• Home
  • Title IX Resolution Process

Title IX Resolution Process

Procedure
Purpose: 

To outline the procedures for the handling of sexual harassment and sexual violence at the University of Kansas

Applies to: 

Staff, faculty and students.

Campus: 
Edwards
Lawrence
Juniper Gardens
Parsons
Yoder
Policy Statement: 

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination, including harassment and violence, on the basis of sex under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Retaliation for making good faith complaints of prohibited discrimination is also prohibited by University policy. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding Title IX: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Suite 1082, Lawrence, KS, 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY.

I. Definitions

  • Advisor” is an individual who was not a witness or otherwise involved in the allegations of the complaint and acts as a representative for either the complaint or the respondent. An Advisor may be present for any questioning of their “client” during the investigation but is expected to play a passive role. An Advisor (does not have to be the same as during the investigation) also represents each party during the subsequent hearing and participates by questioning the opposing party. The Advisor may also question witnesses during the hearing on behalf of their party. For purposes of the hearing, an Advisor will be appointed by the University if either party does not select an Advisor for themselves. 
  • “Coercion” is the application of unreasonable pressure for sexual access.
  • “Complainant” is the person who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.
  • "Consent” is communicated, ongoing, and mutual. This means consent is gained through 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. Consent to one act does not constitute consent to another act. Consent on a prior occasion does not constitute consent on a subsequent occasion. Silence, lack of resistance, or failure to say “no” does not imply consent.
  • “Dating Violence” is violence committed by a person –
  1. Who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
  2. Where the existence of such a relationship will be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (i) the length of the relationship; (ii) the type of the relationship; and (iii) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  • “Domestic Violence” is felony or misdemeanor crimes 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 Kansas, 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 Kansas.
  • Education Program or Activity” includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the University of Kansas exercises substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs and includes houses located off campus that are owned or controlled by a recognized student organization
  • “Force” means physical force, threat, intimidation, or coercion.
  • “Formal Complaint” is a document filed/signed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a respondent and requesting that the IOA investigate the allegation of sexual harassment.
  • “Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment” is unwelcome conduct (including physical, visual, audible, and electronic conduct) determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person access to the University’s education programs and activities.   

Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment may include, but is not limited to:

  1. Unwelcome efforts to develop a romantic or sexual relationship;
  2. Unwelcome commentary about an individual’s body or sexual activities;
  3. Threatening to engage in the commission of an unwelcome sexual act with another person;
  4. Engaging in indecent exposure, voyeurism, or other invasion of personal privacy;
  5. Unwelcome physical touching or closeness that does not rise to the level of Sexual Assault; and
  6. Unwelcome jokes or teasing of a sexual nature or based upon sex stereotypes, including stereotypes based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

In cases of alleged Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment arising from speech (verbal, written, or electronic) or other forms of expressive activity, the University will interpret and apply the definition of Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment in a manner consistent with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Subject to limited exceptions, the offensiveness of a particular expression made by a student, standing alone, is not a sufficient basis to support a finding of Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment.

The University has a legitimate interest in holding employees (including administrators, faculty, and staff) to a higher standard than others with respect to unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that occurs in the workplace or otherwise pursuant to an employee’s official duties. Therefore, except as stated below, unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex by an employee that occurs in the workplace or otherwise pursuant to the employee’s official duties is prohibited, and may result in disciplinary action, if the conduct is objectively offensive, even if it is not severe or pervasive. In determining the severity of any disciplinary action taken for a violation of this paragraph by a University employee, the University will consider the severity and pervasiveness of the conduct at issue, the impact the conduct had on individuals subject to the conduct, any prior discipline for similar conduct, and any other relevant factors.

Any other provisions of this policy notwithstanding, speech and other forms of expressive activity occurring in an academic or research context will not violate this policy unless the speech or expressive activity lacks a legitimate academic, educational, or research purpose.

  • “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.
  • “IOA” means the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access.
  • “Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment” is an employee of the University conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual contact. 
  • “Report” means any communication to the IOA, by whatever form, of a belief that a violation of Title IX has occurred. A report does not constitute a formal complaint.
  • “Respondent” is the person who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment or retaliation.
  • Sexual Assault: “Sexual assault” includes:[1]
    1. Penetration or attempted penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus by the sexual organ of the other person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. 
    2. Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
    3. Use of an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. An “object” or “instrument” is anything used by the offender other than the offender’s genitalia.
    4. Touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
    5. Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law of the state where the sexual intercourse occurs.
    6. Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent as defined by the law of the state where the sexual intercourse occurs.
  • Sexual Harassment: “Sexual Harassment” is conduct on the basis of sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression) that constitutes Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment, Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking.
  • “Stalking” is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to 1) fear for their safety or the safety of others, or 2) suffer substantial emotional distress.  For the purpose of this definition, the following terms have the described meaning:
  1. Course of Conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties by any action, method, device, or means, follows monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
  2. Reasonable Person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
  3. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
  • “Standard of Proof” in investigating and adjudicating violations under the Title IX Resolution Procedures is the preponderance of the evidence standard. The preponderance of the evidence means the fact in dispute is more likely than not to be true.
  • “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.”
  • “Third Party Reporter” means any individual making a report who is not the complainant in the situation.”
  • “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.  Units include controlled affiliates.
  • “Vice Provost for Student Affairs” means the Vice Provost for Student Affairs (VPSA) and designee.

II. General Provisions

The University of Kansas is committed to resolving Title IX complaints in a timely and effective manner and providing prompt corrective action if a violation of policy is believed to have occurred. The Title IX resolution process is intended to provide effective resolution for complaints of sex based discrimination including sexual harassment as defined in the Sexual Harassment Policy, which includes sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

A. Scope of Policy

The University's Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy extends to educational programs or activities of the University of Kansas and extends to any retaliatory actions by an individual and an individual's associates that may arise as a result of a Title IX complaint made in good faith or otherwise participating in the Title IX resolution process. This policy does not extend to incidents that occur outside of the United States.

For incidents occurring outside of the United States or outside of the University of Kansas educational programs or activities but where an on-campus safety issue has been identified, the Discrimination Complaint Resolution Process will be utilized. For cases involving a course of conduct occurring both on and off campus, the University may proceed under either the Title IX Resolution Process or the Discrimination Complaint Resolution Process.

B. Reporting Sexual Harassment

Any person with knowledge of prohibited sexual harassment, including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking in the University’s employment practices or educational programs or activities may contact the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access. Location: 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Suite 1082, Lawrence, KS 66045-7521.

Reports may be filed via the online reporting form on IOA’s website (www.ioa.ku.edu), by email to ioa@ku.edu, or by phone to 785-864-6414; 711 TTY. All reports through the IOA online reporting form, reports made by email or phone, and reports from third-party reporters, such as mandatory reporters, are not considered formal complaints to the IOA. The IOA will acknowledge receipt of the report within three (3) working days. A person need not have University affiliation to submit a report of discrimination.

C. Supportive Measures

The IOA’s goal at all times is to protect, to the extent possible, individuals’ access to University educational programs and activities. Accordingly, upon receiving a report of sexual harassment, the IOA will offer and implement appropriate supportive measures to the complainant and respondent, as appropriate, before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed.

Such measures will be non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services, including but not limited to a mutual directive to the parties to have no contact with each other (a “No Contact Directive”), changes to living arrangements, changes to class schedules, counseling, campus escort services, and other measures designed to restore or preserve access to the educational programs and activities, protect the safety of all parties and the educational environment, and to deter harassment and retaliation. Such measures will not be unduly burdensome to either party and will not require a fee or charge.

The IOA will implement supportive measures to the extent possible as appropriate and as reasonably available.

The IOA will keep supportive measures confidential to the extent that the confidentiality would not impair the ability of the IOA to provide the supportive measures.

D. Emergency Removal of Students

Upon completion of an individualized safety and risk analysis, the Title IX Coordinator may determine that a respondent poses an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or individual exists and make a recommendation to the VPSA for the emergency removal of the student due to the allegation(s) of sexual harassment. The VPSA may also complete the individualized health and safety risk analysis and remove the respondent. The respondent will be notified of the removal decision in writing and shall have an opportunity to challenge the removal decision pursuant to the Student Non-Academic Conduct Procedures.

E. Administrative Leave for Employees

Employees of the University may be placed on administrative leave during the pendency of the Title IX processes including the investigative process and hearing process.

F. Abuse of the Title IX Resolution Process

The University takes all discrimination 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. Such cases shall be treated in accordance with the provisions of University Senate Rules and Regulations section 6.5.4, Abuse of Grievance Process.

III. Complaint Submissions and Review

A. Considerations for Filling a Report or Complaint

The process for responding to Title IX complaints may include informal resolution (which may include mediation, restorative justice, or other educational resolutions), formal investigations, or supportive measures (which are available during both informal resolutions and formal investigations). If the subject matter or issue of the complaint does not fall under this policy, the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access staff may advise the complainant of other available procedures.

Complainants are encouraged to file their formal complaints within one hundred eighty (180) days of any occurrence of alleged discrimination. A formal complaint must be made while the complainant is still enrolled which the University of Kansas, intends to re-enroll in the University of Kansas, employed by the University of Kansas, or participating or attempting to participate in an education program of the University of Kansas.

The Title IX Coordinator, in their discretion, may file a signed formal complaint regarding the alleged violation of the Sexual Harassment Policy. Situations where the Title IX Coordinator might file a formal complaint include incidents involving weapons, incidents involving multiple respondents, situations where the respondent has multiple reports alleging violations of the sexual harassment policy, the complainant is a minor, or other situations where the Title IX Coordinator feels it is necessary to protect the campus community.

B. Contents of Reports and Formal Complaints

A report or formal complaint of sexual harassment or retaliation to the IOA should include the following, to the extent known and available:

  • Name and contact information (address, telephone, e-mail) for the complainant;
  • Name and contact information (address, telephone, e-mail) for the respondent;
  • Date(s), time(s), and place(s) of the alleged violation(s);
  • Nature of the alleged sexual harassment (ie, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, stalking, or retaliation);
  • Detailed description of the specific conduct that is the basis of the alleged violation(s);
  • Copies of any documents or other evidence pertaining to the alleged violation(s);
  • Names and contact information for any witnesses to the alleged violation(s);
  • Any other relevant information.

C. Amnesty

To remove barriers of reporting and participation in the investigative and hearing process under the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy, student parties including complainants, respondents, and witnesses shall not be subjected to discipline under the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities for the personal consumption of alcohol and/or drugs. The Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards may at their discretion assign educational interventions when there is concern regarding the safety of a student in connection to the student’s alcohol or drug use.

Employees may be referred to Human Resource Management for violations of the Alcohol & Drug Policy.

D. Receipt of a Report of Sexual Harassment

Upon receipt of a report, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly reach out to the complainant to discuss the availability of supportive measures with or without filing a formal complaint and explain to the complainant the process for filing a formal complaint as well as the opportunity to meet with the Title IX Coordinator. During the initial meeting, the complainant has the option of requesting supportive measures as well as filing a formal complaint. The complainant also has the option of requesting the University to take no further action on the report. When the complainant requests that the IOA take no action, the Title IX Coordinator reserves the right to file a signed formal complaint.

E. Formal Complaint Evaluation

Upon receiving a formal complaint, the IOA shall conduct an initial evaluation of the formal complaint and determine the appropriate action required. Where the University or its employees are accused of sexual harassment, the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access staff will contact the dean, director, administrator, supervisor, or chairperson responsible for the unit that is accused of sexual harassment to inform them of the filing of the formal complaint. When necessary, appropriate administrator(s) or faculty member(s) may be designated by the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Provost, Vice Provost, Dean, Director, or Chairperson, by the Director of the Department of Human Resources, or by the Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access to participate in the evaluation of the formal complaint and to facilitate necessary action.

In conducting its initial review of the formal complaint, the IOA may meet with the Complainant or take other steps to learn of the basis of the formal complaint, including examining University records.

The formal complaint shall be dismissed when:

  • The conduct alleged in the formal complaint would not constitute sexual harassment even if proved,
  • The conduct did not occur in the University’s educational programs or activities, or
  • The conduct did not occur against a person in the United States.

The IOA may dismiss a formal complaint if at any time during the investigation:

  • A complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein;
  • The respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by the University;
  • The complainant refuses to cooperate or participate with the University's investigation;
  • The complainant is anonymous;
  • The complaint was filed when the complainant was not participating or attempting to participate in an education program or activity of the University; or
  • Specific circumstances prevent the University from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations therein.

If it is determined that the IOA will not proceed with investigation of a formal complaint, the IOA will notify the complainant (if not anonymous) and respondent in writing explaining the reasons why the complaint is not being investigated under Title IX. The IOA may notify the complainant that their formal complaint will be investigated under the Discrimination Complaint Resolution Process or that the matter is being referred to another office for review. The notification letter will include a statement regarding the complainant and respondent right to appeal the IOA decision if no formal investigation will occur under this policy.

A formal investigation will be initiated if a complaint is complete, timely, within the scope of this policy, and articulates sufficient facts, which if determined to be accurate, would support a finding that the University's Sexual Harassment Policy has been violated.

IV. Investigations

A. Presumption of No Responsibility

Respondents are presumed not to be responsible for the allegations of the complaint until a conclusion is reached at the end of the investigation.

B. Investigation Timeframe

The University will strive to complete investigations of formal complaints, including issuance of a report of findings to the complainant and respondent, in as timely and efficient a manner as possible within sixty (60) working 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, concurrent law enforcement activity, holidays or semester breaks including summer break, and complexity of the complaint. If an investigation cannot be completed within sixty (60) working days of receipt of the complaint, then the investigator(s) will notify the complainant and respondent the investigation timeframe is being extended and provide a timeframe for completing the investigation.

C. Investigation Procedure

Investigators assigned to conduct an investigation will be impartial. In conducting investigations into violations of the University’s Policies, the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access will use a preponderance of the evidence standard in making factual determinations. The preponderance of the evidence means the fact in dispute is more likely than not to be true. The investigation will include the following elements:

  • Contact with Complainant. If the investigator did not speak with the complainant at the time that the formal complaint was received by the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, then the investigator will meet or speak with the complainant at the start of the investigation and throughout the investigation as appropriate.
  • Notice to Respondent. The respondent will be provided with a statement of the complaint in writing, and the complainant will be provided a copy of this notification. The notice will include:
    • That the respondent is presumed not to be responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination will be reached at the end of the investigation;
    • The web address where the Title IX Resolution Process and Title IX Hearing Procedures can be found;
    • The alleged conduct constituting a potential violation of University policies;
    • The identities of parties involved in the alleged incident (if known);
    • The specific section of the University’s policies allegedly violated;
    • The date and location of the alleged incident (if known);
    • The respondent’s right to an advisor (who may be an attorney) of the respondent’s choice and to review all evidence gathered prior to the conclusion of the investigation; and
    • That University policies prohibit knowingly making false statement or submitting false information during the investigation process.

Respondents will be provided an opportunity to meet with the investigator(s) investigating the complaint and to respond to the allegation and to meet or speak with the investigator throughout the investigation as appropriate. Respondents may respond in person or in writing within a reasonable time to be determined by the investigators. If a respondent chooses not to participate or refuses to answer a complaint, the nonparticipation will not prevent the investigation from proceeding.

  • Notice regarding Retaliation. All parties to a complaint (complainant, respondent, witnesses, and appropriate administrators or supervisors) will be informed that retaliation, defined in Section VI, by an individual or an individual's associates against any person who files a complaint or any person who participates in the investigation of a complaint is prohibited. Individuals who engage in retaliation are subject to disciplinary action.
  • Representation. In any meeting with the investigators, the parties to the complaint (complainant and the respondent) may bring an advisor to the meeting, up to three (3). If the advisor is an attorney, the party must notify the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access in writing at least three (3) working days before the meeting date.
  • Notice of all Meetings. The IOA will provide to a party whose participation is invited or expected, written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purposes of all meetings including investigative interviews. Email is the primary form of written communication for the University of Kansas and the IOA. The IOA will provide sufficient time to prepare to participate by allowing at least three (3) working-day’s notice unless the party requests a date and time allowing less than three (3) working days.
  • Information relevant to Investigation. The complainant and respondent will be informed that they have the opportunity to identify witnesses, present witness statements, and submit any other evidence they believe relevant to resolution of the complaint. The investigator(s) will interview other persons whom, at the investigator(s)' discretion determines to be necessary to gather relevant information. The investigator(s) will review any written materials, e- mails, text messages, or other evidence that, at the investigator(s)’ discretion, may provide relevant information regarding the complaint. The burden of gathering evidence rests on the IOA.
  • Medical Records.  No reports will be accessed, disclosed, or used that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in the their capacity, or assisting in that capacity, which are made and maintained in connection to the treatment of the party without that party’s voluntary and written consent to do so.
  • Privileged Information.  The investigator will not require, allow, rely upon, or otherwise use questions or evidence that constitute, or seek disclosure of, information protected under a legally recognized privilege, unless the person holding the privilege has waived the privilege.
  • Witness Summary.  Witnesses may request, and IOA will provide, a reasonable opportunity to review the investigator’s summary of that individual’s interview and the opportunity to submit a written response to the summary.
  • Review of Evidence and Preliminary Report. Upon completion of the preliminary investigation report, the IOA will provide the complainant and respondent, as well as the advisor of each party, an opportunity to inspect and review all evidence collected during the course of the investigation to include summaries of investigative interviews, physical evidence, inculpatory evidence, exculpatory evidence, and evidence upon which the investigator has collected but does not intend to rely. The complainant and respondent, and advisor to each party, will have ten (10) calendar days to submit a written response to the evidence. The investigator will consider the written responses prior to the completion of the final investigative report.
  • Final Investigative Report. After the end of the ten (10) calendar day period during which the complainant and respondent have the ability to review all evidence and preliminary report, the investigator will objectively evaluate all relevant evidence – including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence – and will draft a final investigative report. The investigative report will fairly summarize relevant evidence.
     
    • A copy of the final investigative report will be provided simultaneously to both parties, as well as the advisor for each party, and to the appropriate administrator(s). 
    • The hearing panel is not bound by the relevance determinations in the investigative report and the final decision as to relevance shall be made by the Hearing Panel Chair.

V. Hearings

Upon completion of the final investigative report, the report will be forwarded to the appropriate administrator(s) for the scheduling of a live hearing. The live hearing will be scheduled for no sooner than fourteen (14) calendar days. Live hearings will contain, at a minimum, the opportunity to cross exam parties through a party’s advisor. If a party does not have an advisor, one will be provided by the University for the live hearing. All live hearings will be subject to the Hearing Procedures for Complaints of Sexual Harassment.

VI. Retaliation

No person may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing. Disciplinary action, harassment, unsupported evaluations, or other adverse changes in the conditions of employment or the educational environment may also constitute retaliation. Retaliation will not be tolerated and could result in suspension, reassignment, salary reduction, termination, expulsion, or other disciplinary action. Formal complaints of retaliation related to investigations under the policy will be handled under the Title IX Resolution Process.

Nothing in this retaliation section limits the ability of the complainant and respondent to discuss the allegation under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence. The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute retaliation. Charging an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding under this part does not constitute retaliation.

VII. Appeals

A. Appeals of Dismissal of Formal Complaint

If a complainant or respondent believes that the IOA has erred in its decision to administratively close the complaint without a full investigation, that party may appeal the closure to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost or designee, within seven (7) calendar 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 dismissal of the formal complaint is erroneous.

  • The Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost or designee, shall notify the other party and the Director of IOA in writing of an appeal of the dismissal of formal complaint and allow the other party seven (7) calendar days to submit a written statement. The Director of IOA may also be asked to submit a response or to provide additional information regarding the case. 
  • The Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost or designee, will respond to the appeal in writing to both complainant and respondent within twenty (20) calendar days of receiving the respondent’s written statement or the conclusion of the seven (7) calendar days to submit a statement. This decision on appeal will constitute final agency action and there will be no further appeal within the University.

B. Standard of Review for Appeals of Dismissal of Formal Complaint

The Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost or designee, will not conduct a new investigation of the Complaint or substitute their judgment for that of the IOA.Rather, on appeal, the Complainant must show that the IOA has erred in one or more of the following ways and that the error caused actual prejudice to the outcome of the investigation:

  • There was procedural irregularity by the IOA that affected the outcome of the matter.
  • IOA improperly failed to gather or consider information relevant to the complaint.
  • Based upon the totality of the information in the record, the IOA decision was unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious.
  • New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the dismissal that could affect the outcome of the matter.
  • The Title IX Coordinator or investigator had a conflict of interest for or against complainants and respondents generally or the individual complainant and respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.

VIII. Informal Resolutions

After submission of a formal complaint, either party may request an opportunity to resolve the complaint through an informal resolution process. If requested by one party, the other party must voluntarily agree to participate in order for the informal resolution process to proceed. A successful resolution and agreement of the parties will result in dismissal of the complaint without further investigation or hearing. Prior to reaching an agreement, either party may withdraw from the process and request that the grievance procedures pursuant to this policy resume. 

An informal resolution process will be facilitated by an individual who is trained, unbiased and without conflict. The informal resolution process will be conducted in accordance with informal resolution procedures.

The informal resolution process is not available when the complaint alleges a violation by an employee against a student.

IX. Disciplinary Sanctions and Remedies

Members of the University community who are found to have violated the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy are subject to disciplinary actions appropriate to their status as faculty, staff, or student employees or as students. Disciplinary actions can range from a warning to a dismissal or termination. Disciplinary actions for students can be found in section VII of the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, disciplinary actions for faculty can be found in Article VI of the Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, and disciplinary actions for Staff can be found in the Disciplinary Action Policy for Staff.

X. Access to Records

A. Confidentiality

The Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access will handle all discrimination and harassment complaints discreetly but cannot guarantee confidentiality or anonymity because the University has an obligation to investigate complaints of discrimination and harassment and to maintain a safe environment, free from harassment and discrimination. Because of its obligations under the law, KU will not be able to honor all requests for confidentiality or all requests that a complaint not be pursued.

B. State and Federal Reporting of Discrimination

Employees may file employment discrimination complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Kansas Human Rights Commission. Students may file discrimination complaints through the Office of Civil Rights in the U. S. Department of Education or the Kansas Human Rights Commission. The Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access can provide information about deadlines and filing procedures for the state and federal agencies.

C. Record Keeping

The University will maintain all records of each sexual harassment investigation for a period of seven (7) years to include any determination regarding responsibility, any audio or audiovisual recording or transcript, any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the respondent, any remedies provided to the complainant designed to restore and preserve access to the University’s educational programs or activities, any appeals and the results therefrom, and informal resolutions and the results therefrom, and all materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process.

For each report and formal complaint falling under this Title IX process, before closing the file, the IOA shall document all actions taken in response and all measures taken to restore or preserve access to educational programs and activities of the University. The IOA also shall document the basis for its conclusion that the University’s response was not deliberately indifferent, and where no supportive measures have been provided, why the University’s response was not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances.


[1]  The University’s definition of “Sexual Assault” is mandated by federal regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.  Those regulations require the University to adopt a definition of “Sexual Assault” that incorporates various forcible and non-forcible sex crimes as defined by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting System.  See 34 C.F.R. § 106.30(a).

Contact: 

Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access
1082 Dole Human Development Center
1000 Sunnyside Avenue
Lawrence, KS 66045
785-864-6414
ioa@ku.edu

Approved by: 
Chancellor
Approved on: 
Friday, June 22, 2012
Effective on: 
Friday, June 22, 2012
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Keywords: 
Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, Sexual Assault, Harassment, Hostile Environment, Discrimination, rape
Change History: 

08/17/2020: Corrected grammar and formatting issues.
08/14/2020: Updated procedures to align with federal Title IX regulations.
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.

Personnel: Affiliates/Volunteers Categories: 
Workplace Rules & Guidelines
Personnel: Faculty/Academic Staff Categories: 
Workplace Rules & Guidelines
Personnel: Staff Categories: 
Workplace Rules & Guidelines
Personnel: Student Employees Categories: 
Workplace Rules & Guidelines

Can't Find What You're Looking For?
Policy Library Search
KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times