A respondent has the right to address allegations that he/she violated the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy in an Administrative Panel Hearing (hereafter AHP). The purpose of this hearing is to determine if a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy has occurred and, if the hearing panel finds that a violation of policy has occurred, the panel is authorized to sanction the respondent.

Composition of the AHP

The hearing will occur following an investigation by University’s sanctioned investigator(s). The hearing panel will consist of three (3) Administrative Hearing Officers (AHO), one of which shall be the Chair of the panel. The Title IX Coordinator will appoint the AHP Chair from the list of administrators below and the AHP Chair will appoint the remaining two members from this list:

  • Assistant Academic Vice President
  • Assistant Vice President for Academics
  • Executive Vice President Provost
  • Vice President of Administration
  • Vice President of Student Life
  • Vice Provost of Academics

Rights and responsibilities

The following, as described below, are the rights and responsibilities of the Administrative Hearing Panel (AHP).

  • The AHP will not conform to state or federal rules of criminal or civil procedure.
  • The AHP will presume the non-responsibility of respondents until the conclusion of the Administrative Panel Hearing.
  • The case brought before the AHP is the University’s case and the burden to prove that a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy has occurred is upon the University.
  • All participants are expected to conduct themselves in a civil and appropriate manner. The AHP Chair will take reasonable steps to maintain order. The Chair is empowered to dismiss those who exhibit unruly, uncivil, or inappropriate behavior.
  • The AHP Chair will determine if evidence is relevant to the allegations of the misconduct. The Chair may confer with other members of the panel before determining if a specific offered evidence is relevant. All irrelevant evidence will be excluded from the hearing and cannot be considered by the panel.
  • The AHP will use the “Preponderance of the Evidence” as a standard of proof for all sexual misconduct cases.
  • Following the conclusion of the hearing, the AHP will meet to determine the outcome.
    • The AHP will determine one two findings: the respondent is not responsible for violating the Sexual Misconduct Policy or the respondent is responsible for violating the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
    • The AHP is empowered to sanction the respondent following a finding that the respondent is responsible for violating the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
  • The hearing is closed to all persons except for the hearing panel members, complainant and respondent, one advisor for each party, any witnesses while they are testifying, the Title IX Coordinator/designee, one or both investigators, any support(s) persons of the Coordinator’s choice, and any other person deemed appropriate or necessary by the AHP Chair.

Questioning (cross-examination) during the hearing

The complainant and respondent may not question each other or any witness that appears in the hearing. Questioning must only be offered by each party’s advisors, members of the hearing panel, and the investigator. If a party does not have an advisor, the Title IX Coordinator or AHP Chair will appoint one for the party. A given question must be directed to the hearing panel chair who will rule on the relevance of the question to the case at hand. If the chair does not allow the question, the chair will explain the reason(s) for the exclusion. The hearing board cannot consider any evidence submitted by a witness/ statement that was not subject to cross-examination.

All individuals involved in the questioning process are obligated to conduct themselves in a civil manner. The AHP Chair has the authority to dismiss anyone who demonstrates uncivil or inappropriate behavior.

Order of the hearing

  1. Call to Order - Facilitator or AHP Chair
  2. Opening Remarks - Facilitator or AHP Chair
  3. Witnesses Are Dismissed
  4. Presentation of Formal Allegations – Title IX Coordinator
  5. Presentation of Investigative Facts – Title IX Investigator(s)
    1. Questions by Complainant
    2. Questions by Respondent
    3. Questions by AHP
    4. Questions by AHP of Complainant
    5. Questions by AHP of Respondent
    6. Follow-Up Questions by any of the above
  6. Witnesses
    1. Questions by AHP
    2. Questions by Complainant
    3. Questions by Respondent
    4. Follow-Up Questions by any of the above
  7. Questioning by the Parties
    1. Questions by Complainant
    2. Questions by Respondent
    3. Questions by AHP
    4. Follow-Up Questions by any of the above
  8. Final Statements (limit of 5 minutes per party)
    1. Complainant
    2. Respondent
  9. AHP Moves Into Executive Session for Deliberations