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Non-Student Title IX Complaint and Investigation Process

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY

 

UNIVERSITY GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE REGARDING COMPLAINTS MADE AGAINST EMPLOYEES OR NON-STUDENTS OF TITLE IX SEXUAL HARASSMENT

 

Section 1:       General.

 

1.1       Purpose: To establish grievance procedures for the implementation of West Virginia University Board of Governors Rule 1.6, Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Misconduct, Stalking, Retaliation, and Relationships, specifically as it relates to Sexual Harassment under the University’s Title IX jurisdiction.

 

1.2       Authority: Section 3 of West Virginia University Board of Governors Rule 1.6, Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Misconduct, Stalking, Retaliation, and Relationships; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681; and 34 C.F.R. § 106.45.

 

1.3       Scope: These procedures apply to all Formal Complaints against employees or non-students. Complaints of any kind, including Sexual Harassment, against West Virginia University students are governed by West Virginia University Board of Governors Rule 6.1 and its accompanying guidelines and/or procedures.

 

1.4       Effective Date: October 14, 2013; amended March 7, 2014; amended October 14, 2016; amended August 2020 and applies to Title IX Sexual Harassment occurring on or after August 14, 2020.

 

1.5       If you believe you are a victim of Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Misconduct, Stalking, or Retaliation, there are resources available to you. For those resources, please see the following: https://diversity.wvu.edu/equity-assurance/resources-and-reporting-options.

 

Section 2:       Definitions.

 

2.1       The definitions set forth in West Virginia University Board of Governors Rule 1.6, Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Misconduct, Stalking, Retaliation, and Relationships, are incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.

 

2.2       “Formal Complaint” means a document filed by the Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging Title IX Sexual Harassment against a Respondent and requesting that the University investigate the allegation of Title IX Sexual Harassment. A Formal Complaint may be filed in person, by mail, by electronic mail, or by submitting an online complaint. When the Title IX Coordinator files a Formal Complaint, the Title IX Coordinator is not a Complainant or otherwise a party.

 

Section 3:       Where to Report Title IX Sexual Harassment.

 

3.1       Any Member of the University Community who believes he or she has been subject to Title IX Sexual Harassment, or is aware of such conduct involving others, is encouraged to file a report immediately in accordance with the guidelines and procedures below. If the allegations contained in the report constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment, and the report was filed by the Complainant or the Title IX Coordinator, it may proceed as a Formal Complaint as discussed in Section 4.

 

3.3       All reports of Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Misconduct, Stalking, Retaliation, or improper Relationships, whether or not the report constitutes a Formal Complaint, should be filed with the following:

 

3.3.1    The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion located at 1085 Van Voorhis Road Suite 250, Morgantown, West Virginia, 26506; 304-293-5600 (phone); 304-293-8279 (fax); diversity@mail.wvu.edu (e-mail). Additionally, an online complaint form may be completed here:

 

https://wvuequityassurance.wufoo.com/forms/m1d8uf521kt83yo/

 

3.4       Any report  of Title IX Sexual Harassment against an employee or non-student that is received by a University department, office, unit, or employee other than the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion shall be referred by that department, office, unit, or employee to the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as soon as possible. The University will then review the report and determine whether the Title IX Coordinator should file the report as a Formal Complaint and continue with the grievance process outlined herein.

 

3.4.1    If the matter involves a case of Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Misconduct, or Stalking, as defined in Rule 1.6, it is strongly suggested that the University Police Department be notified immediately, in addition to the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The University Police Department can be contacted at: 992 Elmer Prince Drive, Morgantown, WV 26506-6563; 304-293-2677 (293-COPS); http://police.wvu.edu/.

 

3.4.2    Reports of Title IX Sexual Harassment to a pastoral or professional counselor, as defined by 34 C.F.R. § 668.46 (2020), or other individuals prohibited by law from disclosing such reports, are, subject to applicable law, not required to be reported by those individuals. Those individuals are therefore completely confidential resources to whom an individual can report information.

 

3.5       Disclosure and Confidential Assistance/Resources.

 

3.5.1    The University respects the privacy of those reporting or filing a complaint of Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Misconduct, Stalking, or Retaliation and will endeavor to respect requests for confidentiality to the extent allowable by law. However, the University has certain obligations to address those allegations and to prevent their recurrence and, as a result, cannot guarantee confidentiality to a Complainant. Regardless, the University and those individuals involved in the grievance process shall always treat these reports as private and in a sensitive manner.

 

            In determining whether and how to honor an individual’s request for confidentiality (or a related request not to proceed with an investigation), particularly when that request could preclude a meaningful investigation or potential discipline of the potential Respondent, the University will consider a range of factors, including: whether there have been other Rule 1.6 complaints about the same potential Respondent; whether the potential Respondent has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of violence; whether the potential Respondent threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the Complainant or others; whether the sexual violence was committed by multiple potential Respondents; whether the Complainant’s report or allegation reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group; whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon; the safety of the broader University community; the age of the Complainant subject to the sexual violence; and whether the University possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence (e.g., security cameras or personnel, physical evidence).

             

3.5.2    Notwithstanding Section 3.5.1, a Complainant may seek consultation and other services by contacting any of the following resources:

 

James Goins, Jr., Title IX Coordinator/Director of Equity Assurance

1085 Van Voorhis Rd, Suite 250

Morgantown, WV 26506

Phone: 304-293-5600; Email: James.Goins@mail.wvu.edu

 

Title IX Education Specialist (Anonymous Resources)

1085 Van Voorhis Rd, Suite 250

Morgantown, WV 26506

Phone: 304-293-5600

* Unidentifiable information will be shared for Clery compliance and Title IX prevention.

 

WVU LGBTQ+ Center

(304) 293-9593

Located at Maple House (724 College Ave on the Downtown Campus)

 

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY MAIN CAMPUS RESOURCES:

 

WELLWVU (Students)

Carruth Center for Psychological and Psychiatric Services

Health and Education Building

390 Birch Street

Morgantown, WV 26506-6422

Phone: 304-293-4431

Email: wvucccps@mail.wvu.edu

 

WVU Medicine Student Health (Students)

390 Birch Street

Morgantown, WV 26505

Phone: 304-285-7200

http://wvumedicine.org/hospitals-and-institutes/student-health/

 

WVU Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (Employees)

1085 Van Voorhis Rd, Suite 218-220

Morgantown, WV 26506

Phone: 304-293-5590

http://www.hsc.wvu.edu/fsap/

 

The Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center (RDVIC)

P.O. Box 4228

Morgantown, WV 2650

RDVIC 24-hour crisis hotline 304-292-5100

 

Ruby Memorial Hospital, Emergency Department

1 Medical Center Drive,

Morgantown, WV 26505

Phone: 304-598-4172

http://wvuhealthcare.com/hospitals-and-clinics/student-health/

 

Monongalia General Hospital, Emergency Department

1200 JD Anderson Drive

Morgantown, WV 26505

Phone: 304-598-1460

www.mongeneral.com

 

POTOMAC STATE RESOURCES:

 

Potomac Valley Hospital

100 Pin Oak Lane

Keyser, WV 26726

Phone: 304-597-3500

 

Western Maryland Health System

12500 Willowbrook Road

Cumberland, MD 21502

Phone: 240-964-7000

www.wmhs.com

Email webmaster1@wmhs.com

 

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

AND BECKLEY CAMPUSES:

 

Montgomery General Hospital

401 6th Avenue

Montgomery, WV 25136

Phone: 304-442-5151

Email: info@mghwv.org

 

Raleigh General Hospital

1710 Harper Road

Beckley, WV 25801

Phone: 304-256-4100

 

Section 4:       Grievance Process.

 

4.1       Initial Intake; Reports; Supportive Measures; and Formal Complaints. Upon receiving a report from the Complainant or a Reporter, the Title IX Coordinator will inform the Complainant of his or her resolution options and provide the Complainant with information related to resources, including Supportive Measures.

 

Specifically, the Title IX Coordinator will:

 

(a)   promptly contact the Complainant to discuss the availability of Supportive Measures, which are discussed more fully below;

 

(b)   consider the Complainant’s wishes with respect to Supportive Measures;

 

(c)   inform the Complainant of the availability of Supportive Measures with or without the filing of a Formal Complaint, and

 

(d)   explain to the Complainant the process for filing a Formal Complaint.

 

4.1.1    Supportive Measures. Supportive Measures means non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the Complainant or Respondent before or after the filing of a Formal Complaint or where no Formal Complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the educational environment, or deter Title IX Sexual Harassment.

 

Supportive Measures may include counseling, extensions of deadlines or other related adjustments, modifications of work schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, changes in work locations, leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus, and other similar measures. The University will maintain as confidential any Supportive Measures provided to Complainant or Respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the University to provide the Supportive Measures. Such measures shall continue until the investigation or grievance is complete or until the measures taken are deemed no longer necessary.

 

4.1.2.   Formal Complaints. If the Complainant files a Formal Complaint or, if the Title IX Coordinator files a Formal Complaint on behalf of the Complainant, the Title IX Coordinator will do the following:

 

(a)             Provide notification of the Formal Complaint to the Complainant and the Respondent[1] (Notice of Allegations);

 

(b)             Offer additional Supportive Measures to the Complainant and Respondent if necessary; and

 

(c)       Provide an overview of the process to both Parties.

 

4.1.3    Notice of Allegations. The Title IX Coordinator will inform the Complainant, Respondent, and, when appropriate, University departments, offices, units, or employees, of the allegations stated in the Formal Complaint via a Notice of Allegations. The Title IX Coordinator shall provide the Notice of Allegations to both Parties and it shall include:

 

a.      A copy of or link to this Grievance Procedure;

 

b.     An explanation of the Informal Resolution Process;

 

c.      The specific details of the known allegations constituting Title IX Sexual Harassment, including the Parties involved in the incident, the conduct allegedly constituting Title IX Sexual Harassment, and the date and location of the incident, if known;

 

d.     A statement that the Respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct;

 

e.      A statement that a determination of responsibility will not be made until the conclusion of this process;

 

f.      Notice of the right of each Party to have an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney;

 

g.     The right of the Parties and advisors to inspect and review evidence; and

 

h.     Notice of the prohibition on knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the process, which is prohibited by Rule 1.6.

 

4.1.4    Supplemental Notice of Allegations. If, in the course of an investigation, the University decides to investigate allegations about the Complainant or Respondent that are not included in the initial Notice of Allegations, the University will provide a Supplemental Notice of Additional Allegations to the Parties whose identities are known.

 

4.1.5    Right to File a Criminal Complaint. If applicable, the Title IX Coordinator will also notify the Complainant of the right to file a criminal complaint. However, if a separate law enforcement investigation is initiated, the University will continue investigating the matter and resolving the complaint.  Further, the University will not wait until a law enforcement investigation is completed before resolving the complaint, unless that circumstances require the University to temporarily delay its resolution while law enforcement gathers evidence.

 

4.2       Mandatory Dismissal of Complaint. If Complaint is filed as one of Title IX Sexual Harassment but does not fit within Title IX jurisdiction under Rule 1.6, mandatory dismissal is required. Specifically, mandatory dismissal is required when allegations: (a) do not constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment, even if proven; (b) did not occur on-campus or part of an educational program/activity; or (c) did not occur in the United States.

4.2.1    Appeal of Mandatory Dismissal. If a Complaint is dismissed, both Parties can appeal. The bases for the appeal are: (a) procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter; (b) new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter; or (c) the Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or Decision-Maker had a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or the individual Complainant or Respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.

 

4.2.2    Timeline for Mandatory Dismissal Appeal. The Complainant or Respondent will have three (3) calendar days to appeal a Mandatory Dismissal. Typically, the appellate officer will decide the appeal in five (5) calendar days. Importantly, if appropriate given the allegations contained in the Formal Complaint, such as whether the conduct violates other University policies or procedures, the investigation can continue during this appellate process.

 

4.2.3    Continued Investigation for non-Title IX Issues. If a Formal Complaint is dismissed because it does not fall within Title IX jurisdiction, the University will consider whether the allegations contained in the report implicate any other University policies and investigate accordingly. In such cases, the matter will be handled in accordance with the appropriate non-Title IX/misconduct procedures.

 

4.3       Investigation. If the Formal Complaint is determined to be within Title IX jurisdiction, the University shall assign the matter to an investigator to investigate the Formal Complaint. The investigator shall be trained accordingly and may be an investigator appointed from outside the University.

 

The investigator will notify the Parties that he or she will be investigating and provide:

 

a)     The investigator’s contact information;

 

b)     Overview of the process;

 

c)     The Parties’ respective rights;

 

d)     Information about the informal resolution process;

 

e)     A reminder that the burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding responsibility rests on the University and not on the Parties;

 

f)      That the University cannot access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use a Party’s records that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized or paraprofessional, unless the University obtains that Party’s voluntary, written consent do so;

 

g)     That the Parties will have equal opportunity to present witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence;

 

h)     That neither Party will be restricted in discussing the allegations under investigation or gathering or presenting relevant evidence; and

 

i)      That others may be present during any grievance proceeding, including an advisor of choice at any meetings, interviews, or hearing.

 

            During the investigation, the investigator shall have access to all necessary documents and the right to interview witnesses. Members of the University community are obligated to respond and acknowledge reasonable requests that may be made by the investigator, the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and/or Employee Relations. Investigators must provide Parties written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all investigative interviews, which shall be provided a reasonable time before the interview.

 

Upon gathering all the evidence the investigators initially determines to be relevant, the investigator will provide both Parties an equal opportunity to inspect and review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the Formal Complaint, including the evidence upon which the University does not intend to rely in reaching a determination of responsibility and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence whether obtained for a Party or other source so that each Party can meaningfully respond to the evidence.

 

The investigator will make this evidence available for inspection and review to the Parties and their advisors, prior to completing the investigation report, and the Parties will be given ten (10) days to submit a written response, which will be considered prior to completion of the final investigation report.

 

If additional investigation is necessary and justified after the written responses are received, the University may investigate further, and the parties will be given an additional ten (10) days to respond to any supplemental investigation materials and prior to the completion of the final investigation report.

 

Once the Parties’ written submissions in response to the evidence are received, the investigator will create an investigative report that fairly summarizes the relevant evidence and send it to each Party and their advisor, if any, which must be done at least ten (10) days before any hearing.

 

Upon receiving the investigative report, the Parties and their advisors will have five (5) days to submit a written response to the investigative report who will then share it with the other party.

 

4.4       Emergency Removal; Review for Work-At-Home, Administrative Leave, or Other Necessary Measures. At any point after a Formal Complaint is filed, Employee Relations will continue to monitor the case to review for whether any individuals involved shall be placed on paid administrative leave, unpaid administrative leave, work-at-home assignment, or any other temporary designation until the matter is concluded. Such assignments are temporary in nature and not disciplinary in nature and shall only be made on an individualized basis.

 

4.5       Informal Resolution. At any time during the process after a Formal Complaint is filed, an informal resolution may be reached, which may be tailored to the specific situation and allegations. Methods of informal resolution may include, but are not limited to mediating the situation, training, and other agreeable alternative dispute options. However, if a Formal Complaint involves any type of Title IX Sexual Harassment by an employee against a student, informal resolution is not possible. In addition to obtaining voluntary, written consent from both parties, the University will also provide to both parties a written notice disclosing the allegations, the requirements of the informal resolution process including the circumstances under which it precludes the parties from resuming a formal complaint arising from the same allegations, provided, however, that at any time prior to agreeing to a resolution, any party has the right to withdraw from the informal resolution process and resume the grievance process with respect to the formal complaint, and any consequences resulting from participating in the informal resolution process, including the records that will be maintained or could be shared.

 

4.6       Discretionary Dismissal. Ongoing during the investigation and once the investigation is complete, the Formal Complaint will be reviewed and evaluated by the Title IX Coordinator to determine if it must be dismissed under Section 4.2, Mandatory Dismissals, or if it should be dismissed as a matter of discretion.

 

4.6.1    Bases for Discretionary Dismissal. Discretionary dismissal may occur when: (a) Complainant indicates in writing a desire to withdraw the Formal Complaint or any allegations therein; (b) Respondent is no longer employed at or affiliated with the University; or (c) circumstances indicate that the University will not be able to gather sufficient evidence to reach a determination.

 

4.6.2    Appeal of Discretionary Dismissal. If the Formal Complaint is dismissed, both Parties can appeal. Bases for the appeal are: (a) procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter; (b) new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter; and (c) the Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or Decision-Maker had a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or the individual Complainant or Respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.

 

4.6.3    Timeline for Appeal of Discretionary Dismissal. The Complainant or Respondent will have five (5) calendar days to appeal a Discretionary Dismissal. Typically, the appellate officer will decide the appeal in thirty (30) calendar days. Importantly, if appropriate and given the allegations contained in the Formal Complaint, such as whether the conduct violates other University policies or procedures, the investigation can continue during this appellate process.

 

4.6.4    Continued Investigation for non-Title IX Issues. If a Formal Complaint is dismissed under this section, the University will consider whether the allegations contained in the report implicate any other University policies and investigate accordingly. In such cases, the matter will be handled in accordance with the appropriate non-Title IX/misconduct procedures.

 

Section 5:       Hearing & Findings.

 

5.1       Hearing. If a Formal Complaint is not dismissed and the Parties are unable to come to an informal resolution, then after an investigation the matter will proceed to a hearing and the following will apply:

 

5.2       Notice of Charge. Prior to the hearing, the Parties will be provided with a charging document that specifically sets forth sufficient information related to the facts and bases of the charge and puts the Parties on notice of what the hearing will address as well as the range of potential sanctions.

 

5.3       Pre-hearing Meeting. Employee Relations will meet with the Parties to discuss the hearing procedures; ensure that both the Complainant and Respondent have an advisor in advance of the hearing; and explain that they can request that the hearing occur in separate locations, but the Decision-Maker and Parties must “see and hear” the Party/witnesses answering questions.

 

5.4       Evidentiary Standard. To determine whether Title IX Sexual Harassment occurred, the Decision-Maker shall use a preponderance of the evidence standard. “Preponderance of the evidence” means evidence which is of greater weight or more convincing than the evidence which is offered in opposition to it; that is, evidence which as a whole shows that the fact sought to be proved is more probable than not.

 

5.5       Advisors. Parties are permitted to have an advisor of their choice at the hearing, who may be an attorney. If a Party does not have an advisor present at the live hearing, the University will provide without fee or charge to that Party, an advisor of the University’s  choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, to conduct cross-examination on behalf of that Party.

 

5.6       Hearing Procedural Rules.

 

5.6.1    Hearing Generally & Questioning. At the live hearing, the Decision-Maker must permit each Party’s advisor to ask the other Party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those questions challenging credibility. At the request of either Party, the University will provide for the hearing to occur with the Parties located in separate rooms with technology enabling the Decision-Maker and Parties to simultaneously see and hear the Party or the witness answering questions. Live hearings pursuant to this Section may be conducted with all Parties physically present in the same geographic location or, at the University’s discretion, any or all Parties, witnesses, and other participants may appear at the live hearing virtually, with technology enabling participants simultaneously to see and hear each other.

 

5.6.2    Cross-Examination. Cross-examination at the hearing will be conducted directly, orally, and in real time by the Party’s advisor and never by a Party personally. Only relevant cross-examination and other questions may be asked of a Party or witness. Before a Complainant, Respondent, or witness answers a cross-examination or other question, the Decision-Maker must first determine whether the question is relevant and explain any decision to exclude a question as not relevant. If a Party or witness does not submit to cross-examination at the live hearing, the Decision-Maker must not rely on any statement of that Party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility; provided, however, that the Decision-Maker cannot draw an inference about the determination regarding responsibility based solely on a Party’s or witness’s absence from the live hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.

 

5.6.3    Decorum. Parties and their advisors must not be disruptive, follow reasonable instructions regarding hearing decorum, and must abide by the instructions of the Decision-Maker.

 

5.6.4    Certain Information and Evidence Not Relevant or Inadmissible.

 

·                 Sexual Evidence. Questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, 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.

 

·                 Privileged Evidence. Questions or evidence that constitute, or seek disclosure of, information protected under a legally recognized privilege is not admissible, unless the person holding such privilege has waived the privilege.

 

5.6.5.   Recordings. An audio or audiovisual recording, or transcript, of any live hearing will be made and available to the Parties for inspection and review.

 

5.8       Notice of Outcome. The Decision-Maker, who will not be the same person(s) as the Title IX Coordinator or the investigator(s) but will be appointed by the University, will issue a written determination regarding responsibility, which will occur as soon as practical after a hearing and typically within ten (10) calendar days.

 

5.8.1.   Written Notice of Outcome. The written notice of outcome will be provided to both the Complainant and Respondent simultaneously, and will include:

 

a)     Identification of the allegations potentially constituting Title IX Sexual Harassment;

 

b)     A description of the procedural steps taken from the receipt of the Formal Complaint through the determination, including any notifications to the Parties, interviews with Parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence, and hearings held;

 

c)     Findings of fact supporting the determination;

 

d)     Conclusions regarding the application of Rule 1.6 to the facts; and

 

e)     A statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including a determination regarding responsibility.

 

f)      The University’s procedures and permissible bases for the Complainant and Respondent to appeal.

 

5.8.2    If the Respondent is found responsible in the Notice of Outcome, the Parties will be allowed to submit written positions on the appropriate sanctions within ten (10) days of the Notice of Outcome.

 

5.9       Notice of Sanctions. If the Respondent is found responsible, the Decision-Maker will then issue a written Notice of Sanctions to both Parties simultaneously, typically within five (5) calendar days, which will set forth any disciplinary sanctions the University imposes on the Respondent; whether remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education program or activity will be provided by the University to the Complainant; and the University’s procedures and permissible bases for the Parties to appeal any sanctioning decision.

           

5.10     Corrective Action. If there is a finding that the Respondent is responsible for Title IX Sexual Harassment, the appropriate departments, offices, units, or employees at the University, in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator, will take steps toward immediate corrective action and is responsible for effective implementation of any remedies, which may include, but not be limited to suspension, demotion, or termination of an employee; issuance of a trespass warning; termination of a vendor contract; and/or referral to the appropriate law enforcement agency. The purpose of any such corrective action is to take the appropriate steps to end the misconduct, prevent any further misconduct or retaliation, remedy the effects of misconduct, and eliminate any hostile environment that has been created.

 

5.10.1  If a corrective action involves any type of adverse employment action, then such action will be taken consistent with Talent and Culture and Provost/Faculty procedures and applicable due process.

 

Section 6:       Appeal.

 

6.1       Right to an Appeal. Both the Complainant and the Respondent are entitled to appeal the determination of responsibility in the Notice of Outcome and the sanction in any Notice of Sanctions.

 

6.2       Timing of an Appeal. If the Respondent is found not responsible and no Notice of Sanctions is issued, the Parties will have five (5) days from the Notice of Outcome to appeal. If the Respondent is found responsible, then the Parties will have five (5) days from the Notice of Sanctions to appeal both the outcome and the sanctions.

 

6.3       Grounds for Appeal. The bases for appeal are: (a) procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter; (b) new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter; and (c) the Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or Decision-Maker had a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or the individual Complainant or Respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.

 

6.4       Appeal Responses. If an Appeal is filed, the other Party will receive a copy of the Appeal and will have five (5) calendar days to respond. Thus, both Parties will have an opportunity to submit a written statement in support of, or challenging the outcome.

 

6.5       Finality. The determination regarding responsibility becomes final either on the date that the University provides the Parties with the Determination of Appeal, if an appeal is filed, or if an appeal is not filed, the date on which an appeal would no longer be considered timely. Typically, the appellate officer will decide the appeal in thirty (30) calendar days.

 

Section 7:       Retaliation.

 

Complaints alleging Retaliation, as defined by Rule 1.6, may be filed according to these Grievance Procedures as it relates to Title IX Sexual Harassment.

 

Section 8:       Discretion.

 

The University shall have sufficient latitude and authority to implement any reasonable measures necessary for the fair and efficient administration of these procedures and minor deviations are acceptable as long as such deviations are not found to be materially harmful to a Complainant or Respondent or inconsistent with federal regulations. Further, a Complainant, Respondent, and the University may agree in advance to minor deviations from these procedures so long as they are not inconsistent with federal regulations.



[1] The Complainant and Respondent are at times hereafter referred to individually as a “Party” and together as the “Parties.” 

West Virginia University is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture by promoting diversity, inclusion, equality, and intercultural and intercommunity outreach. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, marital or family status, pregnancy, veteran status, service in the uniformed services (as defined by state and federal law), religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or gender expression in the administration of any of its educational programs, activities, or with respect to admission or employment.

– Board of Governors Rule 1.6

Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

1085 Van Voorhis Road Suite 250
P.O. Box 6202, Morgantown WV 26506-6202

Phone icon 304-293-5600
Fax icon 304-293-8279
Fax icon diversity@mail.wvu.edu

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