Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects individuals from sex discrimination in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Title IX states:
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” 20 USC 1681
Marylhurst University is committed to maintaining environments that foster a diverse and inclusive community in which all members can participate free from discrimination on the basis of sex, gender, and gender identity. Marylhurst provides resources to students, faculty, and staff to address concerns relating to discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, which includes sexual misconduct.
All members of the community have an obligation to inform themselves about Title IX, in order to recognize and take steps to prevent discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct, and to respond effectively if such behavior does occur.
Title IX Definitions and Procedures
These procedures are designed to address and promptly resolve Title IX reports and complaints. Reports and complaints related to all other forms of discrimination or harassment follow the relevant procedures.
For the purposes of these procedures, the following definitions apply:
- Title IX Report: any report made to the Title IX Coordinator, and/or Community Safety alleging behavior that may violate Title IX
- Reporting party: an individual who makes a Title IX report
- Subject of a report: an individual mentioned in a Title IX report, either as the alleged perpetrator of the behavior in question, or the alleged target of said behavior
- Complaint: a report that results in a formal adjudication process by the appropriate Marylhurst adjudicative body
- Complainant: an individual lodging a complaint
- Respondent: an individual alleged to have violated college policy and who has been identified as such in a complaint
- Investigator: the individual appointed by the Title IX Coordinator to conduct an investigation of the Title IX report
- Investigative Summary: a summary that encapsulates all of the pertinent information and facts resulting from the investigation of a Title IX report
The procedures described herein are applicable to the internal governance of Marylhurst University. They are not a replacement for normal staff supervisory authority, nor do they replace the right of the university to initiate an investigation in the absence of a complaint.
These procedures also do not preclude external remedies for acts that may constitute violations of Title IX. Students, staff, faculty, alumni, families, and other legitimate users of Marylhurst University’s facilities or programs have the option at all times to file a criminal complaint with law enforcement and/or to seek a civil remedy, in addition to or in place of using these procedures. In addition, individuals always have the right to file a formal complaint with the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights:
United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100
Customer Service Hotline: 800/421-3481
The university has both principled reasons and a legal obligation to investigate possible violations of Title IX. All Marylhurst community members (students, staff, and faculty) should help ensure that violations of Title IX are promptly reported. Normally, this means reporting any witnessed violations, or violations learned about through the disclosure of others. Reporting will not necessarily result in a complaint, but all complaints will be considered de facto Title IX reports.
Who may initiate a Title IX Report?
Any Marylhurst community member, parent or family member, or legitimate user of Marylhurst University facilities or programs, not just the target(s) of the alleged Title IX violation, may initiate a Title IX report.
Marylhurst University encourages all members of the community to report violations or possible violations of Title IX. However, certain employees and students must report. The college has designated the categories of employees listed below as obligated reporters. When an employee in one of these categories has reason to believe that a violation of Title IX may have occurred, he or she must report this possible violation, and should do so within 24 hours.
College-designated Obligated Reporters:
- Members of the faculty
- President and Vice Presidents
- Supervisors of Marylhurst staff
- Employees of student services, except student employees
Where to file a Title IX Report
Reports may be made to the Title IX Coordinator, the Title IX Deputy Coordinators, Campus Public Safety, or for reports when the alleged perpetrator is a student, the Director of Student Services. These reports can be made verbally (either in person or by phone) or in writing (either in hard copy or electronically).
In the case of a complaint against a vice president, or the Director of Human Resources, the complaint may be made to the President.
In the case of a complaint against the President, the complaint may be made to the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
What Does a Title IX Report Include?
There is no formally required content to make a Title IX report. However, the following elements are important to facilitate the investigation process and whenever possible should be included when filing a Title IX report:
- Name and Marylhurst affiliation (e.g. student, faculty, staff) of the person making the report;
- Name and Marylhurst affiliation of the subjects of the report, i.e. the alleged target of prohibited behavior and the alleged perpetrator of prohibited behavior;
- A brief statement of the event or events which are the cause of the report, including relevant date and location;
- If the report is in writing, the signature of the person making the report and the date of the filing of the report.
Notification of Alleged Perpetrator
The alleged perpetrator of the behavior described in the report will normally be notified of the report within five (5) business days of receipt of the report by the Title IX Coordinator or as quickly as is practicable. Notification will in most cases be the responsibility of the investigator.
During the investigation and subsequent resolution process, the University will take reasonable steps to protect and support the target of the alleged behavior. In the event there are reasonable grounds to conclude that an individual poses a threat to members of the community, the President or appropriate vice president may bar that individual from access to campus, or may take other action deemed appropriate.
In the event that an investigation yields evidence that a student represents a threat to campus, the Title IX Coordinator in conjunction of the Director of Student Services may take emergency action, which may include excluding that student from campus. In such a case, the Title IX Coordinator, six (6) working days, counting only days while the university is in session, or be required to withdraw such action. The Title IX Coordinator’s emergency action shall remain in force until the conclusion of the judicial process.
This provision in no way limits a supervisor’s right to discipline or discharge a staff employee.
Every report implicating Marylhurst University’s compliance with Title IX will be investigated. The Title IX Coordinator will investigate each report. Investigations will normally be conducted by the Title IX Coordinator when the alleged perpetrator is a student, by the Director of Human Resources when the alleged perpetrator is a staff member, and the Provost when the alleged perpetrator is a faculty member.
The investigation will be appropriate to the circumstances of the report and will normally consist of interviews with the subjects of the report, with witnesses and others who may have relevant knowledge, and a review of pertinent documentation or other evidence.
Interfering or failing to cooperate with an investigation may result in discipline up to and including discharge for staff and faculty.
In accordance with the college’s established, students are not required to participate in Title IX investigations or resulting disciplinary proceedings.
Confidentiality during the Investigation
The University will make every reasonable effort to preserve an individual’s privacy and protect the confidentiality of information when requested. Reports will be treated confidentially to the extent permitted by the University’s IX reporting requirements and need to investigate and resolve the reported problem. Whenever possible, the complainant’s identity will not be disclosed without the consent of the complainant. However, without consent to disclose the complainant or alleged target’s identity, the University may be limited in pursuing disciplinary action.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will prepare an investigative summary that encapsulates all of the pertinent information and facts.
The investigative summary will be given to the President. In addition, the investigative summary will be given to the Director of Student Services when the alleged perpetrator is a student; the appropriate vice president and supervisor when the alleged perpetrator is an employee; the President when the alleged perpetrator is a Vice President, the Provost or Director of Human Resources; and to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees when the alleged perpetrator is the President.
Response to the Investigative Summary
Upon receiving the investigative summary the involved parties may consider the issue resolved, or may wish to resolve the issue through an informal resolution process (except in cases involving a report of sexual assault or dating and domestic violence, which cannot be resolved by an informal resolution process). If the issue is not resolved, or there is no informal resolution process, then the resulting complaint shall be handled as follows:
- When the alleged perpetrator is a student: the alleged perpetrator, or target of the behavior, or the Director of Student Services or his/her designee, may refer the complaint to the Provost.
- When the alleged perpetrator is a staff or faculty member: the appropriate vice president, the President, or Chairman of the Board of Trustees will determine whether additional action, including discipline up to and including discharge is required. A letter from the appropriate vice president, the President or Chairman will be given to the alleged perpetrator stating any action to be taken.
When the alleged perpetrator is a faculty member: the response and any further proceedings will be in accordance with the Faculty Handbook.
- When the alleged perpetrator is someone other than a student, staff or faculty member, such as a contractor, an alumnus or an alumna: the Title IX Coordinator will take appropriate action.
Any attempt to retaliate or any actual retaliation in response to a Title IX report is strictly prohibited and may result in discipline up to and including discharge for employees and suspension or expulsion for students, in accordance with the college’s established judicial procedures.
Retaliation includes intimidation, threats, coercion, or adverse employment or educational actions taken against an individual because of the individual’s participation in the reporting, investigation, or resolution of a complaint. Retaliation can be committed by complainants, respondents, or any other individual or group of individuals. Attempted or actual acts of retaliation should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator, or Community Safety.
Both subjects of the Title IX report, i.e. the alleged target and alleged perpetrator, have the right to file an appeal if there is disagreement with the results and conclusion of the resolution of the issue. An appeal must be filed in writing.
When the alleged perpetrator is a student:
If either party has access to new information that they believe would have a material impact on the outcome of the completed Title IX investigation, they may appeal by notifying the Title IX Coordinator in writing within ten (10) working days of receiving this notice. The Title IX Coordinator will consider the new information, engage additional investigative steps as appropriate, and inform the students as soon as practicable of any change(s) in the outcome, which shall stand as the final outcome of the Title IX investigation. Should either student wish to pursue the matter further, they may choose to do so through the Provost.
The college does its best to minimize any undue disruption to students’ educational experience when providing accommodations to parties in Title IX cases. That said, either student may appeal if they feel the accommodations that accompany a Title IX process are excessively disruptive. The student must submit such an appeal to the Title IX Coordinator in writing within ten (10) days of receiving this notice, and include any suggestions for reducing the burden of accommodations. The Title IX Coordinator will consider the appeal, consult with colleagues as necessary to explore potential alternative accommodations that may be appropriate given the circumstances, and notify the students of any change(s). The resulting accommodations cannot be appealed in the context of this investigation.
When the alleged perpetrator is a staff member:
The appeal must be filed with the President within seven (7) working days of the date of the letter of response to the alleged perpetrator, stating why the alleged target or alleged respondent seeking appeal believes the results and conclusion are unsatisfactory. The President shall review the record and investigate further if deemed necessary. The President shall make a decision and the decision will be final and binding on all parties.
When the alleged perpetrator is a faculty member:
The appeal process will be conducted in accordance with the Faculty Handbook.
When the alleged perpetrator is a vice president, the Director of Human Resources or the Director of Student Services:
The appeal must be filed with the Chairman of the Board of Trustees within seven (7) working days of the letter of response to the alleged perpetrator, stating why the alleged perpetrator or alleged target seeking appeal believes the results and conclusion are unsatisfactory. The Chairman shall review the record and investigate further if deemed necessary. The Chairman shall make a decision and the decision will be final and binding on all parties.
When the alleged perpetrator is the President:
The appeal must be filed with the executive committee of the Board of Trustees within seven (7) working days of the letter of response to the alleged perpetrator, stating why the alleged perpetrator or alleged target seeking appeal believes the results and conclusion are unsatisfactory. The executive committee shall review the record and investigate further if deemed necessary. The executive committee shall make a decision and the decision will be final and binding on all parties.