Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence
To outline the procedures for the handling of sexual harassment and sexual violence at the University of Kansas
Staff, faculty and students.
Pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681, et seq. and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the University prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence, in University programs and activities. In enacting this procedure the University also references and relies on definitions and its legal obligations under the Violence Against Women Act, including the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, 42 U. S. C. § 13925, Section 304.
The University of Kansas Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Procedure provides information for members of the University community regarding how to report incidents of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence, including domestic violence, dating (intimate partner) violence, and stalking, how the University handles and investigates such incidents, and other information and resources for those impacted by Sexual Harassment or Sexual Violence. The University’s policies prohibiting sexual harassment and discrimination and this Procedure shall apply to any allegation of Sexual Harassment against any member of the University community, including those visiting our campus.
Consistent with University policy, as used in this procedure, the term “sexual harassment” encompasses all forms of sexual assault and sexual violence, domestic violence, dating (intimate partner) violence, and stalking.
- “Burden of Proof” in investigating and adjudicating violations of the University’s Sexual Harassment policy the preponderance of the evidence standard is used. The preponderance of the evidence means the fact in dispute is more likely than not to be true.
- “Coercion” is the application of unreasonable pressure for sexual access.
- “Complainant” is the person bringing the complaint or making the allegation of sexual harassment.
- "Consent” means words or actions that show an active, knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. It is the responsibility of the initiator, or the person who wants to engage in the specific sexual activity to make sure that the initiator has consent. Consent cannot be gained by force, by ignoring or acting without regard to the objections of another, or by taking advantage of the Incapacitation of another, where the accused knows or reasonably should have known of such Incapacitation. For example, a person who is intoxicated may not be capable of giving consent. Consent is also absent when the activity in question exceeds the scope of consent previously given or when the person from whom consent is sought is deemed incapable of giving consent under the law of the State of Kansas. A person always has the right to revoke Consent at any time during a sexual act. Failure to say “no” does not imply consent.
- “Dating Violence” means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purpose of this definition-
Dating Violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
- “Domestic Violence” means a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed--
- By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
- By a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
- By a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
- By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; or
- By any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
- “Force” means physical force, threat, intimidation or coercion.
- “Incapacitation” means the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments. Where alcohol and/or drugs are involved, incapacitation is defined with respect to how the alcohol or drugs consumed impact a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make fully informed judgments.
- “Intimate Partner Violence” means violence or abuse by a person in an intimate relationship with another. The term “intimate partner violence” is defined to mean any physical, sexual, or psychological harm against an individual by a current or former partner or spouse of the individual. It would include stalking, dating violence, sexual violence, or domestic violence.
- “IOA” means the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access.
- “Respondent” is the person accused of violating the University’s Sexual Harassment policy.
- “Sexual Harassment” means behavior, including physical contact, advances, and comments in person, through an intermediary, and/or via phone, text message, email, social media, or other electronic medium, that is unwelcome; based on sex or gender stereotypes; and is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a person’s academic performance, employment or equal opportunity to participate in or benefit from University programs or activities or by creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment. Sexual Harassment may include but is not limited to:
- unwelcome efforts to develop a romantic or sexual relationship;
- unwelcome commentary about an individual’s body or sexual activities;
- threatening to engage in the commission of an unwelcome sexual act with another person;
- stalking or cyberstalking;
- engaging in indecent exposure; voyeurism, or other invasion of personal privacy;
- unwelcome physical touching or closeness;
- unwelcome jokes or teasing of a sexual nature or based upon gender or sex stereotypes;
- domestic violence or dating violence; and
- sexual violence, as defined below.
Title IX, Title VII and University Policy prohibit gender-based harassment, which may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex- stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
- “Sexual Violence” means any physical act which is sexual in nature that is committed by force or without the full and informed consent of all persons involved. Sexual violence may include but is not limited to rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual exploitation, stalking and forms of domestic/dating violence. Sexual violence can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Sexual violence can be committed by anyone, and it can occur between anyone.
- “Stalking” means as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that is unwelcome and would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
- “Student” means all persons enrolled at the Lawrence and/or Edwards campuses, either full time or part time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies, as well as non-degree students. This also includes individuals who confirm their intent to enroll in programs, those attending orientation sessions, and those who were enrolled at the date of an alleged incident.
Persons who withdraw after allegedly violating the student code or who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the university are considered “students.”
- “Title IX Coordinator” means the individual designated by the University to coordinate the University’s compliance with Title IX, including overseeing all Sexual Harassment complaints and identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems that arise during the review of such complaints, and the Title IX Coordinator's designee. The University has designated the Executive Director of IOA as the University’s Title IX Coordinator. References to actions that may be taken by the Title IX Coordinator may be undertaken by the Title IX Coordinator or designee (e.g., a trained investigator).
- “University” means the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and all units that report to it.
- “Vice Provost for Student Affairs” means the Vice Provost for Student Affairs (VPSA) and designee.
To report Sexual Harassment, including Sexual Violence:
- In cases of immediate danger or in an emergency, call 911.
- In matters of sexual violence or when a crime may have been committed on campus, call the KU Office of Public Safety at 785-864-5900. For crimes that have been committed off campus contact the Lawrence Police Department (non- emergency calls 785-830-7400), or, if outside Lawrence, the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction.
- Report all sexual harassment, including sexual violence, to the Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access (Title IX Coordinator) at 785-864-6414 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You will find information and support through the Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity at 785-864-3552.
Sexual Harassment may also be reported outside of the University to:
- Kansas Human Rights Commission 785-296-3206
- Office of Civil Rights (Region VII) in the U.S. Department of Education (Students) 816-268-0550
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, St, Louis District (Employees) 1-800-669-4000
Who may report incidents of Sexual Harassment?
Reporting. Any person taking courses at the University, attending University programs, using University facilities, working at or for the University, or participating in University-sponsored activities may file a complaint of Sexual Harassment against a member of the University community; including, any employees (faculty and staff), students, affiliates, volunteers, vendors, contractors or guests of the University.
Mandatory Reporting. All KU employees are required to report incidents of Sexual Harassment, including Sexual Violence, to the Executive Director of IOA, KU’s Title IX Coordinator, at 785-864-6414 or email@example.com.
When should a complaint be made?
Timing. The University is committed to providing a prompt and equitable resolution to Sexual Harassment complaints. Members of the University community are encouraged to submit complaints of Sexual Harassment as soon as possible, preferably within six months of the incident or event that is the subject of the complaint. Delay in reporting an incident of Sexual
Harassment may make it more difficult to secure evidence and witnesses to the incident, making it more difficult for the University to address the complaint. Delay in bringing a complaint also limits the University’s ability to stop recurrence of the harassment and take interim steps to ensure the safety and well-being of the victim, complainant, and the University community.
What will happen to me if I make a complaint?
No Retaliation. University policy prohibits retaliation against a complainant and all persons cooperating in the investigation of an allegation of Sexual Harassment and/or any complaint of discrimination. Retaliation includes any harassment, intimidation, exclusion/isolation, threats or adverse action against any individual or their associates as a result of participation in a complaint of Sexual Harassment. Retaliatory behavior is not limited to behavior by the accused, and covers behavior by associates, as well as third parties. Retaliation should be reported to the Executive Director of IOA as the Title IX Coordinator, and is considered an independent allegation that may lead to additional interim measures or disciplinary action.
What if I’ve already filed a criminal complaint with the police?
Criminal Proceedings. Sexual Harassment may be both a violation of University policy and law, and as such, the University encourages complainants to report alleged Sexual Harassment, including Sexual Violence and Intimate Partner Violence, to local law enforcement agencies, as well as to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, the Executive Director of IOA. Because the standard of proof required in criminal law is different from the standard of proof required by University policy, the results of a criminal investigation is not determinative of whether Sexual Harassment has occurred for purposes of considering a violation of University policy.
Allegations in a criminal case must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. On the other hand, a University investigation considers whether the conduct is more likely than not to have occurred (the preponderance of the evidence standard). In addition, the criminal investigation will not take the place of a University investigation, although such criminal investigations may supplement a University investigation. A complainant has the option to pursue a criminal complaint, a complaint with the University, or both. Here are some of the differences between the criminal process and the University’s administrative process:
Police Report - Criminal Process IOA Report - Administrative Process Difference Prosecutors must prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt. IOA considers whether it is more likely than not that the behavior occurred (preponderance of the evidence). The criminal standard is harder to prove than the administrative standard. If an individual is found guilty, the individual will be subject to criminal penalties. If an individual is found responsible, the individual will be subject to University disciplinary action and/or other sanctions. IOA can take action to protect you on campus. Criminal cases ordinarily take months to years to resolve. IOA can take action quickly (see below) and complete investigations in 60 days, except in extenuating circumstances. The IOA process is ordinarily quicker than the criminal process. A court can issue a protective order. IOA can:
- Issue a "No Contact" directive to a person to prohibit them from direct and indirect contact with you;
- Implement interim measures (e.g., change a class schedule or provide alternative parking, living arrangements, academic support services, an escort on campus, etc.); and
- Enforce a court order on campus.
IOA can provide assistance on campus to prevent interference with your participation in KU's programs and activities, including access to your education.
KU cannot take action to assist you if you do no make a report. Please contact IOA.
When a complaint is made with the University, the Title IX Coordinator (Executive Director of IOA) will ask the complainant whether the complainant has filed or intends to file a criminal complaint. The Title IX Coordinator will coordinate with local law enforcement and the Douglas County Prosecutor’s Office regarding the investigation and the District Attorney’s decision to prosecute the criminal complaint and maintain records of such communications, including dates for stages in the prosecution. However, the University will not wait for the conclusion of a criminal investigation to begin conducting its own independent investigation, or to take interim measures to protect the complainant, or when necessary, to initiate hearing procedures as outlined below.
Can I make a report anonymously?
Confidential Reporting. The University’s Title IX Coordinator will handle all reports of Sexual Harassment, including Sexual Violence, discreetly, but cannot guarantee anonymity because KU has a legal obligation to investigate instances of Sexual Harassment and to maintain a safe campus environment, free from harassment and discrimination.
You may request to file a complaint anonymously or ask that the complaint not be pursued. If you make such a request, KU will take all reasonable steps to meet its obligations to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with your request. KU will work with you to pursue steps to limit the effects of the alleged harassment or violence and to prevent its recurrence.
However, if you insist that your name or other identifiable information be withheld and not disclosed to the alleged perpetrator during the course of the investigation, KU’s ability to investigate and respond may be limited. Because of its obligations under the law, KU will not be able to honor all requests for confidentiality or all requests that the complaint not be pursued.
You should know that all investigations conducted by IOA are done with the strictest of confidences and only those University officials that need to know are apprised of the investigation. Also, if you report an issue of sexual violence or sexual harassment as the witness to such events and ask that your name be withheld IOA may be able to honor that request and not reveal your identity as the person filing the complaint.
Crime Reporting. Information about a crime may be reported to the Office of Public Safety at (785) 864-5900. In the event of an emergency, including when a crime is in progress, call 911. University employees are required to report crime in accordance with the University’s Crime Reporting Policy, including informing the Executive Director of Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access as the Title IX Coordinator, when they have been told of an incident of possible Sexual Harassment (including Sexual Violence).
Anonymous reporting of crime is allowed at the University. If, for a personal reason, a person does not wish to report an on-campus crime or suspected crime to the police, that person may anonymously report it to the Crime Stoppers Program operated by the Office of Public Safety (785-864-8888). Additionally, crime can be anonymously reported though the Crime Statistics Report Form found on the VPSA web site: http://www.VPSA.ku.edu/cleryact/csrform.shtml.
Crimes Disclosed to Pastoral, Health Care and/ or Mental Health Counselor. To be exempt from disclosing reported offenses, pastoral or professional counselors must be acting in their roles of pastoral or professional counselors. This exemption does not relieve counselors of the duty to exercise reasonable care to protect a foreseeable victim from danger posed by the person being counseled or to make reports mandated by law. When speaking to a victim or witness to a crime, counselors are encouraged to inform the individual to report the crime to the police.
Please see the attached Exhibit entitled Reports to Health Care/Pastoral Counselors. While pastoral, health care and mental health counselors may be exempt from reporting the identity of a particular student that has asked to not be identified, the University has an obligation to ensure all students know who to report to, especially if later they change their mind. The health care or pastoral counselor can also seek the student’s permission to alert authorities to events and general descriptions of the facts, without divulging the name of the student, in the event there may be a campus safety issue or there are trends or areas of concern that should be addressed at an Institutional level.
I may have been in violation of the law or University policy when the incident occurred. Should I still report the Sexual Harassment?
Yes. The University’s primary concern is for the safety of its students and the members of the University’s community. Any rules violations will be addressed separately from the Sexual Harassment allegation. The use of alcohol or drugs never makes the victim at fault for Sexual Harassment. In addition, the University’s Amnesty Policy provides amnesty for students who seek help for incidences or report incidents arising out of alcohol or drug use.
What information should I provide when I make a complaint?
When filing a complaint, you should provide as much detail as possible regarding the nature of the complaint and any witnesses. The more information that you can provide, the better equipped the University will be to address the complaint. The University asks you provide the following information to the extent possible:
- Name and contact information (address, telephone, e-mail) for the complainant;
- Name of person(s) directly responsible for the alleged discrimination or retaliation;
- Date(s), time(s), and place(s) of the alleged violation(s);
- Nature of the alleged violation(s); i.e. race, sex, disability discrimination or retaliation, etc.;
- Detailed description of the specific conduct that is the basis of the alleged violation(s);
- Copies of any documents or other tangible items pertaining to the alleged violation(s) (for example text messages, Twitter feeds, Facebook messaging etc.).
- Names and contact information for any witnesses to the alleged violation(s); and
- Any other relevant information.
You should not be dissuaded from filing a complaint because you do not have the above information. The University will evaluate and investigate all complaints based upon the information that is provided. It may help for you to journal at or near the time of the event. This documentation can be helpful in recording memories as they come to you and noting how the event has affected you.
What happens after I make a complaint?
The University’s Title IX Coordinator, with other designated staff in IOA, will investigate the complaint and issue findings and recommendations based upon the investigation, as set forth in the Discrimination Complaint Resolution Process and the Complaint Handling and Resolution Process, which is summarized and explained below.
- Discrimination Complaint Handling and Resolution Process
Sexual Harassment complaints will be handled in accordance with the University’s Discrimination Complaint Resolution Process (DCRP) and the process outlined below. These processes should be read to be consistent with one another and in the event of a direct conflict between the two, the Discrimination Complaint Resolution Process shall govern. The process for resolving Sexual Harassment complaints may include some or all of the following actions: informal inquiry and discussion, disciplinary action, or other appropriate action.
- Complaint Receipt and Evaluation.
IOA as the Title IX Coordinator will provide the complainant with an acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint within seven (7) working days. IOA will provide information in a meeting with the Complainant or the acknowledgement, including:
- The web address where information regarding the Discrimination Complaint Resolution Process and Sexual Harassment Procedure may be found and/or information about how to obtain hard copies of the same;
- A notification of the complainant’s right to file a criminal complaint with a law enforcement agency in addition to following the University process, in the event of a crime;
- A request that the complainant notify IOA as the Title IX Coordinator if the complainant has filed a criminal complaint;
- A notification that the University will not wait for the conclusion of any criminal proceeding to begin its investigation or take interim action to protect the complainant and members of the University community; and
- A notification of the complainant’s right to identify witnesses and other evidence.
The IOA as the Title IX Coordinator shall schedule an intake meeting with the complainant to conduct an initial evaluation of the complaint and to determine the appropriate investigatory action required. Additional information regarding the intake meeting is available below.
The Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access will open a complaint when there is sufficient information to demonstrate that the complaint falls within the University’s jurisdiction (i.e., if assumed to be true and viewed in the light most favorably to the complainant, the allegations would be a violation of University policy).
IOA will act as neutral fact finders in conducting the investigation and will take the following steps, although not necessarily in the order outlined below:
- Intake Meeting with Complainant.
Upon receipt of any allegation of Sexual Harassment, IOA staff as the Title IX Coordinator will schedule an individual intake meeting with the complainant in order to provide the complainant a general understanding of this Procedure and to identify forms of support or interim measures available to the complainant.
During the meeting, IOA staff as the Title IX Coordinator will provide the complainant with information regarding University and community resources, an overview of the investigation process, and ensure that the complainant has access to applicable University policy and procedure so that the complainant is aware of the complainant's rights under the same. The Title IX Coordinator will also discuss whether interim measures should be put in place to ensure access for the complainant.Interim measures will be determined on a case by case basis and may include one or more of the following measures:
- Adjustments to academic workload (including extending deadlines or incompletes)
- Adjustment to work schedules
- Change in housing assignments extracurricular activities, housing, and/or on-campus dining arrangements.
- Escorts to and from classes
- Skyping or other Electronic Means of Class Participation
- Changing Class Schedules
- No Contact Directives
- Separate Exam times and locations
The above referenced list is not exhaustive but merely exemplary of the some of the Interim Measures the University may offer in a particular situation.
The Title IX Coordinator will also seek to determine how the complainant wishes to proceed if the complainant does not wish to pursue Formal or Informal Resolution and/or requests that the complaint remain anonymous. A complainant’s desire to remain anonymous may limit the University’s ability to respond; however, the University is required to investigate and take reasonable action in response to known allegations of sexual harassment. The complainant’s request will be balanced against the University’s need to provide a learning and working environment for members of the University community that is reasonably safe and non- discriminatory. Factors that will influence the University action include: the amount of sexual violence involved, the extent of the physical injuries involved, whether there are more than one injured party or complainant, the extent to which there have been any threats or intimidation associated with filing a complaint, whether there are additional complaints of sexual harassment against the same respondent; the University’s ability to bring the complaint forward absent the involvement of the complainant.In all circumstances, the Title IX Coordinator reserves the authority to issue a "No-Contact" Directive and take other interim measures necessary to protect the parties and the University community. After the initial intake meeting with the complainant, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly make a determination on how to proceed with complaint resolution.
- Interim Measures.
In all complaints of alleged Sexual Harassment, regardless of whether the complainant agrees to participate in the process, the University will take immediate, appropriate interim action before the outcome of the investigation and/or hearing to stop, remedy or prevent recurrence of the alleged harassment. The University will work to ensure that any adjustments minimize the burden on the complainant’s educational program. The University may take interim action at any time and is not required to wait to take such action until after the Intake Meeting. When Sexual Violence has been alleged, the University will promptly issue a written “No Contact” Directive to all parties to the allegation. Depending on the specific nature of the allegation, interim action may include but is not limited to the following:
- Imposition of a No-Contact Directive (a directive that the parties refrain from having contact with one another, their families, and/or their personal possessions, directly or through proxies, whether in person or via electronic means, pending the investigation and, if applicable, the hearing);
- Provision of counseling services;
- Provision of medical services;
- Provision of academic support services, like tutoring
- Provision of alterations to the student’s class schedule to ensure the complainant and accused student do not attend the same classes;
- Moving the reporting student or accused student to a different residence hall; and
- Provision of an escort to ensure the student can move safely between classes and University activities.
- Reassignment of job duties or supervisor
- Relocation of work site
- Administrative leave with pay
- In order to protect the University community, the University may also take action to remove an individual alleged to have engaged in Sexual Harassment from the community through an interim suspension, cancellation of a housing contract, administrative leave with or without pay, or other means.
- Preliminary Investigation.
If the Complainant refuses to participate in the resolution process and/or the University has insufficient information to identify the Respondent or move forward with a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator shall conduct a preliminary investigation, based upon available information, to attempt to gather sufficient information to move forward with the complaint. The Title IX Coordinator will inform the Complainant of the outcome of the preliminary investigation, including whether the Title IX Coordinator was able to gather sufficient facts to open a complaint.
- Notice to Respondent.
The Title IX Coordinator shall provide the respondent with a written statement of the complaint, and the complainant shall be provided a copy of this notification. The notification shall include the web address where information regarding the Discrimination Complaint Resolution Process and Sexual Harassment Procedure may be found and/or information about how to obtain hard copies of the same to ensure that the respondent is aware of the respondent's rights. The notification shall also state that the respondent has the right to identify witnesses and other evidence relating to the complaint.
- Meeting with Respondent.
Respondents may respond to the complaint in person or in writing within a reasonable time, to be determined by the investigators (ordinarily within 10 days). If a respondent chooses not to participate or refuses to answer a complaint, the respondent's nonparticipation will not prevent the investigation from proceeding and could result in a finding based solely on the information provided by the complainant and/or other information gathered during the course of the investigation.
The respondent will be given an opportunity to meet with the Title IX Coordinator (or the Title IX designee, which will in most instances be an investigator with the IOA office) and respond to the allegation.During the meeting, the Title IX Coordinator/Investigator will provide information to the Respondent, including information regarding University and community resources and provide the Respondent with an understanding of this Procedure and the University’s Discrimination Complaint Resolution process. In light of the University’s obligations to promptly resolve complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence, requests for extensions of time to meet or otherwise respond to the complaint will only be granted in extenuating circumstances .Difficulty with scheduling the respondent and/or the respondent's representative will not constitute extenuating circumstances.
- Notice regarding Retaliation.
All parties to a complaint (complainant, respondent, witnesses, and appropriate administrators or supervisors) will be informed that retaliation against any person who files a complaint or any person who participates in the investigation of a complaint is prohibited. Parties will be informed that discussing the complaint may be a form of retaliation in some circumstances. Retaliation may also include contact or attempted contact with the complainant, complainant’s family/friends, and personal possessions, in any means, whether personally, electronically or through a third party. This notice will be provided to all persons at their earliest participation in the complaint resolution process.
In any meeting with the Title IX Coordinator/ Investigators, the parties to the complaint (complainant and the respondent) may bring a representative to the meeting. If the representative is an attorney, the party must notify the Title IX Coordinator/Investigator in writing at least three (3) working days before the meeting date.
- Information relevant to Investigation.
The parties to a complaint (complainant and respondent) have the opportunity to identify witnesses, present witness statements, and any other evidence they believe relevant to resolution of the complaint. The Title IX Coordinator may interview any person who may have information relevant to the complaint, regardless of whether any party identified that person as a witness. The Title IX Coordinator may also review any written materials, e-mails or other media that may provide relevant information regarding the complaint.
- Findings of Investigation.
All findings in the investigation will be by a preponderance of the evidence, which means that the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether the sum of all the evidence shows that it is more likely than not that the respondent violated University policy. Within a reasonable time following the conclusion of the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will provide a closure letter, with a written summary of findings to the respondent and the complainant. In addition, the Title IX Coordinator will provide a written report of the investigation findings and recommendations to the appropriate administrators within the University. The written report shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:
- The name and sex of the complainant, respondent and all witnesses;
- The statement of the allegation, with a description of the incident(s) and the date(s) and time(s) of the incident(s), if known;
- The date the complaint was made;
- A narrative of any interim action taken with respect to the complaint;
- The dates of interviews of the complainant, respondent, and all witnesses;
- Any written statement(s) by the complainant and respondent;
- Information regarding any criminal complaint, including, if applicable, the date the University deferred and resumed its investigation to permit law enforcement an opportunity to investigate the criminal matter; and
- The findings of the investigation and recommendations of disciplinary action, if any.
The University will also maintain a written record of disciplinary and other action taken by the University, if any, in response to the findings; response and action taken by administrators, including interim and permanent action, to address the allegations and findings; and all other written action taken to prevent recurrence of any harassing incident.
- Intake Meeting with Complainant.
Upon conclusion of the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will provide a written report of the investigation findings and recommendations to the appropriate administrators within the University, who will determine the appropriate action to be taken in light of the investigation findings and recommendations.
- Employee, including faculty and staff, or other non-student respondent.
The investigation report shall be provided to the Department of Human Resources and appropriate administrator(s) who are responsible for supervising the respondent. The administrators will have twenty (20) working days from receipt of the investigation findings and recommendations to determine, in consultation with the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access and the Department of Human Resources, an appropriate resolution(s) and sanction(s).Upon making the decision, the administrator(s) will provide written notification of the decision to both the respondent and complainant.
Nothing in this section shall preclude appropriate University administrators from taking adverse employment action against a respondent employee who is also a student at the University. Adverse employment action may be taken against a student irrespective of the VPSA process.
- Student Respondent.
The investigation report regarding a respondent who is a student at the University shall be provided to VPSA and/or designee. When the Title IX Coordinator issues a finding that a student has violated the University’s policy on sexual harassment, the VPSA will evaluate the report for charges under the Student Code of Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct against the student respondent.
Nothing in this section shall preclude appropriate University administrators from taking adverse employment action against a respondent employee who is also a student at the University. Adverse employment action may be taken against a student irrespective of the VPSA process.
- Employee, including faculty and staff, or other non-student respondent.
- Disciplinary Action and Appeals.
- Appeal of a finding that there is no violation of University policy.
Appeal of Finding of no violation of University Policy. If the Title IX coordinator or designee, upon completion of the investigation, finds that there was no discrimination or retaliation and the complainant believes that the finding is in error, then the complainant may appeal that conclusion to the Office of the Provost (Lawrence campus and reporting units) within ten (10) working days of the date of the notice of the investigator's findings. The request for an appeal must be a signed, written document articulating why the investigator's conclusion finding no discrimination or retaliation is erroneous. The administrator responsible for handling appeals will respond to the request for appeal within twenty (20) working days of receiving the appeal. The administrator’s decision on appeal will constitute final agency action and there will be no further appeal within the University.
- Disciplinary action for violation of University Policy.
If formal disciplinary action is imposed as a result of a finding of violation of the University's policy prohibiting sexual harassment, then the following procedures will apply, based upon the respondent’s status with the University:
Faculty member or an unclassified academic staff member. The affected employee may request a hearing before the University Judicial Board or the Faculty Rights Board, as determined by the sanction. (See University Senate Rules and Regulations 6.4.2. and the Handbook for Faculty and Other Unclassified Staff).
Graduate Teaching Assistant. A graduate teaching assistant may request a review in accordance with the Memorandum of Agreement between the University of Kansas, the Kansas Board of Regents and the Kansas Association of Public Employees (representing graduate teaching assistants at the University of Kansas, Lawrence). (See University Senate Rules and Regulations 6.4.16.).
Graduate Research Assistants, Graduate Assistants, and Other Student Employees. Graduate research assistants and other student employees have an opportunity to have a supervisor's decision reviewed by the next-level administrator.
Unclassified Professional Staff Employee. An unclassified professional staff member may request a hearing in accordance with the unclassified professional staff conflict resolution procedures specified in the Handbook for Faculty and Other Unclassified Staff. (See University Senate Rules and Regulations 6.4.15).
University Support Staff Employee. A University Support Staff employee who is not serving a probationary period and has been suspended, demoted, or dismissed as a result of a finding of violation of the University's policies prohibiting discrimination and retaliation may appeal the sanction to the University Disciplinary Action Hearing Board in accordance with the procedures set forth in the University Support Staff Handbook.
Student. A student may request a hearing in accordance with the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities. http://www.policy.ku.edu/student-affairs/non-academic-student-conduct. If a student does not request a hearing, the Vice Provost for Student Affairs will determine the sanction. (See University Senate Rules and Regulations 6.4.9.)
- Appeal of a finding that there is no violation of University policy.
- Additional Information
Resolution Timeframe. The University will strive to complete sexual harassment complaint investigations, including issuance of a report of findings, in as timely and efficient a manner as possible, within sixty (60) days of receipt of a complaint. However, this timeframe may be extended based on factors such as, but not limited to, schedule and availability of witnesses, holidays or semester breaks including summer break, and complexity of the complaint. The Executive Director of IOA shall monitor the progress of all investigations to ensure that complaints are timely investigated under the circumstances. If an investigation cannot be completed within sixty (60) days of receipt of the complaint, then the Title IX Coordinator will notify the complainant and respondent of that fact and provide a timeframe for completing the investigation.
Standard and Burden of Proof. A determination of whether a violation of the University Policy prohibiting Sexual Harassment has occurred shall be by a preponderance of the information. A preponderance of the information is met by demonstrating that it is more likely than not that a violation of the policy has occurred, based upon all of the information reviewed in conjunction with the complaint.
An investigation into a complaint will proceed under a variety of circumstances. For example:
- A complainant, even after contact and follow up with an investigator, fails to describe in sufficient detail conduct that falls within the jurisdiction of IOA in that the facts do not support a belief that there has been discrimination of any nature;
- The conduct alleged in the complaint is not covered by this policy;
- The complaint is untimely;
- The complainant refuses to cooperate with the University's investigation;
- The complainant is anonymous.
If it is determined that the University will not proceed with investigation of a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the complainant (if not anonymous) in writing explaining the reasons why the complaint is not being investigated. The notification letter will include a statement notifying the complainant that the complainant may appeal the determination not to proceed with an investigation of the complaint to the Office of the Provost (Lawrence campus and reporting units) within ten (10) working days of the notice. The request for an appeal must be a signed, written document articulating why the decision to administratively close the complaint without an investigation was in error. The administrator will respond to the request for appeal within twenty (20) working days of receipt of the appeal.If the decision to administratively close the complaint without an investigation is upheld, then that decision will constitute final agency action and there is no further appeal within the University. If the decision to administratively close the complaint without an investigation is overturned, the complaint will be sent back to the Title IX Coordinator for investigation in accordance with this procedure.
Extensions of Time. The Title IX Coordinator will make every reasonable attempt to adhere to the time limits set forth in these procedures. However, it is recognized that circumstances may necessitate an extension of time. Therefore, the Title IX Coordinator may extend the time limits set forth in these procedures.
Abuse of the Complaint Process. The University takes all Sexual Harassment complaints seriously. However, knowingly filing a false complaint is considered serious misconduct and is also subject to sanction. An individual who establishes a pattern of repeatedly filing frivolous complaints that harass colleagues and/or abuse the complaint resolution process may lose the right to file complaints for a specified period of time. On the Lawrence campus, such cases shall be treated in accordance with the provisions of University Senate Rules and Regulations section 6.5.4, Abuse of Grievance Process.
- Complaint Receipt and Evaluation.
- Consent and Incapacitation
As set forth above, the University evaluates consent as follows:
“Consent” means words or actions that show an active, knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. It is the responsibility of the initiator, or the person who wants to engage in the specific sexual activity to make sure that the initiator has consent. Consent cannot be gained by force, by ignoring or acting without regard to the objections of another, or by taking advantage of the Incapacitation of another, where the accused knows or reasonably should have known of such Incapacitation. Consent is also absent when the activity in question exceeds the scope of consent previously given or the person from whom consent is sought is deemed incapable of giving consent under the law of the State of Kansas. A person always has the right to revoke Consent at any time during a sexual act. Failure to say “no” does not imply consent.
IOA evaluate four elements in assessing consent:
- Knowing (e.g., informed)
- Actively and voluntarily given
- Acquired through words or actions
- An agreement to engage in a specific sexual activity (at a specific time and in a specific way)
As set forth above, “Incapacitation” means the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments. Where alcohol and/or drugs are involved, incapacitation is defined with respect to how the alcohol or drugs consumed impacts a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make fully informed judgments.
Both parties must give “informed consent” in a consensual sexual act.Incapacitation means someone is unable to provide informed consent.
Incapacitation is typically the result of alcohol use. Incapacitation is different than intoxication – it has to do with the ability to make decisions, not the blood-alcohol content. Signs that a person may be incapacitated include: vomiting, inability to walk, unconsciousness, blacking-out (lack of conscious awareness), unusual behavior.
If the complainant is incapacitated, IOA determines whether the respondent knew or should have known of the incapacitation. IOA asks, “What would a reasonable person in the respondent’s position have known?” The reasonable person standard does not consider the role of alcohol.
Other considerations – it does not matter whether the complainant’s consumption of alcohol was voluntary or involuntary, incapacitation can nullify verbal consent, and the respondent’s consumption of alcohol does not excuse the behavior.
- Victim Information and Resources
Preservation of Evidence
When an incident has occurred, it is important to preserve any possible evidence for the proof of a criminal offense. Some basic things to know are that for evidence to be collected you must visit a health care provider or an emergency room within 48-72 hours of the assault. The sooner you can be examined the better the evidence that can be gathered. Please store your clothes in paper not plastic bags. Please also refrain from showering, brushing your teeth and hair. You should know a SANE exam typically takes 2 hours. Victims of sexual assault will be provided a CARE BAG upon a SANE examination. The CARE Bags include a change of clothes and emergency toiletry items.
Watkins Student Health Center
The Watkins Student Health Center has a full time Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) nurse on campus during business hours. A SANE nurse is a nurse specifically trained to collect and preserve evidenced in sexual assault cases. If you are in need of SANE nurse during nonbusiness hours, Lawrence Memorial Hospital has several trained qualified SANE nurses.
Campus and Community Resources - Counseling, Mental Health, Legal Consultation or Other Services
Employees in the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, including the Title IX Coordinator, can assist complainants, respondents, and witnesses find emotional support and medical care, both on- and off-campus. The Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity and the Counseling & Psychological Services support students who have experienced Sexual Violence or other sexual offense. Students can also receive medical attention through the Student Health Services.
Legal Services for Students (LSS) is available to provide legal assistance to students.
Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity (ETC)
The ETC focuses on the needs of KU students of all genders. ETC provides consultation, information, and resources to staff, faculty, community members, and individuals at the Lawrence campus, as well as at the Edwards campus by request. Appointments are recommended, but not necessary.
Services are private. ETC facilities are also accessible for individuals with disabilities.
Whether you have a concern, need some assistance, or you’re just not sure where to turn, the ETC has trained staff members that can assist you in discussing options and identifying resources available to you.
Workshops on gender equity, healthy masculinities, and positive relationships are offered to the campus community every semester and are available by request to living groups and student organizations campus groups, organizations and departments. You can contact the ETC at 785-864-3552 or 1565 Irving Hill Road, Burge Union, Room 1040.
Douglas County Legal Aid.
Douglas County Legal Aid may be available to provide legal assistance. 785-864-5564.
The Sexual Trauma & Abuse Care Center in Lawrence has advocates available 24 hours a day/7 days a week who may be contacted by calling 785-841-2345 or 785-843-8985 during business hours. The ETWRC can help coordinate services available both on- and off-campus.
A list of other services available can be found at: www.sexualharassment.ku.edu
As set forth above, persons who have experienced Sexual Harassment or Sexual Violence may request assistance with academic matters, adjustments to working and/or living arrangements, assistance in securing appropriate counseling, or the implementation of other safety measures. To the extent these requests are reasonable and can be accommodated, every effort will be made to do so. IOA, HR, the Office of the VPSA (VPSA), and the Department of Student Housing can assist students in managing academic obligations and adjusting living arrangements. Interim measures should be coordinated through the Title IX Coordinator with IOA.
Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access
153A Carruth-O’Leary Hall
1246 W. Campus Road
Lawrence, KS 66045
03/05/2019: Updated ETC and Contact sections.
06/21/2018: Updated Campus and Applies To sections.
08/31/2016: Updated DLR to 10/03/2015 per HR/Abby King to begin policy review process.
07/12/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.
07/08/2015: Updated contact information for KUMC Director, EOO.
03/06/2015: These procedures were originally articulated on the IOA webpage and were migrated into the Policy Library.