Pathways to Resolution
Title IX Pathways to Resolution
Pathways to Resolution
There are a few different ways in which Title IX cases can be resolved.
At any time after a Formal Complaint has been filed and before a hearing commences, the parties may seek to resolve a report of prohibited conduct through Informal Resolution, an administrative process. Participation in Informal Resolution is entirely voluntary; the Title IX Coordinator will neither pressure nor compel either party to participate in the process or to agree to any specific terms. In every case, the Title IX Coordinator has discretion to determine whether the matter is appropriate for Informal Resolution and to determine the appropriate terms.
Before the Title IX Coordinator approves the Informal Resolution process or the terms of any Informal Resolution, the Title IX Coordinator will determine that they have sufficient information about the matter to make these decisions. The parties are strongly encouraged, although not required, to consult with their advisors during the Informal Resolution process.
If the process is terminated for any reason, the matter will be re-evaluated for resolution pursuant to the Formal Complaint resolution process under this Policy and its Procedures. For this reason, the investigator will not participate in Informal Resolution. The Title IX Coordinator will oversee the Informal Resolution process and have access to all College records in the matter, including any records or reports prepared during an investigation.
The Title IX Coordinator will consult separately with both parties and recommend to the parties the terms of a potential Informal Resolution agreement. Such terms may include, but are not limited to, any sanctions or remedies that could be imposed as a result of a finding following a hearing under these proceedings.
Both parties must agree to the terms before an Informal Resolution agreement becomes effective. At any time before a written agreement is effective, the Complainant or the Respondent may withdraw from the Informal Resolution process, and the Title IX Coordinator may also, at their discretion, terminate the process.
If both parties are satisfied with the Title IX Coordinator’s recommendation, the matter will be resolved with a written agreement. The Title IX Coordinator will provide each party, separately, with a copy of the proposed agreement for the party to review, sign, and return. If both parties return the signed written agreement to the Title IX Coordinator the terms of the agreement will become effective, and the Title IX Coordinator will promptly notify both parties in writing that the agreement is final. Once the agreement is effective, the parties may not appeal the agreement and the Complainant may not seek to refile the Formal Complaint absent new allegations of misconduct. The parties are expected to honor and comply with the terms of the Informal Resolution. Noncompliance may be subject to proceedings under the other College policies.
If the process is terminated and the matter is resolved pursuant to the Formal Resolution process, neither the Title IX Coordinator nor the parties will disclose to the Investigator, Decision-maker, or Appellate reviewers either the fact that the parties had participated in the Informal Resolution process or any information learned during the process.
While the parties are exploring Informal Resolution, any pending investigation will pause, and the time spent pursuing resolution in this way will not count toward the investigation time limit.
Informal Resolution typically takes two forms: (1) Restorative Agreements, or (2) Negotiated Agreements. Other forms of informal resolution may be available in the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, in agreement with both parties. Informal resolution is NOT available to resolve complaints alleging sexual assault or sexual coercion.
The purpose of a Restorative Agreement is for the parties to identify and agree on a set of remedies. Upon successful completion of those remedies, the Formal Complaint will be resolved and may not be refiled. Such remedies may include:
- Impact Letter;
- Apology Letter;
- Directed Study;
- Reflection Paper; or
- Other forms of restorative actions
As a necessary precondition of a Negotiated Resolution, the Respondent must accept responsibility for all or part of the alleged prohibited conduct. The parties will then have an opportunity to negotiate with the Title IX Coordinator what they believe the appropriate sanction should be. In support of their position, parties are encouraged to submit impact/mitigation information they believe the Title IX Coordinator should consider in evaluating any sanction.
The Title IX Coordinator has the discretion to propose other terms for the resolution that may be appropriate to address the prohibited conduct for which the Respondent has accepted responsibility.
If the Respondent agrees to a Negotiated Agreement under Informal Resolution that provides for a suspension, withdrawal, or dismissal (i.e., expulsion) from the College, there will be a transcript notation consistent with the College’s policy.
The Formal Resolution process is guided by provisions of this section of this Policy and by the Procedures accompanying this Policy. The applicable procedure is determined by the type of prohibited conduct alleged (Title IX Sexual Harassment or Non-Title IX Prohibited Conduct) and the identity of the Respondent. Upon receipt of a report or a Formal Complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will determine which procedure applies.
The Formal Resolution process is overseen by the Title IX Coordinator and will be conducted in a prompt and equitable manner, pursuant to the time frames set forth in Section XIII. Throughout the Formal Resolution process, all responsible personnel will maintain a commitment to impartiality.