Neumann University will pursue incidents of Sexual Misconduct with extreme diligence. The University enacts a Sexual Misconduct policy that outlines specific violations that can fall under this policy. The disciplinary process for incidents of sexual misconduct mirrors how the University handles instances of standard behavioral misconduct, however, the process is applied with greater scrutiny.
Neumann University Sexual Misconduct Disciplinary Process
The process for resolving complaints of sexual misconduct will begin when a complaint is filed with a University official. The student who files the complaint is referred to as the "accuser," while the student facing the accusations will be referred to as the "accused." The University will initiate an investigation into the incident to obtain the facts surrounding what happened. Investigations will consist of separate interviews with the accuser and the accused. The investigators will also contact witnesses and review relevant evidence suggested by either party. While the investigation taking place, the accuser may request an informal resolution if circumstances are appropriate. Informal resolutions are facilitated by the Title IX coordinator and are focused on a mediative approach, however, the matter may be elevated to a formal resolution at any time.
Formal Hearings will be held and decided upon by the University's Sexual Misconduct Board. This board is specific to instances of sexual misconduct and consists of members assigned to resolving these incidents. Hearings do not have a particular agenda or set order, and will instead proceed according to the will of the Chair of the hearing board. Although there is no set order, both accused and accuser are in theory guaranteed certain rights at a hearing. Both parties may present their own witnesses and evidence to the board. The accused has the right to make responses to all opposing information and testimony presented, however, there is no right to cross-examination. The accused will also have a right to making a statement to summarize their case. Once all parties have been adequately heard out, as determined by the board, and all relevant witnesses and information has been presented, the board will close the hearing, and will begin deliberations. The decision of the outcome will be made using the standard of "a preponderance of evidence."
At hearings, students are granted the right to have an advisor. Depending on the circumstances, this advisor may need to come from the University community. Sexual misconduct allegations are very serious charges that can harm a student's future goals as a student and as a professional. For this reason, students should obtain the counsel of an attorney that may assist them from either behind the scenes or in the hearing, if applicable. Attorneys can help to make sure a student's rights are protected throughout the hearing process, and also provide advice to students on how to approach hearings. In addition, if any adverse consequences follow the initial reporting at Neumann University, an attorney can guide a student through these circumstances.
Appeals at Neumann University
In the event of an unfavorable hearing outcome, students may make an appeal. Appeals must be submitted within five (5) business days of the outcome. The grounds for making an appeal are overly severe sanctions, improper procedure, or new information.