Notice of Investigation and Respondent Participation
Once sufficient information is obtained from the complainant and a prima facie case has been established (meaning that the alleged conduct “on its face” would violate policy), the investigator will send a Notice of Investigation to the respondent that describes the alleged discriminatory conduct, includes relevant policy charges, and provides process information to both parties. The respondent’s supervisor will also receive a copy of the Notice of Investigation.
The parties will both be asked to provide any documentary evidence (emails, text messages, social media posts, other records, etc.) they want to have considered during the investigation and to identify any witnesses who might provide information to support their statement. The investigator will also independently collect additional information that is available and relevant to the allegations.
Written Reports and Determination of Responsibility
Once this investigation is complete, the investigator will prepare a report outlining the information gathered during the investigation. Both the complainant and the respondent are afforded an opportunity to review the Initial Investigative Report for accuracy and provide feedback.
Once both parties have an opportunity to review and respond to the Initial Investigative Report, the investigator will draft the Final Investigative Report, which will include factual findings, the investigator’s determination as to whether any violation of the campus policy occurred and, when appropriate, any recommended discipline or sanctions.
Note: The standard of proof required is the “preponderance of the evidence” standard. Under this standard, it must be more likely true than not true that the alleged discriminatory conduct occurred for the respondent to be held responsible and potentially face disciplinary action.
Once complete, the Final Investigative Report will be distributed to both parties. The investigator’s findings will be considered the final decision unless either party appeals (See Appeals section).
It is the goal of the Office of Compliance to complete investigations involving allegations of discrimination as soon as possible. The length of an investigation may be impacted by many factors including the complexity of the allegations, the availability of the complainant, the respondent, and witnesses, and timeliness in providing materials needed to resolve the investigation. The Office of Compliance will provide regular updates to the parties regarding the investigation’s progress.