Once a formal complaint is filed or when the college has official notice of an incident, a campus investigation will begin. If a law enforcement investigation is also occurring, the campus investigation may temporarily be placed on hold if it could jeopardize the criminal investigation process. The campus investigation and resolution process will not wait for the outcome of a criminal proceeding since the campus policy, possible outcomes, and standard of proof are different than the criminal and legal standards.
Investigations, where students are alleged of misconduct, are typically conducted by the assistant director of EOAA/Title IX investigator. The associate director of safety and security and/or the associate director of residential life may serve as co-investigators as needed. Investigations, where faculty or other employee is accused of misconduct, are typically conducted by the faculty director of affirmative action, but may also be conducted by the director of EOAA or a designee.
If the college has notice about alleged misconduct that may threaten the health or safety of the campus or any members of its community, the college reserves the right and has the obligation to initiate a complaint and/or investigation. During any investigation or disciplinary process, appropriate interim remedies may also occur such as campus no-contact orders, adjusting class schedules, or limiting/prohibiting access to campus. Investigations are maintained as private and information is only revealed if necessary to ensure adequate investigation occurs. Both the reporting individual and the accused (respondent) have equitable opportunities to have a support person or advisor present at all investigation and resolution meetings. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will provide a factual investigative summary. Investigations are generally completed within 60 days, but the timeframe depends on the circumstances of the case. When evaluating whether misconduct occurred, the standard of evidence used will be a “preponderance of the evidence” or “more likely than not.”
Investigations can also occur at the discretion of the Title IX coordinator, such as:
- Whether the accused has a history of violent behavior or is a repeat offender;
- Whether the incident represents escalation in unlawful conduct on behalf of the accused from previously noted behavior;
- The increased risk that the accused will commit additional acts of violence;
- Whether the accused used a weapon or force;
- Whether the reporting individual is a minor; and
- Whether the institution possesses other means to obtain evidence such as security footage, and whether available information reveals a pattern of perpetration at a given location or by a particular group.