University Policy Office

1.14.1—Sex/Gender Discrimination, Harassment and/or Sexual Misconduct

Introduction

When Michigan Tech receives a report of sex/gender based discrimination, harassment and/ or sexual misconduct, the campus Title IX Coordinator is notified. The University will respond to violations of this policy through a variety of pathways, informally and/or formally, with the goal of educating all parties involved.


Process

The Title IX Coordinator, or designee, will offer assistance to the reporting party and responding party in the form of interim measures such as opportunities including but not limited to academic accommodations; changes in housing; visa and immigration assistance; no contact orders, changes in working situations; and other assistance as may be appropriate and available on campus or in the community. The Title IX Coordinator may implement an interim action(s) as needed to protect the community and interested parties, pending the culmination of any review, investigation or appeal process.

If the reporting party so desires, they can be connected with a counselor, a victim's advocate, local community agencies and/or law enforcement for support. Michigan Tech will assist the reporting party in making these contacts. No reporting party is required to take advantage of these services and resources, but Michigan Tech provides them in the hopes of offering help and support without condition or qualification.

The Title IX Coordinator will determine the most effective method of reviewing the concerns raised by the Reporting party. The University’s response is designed to consider the reporting party’s preferences regarding the University response wherever possible with regard to concern for public safety. In some cases, this will involve a thorough fact-finding investigation. In other cases, a different or less formal response to the complaint may be warranted. Although the Title IX Coordinator may modify these guidelines, the University will still respond to the complaint in a thorough, reliable, impartial manner that is prompt, effective and equitable. At any stage of the process, based on review of available information, the Title IX Coordinator may terminate any further investigation of a complaint.

When appropriate upon receipt of notice of alleged misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator will initiate thorough, reliable, impartial, and fair steps to investigate in a prompt, effective, and equitable manner, which may lead to the imposition of sanctions based upon a preponderance of evidence. The Title IX Coordinator may not be able to fully address allegations received from anonymous sources unless sufficient information is furnished to enable a meaningful and fair investigation to be conducted. In investigations of sexual misconduct, the use of medical experts with an actual or apparent conflict of interest will be prohibited. The Title IX Coordinator will determine individuals with a conflict of interest.

The University will notify each individual who reports having experienced sexual assault or misconduct committed by a student, faculty member, or staff member of the University that the individual has the option to report the matter to law enforcement, to the University Title IX Coordinator, to both, or to neither, as the individual chooses.

University officials must issue timely warnings for incidents reported to them that continue to pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. The University will make every effort to ensure that a victim’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger.

See the Institutional Equity webpage for information on complaint processes for sexual misconduct committed by employees and third parties. See the Student Conduct Policies for the policy and procedures for Sexual and/or Relationship Misconduct.

If the Reporting party files a criminal complaint with law enforcement, the University will comply with law enforcement requests for cooperation. Such cooperation may require the University to temporarily suspend the fact-finding aspect of an investigation while law enforcement gathers evidence. The University will promptly resume its investigation as soon as notified that law enforcement has completed the evidence gathering process.

Once the investigation is complete and upon the completion of any hearing or deliberative process the reporting party, responding party, and University President will be informed, in writing, of the outcome. The reporting party, responding party, and University President shall receive identical Final Decision Reports. Entire case files will not be shared with the reporting party nor the responding party. The reporting party and responding party will be informed of their rights to request an appeal and, if an appeal is filed, of its filing. The reporting party and responding party will be informed in writing of the results of any appeal whether or not it modifies the original outcome. The University President will also be informed in writing of the results of any appeal.

Title IX, VAWA, and the Clery Act provide protections for whistleblowers who bring allegations of non-compliance with the Clery Act and/or Title IX to the attention of appropriate campus administrators.

Michigan Tech does not retaliate against those who raise concerns of non-compliance. Any concerns should be brought to the immediate attention of the campus Title IX Coordinator.

Reporting Party and Responding Party rights and support guidelines include:

  • The reporting party and responding party will be treated with respect by University officials throughout the entire process.
  • The reporting party and responding party will be informed by University officials of options to notify proper law enforcement authorities, including on-campus and local police, and the option to be assisted by University officials in notifying such authorities, if the student/employee so chooses. This also includes the right not to report, if the reporting party chooses.
  • The reporting party or responding party may request a campus "No Contact" condition against each other or against any other student/employee who has engaged in or threatens to engage in any threatening, harassing or other improper behavior.
  • The reporting party or responding party may request a change in academic/work/living situations. If such changes are requested, reasonable, and reasonably available, the University will support the request. Neither a criminal conviction nor an investigation need be completed before a student/employee requests that this interim measure be put in place.
  • The reporting party and responding party will be provided with information regarding available mental health and student services, both on campus and in the community. It is the goal of the University to ensure that both parties have access to needed resources, services, and information.
  • The reporting party and responding party will be given timely notice of the alleged violation(s) and investigation, and fully informed of the nature, rules, procedures, including possible sanctions.
  • Neither the reporting party nor responding party will have the option to mediate a complaint of sexual violence.
  • The reporting party and the responding party will each be able to review documentary information available regarding the complaint, and be informed of all witnesses participating in the investigation unless a witness has been granted anonymity for compelling safety reasons.
  • The reporting party and responding party may each request that any person investigating be removed on the basis of demonstrated bias.
  • The reporting party and the responding party may each participate in the investigation and hearing process and each may have an advisor of their choosing to accompany and assist them, including but not required to be an attorney. The advisor may give guidance and/or provide support to the participant, but may not take part directly in the investigation and/or processes. The University will provide assistance to and consider the concerns and rights of both the reporting party and the responding party throughout the process.
  • Irrelevant prior sexual history will not be considered in any investigation or other procedures.
  • The reporting party and responding party may each make an impact statement, written or oral, during any point in the process and have the statement considered in determining potential outcomes.
  • The reporting party and responding party will each be informed simultaneously and in writing of the outcome and appeal processes.
  • Both the responding party and the reporting party will receive a fundamentally fair process and they may refuse to answer some or all questions during an investigation or hearing to avoid self-implication. This silence may not be used against either party.

Additional Rights/Support Guidelines for the Reporting party:

  • University officials will not discourage the reporting party or others from reporting sex/gender based discrimination, harassment, and/or sexual misconduct offenses. The reporting party may cooperate in a University investigation, seek criminal charges with campus or local law enforcement, seek civil action with a civil trial, choose multiple options, or choose not to take any action.
  • Compensation cannot be sought by the University from a recipient of services rendered by a medical professional who has been convicted of a felony arising out of the medical procedure, care or treatment, which was rendered.

Additional Rights/Support Guidelines for the Responding party:

  • The responding party will be given a clear, detailed and complete statement of the allegations against them and the opportunity to respond to those allegations by accepting or denying responsibility, or standing mute. Each response will entitle the responding party to all further services, rights, and protections provided by the policy for that response.

Students can also review the Rights/Support Guideline in the Student Code of Conduct Sexual and/or Relationship Misconduct procedures.

The investigation and records of the case remain confidential within the University and are shared privately only as necessary between administrators who need to know. Where information must be shared to permit the investigation to move forward, the reporting party will be informed. Privacy of the records specific to the investigation is also maintained in accordance with Michigan law and for students the federal FERPA statute. The governing board and president will receive quarterly reports containing aggregate data of sexual misconduct cases involving students and employees which are reported to the Title IX office. These reports will not contain specific identifying information.  

A member of the Board of Trustees may request to review a Title IX investigation report involving a complaint against a University employee. The Title IX Coordinator shall provide the report in a manner considered to be appropriate by the Coordinator but protecting the complainant’s anonymity and not containing any specific reporting party information.,

If allegations against an employee of the University are made in more than one Title IX complaint that resulted in the University finding that no misconduct occurred, the Title IX coordinator must promptly notify the University President and a designated member of the Board of Trustees of that fact  in writing and take all appropriate steps to ensure that the matter is being investigated thoroughly, including hiring an outside investigator for future cases involving that employee.  The University may simultaneously conduct its own investigation through the Title IX coordinator notwithstanding the outside investigation.  

Any public release of information needed to comply with the open crime logs or timely warning provisions of the Clery Act will not include the names of the reporting party, victim, or information that could easily lead to a victim or reporting party's identification.

Additionally, Michigan Tech maintains confidentiality in relation to any accommodations or protective measures afforded to a victim or reporting party, except to the extent necessary to provide the accommodations and/or protective measures.

The Title IX office and related policies and procedures are reviewed by a third party every three years. Policies and procedures are updated and reviewed annually by the Title IX Coordinator, with assistance from university council.

Appendices


Adoption Date

12/16/2016 Approved by the University President

Revisions

08/28/2018 Annual updates to the Sexual Harassment/Sex Discrimination Procedure
4/25/2018 Institutional Equity department name change
11/06/2017 Annual updates to the Sexual Harassment/Sex Discrimination Procedure
04/10/2017 Transfer of policy page from HTML to CMS. General Policy numbers renamed from "2.1000" to "1.00 General University". Specifically from "2.1014.1—Sex/Gender Discrimination, Harassment and/or Sexual Misconduct" to "1.14.1—Sex/Gender Discrimination, Harassment and/or Sexual Misconduct".