Upon receipt of a complaint or report alleging conduct in violation of this policy, TCU will take prompt and equitable action consistent with University policy, applicable laws and regulations. If a person chooses to file a complaint, he/she can pursue an informal resolution when permissible, or formal resolution. In cases involving allegations of sexual assault, informal resolution is never appropriate, even if both the complainant and the respondent request or agree to an informal resolution.
The Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee will make an initial inquiry and determination of whether this policy applies.The following examples may result in the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee determining that this policy does not apply.
- The conduct as alleged, even if true, would not constitute discrimination or harassment as defined in this policy
- The complainant or respondent is not a TCU community member or a visitor with whom TCU has a continuing relationship or a legitimate connection to TCU
- The complainant is not the party harmed by the discriminatory or harassing conduct and the party harmed cannot be identified or does not want to pursue a complaint. However, in cases involving sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, a failure of the party harmed to cooperate or pursue charges will not necessarily result in a dismissal of a complainant
Additional examples may exist that could result in the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee determining that this policy does not apply. If the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee determines this policy does not apply, the compliant will be dismissed, and the complainant and respondent will be notified in writing by the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee. The University has several policies and procedures which can help resolve various types of complaints and the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee will discuss other available options or resources with the complainant and respondent if appropriate.
If it is determined that this policy applies, the complaint may be resolved by either the Informal Process (A) or Formal Process (B) set forth below. When a complaint is resolved under either the Informal or Formal Process, the same complaint cannot be pursued under a separate University policy or procedure.
Informal Process and Resolution
If the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee determines this policy applies, an informal process may be appropriate to resolve the complaint. If the complainant, the respondent and the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee agree that an informal resolution should be pursued, the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee will determine if an investigation is warranted and the most appropriate method for a resolution that is agreeable to the parties. Under the Informal process, the investigation will be limited to the facts deemed useful to resolve the conflict and to protect the interests of the parties and TCU. Typically an informal resolution will be completed within thirty (30) days of receipt of the complaint. If additional time is needed, both parties will be notified.At any time during the informal process, either party, as well as the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee, can cease the informal process and invoke the formal resolution process.
Formal Process and Resolution
Step 1: If the formal resolution process is invoked, the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee will provide information to the complainant and respondent about the policy and procedures and will also consider whether interim measures are deemed appropriate under the circumstances.
Step 2: The Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee responsible for handling the complaint (including but not limited to the Deputy Title IX Officers and the Director for Academic Services), as applicable, may personally conduct a fair and impartial investigation of the alleged policy violation, or he/she may designate one or more impartial investigators from a pool of trained, full-time employees to conduct the investigation. The University may also hire an outside investigator to conduct the investigation when deem appropriate. All TCU community members are required to cooperate in an investigation.
During a formal investigation, the investigator(s) will attempt to interview both the complainant and the respondent. The complainant and the respondent may each consult with a collegial or professional support person/advisor (Advisor). The complainant may have their Advisor attend their interview, and the respondent may have their Advisor attend their interview. If either party selects an attorney as the Advisor, the party should provide the investigator(s) responsible for investigating the complaint at least one week’s notice before any meeting or interview the Advisor will attend. The Advisor does not participate directly make any type of representation or argument during any meeting or interview in which the Advisor is present. The investigation may also include interviews with other witnesses and other information collection. If the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee is aware of information that is relevant to the investigation, this information may be provided to the investigator(s).
Step 3: Typically, no later than 60 days from the date on which a formal complaint is filed, the investigator(s) will complete their investigation and prepare a written report. If additional time is needed, both parties will be notified. The investigator(s) may make a determination as to whether this policy has been violated, or the investigator(s) may refer the matter to a hearing panel consisting of one or more trained full-time employees to make a determination. If the investigator(s) refers the matter to a hearing panel for determination, the hearing panel may consider the report, request additional information by the investigator(s), or personally undertake additional investigation prior to making a determination. Whether or not this policy has been violated will be based on a preponderance of the evidence standard, which means the greater weight of the evidence, or, based on the evidence it is more likely than not that a fact is true or not true.
- If no violation of this policy is found to have occurred, the complainant and respondent will be notified in writing of the outcome by the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee. (As used in this policy, the term “outcome” means only whether or not a policy violation was found to have occurred). In such a case, the complainant can appeal the findings per the Appeals Process outlined below.
- If a violation is found to have occurred, the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee responsible for handling the complaint will determine the corrective action, including disciplinary sanctions, to be imposed. In determining the corrective action to be imposed, the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee may confer with others, including the appropriate dean, unit head, vice chancellor, or other University official responsible for implementing the corrective action. The complainant and respondent will be notified in writing of the outcome by the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee within 10 days from the date the determination is made. The respondent will also be notified in writing of the corrective action to be taken. The complainant will be notified in writing of the corrective action to be taken only as permitted by Title IX and applicable privacy laws. The respondent can appeal the outcome or the corrective action imposed per the Appeals Process outlined below. In cases where the complainant has been advised of the corrective action imposed, the complainant can appeal the corrective action imposed per the Appeals Process outlined below.
After the time has passed for the respondent or complainant to file an appeal, if no appeal has been filed, or, if an appeal is filed, once it is resolved, the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee will notify the appropriate dean, unit head, vice chancellor, or other appropriate University official responsible for implementing the decision and corrective action of the outcome and the corrective action to be taken. If the respondent or complainant files a timely appeal, interim measures may be taken or may remain in place until the appeal is resolved.
The resolution process (not including the time for appeal) will ordinarily be completed within 60 days. However, circumstances may exist or arise and additional time may be needed. If additional time is needed, the parties will be notified.
For the procedures of appealing a decision involving a complaint against a student, see the Code of Student Conduct.
Both a complainant and respondent may appeal as set forth above by submitting a written appeal, outline the basis for the appeal, with three (3) business days of receiving written notice of the outcome and/or corrective action, as applicable. The appeal should be filed with the Provost, whose decision will be final. In the event the Provost is unable to consider the appeal, a designee to consider the appeal will be appointed. Where a complaint or report is investigated and a written report made by the investigator(s) and/or a hearing panel under this policy, then, except as otherwise provided in the Tenure Policy, any appeal or challenge is limited to appeal under this policy, and neither the complainant nor respondent may appeal, challenge or otherwise address the investigation, written report, corrective action or sanctions, or maters considered under this policy, through any additional appeal, mediation, panel or process under any other University policy (including but not limited to the Faculty Conflict Resolution Policy — Policy 2.016 and the Staff Conflict Resolution Policy – Policy 2.015, both of which may be viewed on the HR web site, and the Faculty Appeal Policy in the Faculty/Staff Handbook).
Possible sanctions and/or corrective action for an individual found to be in violation of this policy include, but are not limited to the following:
- Oral or written reprimand
- Required attendance at a harassment/discrimination sensitivity program
- Oral or written warning
- Demotion, loss of salary or benefits
- Transfer or change of job, class or residential assignment or location, including remove the person from being in a position to retaliate or further harass the complainant
- Suspension, probation, termination, dismissal or expulsion
- Other action TCU deems appropriate under the circumstances
While counseling is not considered a sanction, it may be offered or required in combination with one or more sanction. Where alcohol and/or other substances are involved in the violation, such counseling may include a substance abuse program.
Sanctions and/or correction action will be implemented by the appropriate dean, unit head, vice chancellor or other appropriate University official.