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A Summary of the University’s Investigative and Disciplinary Procedures in Cases of Alleged Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, Stalking and Relationship Violence (“Sexual Misconduct”) That Involve Student Respondents
The University maintains a prompt, fair and impartial process for responding to complaints of sexual misconduct. This process includes timely notice of meetings and also provides each party with timely and equal access to any information that will be used during informal and formal disciplinary meetings and hearings. This summary describes the University’s investigative and disciplinary process in cases of alleged misconduct by students.
- OSCCR receives the reports of misconduct and, when appropriate, refers them to the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) for investigation.
- EOAA thoroughly investigates reports of sexual misconduct. The investigator interviews both parties and their witnesses. Both parties may submit supporting documentation to the investigator. The investigator shares a written statement of the relevant evidence that has been gathered by the EOAA with both parties, and allows them an opportunity to comment and provide additional information.
- EOAA determines whether it is more likely than not that any of the University ’s policies related to sexual misconduct have been violated. This is also known as the preponderance of the evidence standard.
- EOAA forwards an investigative report containing initial findings to Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution.
- OSCCR meets individually with the parties and follows up in writing about: (1) the initial findings reached by EOAA; (2) if appropriate, charges and a proposed informal resolution; and (3) the option to request a hearing. If the parties agree to the initial findings and proposed informal resolution, the University’s investigative process ends.
- If an informal resolution is accepted by the parties, they are notified in writing of their right to appeal the informal resolution, in accordance with the administrative procedure entitled Student Conduct Code Procedures: Duluth.
- If any party is dissatisfied with the initial findings and/or proposed informal resolution, they may opt to initiate the University’s hearing process. The parties will be notified in writing if a hearing is requested.
- At any point prior to the hearing date, parties may opt to further discuss possible informal resolutions by contacting OSCCR.
- In the hearing process, the parties are afforded a hearing before the Student Hearing Panel, UMD’s formal hearing body. The panel determines whether it is more likely than not that any of the University’s policies related to sexual misconduct have been violated. Where applicable, the panel also determines sanctions.
- The parties are notified of the hearing panel’s decision on responsibility and imposition of sanctions, if any.
- After the hearing process is complete, the parties are notified in writing of their right to appeal the hearing panel’s decision to the appellate officer, in accordance with the administrative procedure entitled Student Conduct Code Procedures: Duluth.
- The parties are notified in writing if there is an appeal of the hearing panel’s decision. Once an appeal has been received by OSCCR, in cases of sexual misconduct, the remaining party (Complainant or Respondent) has the opportunity to submit a written response within 5 (five) weekdays. The appeal petition and responses are shared with both parties.
- The parties are notified of the appellate officer’s final decision.
Each party may bring two advisors to their meetings with EOAA, OSCCR and the Student Hearing Panel. An advisor may be an attorney, advocate, support person or other individual who is not a witness in the case. Advocates from Student Life are available to assist respondents through the EOAA, Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution, hearing and appeal processes. Advocates from The Women’s Resource and Action Center are available to assist complainants through these processes. Advisors must sign a Roles and Responsibilities of Advisors form before they can attend any sexual misconduct meetings or hearings.
The University aims to complete its sexual misconduct investigative process within 75 days. If there is a need to extend this timeframe, both parties will be given written notice of the delay and an explanation for the delay.
2. Possible sanctions for students who violate the University’s sexual misconduct policies. The University may impose the following sanctions on students who violate its sexual misconduct policies: warning, coaching, restriction of privileges, required compliance, restitution, probation, suspension, expulsion, withholding of diploma or degree, revocation of admission or degree, or University housing modification, suspension or expulsion. For a more detailed description of possible sanctions, see the Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code.