The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena was founded in 1921 and currently has a total enrollment exceeding 2,200 students. The administrators at Caltech maintain compliance with federal guidelines that pertain to Title IX. This is an educational amendment that addresses how institutions manage issues related to sexual discrimination.
Caltech's Center for Diversity and Title IX
Those who wish to submit a complaint may do so by visiting the Title IX Coordinator in the Equity Office. This office is located in the Center for Student Services #205. Those wishing to anonymously submit a complaint may also use the Caltech Hotline Form. The administration does attempt to protect the confidentiality of those seeking support.
The Caltech Title IX Investigation Process
The reporting party (complainant) and the responding party (respondent) will both be notified in writing by the Title IX Coordinator that an investigation will occur. Investigators are assigned that will collect evidence and contact potential witnesses. Either party may submit statements in writing to the investigators throughout the process.
The administration seeks to resolve these matters promptly. If the process is expected to exceed 60 days, both parties will be notified with an extension letter. During the investigation, interim measures may be established to protect the safety and well-being of the parties and/or the community.
A complainant may choose to pursue an informal resolution in these matters, which is not used in cases of serious disciplinary sanctions. In some cases, this process involves assistance from a third-party that will act as a mediator. This individual may be a member of the Caltech faculty or administration.
All parties are permitted to choose an advisor that will support and accompany them throughout the proceedings. Caltech has a less formal hearing process than many schools, as “physical separation” among adverse parties is maintained. The parties may submit questions to the investigators that may or may not be excluded at the discretion of the administration.
Key Considerations in Making A Ruling
Decisions are made based on a variety of factors including the information provided by the parties and any witnesses. Assessments that are made regarding the credibility of parties and witnesses are relevant to these decisions. The Title IX Coordinator will deliberate with the other investigators in making decisions and determining appropriate penalties when necessary. All parties will be notified of the ruling (outcome) in writing.
The Appeals Process at Caltech
A party seeking to appeal a ruling must notify the administration within ten days. The grounds for an appeal are limited to the following:
- A “procedural error” was made that violated written guidelines such as a failure in due process
- When new evidence that was not previously available has emerged
- If a party believes that the sanctions imposed are “substantially disproportionate” to the severity of the conduct
How May a Student Rights Advisor Help?
Institutions of higher learning are now more focused than ever on maintaining a positive reputation. This often stems from the current competitive environment in education and the ease with which negative reports are shared.
Because campus administrators face pressures to hold students responsible for misconduct, they may impose disproportionately harsh penalties. The staff that is responsible for these disciplinary proceedings are likely to be overworked and may move too hastily without properly considering the rights of the accused.
Students and their families are frequently sacrificing substantial financial resources to pursue post-secondary education. These goals may be abruptly shattered if the student is suspended or dismissed from the school. Many students and/or their parents fail to realize the possible long-term ramifications that may result.
Choosing an attorney that is familiar with this specific realm of practice is critical. This should be done promptly to ensure there is ample time for preparation. The majority of institutions allow all parties that are subject to these actions to choose an advisor for support. A lawyer is best-suited to serve in this capacity. This will ensure the student is prepared to effectively express themselves and respond to questions.
A student rights lawyer may engage in discussions with university administrators to negotiate a positive resolution. Having seasoned counsel increases the chance that such lines of communication exist. Your attorney may also serve in a support role amid hearings and other proceedings.
Attorney Represents College and University Students Accused of Title IX Misconduct
The Lento Law Firm has protected the rights of students in various types of disciplinary proceedings for many years. These include allegations of violating Title IX guidelines, acts of academic misconduct, and more. Please contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for assistance.