Individuals who are alleged to have engaged in an act of discrimination or an act of sexual harassment are referred to by the term "Respondent."
Respondents will be treated with dignity and respect by University officials involved in the resolution of any alleged violations of University policy. All investigations with be conducted in a manner that is thorough, objective, timely, and respectful.
What to Expect
After a formal complaint is received, the Office of Title IX and Civil Rights Compliance will notify the Complainant and Respondent of the allegations and provide notice of the applicable policy and procedures the office will use to investigate and adjudicate the complaint. This notice will include information on the rights of parties within the process, access to an advisor, information on supportive measures available through the University, contact information for the investigative team and other information relevant to the investigation process.
Respondentts have the right to consult with an advisor of choice during the investigative process. Any person may serve as an advisor, including but not limited to, a faculty or staff member, a friend, a family member, an attorney, or a University appointed advisor. The role of an advisor is to provide a comforting and familiar presence for the reporting party, and to assist in their understanding of the investigative process. The choice whether or not to invite an advisor is solely that of the individual(s) involved.
The role of the advisor is limited. The advisor may help a Complainant prepare their position, but may not present it or speak for or on behalf of the party during the investigative interview. The advisor may consult with the Complainant quietly or in writing, or outside the meeting during breaks. If the advisor is an attorney, a law student or a Law School faculty member, this must be disclosed to the Office of Equity and Inclusion, and the University reserves the right to have its own legal counsel present for the meeting.
If any advisor conducts themselves in a manner inconsistent with these guidelines, or if the advisor attempts to obstruct or otherwise interfere with the investigative process, then the advisor will be warned by the investigative team and/or the Executive Director for the Office of Title IX and Civil Rights Compliance. If the advisor’s interfering behavior continues, the individual will no longer be considered an advisor and the Executive Director may excuse the individual from the investigative process.
Advisors appointed through the Office of Equity and Inclusion
The Office of Title IX and Civil Rights Compliance can connect Respondents with a trained Advisor at the Complainant's request. Advisors are trained members of the university community who have knowledge of the investigative process and who are available to the Complainant to offer support during an investigation and assist during a Hearing Board, if applicable.
To be connected with an Advisor, Complainants should contact the Title IX Coordinator.
Respondents have the opportunity to provide the investigative team with evidence that is relevant to the complaint they are making to the Office of Equity and Inclusion.
Evidence may include, but is not limited to:
- Texts messages/written communications between parties
- Screenshots of social media posts or electronic conversations
- Pictures and videos related to alleged incident(s)
- Electronic data related to the alleged incident(s)
- Medical records
- Physical objects (e.g. clothing, gifts, etc.)
- Travel records
- Written statements
Respondents may also choose to submit to the investigative team a written account or statement detailing their complaint.
Respondents have the ability to provide the investigative team with names of potential witnesses to be interviewed as a part of the investigative process.
Witnesses are considered to be individuals who may have information related to a complaint alleging violations of University policy. The investigative team will determine which of those potential witnesses, or other persons, may have relevant information about the complaint. Witnesses may include individuals outside the Creighton community. Additionally, the investigative team may interview individuals with an expertise specific to elements of the reported incident (e.g. alcohol-drug interactions).
Respondents have the ability to review and respond to the investigative file prior to the completion of the investigative report.
This information includes:
- Transcripts of interviews given by the Complainant
- Transcripts of interviews given by the Respondent
- Transcripts of interviews given by witnesses
- Evidence submitted by any parties within the investigation
- Evidence gathered by the investigative team during the course of the investigation
Any feedback or responses offered by the Respondent will be included in the investigative report for the consideration of the decision-maker(s).
Complainants and Respondents have the ability to request Supportive Measures from the University. Supportive measures are enacted if they are reasonable and can assist an individual in benefiting from or participating in Creighton's educational programs and activities.
Examples of Supportive Measures include the following. This list is not exhaustive but is representative of ways in which the University can support an individual during the formal grievance process.
- Referral to counseling and/or other healthcare services
- Referral to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for employees
- Referral to community-based service providers
- Academic support, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments
- Education to the institutional community and/or community subgroup(s)
- Class schedule modifications, withdrawals, or leaves of absence
- Providing campus safety escorts
- Implementing contact limitations (contact restrictions) between the parties
- Altering campus housing assignment(s)
- Altering work arrangements for employees or student-employees
- Referrals for legal assistance
- Visa and immigration assistance
- Student financial aid counseling
- Providing transportation assistance
- Safety planning
- Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus
- Campus ban and bar orders
- Timely warnings
- Any other actions deemed appropriate by the Office of Title IX and Civil Rights Compliance or another campus administrator
In the event the Executive Director for the Office of Title IX and Civil Rights Compliance determines that an individual has violated this policy, the University reserves the right to impose differing sanctions, depending on the severity and/or pervasiveness of the violation. In determining appropriate sanction(s), the University will consider the concerns and rights of both the reporting party and the responding party and must examine and consider a number of factors, including, but not limited to: 1) level of risk or harm to the community; 2) the nature and seriousness of the offense; 3) apparent pattern of conduct including previous violations of this policy 4) motivation underlying the responding party’s behavior; and 5) cooperation with the investigation. A sanction, or a combination of sanctions may be imposed upon any member of the University community found to have violated this policy.
Sanctions will be implemented immediately following the decision of the Executive Director and will be in effect during the appeal period.
For a complete list of possible sanctions, please see the Non-Discrimination Policy 2.1.25 or the Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy 2.1.35.
Once the investigation is completed, the decision maker will determine whether the evidence suggests it is more likely than not that the policy has been violated. The decision may be appealed by both the reporting party and the responding party.
A written appeal must be filed with the Appeal Officer within five (5) working days of the decision. The deadline by which an appeal must be filed will be communicated in the decision letter. Failure to file an appeal by the deadline means the original decision becomes final.
The Appealing party's written appeal must be based on one or more of the following three grounds:
- Significant Procedural Error: A procedural error occurred during the investigation that significantly impacted the outcome of the investigation as it applies to the Appealing party (e.g., major deviation from established procedures). A description of the procedural error and its impact on the outcome of the case must be included in the written appeal.
- New information: New information that becomes known or available that was not available or known to the Appealing party during the investigation and that could significantly impact the decision maker's findings. Information that was known to the Appealing party during the investigation but which the Appealing party chose not to present to the investigative team is not considered to be new information. A summary of the alleged new evidence and its potential impact on the investigation findings must be included in the written appeal.
- Bias or Conflict of Interest: The Title IX Coordinator, Investigator, and/or Decision Maker had a conflict of interest or bias affecting the outcome: for or against Complainants or Respondents Generally; or for or against the Complainant or Respondent specifically.
For a complete explanation of the appeals process, please see Policy 2.1.25 or Policy 2.1.35.