Title IX and College Sexual Misconduct at the University of Louisville

The University of Louisville, founded in 1798 as the nation's first city-owned public university, is now a part of Kentucky's state university system. The university currently enrolls nearly 16,000 undergraduate students, supported on a 274-acre campus south of downtown Louisville and a Health Sciences Center east of downtown. The university's website touts its vision to be a great place to study, live, and work because it celebrates diversity, fosters equity, and strives to include.

The University of Louisville maintains schools or colleges of arts and sciences, business, medicine, dentistry, nursing, public health, education, law, social work, and engineering. The university offers professional degrees in law, dentistry, and medicine, and graduate degrees in accounting, engineering, and many other traditional fields. Like many other colleges and universities, Louisville has undergraduate first-year and second-year on-campus residential requirements, with large residence halls, while permitting juniors and seniors to live in off-campus apartments.

With its large size and national reputation for such things as competitive athletics, the University of Louisville offers a rewarding and enriching environment for academic studies. No university, though, can entirely insulate students from the social and ethical challenges common to colleges and universities. And when students live, study, eat, and sleep in close proximity to one another for long stretches, confusion and even conflict over relationships can inevitably result in complaints of Title IX or other sexual misconduct.

No University of Louisville student needs to face college or university sexual-misconduct charges alone. National Title IX attorney Joseph Lento has helped hundreds of students nationwide successfully defend false, exaggerated, and unfair sexual-misconduct allegations. Attorney Lento can likewise help students at the University of Louisville navigate daunting sexual-misconduct procedures. Read here details of Louisville's sexual-misconduct policies and proceedings before retaining the country's leading Title IX attorney Joseph Lento.

University of Louisville Sexual-Misconduct Policies

The University of Louisville maintains two sexual-misconduct policies. The first policy, bearing the name Title IX Student Sexual Misconduct Policy 2020-2021, addresses the university's federal Title IX obligations to prevent sex discrimination. The university's other sexual-misconduct policy, bearing the name Sexual Harassment Procedures, addresses conduct beyond Title IX prohibitions. Louisville, like other colleges and universities, thus expands the reach of its sexual prohibitions beyond the strict reach of federal Title IX. Consider next the sexual misconduct that Louisville's twin policies prohibit.

Title IX Sexual Misconduct at the University of Louisville

Colleges and universities often supply elaborate statements and definitions of Title IX sexual misconduct. The University of Louisville's Title IX Student Sexual Misconduct Policy 2020-2021 does likewise as to the three forms of sexual misconduct that Title IX requires colleges and universities to prohibit, to receive federal funding. Those three prohibited Title IX forms of sexual misconduct include:

  • sexual violence including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking;
  • quid-pro-quo harassment, typically defined as conditioning benefits or services on unwelcome sexual conduct; and
  • hostile-environment harassment, typically defined as unwelcome sexual conduct so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive as to deny equal access to education based on sex.

University of Louisville Sexual Misconduct

For the other, non-Title IX forms of sexual misconduct that the University of Louisville prohibits, the university's Sexual Harassment Procedures refers to another policy, its Code of Student Conduct. While including prohibitions of Title IX sexual misconduct, the Code of Student Conduct adds these additional forms of prohibited sexual misconduct:

  • voyeurism spying on intimate behaviors without knowledge or consent, or transmitting or recording the image or voice of another without knowledge or consent, where participants expect privacy;
  • sexual exploitation taking non-consensual or abusive advantage of another;
  • child pornography possessing, producing, or distributing sexual depiction or other explicit material involving a person under age 18; and
  • deliberate incapacitation of another without knowledge or consent, or without reasonable explanation.

University of Louisville Title IX Procedures

The University of Louisville's Title IX Student Sexual Misconduct Policy 2020-2021 states the university's federally compliant procedures for resolving sexual-misconduct complaints. Like many other colleges and universities, Louisville uses different procedures for Title IX complaints, summarized here, than for complaints of non-Title IX sexual misconduct, summarized further below.

Informal Resolution. Louisville's Title IX Student Sexual Misconduct Policy 2020-2021 directs complaints of sexual misconduct to its Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator. Those officials first determine if the matter is appropriate for informal resolution, to which the complaining party and accused student must agree if the university is to proceed in that manner. Either side has the right to a formal proceeding. Informal resolution involves the official's effort to get the parties to accept a voluntary resolution that addresses any misconduct while discouraging future misconduct.

Formal Resolution. Complaints that do not resolve informally proceed to Louisville's formal resolution process. The Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator first determines if the complaint falls within Title IX. That official may dismiss irrelevant or unsupported allegations, subject to the complainant's appeal. Otherwise, the university appoints an Investigator who interviews the complainant, accused student, and any other witnesses having material information. The Investigator prepares a preliminary report at the investigation's conclusion, sharing the report with both sides for their comment and correction.

Formal Hearing. The university then designates a three-member Hearing Board drawn from a pool of trained and qualified students, faculty members, and staff members. At the live hearing, witnesses testify under the questioning and cross-examination of the accused student's advisor, who may be an attorney. As federal Title IX regulations require, the Hearing Board must ignore statements of any witnesses who refuse to testify. The Hearing Board then deliberates to a written decision on the preponderance of the evidence. Louisville's procedures permit the losing side to appeal to the Dean of Students or the dean's designee.

University of Louisville Non-Title IX Procedures

The University of Louisville's Code of Student Conduct procedures for non-Title IX sexual misconduct provide the accused student with fewer protections. A Dean of Students Office official first decides if the matter should resolve for less than a sanction of suspension or expulsion. If so, then the official notifies the accused student to attend an administrative conduct meeting at which the official may impose that non-severe sanction based on the accused student's response at the meeting.

Matters involving the potential for suspension or expulsion proceed to a hearing before a Conduct Board. The student may bring an attorney advisor to the hearing, but the advisor cannot question or cross-examine witnesses or otherwise participate. Witnesses need not attend for the Conduct Board to consider their statements. Witnesses may instead submit written statements. The Conduct Board's decision goes to the Assistant Dean of Students for review and approval. Students may appeal adverse decisions to the Dean of Students.

University of Louisville Sexual-Misconduct Sanctions

The University of Louisville's Title IX Student Sexual Misconduct Policy 2020-2021 permits the university's Hearing Board to impose any appropriate sanction up to the student's expulsion. Typical college and university sanctions include reprimand, training, community service, interventions, referral, probation, restrictions, suspension, expulsion, and even degree revocation. An appeal to the Dean of Students permits the dean to alter the sanction as the dean determines to be appropriate. The university's policy also permits the dismissed student to petition for expulsion review after five years for potential reinstatement.

The University of Louisville's Code of Student Conduct for non-Title IX sexual misconduct specifically authorizes reprimand, restrictions, probation, fines, restitution, suspension, expulsion, admission revocation, degree withholding, degree revocation, prohibition of future enrollment, and barring the dismissed student from campus.

Put the Best Available Academic Attorney in Your Corner

Colleges and universities, including the University of Louisville, give broad, vague, and ambiguous definitions to sexual-misconduct prohibitions. Accused students may not understand why or how their conduct violated those confusing prohibitions. University officials may also apply those prohibitions arbitrarily or even capriciously to unfairly punish certain students. And the procedures that the University of Louisville and other colleges and universities follow can be confusing and frightening for students unfamiliar with court-like, adversarial proceedings.

National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento dedicated his practice and the resources of his Lento Law Firm to helping accused students defend themselves while protecting their investment in their education and future. Attorney Lento has helped hundreds of students nationwide to successfully defend and defeat sexual-misconduct charges. You can and should trust attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm with your education, career, and reputation. Don't let University of Louisville sexual-misconduct charges ruin your future. Call 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation, or use the online service.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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