Any instance of sexual misconduct is a serious issue - and Purdue University will treat it as such. After all, the university has a responsibility to keep your child safe. It has that responsibility to the entire student body and academic community.
Purdue University also has a responsibility to protect your child and their rights throughout an investigation of sexual misconduct if your child stands accused of inappropriate behavior. However, some universities can tend to side with the accuser. Other universities rush through sexual misconduct investigations at lightning speed, steamrolling over the rights of all involved.
Your entire family has worked hard to get your student to Purdue. Now, you might wonder what the future holds. It might seem that one alleged incident might tarnish your child's entire future. It doesn't have to be this way. You can take steps now to help your child navigate due process and build a strong case to work towards a favorable outcome.
Updates to Title IX Policies at Purdue University
In 2020, the United States government provided updates to Title IX, the law that has provided a framework for publicly-funded US universities to manage sexual misconduct on campus. The updates narrowed some of the cases previously litigable under Title IX and added processes to the recommended adjudicative procedures. As a result, many United States universities have responded to the 2020 Title IX updates by modifying their own Title IX policies as requested - and introducing new university policies to cover any situations of sexual misconduct the newer, narrower Title IX law may not address.
Purdue is one such university. According to a piece running on August 14, 2020 on the university's online publication Purdue Today, Purdue updated or introduced a total of three policies to cover Title IX and related misconduct in its academic community. These three policies are:
- The Equal Opportunity, Equal Access, and Affirmative Action Policy (Interim) - a policy that prohibits general discrimination;
- The Anti-Harassment Policy (Interim) - a policy that prohibits harassment, including any instances of sexual harassment not covered by the updated Title IX regulations;
- The Title IX Harassment Policy (Interim) - the new policy based off the 2020 national Title IX updates.
As the introduction to the Title IX Harassment Policy states, Purdue has committed to maintaining a positive educational environment that “fosters tolerance, sensitivity, understanding and mutual respect.” The university does not tolerate sexual misconduct of any kind, as this type of misconduct is not conducive to a healthy atmosphere of respect for its community.
Purdue University: Sexual Misconduct Processes and Policies
The sexual misconduct investigation and adjudication process at Purdue begins when one student makes a formal allegation against another. Once Purdue receives this information, it must notify all involved parties, provide information regarding the details of the allegation, and determine a path forward for deciding upon restorative action.
Purdue does retain the right to dismiss cases outright if it seems that the allegation is untenable. However, in most cases, Purdue will assign a Title IX coordinator and launch a full-scale University Investigation. An investigator will collect and analyze evidence on behalf of the university. Once the investigator is confident that they have gathered all applicable data, they will write a comprehensive report and send it to all involved parties - including the accused party. This will happen no more than 20 days before a hearing, which gives the accused party time to put together a strong defense. Your student must provide a written response before the hearing. At the hearing, your student's chosen or assigned Hearing Advisor (or legal representation) will be able to cross-examine witnesses and provide a statement on your child's behalf.
By 14 days after the hearing, Purdue University will provide a decision and recommendation for consequences. If your student so desires, they can appeal that decision.
The Penalties Your Student Can Expect at Purdue University
You can find the specific punishments that Purdue University can mete out to your student in Purdue's code of conduct. The actions your student may expect include:
- A reprimand, which may constitute a letter or statement in your student's permanent record
- A restriction, or a loss of certain privileges for a decided-upon length of time
- Probation, or a time where your student is under increased supervision
- Expulsion (Which, at Purdue, could constitute a Mandatory or Discretionary Dismissal)
- Referral for external prosecution
Clearly, there's a lot at stake; however, this list of potential punitive measures Purdue may take is only the tip of the iceberg. Far above and beyond any academic punishments your child's university may mete out are the long-term ramifications of a sexual misconduct investigation and hearing on your student's permanent record. Even if Purdue promises to keep all proceedings confidential, there is still a likelihood that your student's reputation will be indelibly marred by association with the alleged incident.
After your child leaves Purdue, the allegation of sexual misconduct might follow them as they attempt to pursue further education, scholarship, or even as they embark upon their career.
If you take steps now to protect your student's rights throughout their sexual misconduct investigations at Purdue, you might be able to help them avoid that future. Start now by finding a clever, competent sexual misconduct legal team to help your child build a strong case.
Joseph D. Lento: An Experienced Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Advisor
When your child stands accused of sexual misconduct, it's natural to worry about their future. Fortunately, with a smart, empathetic, and aggressive Title IX and sexual misconduct lawyer, you and your family can navigate the steps ahead. Joseph D. Lento has spent years successfully defending students and representing them during university due process for sexual misconduct. Whether Purdue decides to adjudicate your student's case through an investigation or a formal hearing, Joseph D. Lento will be able to help you and your family work towards a successful outcome.
For more information, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-555-3686 or contact us through our online form.