Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal law that prohibits sexual misconduct in federally funded colleges and universities. Being accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape, or any other form of sexual misconduct at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is a Title IX violation that your school must resolve. If you are found “responsible” for this conduct, you could be exposed to pretty serious repercussions that could jeopardize your plans to graduate.
For the purposes of this article, we'll address the ACPHS's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor if you find yourself in this predicament.
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences' Disciplinary Process
According to Title IX, the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is required to adjudicate any cases of sexual misconduct brought to the institution's attention. The Department of Education urges compliant higher education institutions to respond to these accusations in a manner that is prompt and equitable. If the school fails to do so, its federal funding is at stake. Complainants (the reporter of the complaint) and especially respondents (the person accused of sexual misconduct) should understand that their school will approach their case with the utmost seriousness, and each party should follow suit.
Reporting Sexual Misconduct
The College gives members of the campus community three options when reporting allegations of sexual misconduct. They can (1) report to state or local law enforcement, (2) report to ACPHS campus public safety officials, or (3) report to the school Title IX Coordinator.
Determination That Report Requires an Institutional Investigation
Once a complainant has reported a possible violation of school policy, the Title IX Coordinator will make a determination as to whether an investigation is necessary. If the Coordinator determines that an investigation is required, immediate action will be taken.
To make this determination, the Title IX Coordinator will consider factors, such as whether the respondent has a history of violent behavior, whether the respondent used a weapon or force if the victim was a minor if there was a pattern of perpetration and more.
During the course of an investigation, the investigator shall:
- Provide both parties with copies of the policy
- Provide both parties with equal opportunities to identify witnesses and present evidence supporting their respective positions at these meetings
- Provide both parties the same opportunities to make statements, raise objections, ask questions, etc.
- Provide both parties the opportunity to exclude (1) their own prior sexual history with persons other than the parties involved and (2) their own mental health diagnosis and/or treatment from the investigator's consideration
The investigator will then determine, by a preponderance of evidence, whether a violation has occurred and shall notify both parties of the determination.
An appeal may be filed in writing with the Title IX Coordinator by either the complainant or respondent within five business days of the date of the decision of the Dean. The only grounds for appeal are as follows:
- A procedural error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the investigation; or
- New evidence was unavailable during the original investigation that may substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included in the appeal; or
- The sanctions imposed are substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation.
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, you can choose anyone to be your advisor in the Title IX process. It would be in your best interest to choose an attorney who can help you effectively navigate the process and build a solid defense for you. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today for help at 888-535-3686.