Title IX Procedures

The Vice Provost for Affirmative Action, who serves as the University’s Title IX Coordinator, has designated the Senior Director of the Office of Student Conduct (OSC) as the Deputy Title IX Coordinator (DTIXC) for the University.  In addition, the Senior Director has designated individuals at each Commonwealth campus to serve as his designee at that location and to serve as the Title IX Resource Person (TIXRP) for that campus.  All incidents involving sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, sexual violence, gender based discrimination and harassment, or any other alleged conduct which may violate Title IX (collectively, “Title IX Violation”) of which any University staff or faculty member becomes aware should be forwarded to the DTIXC, or designee, (hereafter referred to as DTIXC) for review.  The Title IX report form, definitions and examples can be found at http://www.psu.edu/dept/title-ix/.  See also AD-85.

The Process:

When a report is received which indicates a behavior may have involved a Title IX violation, the DTIXC will review the information to determine if the described behavior constitutes violations or concerns regarding Title IX. When necessary, consultation will also occur with the Title IX Coordinator.  If there is not a potential Title IX Violation, the DTIXC will determine if other processes/policies apply and determine best next steps.  If there is a potential Title IX violation, the DTIXC will do the following:

  1. Assess the level of investigation and remedial measures already implemented.
  2. Assess the need for a timely warning* and issues of mandated reporting (e.g., Clery) and communicate as appropriate with University Police.
  3. Ensure that the complainant, if known, is aware of the resources and remedial measures available and work with appropriate staff to work to implement appropriate measures.
  4. When only a third party reporter is identified, make contact and share information that may be shared with a complainant. (see Third Party Reports section below)
  5. Evaluate the severity and nature of the alleged behavior and its potential impact to the community.
  6. Determine appropriate investigative strategy based on the information received, and conduct appropriate and prompt investigation.
  7. Take reasonable action to ensure that the behavior has ended.
  8. Assess the need for action to prevent the behavior from occurring again, and take appropriate steps.
  9. Document case information in the Title IX database maintained by DTIXC (the “Title IX database”). Information contained therein will be periodically shared with the Title IX Coordinator.
  10. In cases in which the complainant wants the complainant’s name kept confidential or does not want it to be shared with the respondent(s), or does not want further action, the DTIXC will communicate to the complainant that the University may be limited in the actions it can take.  The DTIXC will also explain that retaliation for reporting alleged harassment or discrimination or for participating in a resolution is a violation and that any retaliation should be immediately reported and will be promptly addressed.

The University may still need to take additional steps to respond (investigate, provide educational programs, restrict the respondent’s activities, etc.). However, the complainant’s name will not be shared with the respondent or others, unless absolutely necessary to ensure the safety of the University community.

If  the information provided and the investigation confirm that  additional action must be taken, every effort will be made to communicate with the complainant to explain the rationale for proceeding and the status of the process, even if the complainant does not wish to proceed.  This may include, in certain circumstances, an explanation of why the complainant’s request for confidentiality cannot be met.

When a complainant has expressed interest in meeting with the Office of Student Conduct (OSC) to explore University disciplinary options, an OSC Case Manager, typically the Associate Director of Student Conduct at University Park or conduct designee at a Commonwealth Campus, will make contact with either the person identified as the complainant or the third party reporter to explain and initiate that process.  (See Office of Student Conduct Case Review Process section below.)

University Police

If the University Police Department receives information regarding a student-involved Title IX violation, relevant information (including names, nature, location and date of the incident) should be forwarded to the DTIXC as soon as reasonably practicable.  A police investigation does not replace the University’s duty to review and investigate allegations of Title IX investigations.

Once the DTIXC receives information from University Police, the DTIXC will follow the process outlined above.

Third Party Reports

When a report of a Title IX concern is made by a third party reporter, the DTIXC will make contact with the third party and will  

  1. review the third party's understanding of the issues and incident,
  2. assess the level of investigation, accommodation and remedial actions already implemented,
  3. ascertain the current status of the complainant,
  4. explain the University's process for managing Title IX allegations,
  5. make decisions regarding the need for a timely warning* and issues of mandated reporting, and
  6. assess the impact on the community and the climate.

*Timely Warnings: If it is determined that a timely warning is warranted under the Clery Act and/or there are additional security concerns, the police will be notified of the information shared with the DTIXC.  The complainant, if known, will be notified if and when such a determination is made. 

Office of Student Conduct Case Review Process

At any time, when a complainant expresses an interest in exploring options within the Office of Student Conduct, the process will begin with an OSC Case Manager making contact with the complainant. 


When speaking with the complainant, the following may be discussed:

  1. immediate needs, any appropriate interim remedial measures available, and resources,  including confidential reporting locations
  2. potential of a timely warning* and issues of mandated reporting
  3. relevant University policies
  4. informal and formal options for reporting (to include the OSC and the Police processes)
  5. circumstances of the incident with the specificity needed to understand possible violations
  6. description of the next steps of the process

*Timely Warnings: If it is determined that a timely warning is warranted under the Clery Act and/or there are additional security concerns, the police will be notified of the information shared with OSC.  The complainant, if known, will be notified if and when such a determination is made. 


Possible outcomes of this initial discussion include the following:

  1. The incident is documented, but no further investigative or disciplinary action is determined to be necessary by the Senior Director. Appropriate accommodation to the complainant and appropriate remedial measures will still be applied.  
  2. The complainant wishes for the University to proceed with an initial investigation process to include contact with the respondent.  The complainant will be eligible for appropriate accommodations, and appropriate remedial measures will be applied.  The complainant will also be informed that if at any point in the future the complainant wishes for formal action (i.e., the formal University conduct process), the complainant can request it at that time.  A timeline for next steps will be reviewed, and when appropriate, additional meetings scheduled.  As detailed below, there may be occasions where the University determines that formal processes are required, even if the complainant does not intend to pursue the same.
  3. The complainant requests that the University proceed with the formal University conduct process (i.e., formal University charges are assigned).  The complainant will be eligible for appropriate accommodations, and appropriate remedial measures will be applied.  Additional information necessary to proceed with the formal process will be obtained.   A timeline for next steps will be reviewed and when appropriate, additional meetings scheduled.

When no formal process is requested nor is there information that compels the University to move forward with additional investigation, appropriate documentation will be completed for submission to the Title IX Coordinator and the Title IX database.  


There may be cases in which the information provided requires that action be taken (including initiating formal action or conducting a more thorough investigation), irrespective of the desires of the complainant.  In those cases, every effort will be made to explain to the complainant the rationale for moving forward and the relevant procedures and timelines, and to keep the complainant informed as the process moves forward.  

Initial Investigation Process:

When only an initial investigation is pursued, the OSC Case Manager will contact the respondent to schedule a meeting.  In that meeting, the OSC Case Manager will review the following:

  1. rights of the respondent,
  2. the allegations,
  3. the respondent's perspective on the allegations,
  4. actions requested by the complainant, and
  5. actions recommended by the University.

If, following the discussion, the respondent agrees to participate with the actions necessary to honor the complainant’s and University’s requests, steps will be taken to complete those actions in a prompt and timely manner.  Examples of requests include, but are not limited to, counseling for the respondent, commitment to change/end the behavior, restricted activity, schedule modification, and educational intervention.  The complainant will be notified of the respondent's agreement and appropriate documentation will be completed for submission to the DTIXC and the Title IX database.  No reportable disciplinary record is created.  However, the information will remain on file should future concerns be reported.


When the respondent is not willing to honor the requests of the complainant or the University, a follow-up meeting will be held with the complainant to determine next steps.  Although selecting the initial investigation process initially, the complainant may wish to modify the request to a formal process.

Formal Student Conduct Process

When a formal Student Conduct Process is pursued, the OSC Case Manager will contact the respondent and review the following:

  1. rights of the respondent,
  2. the allegations,
  3. the respondent's perspective on the allegations,
  4. actions requested by the alleged victim, and
  5. actions recommended by the University.

Once this conversation occurs and the allegations are prepared in a written format, the remainder of the process will follow the University's Student Conduct Procedures http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/conduct/Procedures.shtml.

 

 

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Web page last modified March 14, 2014