After the Investigation concludes, the Formal Process moves to a Hearing. These FAQs walk you through that phase of the process.
What does the Decision Maker receive before the Hearing?
The Decision Maker will be provided with the Final Investigation Report (FIR) and all evidence collected by the Investigator.
Why is the Hearing necessary?
It gives each party the opportunity to address the Decision Maker directly and allows for cross-examinations of the opposing party.
Who will be in contact about the details of the Hearing?
The Title IX Office will be in charge of providing the parties with information about the Hearing.
What is a pre-Hearing conference?
A virtual meeting to make sure everyone understands what is going to happen in the Hearing process. The pre-Hearing Conference will include both parties, their Advisors, and the Decision Maker. The Decision Maker will lead the conference, but someone from the Title IX Office will usually be present. During the Conference, the Decision Maker will go over the rules and the process while also working with the Complainant and Respondent to decide which witnesses are needed for the Hearing. We try to have everyone together at once, but if scheduling does not allow we may have the meetings be separate.
How and when will the Decision Maker present the verdict?
The Decision Maker will send a written letter to the parties within 7-10 days of the Hearing.
When will the Hearing be scheduled?
After the Investigator’s Report is sent to the parties the Title IX Office will work to schedule the Hearing. The Title IX Office will try to conduct the Hearing at least 10 business days after the issuance date for the Final Investigation Report (FIR), since both parties get 10 days to write a written response to the Investigation Report. The Hearing is dependent on the availability of the participants and their Advisors.
What happens if the Hearing does not happen before the end of spring semester?
The Hearing can be held over the summer.
- What if the Respondent is graduating?
A hold will be placed on the Respondent’s degree and/or official transcript.
- What happens with graduation and the declaration of degrees?
If the Complaint comes to the Title IX Office anytime during the fall or spring semester before the last day of classes then the degree is put on hold. If the Investigation is brought to the Title IX Office after the last day of classes then the degree is up for revocation.
- What is an absent special circumstance?
That the decided sanction still stands, but the Respondent is able to partake in Final Exercises/Ceremonies.
Can the Hearing be held virtually?
All Hearings are being held virtually from here on out.
What happens if one party is not present for the Hearing?
Although parties are expected to be present, they are not required to be present. The Hearing will proceed and appropriate remedies and sanctions may be imposed.
Who is able to conduct Direct Examinations?
Only the Decision Maker can conduct Direct Examinations.
Who can conduct cross-examinations?
The Advisors, under the discretion of the Decision Maker where they see questions as relevant for evidence and not about the individual's character, but rather for seeing if the policy was violated.
Will new evidence offered at the Hearing be considered?
Unless agreed upon by the Decision Maker for good cause, new evidence will not be considered at the Hearing.
Is the Hearing recorded?
Yes, an audio or audiovisual recording or transcript will be created for each Hearing and made available to the parties for inspection and review.
What determinations can be made by the Decision Maker?
The Decision Maker may deem that:
- Additional investigative steps should be taken.
They did not find sufficient evidence, but still determined remedies appropriate for the case.
They found sufficient evidence to determine the Responsibility by a Preponderance of the Evidence, therefore determining appropriate sanctions.
How are sanctions and remedies determined?
Based on the severity, persistence, and pervasiveness of the Prohibited Conduct, as well as the degree of violence, the impact on the Complainant, prior misconduct by the Respondent, if the Respondent accepted responsibility, prior University precedent, etc.
What may the disciplinary sanctions look like for a student who violated the University's Standards of Conduct?
Examples of disciplinary sanctions are expulsion, suspension, suspension held in abeyance (suspension enforced if another violation occurs), disciplinary probation, reprimand, and warning notice, which will all be documented on your record.
What are possible remedies to be assigned by the Decision Maker?
A No Contact Directive (NCD), reimbursement for counseling and/or other medical expenses in relation to the Title IX Prohibited Conduct, academic/housing/employment modifications, increased security, educational and/or training programs for the Respondent, restitution, informal/formal coaching, withholding of diploma, revocation of degree, organizational sanctions, a combination of remedies, or tailor fit remedies on a case by case basis.
What are the remedies for class accommodations and how do they work?
If the verdict states that the Respondent committed Title IX Prohibited Conduct then class accommodations will prioritize the Complainant. This can include removal of the Respondent from a class as well as the Complainant getting to register for classes first. Additionally, the Student Safety & Support Team (SS&ST) can reach out to professors for extensions on class deadlines for individuals involved in a Title IX Investigation process.
What is a No Contact Directive (NCD)?
A Title IX No Contact Directive (NCD) is an administrative measure taken to ensure an identified party (Complainant or Respondent) has no contact, directly or indirectly with another identified party following a report of Prohibited Conduct or a finding of a violation of the University's Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence (Sexual Misconduct Policy). Students who have interpersonal conflicts that do not rise to the level of concerns under Title IX will not be granted NCDs, but instead will be offered other support from University resources to resolve such conflicts.
What is "contact" under a No Contact Directive (NCD)?
Contact includes, but is not limited to, in-person contact, telephone calls, email, texts and other forms of electronic communication, social media-based messages or postings, and third-party communications including communication through the use of proxies (using someone else to communicate for you).
Does a No Contact Directive (NCD) burden one party over another?
As a supportive measure No Contact Directives (NCDs) are mutual, but at the end of the case the burden can be placed on the responsible party alongside other remedies/sanctions.
Does the No Contact Directive (NCD) mean Complainant and Respondent are not permitted to be present in the same location?
No. The No Contact Directive (NCD) prohibits one party, either Complainant or Respondent from contacting the other party. It generally does not restrict an individual's movement around Grounds or prevent the individual from being in the same University building or space as the other party. If such restrictions are deemed necessary, the NCD will clearly outline such restrictions. Prior to imposing any restrictions, the University looks to modify course schedules, work schedules, and housing assignments to minimize contact between the parties. When restrictions are imposed, the University looks to impose the least restrictive measure necessary (e.g., barring one party from entering the other party's residence hall or a University building during times when only one party has class or practice) to ensure a safe environment and minimize conflicts.
Who do I contact if I believe that a Title IX No Contact Directive (NCD) has been violated?
What happens if it is reported that a No Contact Directive (NCD) has been violated?
The Title IX Office will conduct an expedited Investigation to determine whether it is more likely than not (the Preponderance of the Evidence Standard) that the No Contact Directive (NCD) was violated, giving both parties an opportunity to provide relevant information before a determination is made. If a violation is determined, consequences will be imposed by the Title IX Office and may include a range of sanctions based upon the nature of the violation, such as increased restrictions or disciplinary action. A Notice of Investigation also may be amended to include a potential violation of a NCD.
- What does this mean?
If a No Contact Directive (NCD) is violated during a Title IX Investigation, the violation of the directive can be added to the Violation of Conduct in the Investigation under Standard 12 of the University Judiciary Committee (UJC).
Can you appeal a No Contact Directive (NCD)?
No, you cannot appeal a No Contact Directive (NCD), as it is final.
Do No Contact Directives (NCDs) apply to any location?
No, No Contact Directives (NCDs) only apply on-Grounds or in University designated academic locations. If an individual wants something that applies to all locations they have to go to court and receive a Civil Protective Order from a judge.
What is a Protective Order?
A Protective Order, also known as a restraining order, is an order put in place by a judge to protect an individual’s safety in a situation involving alleged domestic violence, child abuse, assault, harassment, stalking, or sexual assault. For more information on Protective Orders in Virginia click here.
What if I feel unsafe on-Grounds?
If you believe you are in immediate danger on or off Grounds, call 911. Individuals who feel unsafe and wish to have no contact with another party off-Grounds but who are not in immediate danger are strongly encouraged to contact local law enforcement about options, such as obtaining a Protective Order or other safety planning. The University Police Department (UPD) can assist a student with contacting the appropriate law enforcement agency. Contact UPD at (434) 924-7166.
How is the final decision regarding responsibility made?
The Preponderance of the Evidence Standard is applied here as well. The Decision Maker will take all the evidence into account when determining the Verdict.
How long will it be to receive a Written Determination of the decision?
No more than 10 business days unless there is good cause for it to be longer. The Determination will be sent to both parties.
What will the Determination include?
The allegation(s), the procedure from the Formal Complaint through the decision, findings to support the Determination, case Conclusions (if the Respondent is guilty of a policy violation), a description of the impact/mitigation which influenced any sanction/remedies, statement/rationale for the result of each allegation, and procedure for Appeals.
When do disciplinary sanctions go into effect?
When the result of an Appeal is determined, if filed, or on the date that the Appeal would no longer be considered timely.
Who is the Appeal Officer for students?
The Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Student Affairs Officer or their designee.
What are the bases for an Appeal?
Procedural irregularity, new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time that the Written Determination was made, the Title IX Office/Investigator(s)/Decision Maker had bias or an actual conflict of interest for or against Complainant/Respondents generally or individually, or inappropriate disciplinary sanction.
What is the timeline to submit an Appeal?
An Appeal must be submitted within five business days of receipt of the Written Determination from the Decision Maker.
Can you submit new evidence or information in the Appeal Process?
Unless the appeal is for new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of Written Determination then new evidence is prohibited. Additionally, no hearing or interviews will be held during this process.
When will parties hear back from the Appeals Office?
The Appeals Office will Issue a Determination within 10 business days of receiving the Appeal Packet unless a request is made to the Title IX Office with good cause. The Determination will be provided to the Title IX Office who will then issue the Determination to both parties.
What will the process look like when a Formal Complaint is issued against an employee?
The process will look the same as it would for a student to student case, however a non-student Employee Respondent in a Formal Complaint may be placed on administrative leave during the pendency of the Grievance Process. Another appropriate modification is a professor still being eligible to teach but not being able to advise a graduate student or hold private office hours. In the case of a coach, private meetings with players/students may be prohibited.
Can an employee Respondent partake in an Informal Resolution Process?
No, if an employee is accused of Title IX or Sexual and Gender-Based Prohibited Conduct then they are required to go through the Formal Resolution Process, as an Informal Process is not offered here.
What should I do if I believe I am being retaliated against as an employee?
We encourage you to contact the Title IX Office if you believe you are experiencing retaliation. Employees may also contact their supervisor or Human Resources. Contact the Title IX Office at (434) 297-7988 or [email protected].
What may the disciplinary sanctions look like for an employee who violated the University's Standards of Conduct?
Termination of employment, suspension, demotion, removal of administrative appointment, transfer of position, progressive disciplinary action, informal or formal coaching, training/education, or employment modifications.
Will the sanctions imposed upon an employee be recorded in their file?
Yes, for an employee any sanction or combination of sanctions imposed upon a Respondent will be documented in the Respondent’s personnel file.
Who are the different Appeals Officers for different types of Respondents?
It is the Executive Vice President or their designee.
- Academic Faculty
It is the Executive Vice President or their designee.
- Staff Member in the Academic Division
It is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer or their designee.
- Staff Member in the Medical Center
It is the Executive Vice President for Health Affairs or their designee.