Investigation and Hearing Process
When Texas Southern University, Office of Title IX is made aware of reports of prohibited conduct. Individuals impacted can expect to receive an outreach email with information about the University’s available options and support measures. When complaints regarding prohibited conduct are received, the Title IX Coordinator will conduct an initial assessment to determine whether the complaint constitutes prohibited conduct under the University Policies, if determined to be prohibited conduct, an investigation will commence. The Complainant and Respondent shall receive a Notice of Allegations advising them the Office of Title IX will commence a formal investigation.
Timeline. The Office of Title IX aims to complete investigations within reasonably prompt time frames, typically within sixty (60) calendar days from receipt of a formal complaint. There may come times when the Office of Title IX has good cause to extend the timeline for an investigation and when that occurs, the Office of Title IX will notify the Complainant and Respondent explaining the reason for the extension.
Investigation. Investigations will be conducted in a thorough and impartial manner. The Office of Title IX will attempt to interview the Complainant, Respondent, and Relevant Witnesses in a discrete and confidential manner. Disclosure of facts and allegations will be limited to what is reasonably necessary to complete a fair and thorough investigation. Complainant and Respondent may bring an advisor of their choice to interviews or related meetings.
Informal Resolution. Subject to the consent of the Complainant and Respondent and approval of the Title IX Coordinator, informal resolution may be used when a formal complaint has been filed, except in matters involving student Complainants and University employees. The Involuntary Resolution process is a voluntary, remedies-based process designed to provide the Complainant and Respondent with an option to resolve the disputed matter in lieu of the formal grievance process.
Collecting Information Relevant to the Case. The Office of Title IX will make every attempt to gather relevant documents and information relevant to the allegations. The Office of Title IX will not access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use a Complainant or Respondent’s records maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or recognized professional in connection with the treatment of the Complainant or Respondent, unless voluntary written consent is given to the Office of Title IX.
Prior to completion of the investigative report, the University will make available for inspection to the Complainant and Respondent an electronic or hard copy of the investigation file. Complainant and Respondent will have ten (10) days to submit a written response. The Office of Title IX will draft an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence and send to the Complainant, Complainant’s advisor, Respondent, and Respondent’s advisor ten (10) days prior to the hearing.
Hearing. A live hearing will be held in accordance with University policy. A trained Decision Maker who is not the Title IX Coordinator or Investigator will be assigned. The standard of evidence will be a preponderance of evidence, which means that it is more likely than not, based on all the reasonable evidence presented, that Respondent violated the University policy.
Retaliation Prohibited. The University will not tolerate retaliation against those who make reports or participates in the investigatory or adjudicatory process. Retaliation includes but is not limited to, any adverse employment or educational action taken for making a report or otherwise participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under University Policy.