LLU will act on any formal or informal notice/complaint of sexual harassment that is received by the Title IX Coordinator or any other Official with Authority by applying these procedures. The procedures below apply only to qualifying allegations of sexual harassment (including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, as defined above) involving students, staff, administrator, or faculty members.

If a dismissal occurs under the Sexual Harassment Grievance Process, the grievance process may continue but will follow the Sexual Misconduct Grievance Process as outlined further below.

A. Notice/Complaint

Upon receipt of a complaint or notice to the Title IX Coordinator of an alleged violation of the Policy, the Title IX Coordinator initiates a prompt initial assessment to determine the next steps LLU needs to take.

The Title IX Coordinator will initiate at least one of three responses:

  • Offering supportive measures because the Complainant does not want to file a formal complaint; and/or
  • An informal resolution (if appropriate and the wishes of Complainant); and/or
  • A Formal Grievance Process including an investigation and a hearing (upon submission of a formal complaint).

LLU uses the Formal Grievance Process to determine whether or not this Policy has been violated. If so, the University will promptly implement effective remedies designed to ensure that it is not deliberately indifferent to sexual harassment or retaliation, their potential recurrence, or their effects.

B. Initial Assessment

Following receipt of notice or a complaint of an alleged violation of this Policy, the Title IX Coordinator engages in an initial assessment, typically within one to five business days. The steps in an initial assessment can include:

  • If notice is given, the Title IX Coordinator seeks to determine if the person impacted wishes to make a formal complaint, and will assist them to do so, if desired.
    • If they do not wish to do so, the Title IX Coordinator determines whether to initiate a complaint because a risk assessment indicates a compelling threat to health and/or safety.
  • If a formal complaint is received, the Title IX Coordinator assesses its sufficiency and works with the Complainant to make sure it is correctly completed.
  • The Title IX Coordinator reaches out to the Complainant to offer supportive measures.
  • The Title IX Coordinator works with the Complainant to ensure they are aware of the right to have an Advisor.
  • The Title IX Coordinator works with the Complainant to determine whether the Complainant prefers a supportive and remedial response, an informal resolution option, or a formal investigation and grievance process.
    • If a supportive and remedial response is preferred, the Title IX Coordinator works with the Complainant to identify their wishes, assesses the request, and implements accordingly. No Formal Grievance Process is initiated, though the Complainant can elect to initiate one later, if desired.
    • If an informal resolution option is preferred, the Title IX Coordinator assesses whether the complaint is suitable for informal resolution, and may seek to determine if the Respondent is also willing to engage in informal resolution.
    • If a Formal Grievance Process is preferred, the Title IX Coordinator determines if the misconduct alleged falls within the scope of Title IX:
      • If it does, the Title IX Coordinator will initiate the formal investigation and grievance process, directing the investigation to address an incident, a pattern of alleged misconduct, and/or a culture/climate concern, based on the nature of the complaint.

If it does not, the Title IX Coordinator determines that Title IX does not apply (and will “dismiss” that aspect of the complaint, if any), assesses which policies and procedures (such as the Sexual Misconduct Grievance Process) may apply. Please note that dismissing a complaint under Title IX is solely a procedural requirement under Title IX and does not limit LLU’s authority to address a complaint with an appropriate process and remedies.

C. Dismissal (Mandatory and Discretionary)

LLU must dismiss a formal complaint of Sexual Harassment or any allegations therein if, at any time during the investigation or hearing, it is determined that:

  • The conduct alleged in the formal complaint would not constitute sexual harassment as defined above, even if proved; and/or
  • The conduct did not occur in an educational program or activity controlled by LLU, and/or LLU does not have control of the Respondent; and/or
  • The conduct did not occur against a person in the United States; and/or
  • At the time of filing a formal complaint, a complainant is not participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the University.

LLU may dismiss a formal complaint of Sexual Harassment or any allegations therein if, at any time during the investigation or hearing:

  • A Complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the Complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein; or
  • The Respondent is no longer enrolled in or employed by the University; or
  • Specific circumstances prevent the University from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations therein.

Upon any dismissal, LLU will promptly send written notice of the dismissal and the rationale for doing so simultaneously to the Complainant and the Respondent, if notice of the allegations has previously been provided.

This dismissal decision is appealable by any party under the procedures for appeal below. The decision not to dismiss is also appealable by any party claiming that a dismissal is required or appropriate. A Complainant who decides to withdraw a complaint may later request to reinstate it or refile it.

D. Counterclaims

LLU is obligated to ensure that the grievance process is not abused for retaliatory purposes. The University permits the filing of counterclaims but uses an initial assessment, as described above, to assess whether the allegations in the counterclaim are made in good faith. Counterclaims by a Respondent may be made in good faith, but are, on occasion, also made for purposes of retaliation. Counterclaims made with retaliatory intent will not be permitted.

Counterclaims determined to have been reported in good faith will be processed using the grievance procedures below. Investigation of such claims may take place after resolution of the underlying initial allegation, in which case a delay may occur.

Counterclaims may also be resolved through the same investigation as the underlying allegation, at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator. When counterclaims are not made in good faith, they will be considered retaliatory and may constitute a violation of this policy.

E. Right to an Advisor

The parties may each have an Advisor of their choice present with them for all meetings, interviews, and hearings within the resolution process. The parties may select whoever they wish to serve as their Advisor as long as the Advisor is eligible and available. Advisors should help the parties prepare for each meeting and are expected to advise ethically, with integrity, and in good faith.

Choosing an Advisor who is also a witness in the process creates potential for bias and conflict-of-interest. A party who chooses an Advisor who is also a witness can anticipate that issues of potential bias will be explored by the hearing Decision-maker(s).

The Title IX Coordinator will also offer to assign a trained Advisor for any party if the party so chooses. If the parties choose an Advisor from the pool made available by LLU, the Advisor will be trained and be familiar with the LLU’s resolution process. If the parties choose an Advisor from outside the pool of those identified by the University, the Advisor may not have been trained and may not be familiar with the University’s policies and procedures.

Parties also have the right to choose not to have an Advisor in the initial stages of the resolution process, prior to a hearing.

LLU cannot guarantee equal Advisory rights, meaning that if one party selects an Advisor who is an attorney, but the other party does not or cannot afford an attorney, LLU is not obligated to provide an attorney.

A party may elect to change Advisors during the process and is not obligated to use the same Advisor throughout. The parties are expected to inform the Investigator(s) of the identity of their Advisor at least two (2) business days before the date of their first meeting with Investigators (or as soon as possible if a more expeditious meeting is necessary or desired) or, if no advisor will attend the meetings, before the hearing.

a. Advisors in Hearings/LLU-Appointed Advisor

Under Title IX, a form of indirect questioning is required during the hearing, but must be conducted by the parties’ Advisors. The parties are not permitted to directly question each other or any witnesses. If a party does not have an Advisor for a hearing, LLU will appoint a trained Advisor for the limited purpose of conducting any questioning of the other party and witnesses.

If the party’s Advisor will not conduct questioning, LLU will appoint an Advisor who will do so thoroughly, regardless of the participation or non-participation of the advised party in the hearing itself. Extensive questioning of the parties and witnesses will also be conducted by the Decision-maker(s) during the hearing.

b. Advisor Violations of LLU Policies and Procedures

All Advisors are subject to the same policies and procedures, whether they are attorneys or not. Advisors are expected to advise their advisees without disrupting proceedings. Advisors should not address LLU officials in a meeting or interview unless invited to (e.g., asking procedural questions). The Advisor may not make a presentation or represent their advisee during any meeting or proceeding and may not speak on behalf of the advisee to the Investigator(s) or other Decision-maker(s) except during a hearing proceeding, during cross-examination.

The parties are expected to ask and respond to questions on their own behalf throughout the investigation phase of the resolution process. Although the Advisor generally may not speak on behalf of their advisee, the Advisor may consult with their advisee, either privately as needed, or by conferring or passing notes during any resolution process meeting or interview. For longer or more involved discussions, the parties and their Advisors should ask for breaks to allow for private consultation.

Any Advisor who oversteps their role as defined by this policy will be warned only once. If the Advisor continues to disrupt or otherwise fails to respect the limits of the Advisor role, the meeting will be ended, or other appropriate measures implemented. Subsequently, the Title IX Coordinator will determine how to address the Advisor’s non-compliance and future role.

c. Sharing Information with the Advisor

LLU expects that the parties may wish to have the University share documentation and evidence related to the allegations with their Advisors. Parties may share this information directly with their Advisor or other individuals if they wish. Doing so may help the parties participate more meaningfully in the resolution process.

Advisors are expected to maintain the privacy of the records shared with them. These records may not be shared with third parties, disclosed publicly, or used for purposes not explicitly authorized by LLU. The University may seek to restrict the role of any Advisor who does not respect the sensitive nature of the process or who fails to abide by LLU’s privacy expectations.

d. Expectations of an Advisor

LLU generally expects an Advisor to adjust their schedule to allow them to attend University meetings when planned, but may change scheduled meetings to accommodate an Advisor’s inability to attend, if doing so does not cause an unreasonable delay.

LLU may also make reasonable provisions to allow an Advisor who cannot attend in person to attend a meeting by telephone, video conferencing, or other similar technologies as may be convenient and available.

F. Confidentiality

Grievance proceedings are private. All persons participating in the grievance process are expected to maintain the privacy of the proceedings in accordance with LLU policy. Although there is an expectation of privacy around what Investigators share with parties during interviews, the parties have discretion to share their own knowledge and evidence with others if they so choose, with the exception of information the parties agree not to disclose related to Informal Resolution, discussed below. LLU encourages parties to discuss any sharing of information with their Advisors before doing so.

G. Informal Resolution

Informal Resolution can include three different approaches:

  • When the Title IX Coordinator can resolve the matter informally by providing supportive measures (only) to remedy the situation;
  • When the parties agree to resolve the matter through an alternate resolution mechanism as described below, usually before a formal investigation takes place; or
  • When the Respondent accepts responsibility for violating policy, and desires to accept a sanction and end the resolution process (similar to above, but usually occurs post-investigation.

To initiate Informal Resolution, a Complainant needs to submit a formal complaint, as defined above.  A Respondent who wishes to initiate Informal Resolution should contact the Title IX Coordinator.  It is not necessary to pursue Informal Resolution first in order to pursue a Formal Grievance Process, and any party participating in Informal Resolution can stop the process at any time and begin or resume the Formal Grievance Process.

Prior to implementing Informal Resolution, LLU will provide the parties with written notice of the reported misconduct and any sanctions or measures that may result from participating in such a process, including information regarding any records that will be maintained or shared by LLU.

LLU will obtain voluntary, written confirmation that all parties wish to resolve the matter through Informal Resolution before proceeding and will not pressure the parties to participate in Informal Resolution. Results of complaints resolved by Informal Resolution are not appealable.

a. Alternate Resolution Mechanism

Alternate Resolution is an informal mechanism by which the parties reach a mutually agreed upon resolution of an allegation. All parties must consent to the use of an Alternate Resolution mechanism.

The Title IX Coordinator may look to the following factors to assess whether Alternate Resolution is appropriate, or which form of Alternate Resolution may be most successful for the parties:

  • The parties’ amenability to Alternate Resolution;
  • Likelihood of potential resolution, taking into account any power dynamics between the parties;
  • The parties’ motivation to participate;
  • Civility of the parties;
  • Results of a risk assessment/ongoing risk analysis;
  • Disciplinary history;
  • Whether an emergency removal is needed;
  • Complaint complexity;
  • Emotional investment/capability of the parties;
  • Rationality of the parties;
  • Goals of the parties;
  • Adequate resources to invest in Alternate Resolution (time, staff, etc.)

The ultimate determination of whether Alternate Resolution is available or successful is to be made by the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator maintains records of any resolution that is reached, and failure to abide by the resolution agreement may result in appropriate responsive/disciplinary actions. Results of complaints resolved by Alternate Resolution are not appealable.

b. Respondent Accepts Responsibility for Alleged Violations

The Respondent may accept responsibility for all or part of the alleged policy violations at any point during the resolution process. If the Respondent indicates an intent to accept responsibility for all of the alleged misconduct, the formal process will be paused, and the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether Informal Resolution can be used according to the criteria above.

If Informal Resolution is applicable, the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether all parties and the University are able to agree on responsibility, sanctions, and/or remedies. If so, the Title IX Coordinator implements the accepted finding that the Respondent is in violation of LLU policy and implements agreed-upon sanctions and/or remedies, in coordination with other appropriate administrator(s), as necessary.

This result is not subject to appeal once all parties indicate their written assent to all agreed upon terms of resolution. When the parties cannot agree on all terms of resolution, the Formal Grievance Process will resume at the same point where it was paused.

When a resolution is accomplished, the appropriate sanction or responsive actions are promptly implemented in order to effectively stop the sexual harassment or retaliation, prevent its recurrence, and remedy the effects of the discriminatory conduct, both on the Complainant and the community.

H. Grievance Process Pool

The Formal Grievance Process relies on a pool of administrators (“the Pool”) to carry out the process. Members of the Pool are announced in an annual distribution of this policy to all students, parents/guardians of students, employees, prospective students, and prospective employees.

a. Pool Member Roles

Members of the Pool are trained annually, and can serve in the following roles, at the direction of the Title IX Coordinator:

  • To act as an Advisor to the parties
  • To serve in a facilitation role in Informal Resolution or Alternate Resolution
  • To serve as a hearing facilitator (process administrator, no decision-making role)
  • To serve as a Decision-maker regarding the complaint
  • To serve as an Appeal Decision-maker

b. Pool Member Appointment

The Title IX Officer, in consultation with the Provost and/or the Vice President for Student Experience, appoints the Pool, which acts with independence and impartiality. Although members of the Pool are typically trained in a variety of skill sets and can rotate amongst the different roles listed above in different cases, the University can also designate permanent roles for individuals in the Pool, using others as substitutes or to provide greater depth of experience when necessary.

c. Pool Member Training

The Pool members receive training every two years. This training includes, but is not limited to:

  • The scope of LLU’s Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures
  • How to conduct hearings that protect the safety of Complainants and Respondents, and promote accountability
  • Implicit bias
  • Disparate treatment and impact
  • Reporting, confidentiality, and privacy requirements
  • Applicable laws, regulations, and federal regulatory guidance
  • How to uphold fairness, equity, and due process
  • How to weigh evidence
  • How to conduct questioning
  • How to assess credibility
  • Impartiality and objectivity
  • How to render findings and generate clear, concise, evidence-based rationales
  • The definitions of all offenses
  • How to apply definitions used by the University with respect to consent (or the absence or negation of consent) consistently, impartially, and in accordance with policy
  • How to conduct the grievance process including hearings, appeals, and informal resolution processes
  • How to serve impartially by avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias
  • Any technology to be used at a live hearing
  • Issues of relevance of questions and evidence
  • How to determine appropriate sanctions in reference to all forms of harassment and/or retaliation allegations
  • Recordkeeping

Specific training is also provided to the investigators and Title IX Coordinator.

I. Formal Grievance Process: Notice of Investigation and Allegations

The Title IX Coordinator will provide written notice of the investigation and allegations (the “NOIA”) to the Respondent upon commencement of the Formal Grievance Process. This facilitates the Respondent’s ability to prepare for the interview and to identify and choose an Advisor to accompany them if they so wish. The NOIA is also copied to the Complainant, who is to be given advance notice of when the NOIA will be delivered to the Respondent.

The NOIA will include:

  • A meaningful summary of all of allegations,
  • The identity of the involved parties (if known), 
  • The precise misconduct being alleged,
  • The date and location of the alleged incident(s) (if known),
  • The specific policies implicated,
  • A description of the applicable procedures,
  • A statement of the potential sanctions/responsive actions that could result,
  • A statement that LLU presumes the Respondent is not responsible for the reported misconduct unless and until the evidence supports a different determination,
  • A statement that determinations of responsibility are made at the conclusion of the process and that the parties will be given an opportunity to inspect and review all directly related and/or relevant evidence obtained during the review and comment period,
  • A statement on LLU’s policy on retaliation,
  • Information about the privacy of the process,
  • Notification that each party may select an Advisor of their choosing and suggestions for ways to identify an Advisor,
  • A statement informing the parties that LLU prohibits knowingly making false statements, including knowingly submitting false information during the resolution process,
  • The name(s) of the Investigator(s), along with a process to identify, in advance of the interview process, to the Title IX Coordinator any conflict of interest that the Investigator(s) may have, and
  • An instruction to preserve any evidence that is directly related to the allegations.

Amendments and updates to the NOIA may be made as the investigation progresses and more information becomes available regarding the addition or dismissal of various charges.

Notice will be made in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: in person, mailed to the local or permanent address(es) of the parties as indicated in official LLU records, or emailed to the parties’ LLU-issued email or designated accounts. Once mailed, emailed, and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.

J. Resolution Timeline

LLU will make a good faith effort to complete the resolution process within a sixty-to-ninety (60-90) business day time period, including appeal, which can be extended as necessary for appropriate cause by the Title IX Coordinator, who will provide notice and rationale for any extensions or delays to the parties as appropriate, as well as an estimate of how much additional time will be needed to complete the process.

K. Ensuring Impartiality

Any individual materially involved in the administration of the resolution process (including the Title IX Coordinator, Investigator(s), and Decision-maker(s)) may neither have nor demonstrate a conflict of interest or bias for a party generally, or for a specific Complainant or Respondent.

Once the decision to commence a formal investigation is made, the Title IX Coordinator will appoint an investigator to conduct the investigation.  The Title IX Coordinator will vet the assigned Investigator(s) to ensure impartiality by ensuring there are no actual or apparent conflicts of interest or disqualifying biases. The parties may, at any time during the resolution process, raise a concern regarding bias or conflict of interest, and the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether the concern is reasonable and supportable. If so, another investigator will be assigned and the impact of the bias or conflict, if any, will be remedied. If the source of the conflict of interest or bias is the Title IX Coordinator, concerns should be raised to the Title IX Officer.

The Formal Grievance Process involves an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence obtained, including evidence that supports that the Respondent engaged in a policy violation and evidence that supports that the Respondent did not engage in a policy violation. Credibility determinations may not be based solely on an individual’s status or participation as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness.

LLU operates with the presumption that the Respondent is not responsible for the reported misconduct unless and until the Respondent is determined to be responsible for a policy violation by the applicable standard of proof.

L. Investigation Timeline

Investigations are completed expeditiously, normally within thirty (30) business days, though some investigations may take weeks or even months, depending on the nature, extent, and complexity of the allegations, availability of witnesses, police involvement, etc.

LLU will make a good faith effort to complete investigations as promptly as circumstances permit and will communicate regularly with the parties to update them on the progress and timing of the investigation.

LLU may undertake a short delay in its investigation (several days to a few weeks) if circumstances require. Such circumstances include but are not limited to: a request from law enforcement to temporarily delay the investigation, the need for language assistance, the absence of parties and/or witnesses, and/or accommodations for disabilities or health conditions.

LLU will communicate in writing the anticipated duration of the delay and reason to the parties and provide the parties with status updates if necessary. The University will promptly resume its investigation and resolution process as soon as feasible. During such a delay, LLU will implement supportive measures as deemed appropriate.

LLU’s action(s) or processes are not typically altered or precluded on the grounds that civil or criminal charges involving the underlying incident(s) have been filed or that criminal charges have been dismissed or reduced.

M. Steps in the Investigation Process

All investigations are thorough, reliable, impartial, prompt, and fair. Investigations involve interviews with all relevant parties and witnesses; obtaining available, relevant evidence; and identifying sources of expert information, as necessary.

All parties have a full and fair opportunity, through the investigation process, to suggest witnesses and questions, to provide evidence and expert witnesses, and to fully review and respond to all evidence on the record.

The Investigator(s) typically take(s) the following steps, if not already completed (not necessarily in this order):

  • Determine the identity and contact information of the Complainant
  • In coordination with campus partners (e.g., the Title IX Coordinator), initiate or assist with any necessary supportive measures
  • Identify all policies implicated by the alleged misconduct and notify the Complainant and Respondent of all of the specific policies implicated
  • Assist the Title IX Coordinator with conducting a prompt initial assessment to determine if the allegations indicate a potential policy violation
  • Commence a thorough, reliable, and impartial investigation by identifying issues and developing a strategic investigation plan, including a witness list, evidence list, intended investigation timeframe, and order of interviews for all witnesses and the parties
  • Meet with the Complainant to finalize their interview/statement, if necessary
  • Prepare the initial Notice of Investigation and Allegation (NOIA). The NOIA may be amended with any additional or dismissed allegations
  • Provide each interviewed party and witness an opportunity to review and verify the Investigator’s summary notes (or transcript) of the relevant evidence/testimony from their respective interviews and meetings
  • Make good faith efforts to notify the parties of any meeting or interview involving the other party, in advance when possible
  • When participation of a party is expected, provide that party with written notice of the date, time, and location of the meeting, as well as the expected participants and purpose
  • Interview all available, relevant witnesses and conduct follow-up interviews as necessary
  • Allow each party the opportunity to suggest witnesses and questions they wish the Investigator(s) to ask of the other party and witnesses
  • Complete the investigation promptly and without unreasonable deviation from the intended timeline
  • Provide regular status updates to the parties throughout the investigation
  • Write a comprehensive investigation report fully summarizing the investigation, all witness interviews, and addressing all relevant evidence. Appendices including relevant physical or documentary evidence will be included
  • Prior to the conclusion of the investigation, provide the parties and their respective Advisors (if so desired by the parties) a secured electronic or hard copy of the draft investigation report as well as an opportunity to inspect and review all of the evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the reported misconduct, including evidence upon which the University does not intend to rely in reaching a determination, for a ten (10) business day review and comment period so that each party may meaningfully respond to the evidence. The parties may elect to waive the full ten days.
  • The Investigator(s) may elect to respond in writing in the investigation report to the parties’ submitted responses and/or to share the responses between the parties for additional responses
  • The Investigator(s) will incorporate relevant elements of the parties’ written responses into the final investigation report, include any additional relevant evidence, make any necessary revisions, and finalize the report. The Investigator(s) should document all rationales for any changes made after the review and comment period
  • The Investigator(s) shares the report with the Title IX Coordinator and/or legal counsel for their review and feedback

The Investigator will incorporate any relevant feedback, and the final report is then shared with all parties and their Advisors through secure electronic transmission or hard copy at least ten (10) business days prior to a hearing. The parties are also provided with a file of any directly related evidence that was not included in the report

N. Interviews

Witnesses (as distinguished from the parties) who are employees of LLU are expected to cooperate with and participate in the University’s investigation and resolution process. Failure of such witnesses to cooperate with and/or participate in the investigation or resolution process constitutes a violation of policy and may warrant discipline.

Although in-person interviews for parties and all potential witnesses are ideal, circumstances may require individuals to be interviewed remotely. Zoom or similar technology may be used for interviews if the Investigator(s) determine that timeliness or efficiency dictate a need for remote interviewing. The University will take appropriate steps to reasonably ensure the security/privacy of remote interviews.

No unauthorized audio or video recording of any kind is permitted during investigation meetings.

O. Evidentiary Considerations in the Investigation

The investigation does not consider: 1) incidents not directly related to the possible violation, unless they evidence a pattern; 2) the character of the parties; or 3) questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior, unless such questions and evidence about the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant, or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the Respondent and are offered to prove consent.

P. Referral for Hearing

Provided that the complaint is not resolved through Informal Resolution, once the final investigation report is shared with the parties, the Title IX Coordinator will refer the matter for a hearing.

The hearing cannot be less than ten (10) business days from the conclusion of the investigation –when the final investigation report is transmitted to the parties and the Decision-maker–unless all parties and the Decision-maker agree to an expedited timeline.

Q. Hearing Decision-maker Composition

LLU will designate a single Decision-maker or a three-member panel from the Pool, at the discretion of the Title IX Officer. The single Decision-maker will also Chair the hearing. With a panel, one of the three members will be appointed as Chair by the Title IX Officer.

The Decision-maker(s) will not have had any previous involvement with the investigation. The Title IX Officer may elect to have an alternate from the Pool sit in throughout the hearing process in the event that a substitute is needed for any reason.

Those who have served as Investigators will be witnesses in the hearing and therefore may not serve as Decision-makers. Those who are serving as Advisors for any party may not serve as Decision-makers in that matter.

The Title IX Coordinator may not serve as a Decision-maker or Chair in the matter but may serve as an administrative facilitator of the hearing if their previous role(s) in the matter do not create a conflict of interest. Otherwise, a designee may fulfill this role. The hearing will convene at a time determined by the Chair or designee.

R. Evidentiary Considerations in the Hearing

Any evidence that the Decision-maker(s) determine(s) is relevant and credible may be considered. The hearing does not consider: 1) incidents not directly related to the possible violation, unless they evidence a pattern; 2) the character of the parties; or 3) questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior, unless such questions and evidence about the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant, or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the Respondent and are offered to prove consent.

During the ten (10) business day review and comment period the Chair will consider arguments from the parties and their Advisors that evidence identified in the investigation report as relevant is, in fact, not relevant. Similarly, evidence identified as directly related but not relevant by the Investigator(s) may be argued to be relevant.

Previous disciplinary action of any kind involving the Respondent may be considered in determining an appropriate sanction upon a determination of responsibility. This information is only considered at the sanction stage of the process and is not shared until then.

At a post-hearing deliberation, the Decision-maker(s) will render a determination based on the preponderance of the evidence; whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated the Policy as alleged.  This determination will be transcribed by the Title IX Coordinator and sent to the Decision-maker(s) for verification prior to its distribution to the parties.

S. Notice of Hearing

No less than ten (10) business days prior to the hearing, the Title IX Coordinator or the Chair will send notice of the hearing to the parties. Once mailed, emailed, and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.

The notice will contain:

  • A description of the alleged violation(s), a list of all policies allegedly violated, a description of the applicable procedures, and a statement of the potential sanctions/responsive actions that could result.
  • The time, date, and virtual location of the hearing and a reminder that attendance is mandatory, superseding all other campus activities.
  • The technology that will be used to facilitate the hearing.
  • A list of all those who will attend the hearing, along with an invitation to object to any Decision-maker on the basis of demonstrated bias. This must be raised with the Title IX Coordinator at least two (2) business days prior to the hearing.
  • Information on how the hearing will be recorded and on access to the recording for the parties after the hearing.
  • A statement that if any party or witness does not appear at the scheduled hearing, the hearing may be held in their absence, and the party’s or witness’s testimony and any statements given prior to the hearing will not be considered by the Decision-maker(s). For compelling reasons, the Decision Maker may determine to reschedule the hearing.
  • Notification that the parties may have the assistance of an Advisor of their choosing at the hearing and will be required to have one present for any questions they may desire to ask. The party must notify the Title IX Coordinator if they do not have an Advisor, and the University will appoint one. Each party must have an Advisor present. There are no exceptions.
  • A copy of all the materials provided to the Decision-maker(s) about the matter, unless they have been provided already.
  • An invitation to each party to submit to the Chair an impact statement pre-hearing that the Decision-maker will review during any sanction determination.
  • An invitation to contact the Title IX Coordinator to arrange any disability accommodations, language assistance, and/or interpretation services that may be needed at the hearing, at least seven (7) business days prior to the hearing.

Hearings for possible violations that occur near or after the end of an academic term (assuming the Respondent is still subject to this Policy) and are unable to be resolved prior to the end of term will typically be held immediately after the end of the term or during the summer, as needed, to meet the resolution timeline followed by LLU and remain within the 60-90 business day goal for resolution.

In these cases, if the Respondent is a graduating student, a hold may be placed on graduation and/or official transcripts until the matter is fully resolved (including any appeal). A student facing charges under this Policy may be deemed to not be in good standing to graduate.

T. Pre-Hearing Preparation

The hearing facilitator or Title IX Officer after any necessary consultation with the parties, Investigator(s) and/or Title IX Coordinator, will provide the names of persons who will be participating in the hearing, all pertinent documentary evidence, and the final investigation report to the parties at least ten (10) business days prior to the hearing.

Any witness scheduled to participate in the hearing must have been first interviewed by the Investigator(s), unless all parties and the Chair assent to the witness’s participation in the hearing. The same holds for any evidence that is first offered at the hearing. If the parties and Chair do not assent to the admission of evidence newly offered at the hearing, the Chair may delay the hearing and instruct that the investigation needs to be re-opened to consider that evidence.

The parties will be given a list of the names of the Decision-maker(s) at least five (5) business days in advance of the hearing. All objections to any Decision-maker must be raised in writing, detailing the rationale for the objection, and must be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible and no later than two (2) business days prior to the hearing. Decision-makers will only be removed if the Title IX Coordinator concludes that their bias or conflict of interest precludes an impartial hearing of the allegation(s).

The Title IX Coordinator will give the Decision-maker(s) a list of the names of all parties, witnesses, and Advisors at least five (5) business days in advance of the hearing. Any Decision-maker who cannot make an objective determination must recuse themselves from the proceedings when notified of the identity of the parties, witnesses, and Advisors in advance of the hearing. If a Decision-maker is unsure of whether a bias or conflict of interest exists, they must raise the concern to the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Officer as soon as possible.

The Title IX Coordinator may invite the parties and their Advisors to submit the questions or topics they wish to ask or discuss at the hearing, so that the Chair can rule on their relevance ahead of time to avoid any improper evidentiary introduction in the hearing or provide recommendations for more appropriate phrasing. However, this advance review opportunity does not preclude the Advisors from asking a question for the first time at the hearing or from asking for a reconsideration based on any new information or testimony offered at the hearing. The Chair must document and share with each party their rationale for any exclusion or inclusion at a pre-hearing meeting.

The Chair, only with full agreement of the parties, may decide in advance of the hearing that certain witnesses do not need to be present if their testimony can be adequately summarized by the Investigator(s) in the investigation report or during the hearing.

The Chair may rule on these arguments pre-hearing and will exchange those rulings between the parties prior to the hearing to assist in preparation for the hearing. The Chair may consult with legal counsel and/or the Title IX Coordinator regarding such rulings.

U. Hearing Procedures

At the hearing, the Decision-maker(s) has the authority to hear and make determinations on all allegations of sexual harassment and/or retaliation and may also hear and make determinations on any additional alleged policy violations that have occurred in concert with the sexual harassment and/or retaliation, even though those collateral allegations may not specifically fall within the Policy.

Participants at the hearing will include the Chair, any additional panelists, the hearing facilitator (if distinct from Chair) the Investigator(s) who conducted the investigation, the parties, Advisors to the parties, any called witnesses, the Title IX Coordinator and anyone providing authorized accommodations or assistive services.

Anyone appearing at the hearing to provide information will respond to questions on their own behalf. The Chair will allow witnesses who have relevant information to be admitted to the virtual meeting at a portion of the hearing in order to respond to specific questions from the Decision-maker(s) and the parties and will then be excused.

a. Joint Hearings

In hearings involving more than one Respondent or in which two (2) or more Complainants have accused the same individual of substantially similar conduct, the default procedure will be to hear the allegations jointly.

However, the Title IX Coordinator may permit the investigation and/or hearings pertinent to each Respondent to be conducted separately if there is a compelling reason to do so. In joint hearings, separate determinations of responsibility will be made for each Respondent with respect to each alleged policy violation.

V. The Order of the Hearing

The Chair will begin the hearing with an explanation of the procedures and introduction of the participants.

The Investigator(s) will then present a summary of the final investigation report, including items that are contested and those that are not, and will be subject to questioning by the Decision-maker(s) and the parties (through their Advisors). The Investigator(s) will be present during the entire hearing process, but not during deliberations.

Neither the parties nor the Decision-maker(s) should ask the Investigator(s) their opinions on credibility, recommended findings, or determinations, and the Investigators, Advisors, and parties will refrain from discussion of or questions about these assessments. If such information is introduced, the Chair will direct that it be disregarded.

Once the Investigator(s) present their report and are questioned, the parties and witnesses may provide relevant information in turn, beginning with the Complainant, and then in the order determined by the Chair. The parties/witnesses will submit to questioning by the Decision-maker(s) and then by the parties through their Advisors (“cross-examination”).

All questions are subject to a relevance determination by the Chair. The Advisor, will pose the proposed question orally, or electronically in writing (orally is the default, but other means of submission may be permitted by the Chair upon request if agreed to by all parties and the Chair), the proceeding will pause to allow the Chair to consider it (and state it if it has not been stated aloud), and the Chair will determine whether the question will be permitted, disallowed, or rephrased.

The Chair may invite explanations or persuasive statements regarding relevance with the Advisors, if the Chair so chooses. The Chair will then state their decision on the question for the record and advise the party/witness to whom the question was directed, accordingly. The Chair will explain any decision to exclude a question as not relevant, or to reframe it for relevance.

The Chair will limit or disallow questions on the basis that they are irrelevant, unduly repetitious (and thus irrelevant), or abusive. The Chair has final say on all questions and determinations of relevance. The Chair may consult with legal counsel on any questions of admissibility. The Chair may ask Advisors to frame why a question is or is not relevant from their perspective but will not entertain argument from the Advisors on relevance once the Chair has ruled on a question.

If the parties raise an issue of bias or conflict of interest of an Investigator or Decision-maker at the hearing, the Chair may elect to address those issues, consult with legal counsel, and/or refer them to the Title IX Coordinator, and/or preserve them for appeal. If bias is not in issue at the hearing, the Chair should not permit irrelevant questions that probe for bias.

W. Refusal to Submit to Cross-Examination and Inferences

If a party or witness chooses not to submit to cross-examination at the hearing, either because they do not attend the meeting, or they attend but refuse to participate in questioning, then the Decision-maker(s) may not rely on any prior statement made by that party or witness at the hearing (including those contained in the investigation report) in the ultimate determination of responsibility. The Decision-maker(s) must disregard that statement. Evidence provided that is something other than a statement by the party or witness may be considered.

If the party or witness attends the hearing and answers some cross-examination questions, only statements related to the cross-examination questions they refuse to answer cannot be relied upon. However, if the statements of the party who is refusing to submit to cross-examination or refuses to attend the hearing are the subject of the allegation itself (e.g., the case is about verbal harassment or a quid pro quo offer), then those statements are not precluded from admission.

The Decision-maker(s) may not draw any inference solely from a party’s or witness’s absence from the hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.

If charges of policy violations other than sexual harassment are considered at the same hearing, the Decision-maker(s) may consider all evidence it deems relevant, may rely on any relevant statement as long as the opportunity for cross-examination is afforded to all parties through their Advisors, and may draw reasonable inferences from any decision by any party or witness not to participate or respond to questions.

If a party’s Advisor of choice refuses to comply with the University’s established rules of decorum for the hearing, LLU may require the party to use a different Advisor. If an LLU-provided Advisor refuses to comply with the rules of decorum, the University may provide that party with a different Advisor to conduct cross-examination on behalf of that party.

X. Recording Hearings

Hearings (but not deliberations) are recorded by LLU for purposes of review in the event of an appeal. The parties may not record the proceedings and no other unauthorized recordings are permitted.

The Decision-maker(s), the parties, their Advisors, and appropriate administrators of the University will be permitted to listen to the recording in a controlled environment determined by the Title IX Coordinator. No person will be given or be allowed to make a copy of the recording without permission of the Title IX Coordinator.

Y. Deliberation, Decision-making, and Standard of Proof

The Decision-maker(s) will deliberate in closed session to determine whether the Respondent is responsible or not responsible for the policy violation(s) in question. If a panel is used, a simple majority vote is required to determine the finding. The preponderance of the evidence is used. The hearing facilitator may be invited to attend the deliberation by the Chair, but is there only to facilitate procedurally, not to address the substance of the allegations.

The Decision-maker(s) will review the statements and any pertinent conduct history and will determine the appropriate sanction(s) in consultation with other appropriate administrators, as required.

The Title IX Coordinator will then prepare a written deliberation statement based on the Decision-maker(s)’ determination and present it to the Decision-maker for accuracy confirmation.  The deliberation will detail the determination, rationale, the evidence used in support of its determination, the evidence not relied upon in its determination, credibility assessments, and any sanctions.

Z. Notice of Outcome

Using the deliberation statement, the Title IX Coordinator will work with the Chair to prepare a Notice of Outcome. The Notice of Outcome will then be reviewed by legal counsel. The Title IX Coordinator will then share the letter, including the final determination, rationale, and any applicable sanction(s) with the parties and their Advisors within seven (5) business days of receiving the Decision-maker(s)’ deliberation statement.

The Notice of Outcome will then be shared with the parties simultaneously. Notification will be made in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: in person, mailed to the local or permanent address of the parties as indicated in official LLU records, or emailed to the parties’ LLU-issued email or otherwise approved account. Once mailed, emailed, and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.

The Notice of Outcome will articulate the specific policy(ies) reported to have been violated, including the relevant policy section, and will contain a description of the procedural steps taken by LLU from the receipt of the misconduct report to the determination, including any and all notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to obtain evidence, and hearings held.

The Notice of Outcome will specify the finding on each alleged policy violation; the findings of fact that support the determination; conclusions regarding the application of the relevant policy to the facts at issue; a statement of, and rationale for, the result of each allegation to the extent the University is permitted to share such information under state or federal law; any sanctions issued which the University is permitted to share according to state or federal law; and any remedies provided to the Complainant designed to ensure access to LLU’s educational or employment program or activity, to the extent the University is permitted to share such information under state or federal law (this detail is not typically shared with the Respondent unless the remedy directly relates to the Respondent).

The Notice of Outcome will also include information on when the results are considered by LLU to be final, any changes that occur prior to finalization, and the relevant procedures and bases for any available appeal options.

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