As the self-proclaimed leading academic institution for integrative health in the nation, Maryland University of Integrative Health has educated practitioners for over 40 years. Since the school receives federal funding from the government, it has been required to enact federal regulations, known as Title IX policies, for its students to abide by. Title IX essentially forbids discriminatory acts on the basis of gender in all circumstances. Sexual misconduct falls under the umbrella of gender-based discrimination, which means that this institution is responsible for investigating and resolving complaints of this nature.
If you attend this school and have been accused of sexual misconduct, it's important you understand what you're up against. Here is a brief overview of MUIH's Title IX process.
Title IX Process
Throughout this process, school authorities will use specific terms to characterize all of the parties involved in a complaint. An individual who identifies as a victim/survivor is referred to as a “complainant,” while an alleged offender is referred to as a “respondent.”
Filing a complaint
MUIH places a strong emphasis on reporting instances of sexual misconduct in any form (sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, dating violence etc.). When a report has been filed alleging sexual misconduct, the Title IX process will immediately begin.
Once a Title IX coordinator, or anyone else on the Title IX receives notification of the alleged misconduct, their first concern is protecting a complainant and the rest of the campus community from retaliation. In an effort to successfully so, schools may impose interim measures, depending on the circumstances of a case. The following measures may be implemented to separate a complainant and respondent throughout the course of Title IX processes:
- The issuing of a no contact order barring any communication (this includes verbal, electronic, written and communication through third parties)
- A mandatory leave of absence
- An alternative work schedule
- Restrictions placed onto certain areas of campus or buildings etc.
- Housing reassignment accommodations etc.
The school is responsible for conducting a thorough, impartial and prompt investigation that entails the in-depth interviewing of all parties (complainant, respondent, and witnesses), and an investigative finding based on the facts garned in this phase.This finding will be based on the preponderance of evidence, which dictates that it more likely than not that the alleged conduct did or did not occur based on the evidence collected.
Once the findings are presented to a respondent, he or she can reject the findings in part or entirely. If this occurs, a formal hearing will be scheduled immediately.
A hearing is the last chance for both parties to testify, present evidence and make final statements concerning their account of events. They will also get to address and ask questions about the original finding made by investigators. A three-person panel will be tasked of considering this evidence, and making a final determination of responsibility based upon the preponderance of evidence once again.
A respondent has the option of appealing if he or she is dissatisfied with the school's determination and/or sanction. An appeal is a request for a school to reconsider a decision. But in order for the school to consider an appeal, it cannot be based on mere dissatisfaction, it must be backed by reasonable grounds. The sole grounds for an appeal include, but are not limited to:
- Procedural error: a procedural error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of a final determination and/or sanction
- New information: New information has surfaced which was not available or known to a respondent during an investigation or hearing
- Disproportionate sanction(s): the sanctions imposed are substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation
A written appeal should be submitted to the Title IX coordinator within two business days following the notification of a final determination.
Title IX Advisor
Choosing an attorney to fulfill the role of an advisor is the only way to ensure your rights are protected throughout the duration of your school's Title IX processes. Level the playing field by allowing skilled attorney Joseph D. Lento to help you. Contact him today.