Illinois Institute of Technology offers students, faculty, and staff who have filed a Formal Title IX Complaint two resolution options: the Formal Investigatory Process and the Informal Resolution.
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Formal Title IX Investigatory Process and Informal Resolution Process
Upon receipt or initiation of a Formal Title IX Complaint, the Title IX coordinator or designee will promptly provide both parties notice of the allegations of sexual harassment potentially constituting Title IX Sexual Harassment, including:
- A copy or link to this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process
- Notice of the allegations of Title IX Sexual Harassment in the Formal Title IX Complaint, including the identities of all known parties involved in the incident(s), the alleged conduct constituting Title IX Sexual Harassment, the Title IX Sexual Harassment alleged policy violation, the date and location of the alleged incident, if known, and any other details necessary to prepare a response
- A statement that the Title IX respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct. All members of the Title IX team will operate under a presumption that the Title IX respondent is not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of this Title IX Sexual Harassment Process
- A statement that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the process
- Notice to the parties that they may have an advisor of their choice who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney
- Notice to the parties that they may inspect and review evidence obtained during the investigation
- Notice of any provision of Illinois Tech Code of Conduct that prohibits knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the process
- Notice of the option to pursue a Title IX Informal Resolution Process
- Statement that Illinois Tech will treat the Title IX complainants and the Title IX respondents equitably throughout the grievance process
If at any time during the course of the investigation additional allegations of Title IX Sexual Harassment arise that will be investigated and that were not included in the original Notice of Allegation, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will provide notice of the additional allegations to both parties within seven calendar days of the decision to add the allegations.
Notice of Investigatory Meeting
A notice of an investigatory meeting will be sent to the Title IX complainant, the Title IX respondent, or any witnesses to gather information about a reported incident. The Title IX investigators may find it necessary to meet more than one time with the parties to clarify additional information gathered. Such notice to the parties must include the date, time, location, and names of the Title IX investigators with at least 48 hours notice.
Right to An Advisor
The Title IX complainant and respondent have the opportunity to be accompanied by an advisor of choice to all investigatory meetings. The advisor may be, but is not required to be, an attorney. If either the Title IX complainant or respondent does not have an advisor, Illinois Tech can provide an advisor to accompany them to any investigatory meetings. Advisors are free to act as a support for the Title IX complainant or respondent, but they cannot speak on behalf of the party during any investigatory meeting.
Following an investigatory meeting, the party interviewed will be sent a Meeting Summary outlining the information discussed during the investigatory meeting. Parties are given two calendar days to confirm or submit clarifying comments in response to a Meeting Summary.
- Illinois Tech must ensure that the burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding responsibility rest on Illinois Tech and not on the parties
- Illinois Tech cannot access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use a party’s records that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional while acting in their professional capacity, unless Illinois Tech obtains the voluntary, written consent from that party
- Illinois Tech must provide an equal opportunity for the parties to present any inculpatory or exculpatory evidence, including fact and expert witnesses. Illinois Tech will not restrict the ability of either party to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence
- Illinois Tech will provide each party and their advisors the opportunity to review all evidence collected during the investigation. Both parties will have at least 10 calendar days to submit a written response to be considered before the Title IX investigators complete the investigative report.
- Within 90 business days after receiving the Formal Title IX Complaint, the Title IX investigators will create an investigatory report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence.
- At least 10 calendar days before a live hearing, Title IX investigators will send to the Title IX complainant and respondent and their advisors the final investigative report in electronic format or hard copy for their review and written response.
After the Title IX investigation concludes, a live hearing will be provided as part of the Title IX Sexual Harassment Process. The live hearing, which may be held virtually with the parties located separately, will include cross-examination conducted by the Title IX complainant and respondent’s advisors. If either party does not have an advisor present, Illinois Tech will provide the party with an advisor. If a party or witness does not submit to cross examination at the hearing, Illinois Tech will not rely on any statement (including statements in emails and text messages) from that party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility.
Preponderance of Evidence
During the live hearing under the Illinois Tech Title IX Sexual Harassment Process, all evidence collected will be evaluated using the Preponderance of the Evidence standard, meaning it appears more likely than not that a policy violation occurred.
Determination and Sanctions
At the conclusion of the hearing process and after a finding of responsibility has been determined, the university will communicate the outcome to both parties simultaneously no later than 21 calendar days after receipt of the parties’ written response upon reviewing all evidence submitted. Student discipline can involve a range of consequences, which may range from supportive measures to suspension and expulsion. Discipline for employees also includes a range of options, including, but not limited to, a letter of reprimand, reassignment, suspension with or without pay, discharge or recommendation for discharge, notifying appropriate legal authorities, and/or taking legal action against the employee.
Both the complainant and respondent may file an appeal from a determination regarding responsibility and/or from the university’s dismissal of a formal complaint or any allegations therein, on the following bases:
- Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter
- New evidence that was not reasonably available when the determination of responsibility was made that could affect the outcome of the matter
- Claims that the Title IX coordinator or designee, investigator(s), or decision maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the individual Title IX complainant or Title IX respondent that affected the outcome of the matter
- The sanction is disproportionate with the violation
A Title IX complainant or respondent who wishes to appeal must submit a notice of appeal to the Title IX coordinator within five calendar days of the date of the Title IX decision maker’s decision. An appeal must be filed by email to the Title IX coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Illinois Tech offers community members a voluntary Title IX Informal Resolution process to resolve allegations of Title IX Sexual Harassment with the exceptions of allegations including, but not limited to, harassment of a student by an employee. The Title IX Informal Resolution process requires written consent from both parties and involves facilitation or mediation between them. Prior to reaching a resolution, either party has the right to withdraw from the Title IX Informal Resolution process and resume the Formal Title IX Complaint process. However, once an agreement has been reached under the Title IX Informal Resolution process, Illinois Tech cannot resume the Formal Title IX Complaint process nor initiate or allow either party to initiate another Formal Title IX Complaint process addressing any allegations resolved in the Title IX Informal Resolution process or arising out of the same facts or circumstances as any allegations resolved in the Title IX Informal Resolution process.
The Title IX Informal Resolution process aims to restore a sense of safety to the person who experienced harm, restore or maintain access to educational and or employment opportunities, and in some instances repair harm. Title IX Informal Resolution may include a broad range of conflict resolution strategies, including but not limited to facilitated communication and/or restorative justice practices.
- Upon receipt of the signed, voluntary Title IX Informal Resolution Agreement from both the Title IX complainant and respondent, the Title IX coordinator or designee will designate a Title Informal Resolution Facilitator to facilitate the Informal Resolution process.
- The Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator typically will meet with each party separately—in person, by telephone, or by videoconference in one or more meetings, at the Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator’s discretion—to describe the process, including the role of the Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator; to gain an understanding of each party’s feelings, positions, and wishes with respect to resolution of the Formal Title IX Complaint; and when appropriate, to gather necessary information to identify the harm caused.
- If after an initial meeting with each party, the Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator and both parties agree, in writing, that an in-person meeting involving both parties and the Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator is an appropriate step, the Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator may, at the their discretion, convene such a meeting between the parties. In such cases, any remaining steps of the process may be effectuated through separate or joint meetings of the parties, at the Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator’s discretion.
- Though the facts and circumstances surrounding each Formal Title IX Complaint are unique, in general, the Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator will seek to facilitate its resolution, and this may be accomplished by one or more of the following options, which options are intended to be exemplary, not exhaustive:
- Participation in educational programming
- Changes in academic, work, and living arrangements
- Assistance with requesting academic allowances and extensions
- Writing an impact statement
- Writing a statement acknowledging harm caused
- Restrictions of contact between the parties
- The Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator will facilitate all communication between the parties during the process with the ultimate goal of helping them reach a resolution.
- The Title IX Informal Resolution Facilitator does not have the power to make a decision for either party, but will attempt to help them find a mutually agreeable resolution and create a document for execution by all parties that summarizes the freely agreed-upon solutions. Once a resolution agreement has been executed, Illinois Tech will neither resume nor initiate the Formal Title IX Sexual Harassment Process with respect to any allegations resolved in therein or arising out of the same facts or circumstances as those allegations. If a party fails to fulfill the terms of the resolution agreement, Illinois Tech may initiate a Code of Conduct violation under Article II of this Student Handbook for Failure to Comply.