E. Process B: Grievance Process For Allegations Of Harassment Or Discrimination On The Basis Of Protected Class Status And/or Allegations Of Sexual Harassment Not Covered Under Process A

E. Process B: For Allegations on Basis of Protected Class Status or Not Under Process A

Process B applies to the resolution of offenses such as violations of policies on protected class harassment or discrimination involving students, staff, faculty members, or third parties. Process B can also apply to sexual harassment (including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, as defined above) when jurisdiction does not fall within Process A, as determined by the Title IX Coordinator. All other allegations of misconduct unrelated to incidents covered by this Policy will be addressed through the procedures elaborated in the respective student, faculty, and staff policies.

1. Right to an Advisor

Each party may utilize an advisor, at the party’s own expense, to accompany them to meetings and interviews during these proceedings. The advisor can be anyone, including an attorney, but should not be someone who is also a witness in the process. A party may elect to change advisors during the process and is not obligated to use the same advisor throughout. The advisor may be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) regarding private, sensitive records.

2. Resolution Options

Proceedings are private. All persons present at any time during the resolution process are expected to maintain the privacy of the proceedings in accord with College Policy, and to maintain the integrity and impartiality of the process.

a. Informal Resolution
Particularly with workplace discrimination and harassment, before filing a formal complaint, individuals are encouraged to make informal inquiry to their immediate supervisor, instructor, advisor or counselor, as soon as possible following the alleged discrimination or harassment. The employee contacted should report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator for purposes of documentation and advice regarding the necessary steps of the complaint process. Every effort should be made to resolve the conflict at this time. If this is not possible, the individual will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator.

After referral or receipt of a report or complaint, the Title IX Coordinator should assess the severity of the alleged harassment and the potential risk of a hostile environment for others in the community to determine whether informal resolution may be appropriate. If so, the Title IX Coordinator will work with the parties to determine if a negotiated resolution of the complaint, which may include disciplinary sanctions, remedies, or other supportive measures, are appropriate to resolve the complaint and remediate any alleged discrimination or harassment.

b. Formal Resolution
If informal resolution is not appropriate or unsuccessful, a formal complaint will be adjudicated through a formal investigation and resolution process. Upon the initiation of a formal resolution process, the Title IX Coordinator will provide written notification of the investigation to the parties at an appropriate time. Typically, notice is given at least 48 hours in advance of an interview. Notification will include a summary of the allegations and alleged policy violated, if known at the time.

1. Investigation
The College aims to complete all investigations within sixty (60) business days, which can be extended as necessary for appropriate cause by the Title IX Coordinator, with notice to the parties as appropriate. Some investigations take longer, depending on the nature, extent, and complexity of the allegations, availability of witnesses, police involvement, etc. The College will make a good faith effort to complete investigations as promptly as circumstances permit and will communicate regularly with the parties to update them on the progress and timing of the investigation.

Once the decision is made to commence an investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will appoint one or more Investigator(s), which may include Pool members or external investigators, to conduct the investigation. The Title IX Coordinator will vet the assigned Investigator(s) to ensure impartiality by ensuring there are no conflicts of interest or disqualifying bias. The parties may, at any time during the resolution process, raise a concern regarding bias or conflict of interest, and the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether the concern is reasonable and supportable. If so, another Investigator will be assigned and the impact of the bias or conflict, if any, will be remedied.

Investigations involve interviews with all relevant parties and witnesses, and obtaining available, relevant evidence. All parties have a full and fair opportunity, though the investigation process, to suggest witnesses and questions and to provide evidence. No unauthorized audio or video recording of any kind is permitted during the resolution process. If Investigator(s) elect to audio and/or video record interviews, all involved parties must be made aware of audio and/or video recording.

Following the investigation, the Investigator(s) will provide the Title IX Coordinator, in writing or as otherwise deemed appropriate, with a summary of the investigation and relevant findings.

2. Determination
Within two to three days of receiving the Investigator’s summary of the investigation, a Decision-maker or designee will make the final determination on the basis of the preponderance of the evidence regarding whether the Respondent violated the Policy and whether to impose any sanctions or remedies in order to effectively to stop the harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation; prevent its recurrence; and remedy the effects of the discriminatory conduct, both on the Complainant and the community.

The Title IX Coordinator or designee will then simultaneously and in writing provide the parties with a written Notice of Outcome which includes the finding on whether the Respondent violated the Policy, and any sanction(s) or remedies. The Notice to the Complainant may only include those sanctions relevant to the Complainant, and may not contain confidential personnel or educational information pertaining to the Respondent.

The Notice will detail when the determination is considered final and will detail any changes that are made prior to finalization. The Notice of Outcome also includes the grounds on which the parties may appeal and the steps the parties may take to request an appeal of the findings.

F. Appeal Process

1. Either party may request that an Appeal Officer review a Notice of Outcome in writing, by submitting a written Notice of Appeal to the Title IX Coordinator within five (5) calendar days of the date of the Notice of Outcome. In the Notice of Appeal, the appealing party must identify one of the following bases for appeal and explain in detail how such a basis for appeal exists in the case:

a. To consider new information, unavailable during the investigation, that could be outcome determinative; a summary of this new evidence and its potential impact on the decision must be included;
b. To assess whether a deviation from written procedures materially impacted the fairness of the investigation (a deviation materially impacts an investigation if a different outcome is probable if the alleged procedural defect is corrected);
c. To decide if a sanction(s) is grossly disproportionate to the severity of the offense (either too lenient or too harsh); and/or
d. To assess whether the Title IX Coordinator, Investigator(s), or Decision-maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or the specific Complainant or Respondent that affected the outcome.

2. Upon receiving a timely Notice of Appeal, the Title IX Coordinator will determine if the request meets the grounds for appeal (A Review for Standing). This review is not a review of the merits of the appeal, but solely a determination as to whether the request meets the grounds and is timely filed.

3. If the Notice of Appeal meets the grounds for appeal, the Title IX Coordinator will share a copy of the Notice of Appeal with the non-appealing party and appoint an Appeal Officer. If, within three calendar days of receiving notification of the identity of the Appeal Officer, either the Complainant or the Respondent alleges that the Appeal Officer has a conflict of interest, the Title IX Coordinator will decide whether to excuse the Appeal Officer and announce this decision in writing to both parties. If the Title IX Coordinator determines that the Appeal Officer should be excused, the Title IX Coordinator will appoint a replacement.

4. The Title IX Coordinator will ensure that the Appeal Officer is provided with the following materials in addition to the Notice of Appeal: (a) the Notice of Investigation and Allegations; (b) the Investigators’ Final Investigation Report; and (c) the Notice of Outcome.

5. The Appeal Officer will issue a written Appeal Decision within five (5) calendar days after receiving the materials from the Title IX Coordinator, and that decision will be provided to the parties, the Title IX Coordinator, and the Decision-maker(s). The Appeal Officer may affirm, reverse, or modify the Notice of Outcome. When the Appeal Office issues its decision in writing and simultaneously to the parties, the matter is final with the exception of the following: If the respondent is a Tenure-line faculty member, and a Final Decision from the Decision-maker(s) or Appeal Officer recommends imposition of disciplinary action which constitutes serious sanctions or termination as defined by the Faculty Bylaws, then the matter will be referred to the VPAA/Dean for processing under the procedures set forth in the Faculty Bylaws.

6. The charges of misconduct remain allegations and any sanctions are stayed until a final decision is reached and all appeals exhausted under the applicable College procedures.

G. Sanctions

1. Student Sanctions
The following are the range of sanctions that may be imposed upon students or organizations singly or in combination:

• Warning: A formal statement that the conduct was unacceptable and a warning that further violation of any College policy, procedure, or directive will result in more severe sanctions/responsive actions.
• Required Counseling: A mandate to meet with and engage in either College-sponsored or external counseling to better comprehend the misconduct and its effects.
• Probation: A written reprimand for violation of institutional policy, providing for more severe disciplinary sanctions in the event that the student or organization is found in violation of any institutional policy, procedure, or directive within a specified period of time. Terms of the probation will be articulated and may include denial of specified social privileges, exclusion from co-curricular activities, exclusion from designated areas of campus, no-contact orders, and/or other measures deemed appropriate.
• Suspension: Termination of student status for a definite period of time not to exceed two years and/or until specific criteria are met. Students who return from suspension are automatically placed on probation through the remainder of their tenure as a student at Central. This sanction will be noted on the student’s transcript as Disciplinary Sanction, with the date the suspension begins. The student may submit a request to the Title IX Coordinator that this sanction be removed from the student’s transcript upon return to the College.
• Expulsion: Permanent termination of student status and revocation of rights to be on campus for any reason or to attend College-sponsored events. This sanction will be noted permanently as a Disciplinary Expulsion on the student’s official transcript.
• Organizational Sanctions: Deactivation, loss of recognition, loss of some or all privileges (including Central College registration) for a specified period of time.
• Other Actions: In addition to or in place of the above sanctions, the College may assign any other sanctions as deemed appropriate.

2. Employee Sanctions
The range of disciplinary sanctions for an employee who has engaged in harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation include: 

• Warning – Verbal or Written
• Performance Improvement/Management Process
• Required Counseling
• Required Training or Education
• Probation
• Loss of Annual Pay Increase
• Loss of Oversight or Supervisory Responsibility
• Demotion
• Suspension with pay
• Suspension without pay
• Termination
• Other Actions: In addition to or in place of the above sanctions, the College may assign any other sanctions as deemed appropriate.

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