Upon receipt of the final investigative report, the Hearing Officer will convene a Decision Maker panel and schedule a live hearing. The panel will consist of three (3) individuals selected by the Hearing Officer who have completed Decision Maker training during the current academic year. The Hearing Officer will designate one of the Decision Makers as Primary Decision Maker. Hearing Officer will notify the Complainant, Respondent, their respective advisors, Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Investigator, witnesses named in the final report, and the Decision Makers of the live hearing date within five (5) business days of receipt of the final investigative report. The live hearing date must provide the Complainant, Respondent, and their respective advisors with no less than ten business days to review the final investigative report and all supporting evidence.
The hearing must be a live, recorded hearing with the opportunity for both advisors to conduct cross-examinations. The hearing shall be recorded by either a court reporter or on audio or video tape or by other electronic recording medium. In addition, all items offered into evidence by the parties, whether admitted into evidence or not, shall be marked and preserved as part of the hearing record.
Upon request, the Complainant and Respondent may participate in the hearing via on-campus video conferencing provided that all parties, including the Decision Making Panel, are able to see and hear the party or witness answering questions in real-time.
The Hearing Officer, Decision Makers, Complainant, Respondent, and their respective advisors will attend the hearing. The Title IX investigator, Title IX Coordinator and witnesses will be called to provide testimony if requested by the Decision Makers, parties or their respective advisors.
If a party does not have an advisor present at the live hearing, the College shall provide without fee or charge to that party, an advisor of the College’s choice, who may be, but is not required to be an attorney.
The hearing process will consist of:
- Opening statement by Hearing Officer
- Review of hearing procedures, formal complaint and notice of allegations by Hearing Officer
- Review of potential hearing outcomes and sanctions by Hearing Officer
- Complainant Testimony
- Cross-examination of Complainant by Respondent advisor
- Testimony of Witnesses of Complainant
- Cross-examination of Complainant Witnesses by Respondent advisor
- Respondent Testimony
- Cross-examination of Respondent by Complainant advisor
- Witnesses of Respondent Testimonies
- Cross-examination of Respondent Witnesses by Complainant advisor
- Decision Maker inquiries
- Review of appeal process by Hearing Officer
- Closing statement by Hearing Officer
- Dismissal of parties
- Decision Maker deliberations
At the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall read the hearing procedures, notice of allegations, formal complaint, potential hearing outcomes, and potential sanctions. After the Hearing Officer concludes opening statements, the Complainant shall have the opportunity to present such oral testimony and offer such other supporting evidence as deemed relevant to the formal complaint. Subsequent to Complainant testimony, the Respondent advisor may conduct cross-examination. The Decision Makers may question the Complainant after the cross-examination.
The Complainant may call witnesses to provide testimony as deemed appropriate to the formal complaint. The Respondent advisor may conduct cross- examination of the witnesses. The Decision Makers may question the witnesses after the cross-examination.
The Respondent shall then be given the opportunity to present such testimony and offer such other evidence as deemed relevant to the Respondent's defense against the formal complaint. Subsequent to Respondent testimony, the Complainant advisor may conduct cross-examination. The Decision Makers may question the Respondent after the cross-examination.
The Respondent may call witnesses to provide testimony as deemed appropriate to the formal complaint. The Complainant advisor may conduct cross- examination of the witnesses. The Decision Makers may question the witnesses after the cross-examination.
Only relevant cross-examination and other questions may be asked of a party or witness.
During cross-examination, the advisor will pose each question orally to the Primary Decision Maker. The Primary Decision Maker will determine if the Complainant, Respondent, or witnesses may respond to the question. If the Primary Decision Maker chair determines that the question is not relevant, the Primary Decision Maker will explain the rationale for dismissing the question. Rape shield protection is provided for Complainants which deems irrelevant questions and evidence about a Complainant’s prior sexual behavior unless offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the alleged misconduct or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of Complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the Respondent and offered to prove consent.
If a witness or party is not available or declines cross-examination, the decision makers must not rely on any statement of that witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility; provided, however, that the decision makers cannot draw an inference about the determination regarding responsibility based solely on a party or witness’s absence from the live hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.
Upon conclusion of the presentation of the evidence and cross-examinations, the Hearing Officer shall read the appeal process and closing statements. The Complainant, Respondent, their respective advisors and all witnesses shall be dismissed.
The Decision Makers will deliberate to determine if the Respondent is deemed responsible and submit a written hearing report which contains:
- Identification of the allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment;
- a description of the procedural steps taken from the receipt of the formal complaint through determination, including any notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence, and hearings held;
- findings of fact supporting the determination;
- conclusions regarding the application of the College’s code of conduct to the facts;
- a statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including a determination regarding responsibility, any disciplinary sanctions the College imposes on the respondent, and whether remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to the College’s education program or activity will be provided by the College to the complainant; and
- the College’s procedures and permissible bases for the complainant and respondent to appeal.
The Primary Decision Maker will submit the hearing report to the Hearing Officer within ten (10) business days of the live hearing.
The Hearing Officer will submit the hearing report simultaneously to the Title IX Coordinator, Complainant, Respondent, and their respective advisors within three (3) business days of receipt of the hearing report.
The College must provide the written determination to the parties simultaneously. The determination regarding responsibility becomes final either on the date that the College provides the parties with the written determination of the result of the 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.
The Title IX Coordinator will retain the recording of the hearing, the hearing report, the investigative report, and all evidence obtained during the investigation and all evidence offered at the hearing.