Title IX | Student Grievance Process if Employee Respondent

Title IX Student Grievance Process, Montreat College (if employee respondent)

  • A Complaint Form, including the remedy sought, is submitted to the Title IX Coordinator and Payroll/Benefits Manager. (The form is available on the college’s Sexual Harassment Response and Prevention webpage.)
  • The Title Coordinator works with staff (Dean of Students, if the complainant is a student; supervisory staff, if the complainant is an employee) to ensure interim safety measures and care of complainant needs (eliminate hostile environment for him/her)
    • Such measures include, but are not limited to, modification of living arrangements, no contact orders, change of academic schedule without penalty, change in work schedule, escort between classes and activities, delay in test or assignment deadlines
  • Notification of a potential violation of the college Sexual Harassment Policy is sent to the respondent by the Payroll/Benefits Manager.
    • The grievance process will be explained to the respondent, with instructions not to interfere with the investigation process in any way. The respondent must not retaliate against anyone in the investigation; doing so will be another violation of policy. The respondent should know that he/she will have the opportunity to tell his/her story as the complaint is investigated. Any interim measures for the care of the complainant that may affect him/her (“no contact” order, etc.) will be explained.
    • The respondent should also know that he/she will not be assumed by the college to be in violation of college policy before an investigation and conduct hearing has taken into account the totality of all evidence available, from relevant sources.
  • The Title IX Coordinator will, in a timely manner, assign an investigator, internal or external to the college with no conflict of interest and trained to conduct thorough, impartial, and reliable Title IX investigations.
    • A full investigation of the complaint will be conducted, including interviews with the complainant, respondent, and witnesses whose names are provided by the complainant and respondent. Generally, this policy will provide for a timeframe of approximately 45 days for the investigator to submit a written report of findings to the Vice President with oversight of the respondent’s area of employment.
      • If circumstances, such as semester break, warrant an extension of time, the complainant and respondent will be notified.
      • The investigation will be kept as confidential as possible; information will only be disclosed on a “need to know” basis for the purpose of taking steps to provide a healthy campus environment for students and employees.
      • All parties and witnesses will be advised that the matter is to be kept confidential and that retaliation of any kind is prohibited.
      • Both parties will be advised to contact the Title IX Coordinator if they experience retaliation or any further incidents.
      • In cases of alleged sexual misconduct, both parties are permitted to have an advisor of their choice present at all meetings/proceedings in strictly a support role.
      • If the complaint is against the Vice President, the report will be submitted to the President.
    • The Vice President, using a “preponderance of evidence” standard, makes a decision regarding the following: whether a violation of policy has occurred, the remedy sought by the complainant, and any disciplinary action to be taken with the employee and informs the respondent and complainant in writing concerning the findings and any sanctions, generally within 48 hours of receiving the investigator’s report.
      • The Vice President submits a summary report of findings and sanction(s), as well as measures requested to address complainant needs, to the Title IX Coordinator. The Coordinator determines, with the Payroll/Benefits Manager, whether any additional measures to prevent similar incidents should be taken.
  • Both parties have the right to appeal the decision within 7 days to the Title IX Coordinator, if new information is discovered or if either party has evidence that college policies and procedures were not followed in the case or that the sanction was inconsistently or capriciously applied to the violation. The appeal must be submitted in writing.
    • The Vice President who made the initial decision will review the appeal.
    • A decision will be communicated within 2 weeks of receipt of the appeal.
    • Both parties will receive simultaneous written notice of the outcome of the appeal.