In higher education, the dynamics change drastically in comparison to how things were in secondary school. Relationships are now built outside the classroom, as well as inside. Professors may hold meetings during office hours, lead teams in laboratories at any time of the day, and mingle at events with students and junior faculty. These efforts are all intended to deepen the student and professor relationship, create opportunities for academic guidance, and contribute to the development of trust.
Despite all of the positive aspects of building professor and student relationships, these opportunities open the door for students to feel as if the trust that is supposed to be developed in these interactions is being abused. If a student feels this way and decides to file a complaint detailing sexual misconduct, the professor in question will be subject to an investigation and hearing in compliance with Title IX, to determine if they've violated school policy.
Professors who genuinely feel that the allegations made against them are fabricated or exaggerated need to make all the right decisions. They also must understand what's at stake if found “responsible”, and the resources that are available to them in these circumstances. For the purposes of this article, I will provide you with some information that you should know if you've been accused of sexual misconduct.
You have rights
Throughout the Title IX disciplinary process, you are afforded certain rights. The amount of protections that are offered in these cases depends on the school. But overall, cases involving sexual misconduct require schools to grant respondents and complainants every right available. Some of the most important rights for respondents are the right to be informed of resolutions, sanctions, and rationale for an outcome, the right to an impartial investigation and hearing, the right to campus resources, and the right to have an advisor during the adjudication process. As a respondent, it's important you identify the rights you have and ensure that they aren't being denied. After all, in the absence of respondents rights is an unfair resolution process.
Terminated employment for sexual misconduct may bar you from a future career in academia
A thriving career in academia calls for a clean academic and disciplinary record. Any indications of sexual misconduct while on the job will likely disqualify you for further employment at that institution, or for any other academic careers. To prevent being blackballed in this industry, and to avoid unwarranted repercussions, retaining an attorney is a must.
You need an attorney
The only way to ensure your voice is heard and your rights are upheld is to retain a student defense attorney. National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento has the skill, experience, and expertise to help you preserve your entitled rights under Title IX and your school's policy. For a case evaluation or more information about his representation, contact him online or give him a call at 888-535-3686 today.