Rockhurst University Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy

I. POLICY STATEMENT

Consistent with its Jesuit tradition of focus on individual dignity and cura personalis or “Care for the Whole Person,” Rockhurst University (the “University”) is committed to providing a learning, working, and living environment that promotes personal integrity, civility, and mutual respect in an environment free of discrimination on the basis of sex. The University considers sex discrimination in all its forms to be a serious offense, and believes that all are called to give greater love, care, and compassion to each other. Sex discrimination constitutes a violation of this policy, is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated.

Sex discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, gender identity, and failure to conform to stereotypical notions of femininity and masculinity.

Sexual harassment, whether verbal, physical, visual, or digital, is a form of prohibited sex discrimination. Sexual violence is a particularly severe form of sexual harassment. The specific definitions of sexual harassment and sexual violence, including examples of such conduct, are set forth below.

This policy also prohibits domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, where such offenses include conduct of a sexual nature. Domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking that do not include conduct of a sexual nature are prohibited by other University policies, including the Student Code of Conduct and safety policies set forth in the Annual Security Report. The specific definitions of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are set forth below.

II. SCOPE

This policy applies to all University employees, including staff, faculty, and administrators; students; applicants for employment; customers; third-party contractors; and all other persons who participate in the University’s educational programs and activities, including third-party visitors on campus (the “University Community”).  This policy applies irrespective of whether the alleged misconduct occurs between persons of the same sex or the opposite sex, and it applies regardless of the national origin, immigration status, or citizenship status of the parties.  The University’s prohibition on sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking extends to all aspects of its educational programs and activities, including, but not limited to, admissions, employment, academics, athletics, housing, and student services.

The University has jurisdiction over complaints under this policy regarding conduct that occurs on campus, during or at an official University program or activity (regardless of location), or off campus when the conduct could have the effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s participation in the University’s educational programs and activities. The University will investigate all complaints made under this policy and, if necessary, take action to prevent the recurrence of the misconduct and remedy its effects.

In the case of alleged misconduct by third-parties, such as visitors and contractors, the University retains the inherent right as a private landowner to exclude such persons from campus for any reason, or no reason at all, regardless of whether an investigation is instituted under this policy and regardless of the outcome of any such investigation.

III. TITLE IX STATEMENT

It is the policy of the University to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations, which prohibit discrimination based on sex in the University’s educational programs and activities. Title IX and its implementing regulations also prohibit retaliation for asserting complaints of sex discrimination. The University has designated the following Title IX Coordinator to coordinate its compliance with Title IX and to receive inquiries regarding Title IX, including complaints of sex discrimination:

Kimberly Brant King
Director of Compliance and Risk Management/Title IX Coordinator
Conway 102
816-501-4036
TitleIX@rockhurst.edu

The University has designated a Deputy Title IX Coordinator For Students and a Deputy Title IX Coordinator For Employees. The Deputy Title IX Coordinators are available to receive inquiries regarding Title IX, including complaints of sex discrimination, when the Title IX Coordinator is unavailable, if a person is more comfortable engaging with one of the Deputies, or if the Title IX Coordinator has a conflict of interest. The names and contact information for the Deputy Title IX Coordinators is as follows:

Dr. Matthew Quick
Vice President, Dean of Students/Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students
Massman Hall, Student Development Office
816-501-4036
TitleIX@rockhurst.edu

Barbra Upton-Garvin
Director of Human Resources/Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Employees
Conway 102
816-501-4555
TitleIX@rockhurst.edu

A person may also file a complaint of sex discrimination with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights regarding an alleged violation of Title IX by visiting www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html or by calling 1-800-421-3481.

IV. SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

A. Sexual Misconduct

“Sexual misconduct” is an umbrella term covering sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence, as well as dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking that include conduct of a sexual nature.  The term “sexual misconduct” is used throughout the remainder of this policy and the Complaint Resolution Procedures when referring collectively to these types of prohibited conduct.

B. Sexual Harassment

1. Definition of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, visual, or digital conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made or threatened to be made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used or threatened to be used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual, or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating what a reasonable person would perceive as an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, education, or living environment

A hostile environment exists when unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature is sufficiently serious to deny or limit a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs and activities. In determining whether a hostile environment exists, the University will consider the totality of circumstances viewed from the perspective of a reasonable person in the alleged victim’s position. Examples of factors the University will consider include the type, frequency, and duration of the conduct, the severity of the conduct, whether the conduct is repeated, the age of the alleged victim, any power differential between the alleged victim and alleged perpetrator, and the number of persons involved.

2. Examples of Sexual Harassment

Some examples of sexual harassment include:

  • Pressure for a dating, romantic, or intimate relationship
  • Unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging, rubbing, or massaging
  • Pressure for sexual activity
  • Unnecessary references to parts of the body
  • Sexual innuendos, jokes, humor, or gestures
  • Displaying sexual graffiti, pictures, videos or posters
  • Using sexually explicit profanity
  • Asking about, or telling about, sexual fantasies, sexual preferences, or sexual activities
  • Social media use that violates this policy
  • Leering or staring at someone in a sexual way, such as staring at a person’s breasts or groin
  • Sending sexually explicit emails or text messages
  • Commenting on a person’s dress in a sexual manner
  • Giving unwelcome personal gifts such as flowers, chocolates, or lingerie that suggest the desire for a romantic relationship
  • Commenting on a person’s body, gender, sexual relationships, or sexual activities
  • Sexual violence (as defined below)

C. Sexual Violence

1. Definition of Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is a form of prohibited sexual harassment. Sexual violence includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent because of his or her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity, because he or she is below the minimum age of consent in the applicable jurisdiction, or because of his or her incapacitation due to the use of drugs and/or alcohol.

2. Examples of Sexual Violence

Some examples of sexual violence include:

  • Rape or sexual assault: sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal) by a man or woman upon a man or woman without consent
  • The use of force or coercion to effect sexual intercourse or some other form of sexual contact with a person who has not given consent
  • Unwilling  sexual  penetration  (anal,  vaginal,  or  oral)  or  other  sexual touching with any object or body part that is committed by force, threat, intimidation, or otherwise without consent
  • Having sexual intercourse with a person who is unconscious because of drug or alcohol use
  • Hazing that involves penetrating a person’s vagina or anus with an object
  • Sexual exploitation, which includes, but is not limited to, the following
    • Sexual voyeurism
    • Use of the "date rape drug" to effect sexual intercourse or some other form of sexual contact with a person
    • Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease such as HIV to another person through sexual activity
    • Coercing someone into having sexual intercourse by threatening to expose their secrets
    • Secretly videotaping or photographing sexual activity where the other party has not consented
    • Disseminating sexual pictures or videos of another person without consent regardless if the pictures or videos were obtained with consent
    • Prostituting another person

3. Consent

Lack of consent is often the critical factor in determining whether sexual violence has occurred.  Consent is informed, freely given, and mutually understood.  Consent requires an affirmative act or statement by each participant. Consent is not passive.

  • If coercion, intimidation, threats, and/or physical force are used, there is no consent
  • If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired by alcohol or drugs such that the person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent
    • Warning signs of when a person may be incapacitated due to drug and/or alcohol use include: slurred speech, falling down, passing out, and vomiting
  • If a person is asleep or unconscious, there is no consent
  • If a person is below the minimum age of consent in the applicable jurisdiction, there cannot be consent (Note: In Missouri, the minimum age of consent is 17 years of age)
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity
  • Consent can be withdrawn; A person who initially consents to sexual activity is deemed not to have consented to any sexual activity that occurs after he or she withdraws consent
  • Being in a romantic relationship with someone does not imply consent to any form of sexual activity
  • Effective consent may not exist when there is a disparity in power between the parties (e.g., faculty/student, supervisor/employee)

D. Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking

The crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking can also constitute sexual misconduct when they include conduct of a sexual nature.  Such crimes, no matter the motivation behind them, are a violation of this policy. Domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking that do not involve conduct of a sexual nature are prohibited by other University policies, including the Student Code of Conduct and the security policies contained in the Annual Security Report.

1. Domestic Violence

“Domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of a 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 or 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.

  • Missouri’s definition of domestic violence can be found at Mo. Rev. Stat. § 455.010.
  • Under Missouri law, domestic violence also includes the crime of “domestic assault” which can be found at Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 565.072-565.074.

2. Dating Violence

“Dating violence” means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of the relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

  • Missouri law does not specifically define dating violence, but conduct of this nature is covered by Missouri’s definitions of domestic violence and domestic assault.

3 Stalking

“Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (A) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (B) suffer substantial emotional distress.

  • Missouri’s definition of stalking can be found at Mo. Rev. Stat. § 455.010 and § 565.225.

V. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

A. Title IX Coordinator

It is the responsibility of the Title IX Coordinator to: (1) receive complaints under this  policy;  (2) coordinate  dissemination  of  information  and  education  and  training programs; (3) assist members of the University Community in understanding that sexual misconduct is prohibited by this policy; (4) answer questions about this policy; (5) ensure that employees and students are aware of the procedures for reporting and addressing complaints  of  sexual  misconduct;  and  (6) to  implement  the  Complaint  Resolution Procedures or to designate appropriate persons for implementing the Complaint Resolution Procedures.

B. Administrators, Deans, Department Chairs, and Other Managers

It  is  the responsibility of  administrators, deans, department chairs, and  other managers (i.e., those that formally supervise other employees) to:

  • Inform employees under their direction or supervision of this policy
  • Work with the Title IX Coordinator to implement education and training programs for employees and students
  • Implement any corrective actions that are imposed as a result of findings of a violation of this policy

C. Employees

It is the responsibility of all employees to review this policy and comply with it.

D. Students

It is the responsibility of students to review this policy and comply with it.

E. The University

When the University is aware that a member of the University Community may have been subjected to or affected by conduct that violates this policy, the University will take prompt action, including a review of the matter and, if necessary, an investigation and appropriate steps to stop and remedy the sexual misconduct.  The University will act in accordance with its Complaint Resolution Procedures.

VI. COMPLAINTS

A. Making a Complaint

1. Employees

University employees have a duty to report sexual misconduct by filing a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator (or Deputy Title IX Coordinator For Employees) when  they  receive a  complaint of such  conduct from  another person,  witness  such conduct, or otherwise obtain information about such conduct.  This includes employees who may have a professional license requiring confidentiality if they are not employed by the University in that professional role.  An employee not reporting sexual misconduct as required by this policy may be disciplined accordingly, up to and including termination.

This section does not apply to those identified in Section VI.A.4 of this policy when they are acting as confidential resources.

2. Students

Students who wish to report sexual misconduct should make a complaint to the Title IX Coordinator (or Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students).  Students should be aware that all employees at the University, other than those identified in Section VI.A.4 below, have an obligation to report sexual misconduct that they witnesses or otherwise become aware of.

Students may also file a complaint with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, as set forth in Section III above.

3. Other Persons

Any other persons who are involved in the University’s programs and activities, including visitors on campus, who wish to report sexual misconduct should file a complaint with the Title IX  Coordinator (or Deputy Title IX Coordinator For Employees). They may also file a complaint with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, as set forth in Section III above.

4. Confidential Resources

If a person wishes to talk confidentially about sexual misconduct, the University has designated certain persons who are permitted to have confidential conversations. Unless otherwise required to do so by law (e.g., if the victim is a minor), these persons will not disclose identifying information about the reported misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or other University officials. The confidential resources are:

  • The licensed psychologists, licensed social worker, and pre-doctoral intern at the Rockhurst University Counseling Center, Massman 5, 816-501-4275 (for students only)
  • Priests or Campus Ministry Staff when providing pastoral care.
  • The staff of the New Directions Employee Assistance Program, 913-982-8398 or 800-624-5544 (for employees only)

There are also third-party advocacy and victim support groups in the Kansas City area that provide confidential support and counseling.   These groups will not disclose information about sexual misconduct to the University without your permission.  These third-party groups include:

The Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault
3100 Broadway, Suite 400
Kansas City, Missouri 64111-2591
Tel: 816-531-0233 or 913-642-0233

Kansas City Metropolitan Area Domestic Violence Hotline
Tel: 816-468-5463

Information on other third-party groups is available from the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinators.

5. Content of the Complaint

So that the University has sufficient information to investigate a complaint, the person making the complaint should include: (1) the date(s) and time(s) of the alleged conduct;  (2) the  names of all person(s) involved in the alleged conduct, including possible witnesses; (3) all details outlining what happened; and (4) contact information for the alleged victim so that the University may follow up appropriately.

6. Information Provided to Complainant and Respondent

If a person makes a complaint of misconduct directed at someone else, the University will take down the information supplied by the reporting party and reach out to the alleged victim who shall be referred to as the complainant thereafter.   Due to privacy concerns, the reporting party will not play a role in any subsequent investigation unless the complainant selects the reporting party as a support person or the reporting party is a witness.

All complainants will receive a copy of the document titled “Explanation of Rights and Options After Filing a Complaint Under the Sexual Misconduct Policy.” This document provides information about this policy and the Complaint Resolution Procedures used to investigate and resolve reports of sexual misconduct, options for filing reports with the local police, resources that are available on campus and in the community, etc.  All alleged perpetrators, or “respondents” as they are referred to in the Complaint Resolution Procedures, will also be given information about the investigation process.

7. Conduct that Constitutes a Crime

Any person who wishes to make a complaint of sexual misconduct that also constitutes a crime—including sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking—is encouraged to make a report to local law enforcement.  If requested, the University will assist the complaining party in notifying the appropriate law enforcement authorities.  In the event of an emergency, please contact 911.  A victim may decline to notify such authorities.

8. Special Guidance Concerning Complaints of Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking

If you are the victim of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, do not blame yourself.   These crimes are never the victim’s fault.   When physical violence of a sexual nature has been perpetrated against you, the University recommends that you immediately go to the emergency room of a local hospital and contact local law enforcement by calling 911.  You may also contact Campus Security at 816-501-4010,  which will contact local law enforcement  on  your behalf. In  addition, the University strongly recommends that you make a prompt complaint under this policy.  Information on local hospitals is available from the Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators.

If you are the victim of sexual violence, domestic violence, or dating violence, do everything possible to preserve evidence by making certain that the crime scene is not disturbed.  Preservation of evidence may be necessary for proof of the crime or in obtaining a protection order.   As necessary to preserve evidence, victims of sexual violence, domestic violence, or dating violence should not bathe, urinate, douche, brush teeth, or drink liquids until after they are examined and, if necessary, a rape examination is completed.  Clothes should not be changed.  When necessary, seek immediate medical attention at an area hospital and take a full change of clothing, including shoes, for use after a medical examination.

It is also important to take steps to preserve evidence in cases of stalking, to the extent such evidence exists. In cases of stalking, evidence is more likely to be in the form of letters, emails, text messages, etc., rather than evidence of physical contact and violence.

Once a complaint of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking is made, the complainant has several options such as, but not limited to:

  • Contacting parents or a relative
  • Seeking legal advice
  • Seeking personal counseling (always recommended)
  • Pursuing legal action against the perpetrator
  • Pursuing disciplinary action through the University
  • Requesting that no further action be taken
  • Requesting  further information about the University’s policy and procedures for addressing sexual misconduct
  • Requesting further information about available resources

9. Retaliation

It is a violation of this policy to engage in materially adverse action against any member of the University Community because that person made a complaint of sexual misconduct, assisted someone else in making a complaint of sexual misconduct, participated in the University’s investigation and adjudication of the complaint in any way, or otherwise engaged in activity protected by Title IX.  Persons who believe they have been retaliated against in violation of this policy should make a report in the manner set forth in this section.

10. Protecting the Complainant

Pending final outcome of an investigation in accordance with the Complaint Resolution Procedures, the University will take steps to protect the complainant from further misconduct.  This may include assisting and allowing the complainant to change his or her academic, living, transportation, or work situation, to the extent that the University has control over these environments, if options to do so are reasonably available and upon request of the complainant. Such changes may be available regardless of whether the victim chooses to report the crime to campus security or local law enforcement.  Requests to change an academic, living, transportation, or work situation, or for any other protective measure, should be made to the Title IX Coordinator or, if the Complainant is a student, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students.

If a complainant has obtained an ex parte order of protection, full order of protection, or any other temporary restraining order or no contact order against the respondent from a criminal, civil, or tribal court, the complainant should provide such information to the Title IX Coordinator. The University will take all reasonable and legal action to implement the order.

11. Amnesty

The University recognizes that students who have consumed alcohol when they are not 21 years of age or who have been using illegal drugs may be hesitant to report sexual misconduct perpetrated against them or others.  Therefore, the University will not take disciplinary action against a student who discloses illegal alcohol or illegal drug use in the context of reporting sexual misconduct directed against them or another person. However, the University reserves the right to require counseling, education, or other preventative measures so that the reporting party does not engage in alcohol or drug violations in the future. The University’s commitment to amnesty in these situations does not prevent action by police or other legal authorities against an individual who has illegally consumed alcohol or drugs.

B. Timing of Complaints

The University encourages persons to make complaints of sexual misconduct as soon as possible because late reporting may limit the University’s ability to investigate and respond to the conduct complained of.

C. Investigation and Confidentiality

All complaints of sexual misconduct will be promptly and thoroughly investigated in accordance with the Complaint Resolution Procedures, and the University will take disciplinary action where appropriate. In the event a respondent refuses to participate in an investigation, the investigation will proceed, and a determination will be made based on the available evidence.

The University will make reasonable and appropriate efforts to preserve an individual’s privacy and protect the confidentiality of information when investigating and resolving a complaint. However, because of laws relating to reporting and other state and federal laws, the University cannot guarantee confidentiality to those who make complaints.

In the event a complainant requests confidentiality or asks that a complaint not be investigated, the University will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation.  If a complainant insists that his or her name not be disclosed to the respondent, the University’s ability to respond may be limited.  The University reserves the right to initiate an investigation despite a complainant’s request for confidentiality in limited circumstances involving serious or repeated conduct or where the respondent may pose a continuing threat to the University Community.

The Title IX Coordinator is the person responsible for evaluating requests for confidentiality.  The Title IX Coordinator may consult with other appropriate University officials and legal counsel as necessary when assessing a confidentiality request.

D. Determination

If a complaint of sexual misconduct is found to be substantiated, the University will take appropriate corrective and remedial action to prevent the recurrence of the conduct and correct its discriminatory effects. Students and employees found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to discipline up to and including written reprimand, probation, suspension, demotion, termination, or dismissal. Affiliates and program participants may be removed from University programs and/or prevented from returning to campus.  Remedial steps may also include counseling for the complainant, academic, transportation, work, or living accommodations for the complainant, separation of the parties, and training for the respondent and other persons.

E. Bad Faith Complaints

While the University encourages all good faith complaints of sexual misconduct, the University has the responsibility to balance the rights of all parties.  Therefore, if the University’s investigation reveals that a complaint was knowingly false, the complaint will be dismissed and the person who filed the knowingly false complaint may be subject to discipline.

VII. THE CLERY ACT

Consistent with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”), the University has enacted certain campus security policies and reports certain crime statistics on its Annual Security Report, which is available on the University’s website.  Consistent with the Clery Act, the University has designated certain employees as “campus security authorities” with a mandatory obligation to report certain crimes (including various forms of sexual violence) to appropriate University officials.  Clery Act reporting obligations are in addition to any reporting obligations set forth in this policy.

VIII. ACADEMIC FREEDOM

While the University is committed to the principles of free inquiry and free expression, sexual misconduct is neither legally protected expression nor the proper exercise of academic freedom.

IX. EDUCATION

Because the University recognizes that the prevention of sexual misconduct is important, it offers educational programming to a variety of groups such as: campus personnel; incoming students and new employees participating in orientation; and members of student organizations.  Among other elements, such training will cover relevant definitions, procedures, and sanctions; will provide safe and positive options for bystander   intervention;   and   will   provide   risk   reduction   information,   including recognizing warning signs of abusive behavior and how to avoid potential attacks. To learn more about education resources, please contact the Title IX Coordinator.

COMPLAINT RESOLUTION PROCEDURES

I. GENERAL PRINCIPLES

A. Applicability

These Complaint Resolution Procedures apply to the resolution of all complaints under the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy.   They apply to the resolution of complaints made against students, faculty, administrators, staff, and third parties, and they are the exclusive means of resolving complaints of sexual misconduct.

B. Terminology

For purposes of these Complaint Resolution Procedures, the term “complainant” refers to the alleged victim of the reported misconduct, irrespective of whether the University first learned of the alleged misconduct from a third-person.   The term “respondent” refers to the alleged perpetrator of the reported misconduct.

C. Administration

For purposes of these Complaint Resolution Procedures, “Investigating Officer” means the Title IX Coordinator or individual(s) designated by the Title IX Coordinator to investigate a particular complaint. The Investigating Officer shall have responsibility for administering these Complaint Resolution Procedures.

D. Promptness, Fairness and Impartiality

These procedures provide for prompt, fair, and impartial investigations and resolutions.  The Investigating Officer shall discharge his or her obligations under these Complaint Resolution Procedures fairly and impartially.  If the Investigating Officer determines that he or she cannot apply these procedures fairly and impartially because of the identity of a complainant, respondent, or witness, or due to any other conflict of interest, the Investigating Officer shall designate another appropriate individual to administer these procedures.

E. Training

These procedures will be implemented by officials who receive annual training on the issues related to sexual misconduct and how to conduct an investigation that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.

II. INVESTIGATION AND RESOLUTION OF THE COMPLAINT

A. Preliminary Matters

1. Timing of the Investigation

The University will conduct its investigation in a timely manner, considering the particular circumstances of the report at issue. Both the complainant and the respondent will be given periodic updates regarding the status of the investigation.  If either the complainant or respondent needs more time than provided by the Investigating Officer to identify witnesses or other information, they shall notify the Investigating Officer in writing explaining how much additional time is needed and why it is needed. The Investigating Officer shall respond to any such request within three (3) days.

2. Informal Resolution

Informal means of resolution, such as mediation, may be used in lieu of the formal investigation and determination procedure.  The following standards apply to any informal resolution method that is utilized:

  • Can only be used with the complainant and respondent’s voluntary cooperation and the involvement of the Title IX Coordinator
  • The complainant and respondent will not be required to directly “work the problem out”
  • Either party may terminate the informal process at any time and insist that the complaint be resolved by the formal investigation and determination procedure
  •  Informal resolution, even on a voluntary basis, will not be used to resolve complaints involving sexual violence.

3. Interim Measures

At any time during the investigation, the Investigating Officer may determine that interim remedies or protections for the parties involved or witnesses are appropriate. These interim remedies may include separating the parties, placing limitations on contact between the parties, suspension, or making alternative class-placement or workplace arrangements.  Failure to comply with the terms of these interim remedies or protections may constitute a separate violation of the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy.

4. Support Person/Advisor

During the investigation process, both a complainant and a respondent may ask a support person/advisor to accompany them at all stages of the process. In cases involving multiple complainants or respondents, the support person/advisor cannot be another complainant or respondent.  The support person/advisor does not serve as an advocate on behalf of the complainant or respondent, may not be actively involved in any proceedings, and must agree to maintain the confidentiality of the process. A support person/advisor may be removed if he or she becomes disruptive or does not abide by the limitations discussed in the previous sentence.

5. Communication With The Parties

During the investigation process, the Investigating Officer and other University officials will communicate directly with the complainant and respondent. To the extent a party wishes for the Investigating Officer or other University officials to communicate with a third-party about the investigation—such as a parent or relative or Support Person—the party must execute an appropriate written release under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”).

6. Pending Criminal Investigation

Some instances of sexual misconduct may also constitute criminal conduct.  n such instances, the complainant is also encouraged to file a report with the appropriate law enforcement authorities and, if requested, the University will assist the complainant in doing so. The pendency of a criminal investigation, however, does not relieve the University of its responsibilities under Title IX. Therefore, to the extent doing so does not interfere with any criminal investigation, the University will proceed with its own investigation and resolution of the complaint.

7. Rights of the Parties

During the investigation and resolution of a complaint, the complainant and respondent shall have equal rights. They include:

  • Equal opportunity to identify and have considered witnesses and other relevant evidence
  • Similar and timely access to all information considered by the Investigating Officer in making a determination
  • Equal opportunity to be apprised of the substance of any statements or evidence provided by the other party
  • Equal opportunity to appeal determinations pursuant to Section III, below

B. Commencement of the Investigation

Once a complaint is made, the Investigating Officer will commence an investigation of it as soon as practicable, but not later than seven (7) days after the complaint is made.  The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether it is more likely than not that the alleged behavior occurred and, if so, whether it constitutes sexual misconduct. During the course of the investigation, the Investigating Officer may receive counsel from University administrators, the University’s attorneys, or other parties as needed.

In certain narrow circumstances, the Investigating Officer may proceed with a full investigation and determination even if the complainant requests that the matter not be pursued.  In such a circumstance, the Investigating Officer will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the matter in a manner that is informed by the complainant’s articulated concerns.

C. Content of the Investigation

During the investigation, the complainant will have the opportunity to describe his or her allegations and identify supporting witnesses or other evidence.  The respondent will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations and identify supporting witnesses or other evidence.   The Investigating Officer will review the statements and evidence presented and may, depending on the circumstances, interview others with relevant knowledge, review documentary materials, and  take any  other appropriate action to gather and consider information relevant to the complaint.  All parties and witnesses involved in the investigation are expected to cooperate and provide complete and truthful information.

D. Summary Dismissal

At any time during the investigation, including after interview of the complainant, the Investigating Officer may dismiss the complaint if, taking as true all the allegations made by the complainant, the conduct alleged does not constitute a violation of the University’s Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy. If a complaint is summarily dismissed in this manner, the Investigating  Officer will provide prompt written notice to the parties explaining the basis for the dismissal.

E. Summary Action With Respect To Third-Parties

In any case where the respondent is a third-party, such as a visitor or contractor, the University reserves the right to take immediate and summary action as a private landowner to bar such individual from campus for any reason or no reason at all, and irrespective of whether the investigation results in a determination that sexual misconduct occurred.

F. Determination

Unless a complaint is resolved pursuant to informal resolution (see Section II.A.2) or summarily dismissed (see Section II.D), at the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigating Officer will prepare a written report. The written report will explain the scope of the investigation, identify findings of fact, and state whether any allegations in the complaint were found to be substantiated by a preponderance of the evidence.

If the written report determines that sexual misconduct occurred, the Investigating Officer shall set forth in an addendum to the written report those steps necessary to maintain an environment free from misconduct and to protect the safety and well-being of the complainant and other members of the University Community.  Such actions will also include reasonable steps to correct the effects of such conduct on the complainant and others and to prevent the recurrence of the misconduct.  Examples of such action include: no-contact orders, classroom reassignment, the provision of counseling or other support services, training, and discipline for the respondent (including up to termination, dismissal) initiation of disciplinary proceedings under other applicable policies (including, for example, initiation of disciplinary proceedings under Section III of the Faculty Handbook), or other appropriate institutional sanctions.

The complainant and the respondent will receive a copy of the written report and any addendum within three (3) days of its completion.  If necessary, the version of the addendum provided to the complainant and/or respondent will be redacted to ensure that information concerning any remedial and/or disciplinary measures is disclosed in a manner  consistent  with  Title IX, FERPA, and the Clery Act, as explained by the April 4, 2011 Dear Colleague Letter issued by the U.S. Department of Education, available at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201104.pdf. If the Title IX Coordinator is not serving as the Investigating Officer, a copy of the report and any addendum will also be provided to the Title IX Coordinator.

The written report and addendum, if applicable, shall be final subject only to the right of appeal set forth in Section III, below.

G. Special Procedure Concerning Complaints Against the President, the Title IX Coordinator, or Other Administrators Ranked Higher than the Title IX Coordinator

If a complaint involves alleged conduct on the part of the University’s President, the University’s Board of Trustees (“Board”) will designate the Investigating Officer. Based on the information gathered by the investigation, the Board will prepare and issue the written report determining whether or not the alleged misconduct occurred and, if so, those steps necessary to maintain an environment free from misconduct and to protect the safety and well-being of the complainant and other members of the University Community. The determination of the Board is final and not subject to appeal.

If a complaint involves alleged conduct on the part of the Title IX Coordinator or any  administrator  ranked  higher  than  the  Title IX  Coordinator,  the  President will designate the Investigating Officer. Based on the information gathered by the investigation, the President will prepare and issue the written report determining whether or not the alleged misconduct occurred and, if so, setting forth those steps necessary to maintain an environment free from misconduct and to protect the safety and well-being of the complainant and other members of the University Community. The determination of the President is final and not subject to appeal.

III. APPEALS

A. Grounds for Appeal

The complainant or respondent may appeal a summary dismissal under Section II.D or determination of a complaint under Section II.E only on the following grounds:

  • There is a substantial likelihood that newly discovered information, not available at the time evidence was presented to the Investigating Officer, would result in a different decision
  • There was a procedural error significant enough to call the outcome into question
  • Bias or prejudice on the part of the Investigating Officer, or
  • The punishment or the corrective action imposed is disproportionate to the offense

B. Method of Appeal

Appeals must be filed with the appropriate Appellate Officer or his/her designee within seven (7) days of receipt of the written report determining the outcome. When the case involves a faculty respondent, the Appellate Officer is the Chief Financial Officer (Gerald Moench, Gerald.Moench@Rockhurst.edu). In all other situations, the Appellate Officer is the Vice President for Academic  Affairs (Dr. Douglas Dunham, Douglas.Dunham@Rockhurst.edu). When an absence or conflict of interest makes it impossible for the designated Appellate Officer to resolve the appeal, the other Appellate Officer may resolve the appeal in place of the designated Appellate Officer. Either Appellate Officer may also designate this responsibility to another administrator should both appellate officers be absent or have a conflict of interest.

The appeal must be in writing and contain the following:

  • Name of the complainant
  • Name of the respondent
  • A statement of the determination of the complaint, including corrective action if any
  • A detailed statement of the basis for the appeal including the specific facts, circumstances, and argument in support of it, and
  • Requested action, if any

The Appellate Officer will promptly provide written notification to the non-appealing party when an appeal has been filed.

The appealing party may request a meeting with the Appellate Officer, but the decision to grant a meeting is within the Appellate Officer’s discretion. However, if a meeting is granted, then the non-appealing party will be granted a similar opportunity.

C. Resolution of the Appeal

The Appellate Officer will generally resolve the appeal within fifteen (15) days of receiving it and may take any and all actions that he/she determines to be in the interest of a fair and just decision. The decision of the Appellate Officer is final.  The Appellate Officer shall issue a short and plain, written statement of the resolution of the appeal, including any changes made to the Investigating Officer’s previous written determination and/or the sanctions and remedial measures imposed.  The written statement shall be provided to the complainant, respondent, and the Title IX Coordinator within three (3) days of the resolution.

IV. DOCUMENTATION

Throughout all stages of the investigation, resolution, and appeal, the Investigating Officer, the Title IX Coordinator, and the Appellate Officer, as the case may be, are responsible for maintaining documentation of the investigation and appeal, including documentation of all proceedings conducted under these Complaint Resolution Procedures, which may include written findings of fact, transcripts, and audio recordings.

V. INTERSECTION WITH OTHER PROCEDURES

These complaint resolution procedures are the exclusive means of investigating and determining complaints alleging violations of the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy. To the extent there are any inconsistencies between these complaint resolution procedures and other University procedures for investigating and determining complaints, these complaint resolution procedures will control the resolution of complaints alleging violations of the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy. The findings made in a determination under Section II.E (as may be modified by any subsequent appeal) are final and binding with respect to any other related University disciplinary proceedings that may be instituted thereafter.

In the event an investigation under these procedures determines a tenured or tenure- track faculty member engaged in sexual misconduct, and the Investigating Officer believes suspension or termination of appointment is an appropriate sanction, rather than imposing such sanction directly, the Investigating Officer shall follow the disciplinary proceedings described under relevant provisions of the Faculty Handbook.

Final version as of 11.02.2017