Illinois Tech will conduct its own investigation, although in some cases delays due to another process may be warranted or required.

I. DEADLINES

All timeframes under this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process may be temporarily extended for good cause by the Title IX Coordinator or a designee. Good cause may include considerations such as the absence of a party, a party’s advisor, or a witness; concurrent law enforcement activity; the need for language assistance or accommodation of disability; and other circumstances reasonably outside of the institution’s control. The Title IX Coordinator or a designee shall notify the parties in writing when a timeframe is extended.

J. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Inquiries about this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator whose contact information is contained in Article IV, Section J and other sections of this Student Handbook, which information is also available on the Title IX Office website, or the United States Office for Civil Rights (contact information available online at: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/addresses.html).

K. OTHER PROCEDURES

To the extent that they do not conflict with any requirements of this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process and are implemented equally and fairly as to the parties, the Title IX Team may use processes from the IIT sexual harassment and sexual misconduct processes outlined in this Student Handbook when processing Title IX Sexual Harassment reports and complaints. If IIT intends to use any such processes in addressing Title IX Sexual Harassment reports or complaints, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will make available written administrative procedures supplementing this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process and detailing the additional procedures to be used.