What is Title IX?
Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination against all genders in educational institutions. Schools are required to ensure that campuses are free of sex discrimination and have an established procedure for handling complaints. The University of Utah has a Title IX coordinator to handle complaints of sex discrimination, including complaints of sexual assault and harassment:
Sherrie Hayashi, Title IX coordinator
Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action/Title IX
Park Building, Room 135
What is the Title IX reporting process like?
When disclosing information to a Title IX investigator, you may be asked for a description of the incident including the date, time, location, and information about the perpetrator(s). Reports of sexual misconduct are processed through the Title IX coordinator, who is housed in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (OEO/AA). If you or a responsible employee disclose information to the OEO/AA, you may be contacted to provide more information. Throughout the process, you can control the information you share and can choose to stop sharing at any point. You may also choose to file an official report and proceed with a formal investigation.
Choosing to report an incident of sexual misconduct can feel empowering for a survivor. However, the reporting process can be emotionally difficult. Some students may be reluctant to report to the police. Some students may also be wary of re-victimization and re-traumatization. The survivor should have the choice of whether or not to report and continue with an investigation. Talking to a confidential resource can help a survivor decide which options are best for them.
What is the investigation/adjudication process like?
Each investigation and adjudication process is individualized, but the following is a basic outline of Title IX procedures.
After a Title IX report is filed, the complaint is assessed to determine whether or not the conduct violates the university's nondiscrimination policies. Both the complaining party (person making the complaint) and the responding party (person who is accused of misconduct) are interviewed for information regarding the complaint. Parties may have an advisor of their choice with them when being interviewed. When available, documentary evidence is reviewed and witnesses are interviewed as well. Investigations may take up to 60 days or the parties will be informed of the reasons the investigation cannot be completed within 60 days.
At the conclusion of the investigation, findings are published in a report that is shared with both parties to the complaint. Findings are categorized as either “cause,” “no cause,” or “insufficient evidence” for whether or not university policy was violated.
If there is no cause or insufficient evidence to believe that university policy has been violated, then the matter is closed, but support resources are still made available to the individuals involved.
If there is cause to believe that university policy has been violated, recommendations for disciplinary actions (sanctions) will be made. In the case of students, the Office of the Dean of Students determines the sanctions. A hearing can be requested by either party to review either the findings, the sanctions, or both the findings and the sanctions. Parties may have advisors of their choice present at hearings. Arrangements can be made to keep the parties from having to be in the same room with one another if requested. Decisions from these hearings are made by the applicable vice president for student or staff and by the president for faculty. Students and staff may appeal the decision of the vice president to the president. The president will make the final decision for all appeals.