Reporting Policies and Investigative Procedures

Jacksonville University encourages all students and faculty and staff to report information about any type of sexual misconduct or harassment involving a student, faculty and staff, or third party.  All complaints will be given a full, impartial, and timely investigation.  Jacksonville University will typically complete the investigation within 60 days unless extended for good cause.  If the investigation is extended for good cause, written notice will be provided to the complainant and the accused of the delay and the reason for the delay.

Jacksonville University prohibits retaliation against any person for filing or participating in a complaint. Jacksonville University will discipline any individual who retaliates against any person who reports alleged sexual misconduct or who retaliates against any person who testifies, assists, or participates in an investigation, a proceeding or a hearing relating to a sexual misconduct complaint. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment.

False accusations of sexual misconduct can seriously injure innocent people. Where the preponderance of the evidence shows that a member of the University community intentionally made a false and malicious charge of sexual harassment, that person will be subject to disciplinary action. Charges made in good faith, which are erroneous or unproven, are not subject to discipline.

Amnesty

Individuals have the right to amnesty for drug or alcohol use related to the complaint. Individuals reporting an incident of sexual misconduct will not be subject to disciplinary action under the University’s Code of Conduct for his/her own personal consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the incident, provided that any such violations did not place the health or safety of any other person at risk.

Conduct Procedures for Complaints of Alleged Sexual Misconduct or Harassment

The following procedures will apply to any incident of alleged sexual misconduct or harassment, for students, faculty, and staff.

  1. The investigation will be conducted by the Title IX Coordinator or designee, who receives annual training on these issues and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.
  2. The preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) standard will be used to determine responsibility.
  3. Both the reporting party and responding party will be provided the same opportunities to be accompanied by an advisor of their choice to any related meeting or proceeding.  Advisors may assist a party with understanding the investigation process and preparing for interviews and meetings; attend interviews and meetings with the party; review any written appeals or other statements prepared by the party; provide emotional support; and otherwise assist and support the party as the party moves through the process. Advisors may not speak on behalf of the party at any interviews or meetings or through any written documents.
  4. The reporting party and responding party will be provided timely notice of meetings and conduct hearings.
  5. The reporting party and responding party will be provided timely and equal access to any information that will be used during conduct hearings.
  6. During the investigation process, the Title IX Investigator will determine whether information concerning the prior sexual history of either party is relevant. In general, in a case where the responding party raises consent as a defense, any prior consensual relationship between the parties may be relevant. Any other prior sexual history of the reporting party is typically not relevant and may not be permitted. Prior sexual history of the responding party may be relevant where there is evidence of a pattern of misconduct that may be relevant in the determination of responsibility assigning of corrective action.
  7. Pattern evidence by the responding party: Where there is evidence of a pattern or conduct similar in nature by the responding party, either prior to or subsequent to the conduct in question, regardless of whether there has been a finding of responsibility, this information may be deemed relevant and probative to the determination of responsibility and/or assigning of a sanction. The determination of relevance will be based on an assessment of whether the previous incident was substantially similar to the present allegation or information and indicates a pattern of behavior and substantial conformity with that pattern by the accused.
  8. If the responding party is a student:

    Both parties will be simultaneously informed in writing of:

    1. The result of the proceeding, including any sanctions imposed;
    2. The procedures for the reporting party and the responding party to appeal the result;
    3. Any changes to the result; and
    4. When such results become final.
  9. If the responding party is a faculty/staff member:

    The investigator(s) will relay the findings to the faculty’s/staff’s supervisor and Human Resources Office for the determination of corrective action. Possible actions are included in the Sanctions/Corrective Actions section of the policy.

    Once the supervisor/Human Resources Office has made a corrective action determination, both parties will be informed in writing of:

    1. The result of the proceeding, including any corrective actions imposed;
    2. The procedures for the reporting party and the responding party to appeal the result;
    3. Based on the appeal, any changes to the result; and
    4. When such results become final.

Sanctions/Corrective Actions

The purpose of disciplinary sanctions or corrective actions is to redirect faculty, staff and/or student behaviors toward patterns more acceptable to the University community, if such redirection is feasible; and/or to protect the University community from possible harm or injury.  This information is promulgated to assure that faculty, staff, and students are aware of the potential consequences of their misconduct.  Sanctions/corrective action for misconduct will be determined on a case to case basis, utilizing three main criteria:

  1. The nature of the offense;
  2. The precedent, if any, established at the University for similar offenses; and
  3. The previous conduct history of the faculty or staff and/or student, if any, and the faculty or staff and student’s attitude and behavior throughout the investigative process.

Possible sanctions/corrective actions may include, but are not limited to:

  • No contact orders
  • Written letter of warning or reprimand
  • Mandatory participation in an educational program
  • Mandatory referral for psychological assessment and compliance with any resulting treatment plan
  • Adjustment of living arrangements
  • Adjustment of academic schedule
  • Restricted participation in extracurricular activities
  • Removal or suspension from athletic team
  • Restricted attendance at University-sponsored activities or events
  • Revocation of admission
  • Revocation of degree
  • Postponement of degree conferral
  • Restricted access to campus
  • Probation for students or employment
  • Suspension or dismissal for students
  • Termination of student employment
  • Employee suspension with or without pay
  • Modification of employee benefits such as tuition assistance
  • Termination of faculty or staff from the University

Faculty and staff

Faculty and staff are required to participate in an investigation of alleged sexual misconduct or harassment. Failure to participate may result in immediate termination. If a faculty or staff member resigns, the University has the option to move forward with an investigation and sanctions. If a person resigns during an investigation, he/she will not be permitted to return to the University as a student or faculty or staff. If found not responsible, the person may follow up with the Title IX Coordinator, prior to returning to the institution. Depending on the nature and severity of the violation, the University reserves the right to impose sanctions including, but not limited to termination of faculty or staff.

Third Party Vendors/Others

The University’s Chief Financial Officer, in conjunction with Human Resources, will determine the sanction for third party vendors and others.

Appeals

Specific to this policy, both parties have the opportunity to appeal the written decision. Appeals may be made in writing, and shall be made within three business days of the date the party receives the summary of the decision. Appeals must be based on at least one of the following grounds:

  • The procedures described in this policy were not followed, and the failure to follow procedure may have affected the outcome of the final decision;
  • The sanction(s) imposed are disproportionate for the facts of the case and/or the violation of the policy that was found;
  • Substantive new information that was not reasonably available at the time of the investigation has now become available and may change the outcome of the final decision.
  • When a party requests an appeal, the Title IX coordinator shall advise the other party, who will be permitted to respond to the appeal within a timeframe established by the Title IX coordinator.
  • Appeals will be determined in a timely fashion, but generally within ten calendar days after receipt of the appeal. The selected adjudicators shall review the written decision and any responses made by the parties. At its discretion, the adjudicators may seek further information from the parties, the investigators, or the decision panel and will then issue a written appeal decision that either accepts or amends the decision of the decision panel, or directs the investigators to re-open the investigation to address specific concerns raised by the appeals panel.