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Handbook of Operating Procedures

Prohibition of Sexual Harassment & Sexual Misconduct

Policy Number: 59

Subject:

Reporting and responding to reports of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct.

Scope:

Members of the university community including administrators, faculty, staff, students, residents, postdoctoral research fellows, clinic fellows, volunteers (including faculty appointed without salary), and third parties within the university’s control (visitors, contractors, vendors, consultants, observers, applicants for employment or admission and visiting students.

Date Reviewed:
August 2020
Responsible Office:
Office of the President; Office of the Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Operating and Financial Officer
Responsible Executive:
Office of the President; Office of the Senior Executive Vice President

I. POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (“university”) is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment that is free from discrimination based on sex in accordance with Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits sex discrimination in employment; and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE Act), Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and Clery Act.  Sexual Misconduct and other conduct prohibited under this Policy will not be tolerated and will be subject to disciplinary action. 

The university will promptly discipline any individuals or organizations within its control who violate this Policy. The university encourages you to promptly report incidents that could constitute violations of this Policy to the Title IX Coordinator (as outlined in Section III of this Policy).

Free Speech.  Freedom of speech and principles of academic freedom are central to the mission of institutions of higher education. Constitutionally protected expression cannot be considered Sexual Misconduct under this Policy. 

Applicability. This Policy applies to all university administrators, faculty, staff, students, and third parties within the university’s control, including visitors and applicants for admission or employment. The Policy also applies to conduct that occurs:

  • on university owned or controlled premises (including those buildings owned or leased by officially recognized student organizations); or
  • in an education program or activity including university sponsored or supported events; or
  • off campus when the conduct potentially affects a complainant’s education or employment with the university, or potentially poses a risk of harm to any member of the university community.

It also applies regardless of the gender, gender identity or sexual orientation of the parties. 

II. DEFINITIONS

Coercion: The use of pressure to compel another individual to initiate or continue sexual activity against an individual’s will. Coercion can include a wide range of behaviors, including psychological or emotional pressure, physical or emotional threats, intimidation, manipulation, or blackmail that causes the person to engage in unwelcome sexual activity. A person’s words or conduct are sufficient to constitute coercion if they eliminate a reasonable person’s freedom of will and ability to choose whether or not to engage in sexual activity. Examples of coercion include, but are not limited to threatening to “out” someone based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; threatening to harm oneself if the other party does not engage in the sexual activity; and threatening to expose someone’s prior sexual activity to another person.

Complainant: The individual who is alleged to be the victim of any prohibited conduct under this Policy.

Confidential Employees: For students: Counselors and health care providers in Student Health & Counseling Services, or the Office of Academic Ombuds.  For employees: Counselors in the Office of Employee Assistance Programs and health care providers in UT Health Services.  Additionally, employees who receive information regarding an incident of sexual misconduct under circumstances that render the employee’s communications confidential or privileged under other law (such as attorneys) are also considered “Confidential Employees.”

Note: Under state law, Confidential Employees who receive information regarding incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence or stalking committed by or against a student or an employee of the university, are required to report the type of incident to the Title IX Coordinator (or Deputy Coordinators). Confidential Employees may not include any information that would violate a student’s or employee’s expectation of privacy. The Confidential Employee’s duty to report an incident under any other law also applies (e.g., Texas Medical Board, Texas Board of Nursing). 

Consent: A voluntary, mutually understandable agreement that clearly indicates a willingness to engage in each instance of sexual activity.  Consent to one act does not imply consent to another.  Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another.  Consent can be withdrawn at any time.  Any expression of an unwillingness to engage in any instance of sexual activity establishes a presumptive lack of consent.  

Consent is not effective if it results from: (a) the use of physical force, (b) a threat of physical force, (c) intimidation, (d) coercion, (e) incapacitation or (f) any other factor that would eliminate an individual’s ability to exercise his or her own free will to choose whether to have sexual activity. 

A current or previous dating or sexual relationship, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute consent.  Even in the context of a relationship, there must be a voluntary, mutually understandable agreement that clearly indicates a willingness to engage in each instance of sexual activity.

Dating Violence: 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 consideration of the following factors: 

  • The length of the relationship; 
  • The type of relationship; and 
  • The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.  It does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

Domestic (Family) Violence: includes 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 the state of Texas, 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 state of Texas.

Hostile Environment: exists when sexual misconduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to deny or limit the individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity or an employee’s terms and conditions of employment.  A hostile environment can be created by anyone (e.g., administrators, faculty members, employees, students, and university visitors) involved in an education program or activity or work environment.

Incapacitation: Incapacitation is the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent because the individual is mentally and/or physically helpless, either voluntarily or involuntarily, or the individual is unconscious, asleep, or otherwise unaware that the sexual activity is occurring. An individual may be incapacitated if they are unaware at the time of the incident of where they are, how they got there, or why or how they became engaged in a sexual interaction.

Intimidation: Unlawfully placing another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack.

Other Inappropriate Sexual Conduct: Conduct on the basis of sex that does not meet the definition of “Sexual Harassment” under this Policy, but is otherwise prohibited. This may include but is not limited to:

Verbal conduct (including through written and electronic means), unwanted statements of a sexual nature intentionally stated to a person or group of people, that are objectively offensive to a reasonable person and also so severe or pervasive that they created a Hostile Environment, as defined in this Policy. The type of verbal conduct (if all other elements are met) may include: 

  • Unwelcome sexual advances (including explicit or implicit proposition(s) of sexual contact or activity);
  • Requests for sexual favors (including overt or subtle pressure);
  • Gratuitous comments about an individual’s sexual activities or speculation about an individual’s sexual experiences;
  • Gratuitous comments, jokes, questions, anecdotes or remarks of a sexual nature about clothing or bodies;
  • Persistent, unwanted sexual or romantic attention;
  • Exposure to sexually suggestive visual displays such as photographs, graffiti, posters, calendars or other materials; or
  • Deliberate, repeated humiliation or intimidation.

Physical conduct which may include: 

  • Sexual exploitation, as defined in this Policy; 
  • Unwelcome intentional touching of a sexual nature; 
  • Deliberate physical interference with or restriction of movement; or 
  • Sexual violence as defined in this Policy. 

Participants: The term “participants” includes the Complainant, Respondent, and any witnesses. 

Parties: The term “parties” refers to the “Complainant” and the “Respondent” under this Policy.

Preponderance of the Evidence:The greater weight of the credible evidence.  Preponderance of the evidence is the standard for determining allegations of prohibited conduct under this Policy.  This standard is satisfied if the action is deemed more likely to have occurred than not to have occurred. 

Respondent:  The individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of prohibited conduct under this policy.

Responsible Employee: A university employee who has the duty to report incidents of and information reasonably believed to be Sexual Misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator. All employees (including without salary faculty) are Responsible Employees except Confidential Employees. Responsible Employees do not include student workers. Responsible Employees must report all known information concerning the incident to the Title IX Office, and must include whether a Complainant has expressed a desire for confidentiality in reporting the incident.

Retaliation: Any adverse action (including but not limited to intimidation, threats, coercion, harassment, or discrimination) taken against someone because the individual has made a report or filed a Formal Complaint; has supported or provided information in connection with a report or a Formal Complaint; has participated or refused to participate in a Grievance Process under this Policy; or has engaged in other legally protected activities. 

Sex Discrimination: Occurs when an individual is treated less favorably on the basis of that person’s sex (including gender), which may also include on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression, pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition, or a sex stereotype. Sexual harassment, as defined in this Policy, is a form of sex discrimination.

Sexual Assault : An offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape:

  • Rape: The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. 
  • Fondling: The 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 his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity. 
  • Incest: Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law. 
  • Statutory Rape: Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.  

Sexual Exploitation: Conduct where an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for their own benefit, or to benefit anyone other than the one being exploited. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, engaging in voyeurism; forwarding of pornographic or other sexually inappropriate material by email, text, or other channels to non-consenting students/employees/groups; the intentional removal of a condom or other contraceptive barrier during sexual activity without the consent of a sexual partner; and any activity that goes beyond the boundaries of consent, such as recording of sexual activity, letting others watch consensual sex, or knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) to another. 

Sexual Harassment: Conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following: 

  • Quid pro quo: An employee of the institution conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the university on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct; 
  • Unwelcome sexual conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the university’s education program or activity; or 
  • “Sexual assault,” “dating violence,” “domestic violence,” or “stalking” as defined in this Policy.

The first and third bullets of this definition are not evaluated for severity, pervasiveness, offensiveness, or denial of equal educational access. Such conduct is sufficiently serious to deprive a person of equal access. Therefore, any instance of quid pro quo sexual harassment or any instance of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking are considered sexual harassment under this Policy.  

Sexual Misconduct: This term is broadly defined to encompass sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and other Inappropriate Sexual Conduct. 

Sexual Violence: Physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. The term includes, but is not limited to, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual coercion, sexual abuse, indecency with a child, and/or aggravated sexual assault. 

Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress.  For the purposes of this definition:

  • 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. 
  • Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim. 

Substantial emotional distress: means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

III. PROCEDURE

A. Reporting Incidents

General Statement Empowering Community. This policy distinguishes between reporting sexual misconduct incidents on the one hand and filing Formal Complaints on the other. Reporting Sexual Misconduct incidents informs the university of the incident, which allows the institution to provide Supportive Measures (as outlined in Section V of this Policy) to the Complainant and does not necessarily result in the initiation of the Grievance Process (as outlined in Section VI of this Policy).  All Complainants who report incidents of Sexual Misconduct will be offered individualized Supportive Measures. If Complainants wish to initiate the Grievance Process, they should file a Formal Complaint. As explained in more detail below (including exceptions and details as to applicability), generally speaking, the Grievance Process may involve an investigation into the incident and a hearing to determine if the Respondent is responsible for the alleged conduct.

1.  General Reporting

Any person may report Sexual Misconduct or other conduct prohibited under this Policy to the Title IX Coordinator, Office of Institutional Compliance and/or The University of Texas Police at Houston (“UTP-H”). Any person may report an incident, whether or not the person reporting is the person alleged to be the victim of the incident, and it can be a verbal or written report to the Title IX Coordinator or other offices listed below.

2. Required Reporting

Responsible Employees are required to report known incidents and information of Sexual Misconduct promptly to the Title IX Coordinator. For others in the university community, you are strongly encouraged to report Sexual Misconduct, Retaliation, and any other conduct prohibited under this Policy as soon as you become aware of such conduct. 

Student resources
Title IX Coordinator

(713)500-CALL (2255)

call@uth.tmc.edu

7000 Fannin, Suite 150, Houston, TX

https://www.uth.edu/titleix/
Office of Institutional Compliance Toll-Free Telephone Hotline:
English-speaking U.S. and Canada: 833-222-0056

Spanish-speaking U.S. and Canada: 800-216-1288

compliance@uth.tmc.edu

https://www.lighthouse-services.com/compliance.uth.tmc

7000 Fannin, Suite 1510, Houston, TX

https://www.uth.edu/compliance/reporting-issues/hotline.htm

UT Police - Houston (713) 792-STOP (7867)

7777 Knight Road Houston, TX 77054

https://www.utph.org/

3. Anonymous Reporting

You may make an anonymous report by telephone, in writing or electronically (https://www.lighthouse-services.com/compliance.uth.tmc) with the Title IX Office. Your decision to remain anonymous, however, may greatly limit the university’s ability to stop the alleged conduct, collect evidence, or take action against parties accused of violating this Policy.

4. Confidential

Students may discuss an incident with Confidential Employees or an off-campus resource (e.g., rape crisis center, licensed physician, psychologist, clergyperson, etc.) without concern that the person’s identity will be reported to the Title IX Office. Employees may also seek assistance from the Employee Assistance Program, their own personal health care provider, the clergyperson of their choice, or an off-campus rape crisis resource without concern that the person’s identity will be reported to the Title IX Office.   

The university resources that provide confidential services are:

The university resources that provide confidential services are
Student Resources
Academic Ombuds Office

(713) 500-3457

Ombuds@uth.tmc.edu

7000 Fannin Street
Suite 165-A
Houston, TX

Student Health & Counseling

(713) 500-5171 (8am - 5pm)
(713) 500-4688
Crisis Hotline
(available 24 hours a day)

https://www.uth.edu/studenthealth/index.htm

6410 Fannin St.
Suite 130
Houston, TX 77030

Employee Resources
Employee Assistance Program

(713) 500-3327
(800) 346-3549

https://www.uth.edu/hr/department/eap/

7000 Fannin Street
Suite 1670
Houston, TX

5. Reporting to Law Enforcement

You may also file a police report with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Police Department (UTP-H) at (713) 792-2890 (non-emergency) or to the City of Houston Police Department at (713) 884-3131 (non-emergency) or 911 (emergency) or to other local law enforcement authorities. The Title IX Office can help individuals contact these law enforcement agencies. Employees and students with protective or restraining orders relevant to a complaint are encouraged to provide a copy to UTP-H.

6. Reporting to Outside Entities

You may also contact the following external agencies:

For students:

Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
1999 Bryan Street, Suite 1620
Dallas, TX 75201-6810
(214) 661-9600
(214) 661-9587 (fax)

Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
1301 Young Street, Suite 1169
Dallas, TX  75202
Phone:  (800) 537-7697
FAX: (214) 767-0432

Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
1301 Young Street, Suite 1169
Dallas, TX  75202
Phone:  (800) 537-7697
FAX: (214) 767-0432

For employees:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Dallas District Office
207 S. Houston Street, 3rd Floor
Dallas, TX  75202
Phone:  (800) 669-4000
FAX:  (214) 253-2720

Texas Workforce Commission
Civil Rights Division
101 E. 15th Street
Room 144-T
Austin, TX 78778-0001
(512) 463-2642

7. Immunity

In an effort to encourage reporting of Sexual Misconduct, the university may grant immunity from student and/or employee disciplinary action to a person who acts in good faith in reporting an incident, filing a Formal Complaint, or participating in a Grievance Process (e.g., investigation, hearing, appeal). This immunity does not extend to the person’s own violations of this Policy.

B. Requests for Confidentiality and To Not Investigate

The university has great respect for the privacy of the parties identified in a report or Formal Complaint.  Under state law, however, Responsible Employees who receive information of alleged Sexual Misconduct must share that information with the Title IX Coordinator.  As such, the university may need to act to maintain campus safety and must determine whether to investigate further, regardless of the Complainant’s request for confidentiality or request to not investigate a report received by the Title IX Coordinator.

In making determinations regarding requests for confidentiality, Complainants’ requests to not investigate, Complainants’ requests to dismiss Formal Complaints, and/or requests to not disclose identifying information to Respondents, the Title IX Coordinator must deliberately weigh the rights, interests, and safety of the Complainant, the Respondent, and the campus community. Factors the university must consider when determining whether to investigate an alleged incident of Sexual Misconduct include, but are not limited to:

  • The seriousness of the alleged incident; 
  • Whether the university has received other reports of alleged Sexual Misconduct by the alleged Respondent; 
  • Whether the alleged incident poses a risk of harm to others; and 
  • Any other factors the university determines relevant. 

Under state law, if the Complainant requests in writing that the university not investigate a report, the university must inform the Complainant of the decision whether or not to investigate. 

In the course of the Grievance Process, the university may share information only as necessary with people who need to know in compliance with the law, which may include but are not limited to the investigators, witnesses, Complainant, Respondent, parties’ advisors, hearing officers, and the Appellate Officer, if applicable.  The university will take all reasonable steps to ensure there is no retaliation against the parties or any other participants in the investigation or in any other part of the Grievance Process.

C. Resources and Supportive Measures

1. Resources

Healthcare. If you experience sexual violence, you are encouraged to seek immediate medical care.  Also, preserving DNA evidence can be key to identifying the perpetrator in a sexual violence case.  Victims can undergo a medical exam to preserve physical evidence with or without police involvement. If possible, this should be done immediately.  If an immediate medical exam is not possible, individuals who have experienced a sexual assault may be examined by a licensed physician or have a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) performed by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) within 4 calendar days of the incident. With the examinee’s consent, the physical evidence collected during this medical exam can be used in a criminal investigation; however, a person may undergo an examination or a SAFE even without contacting, or intending to contact, the police.  To undergo a SAFE, go directly to the emergency department of the nearest hospital that provides examination by a licensed physician or SAFE services.

For more information about the SAFE, see https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/cvs/sexual_assault_examination.pdf.  The cost of the forensic portion of the exam is covered by the law enforcement agency that is investigating the assault or, in cases where a report will not be made to the police, the Texas Department of Public Safety.  This does not include fees related to medical treatment that are not a part of the SAFE.

Police Assistance. If you experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct, the university encourages you to make a report to the police.  The police may, in turn, share your report with the Title IX Office. 

A police department’s geographic jurisdiction depends on where the incident occurred.  Thus, if the incident occurred on the university campus, you may file a report with UTP-H by calling (713) 792-2890 or in person at the 7777 Knight Road, Houston, TX headquarters, even if time has passed since the incident occurred.  

UTP-H can also assist with applying for any protective orders. Reporting an incident to law enforcement does not mean the case will automatically go to criminal trial or go through a Grievance Process.  If UTP-H is called, a police officer will be sent to the scene to take a detailed statement.  A police officer or victim services coordinator may also provide you with a ride to the hospital.  You may also file a report with the university police even if the assailant was not a university student or employee.  If the incident occurred off campus, you may also file a report with the local police department, even if time has passed since the incident occurred.  If a report is made to the police, a police officer will usually be dispatched to the location to take a written report. 

Counseling and Other Services.  If you experience Sexual Misconduct, you are strongly encouraged to seek counseling or medical and psychological care even if you do not plan to be examined by a licensed physician, request a SAFE or report the incident to the police.  You may be prescribed medications to prevent sexually transmitted infections and/or pregnancy even if the police are not contacted, or if an examination or a SAFE is not performed.  Similarly, other individuals impacted or affected by an incident are encouraged to seek counseling or psychological care.  

You may receive medical care at Student Health & Counseling (for students only), at a local emergency room, or by a private physician. You may also be provided with psychological support by the Employee Assistance Program (employees), a referral through the Employee Assistance Program, or a care provider of your choosing. 

Students and Employees desiring counseling should contact:

Students and Employees desiring counseling should contact
Student Resources
Student Health & Counseling

(713) 500-5171 (8am - 5pm)
(713) 500-4688
Crisis Hotline (available 24 hours a day)

https://www.uth.edu/studenthealth/index.htm

6410 Fannin St.
Suite 130
Houston, TX 77030

Employee Resources
Employee Assistance Program

(713) 500-3327
(800) 346-3549

https://www.uth.edu/hr/department/eap/

7000 Fannin Street
Suite 1670
Houston, TX

Additional Resources.  Further information regarding supportive resources can be found on the Title IX website at: https://www.uth.edu/titleix/support-resources.

2. Supportive Measures

The university will offer reasonably available individualized services, without any fee or charge, to the parties involved in a reported incident of Sexual Misconduct with or without the filing of a Formal Complaint, when applicable.   

Supportive Measures may include, but are not limited to, housing reassignment, counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, withdrawal from or retake of a class without penalty, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, change in work or housing locations, leaves of absences, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of campus, or other similar measures tailored to the individualized needs of the parties.

Supportive Measures are non-disciplinary and non-punitive measures that do not unreasonably burden the other party.  Any disciplinary or punitive measures may only be implemented following the conclusion of the Grievance Process, unless an emergency removal (as outlined in Section III.G.14) is appropriate.

The university will maintain the confidentiality of Supportive Measures provided to the parties, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality does not impair the ability of the university to provide the Supportive Measures.

D. The Grievance Process

1. Key Officials in the Grievance Process

Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator is the senior university administrator who oversees the university’s compliance with Title IX.  The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for administrative response to reports and Formal Complaints of Sexual Misconduct, and other conduct prohibited under this Policy. The Title IX Coordinator is available to discuss the Grievance Process, coordinate Supportive Measures, explain university policies and procedures, and provide education on relevant issues.  The Title IX Coordinator may designate one or more Deputy Title IX Coordinators to facilitate these responsibilities. 

Any member of the university community may contact the Title IX Coordinator with questions.

Investigator(s). The university will ensure that Formal Complaints are properly investigated under this Policy by investigators assigned to the Formal Complaint. The investigators are neutral and impartial fact-finders, and gather evidence during the investigation. The investigators are responsible for completing an investigation report at the conclusion of the investigation. The Title IX Deputy Coordinators may supervise and advise the Title IX investigators when conducting investigations and update the Title IX Coordinator as necessary to ensure compliance with Title IX.

Hearing Panel. The hearing panel will be comprised of officers and is responsible for conducting the hearing in an orderly manner, controlling the conduct of all participants and attendees of the hearing, and rendering a written determination regarding responsibility of the Respondent’s alleged conduct charges in an impartial, neutral, and objective manner.

2. Formal Complaints against Students, Employees and Third Parties 

     a.  Applicability of the grievance Process. The Grievance Process in this Policy applies to the following situations:

          i. Respondent is a student. The Grievance Process in Section III.D.2 through III.D.12 of this Policy applies in the instances where (a) the Respondent is a student (including student employees) at the university at the time of the alleged conduct and (b) where the conduct alleged includes Sexual Harassment as defined under Title IX.

The alternative Grievance Process in Section III.D.13. of this Policy applies in instances where (a) the Respondent is a student at the time of the alleged conduct and (b) where the conduct alleged does not include Sexual Harassment as defined under Title IX, but includes other conduct prohibited under this policy.

          ii. Respondent is an employee (Faculty, Staff, Third Party). For Employees, the Grievance Process in Section III.D.2 through III.D.12 only applies where all of the following conditions (1)-(4) are met; if all conditions are not met, allegations of Sexual Misconduct will be handled in accordance with HOOP Policy #183 Nondiscrimination, Anti-Harassment and Equal Opportunity.

            a) The Respondent is an employee at the university at the time of the alleged conduct;

            b) The conduct alleged is Sexual Harassment;

            c) The alleged conduct occurred against a person in the United States; and

            d) Where the Complainant was participating or attempting to participate in an education program or activity at the university. This element is met if the conduct occurred in any of the following:                                                    

1) on any university property;

2) during any university activity;

3) in a building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the university; or

4) in instances where the university exercised substantial control over the Respondent and the context in which the alleged conduct occurred.

      b. Initiating the Grievance Process. To begin the Grievance Process, the Complainant must sign a Formal Complaint (requesting an investigation) and submit it to the Title IX Coordinator. The Complainant must submit a written statement setting out the known details of the alleged conduct that is the subject of the Formal Complaint, including the following: 

  • Complainant’s name and contact information; 
  • Respondent’s name; 
  • Detailed description of the alleged conduct or event that is the basis of the alleged violation under this Policy; 
  • Date(s) and location(s) of the alleged occurrence(s); 
  • Names of any witnesses to the alleged occurrence(s); and 
  • The resolution sought. 

The Complainant may also submit any documents or information that is relevant to the Formal Complaint. 

The Title IX Coordinator may also sign a Formal Complaint against a Respondent (requesting an investigation) and in doing so will initiate the Grievance Process.

3. Mandatory and Discretionary Formal Complaint Dismissals

      a. Mandatory Dismissal. Under Title IX regulations, universities are required to distinguish between prohibited conduct that is “under Title IX” and prohibited conduct that is a violation of university policy. Under Title IX, the university must dismiss a Formal Complaint or the part of the allegations in a Formal Complaint, if applicable, where:

Sexual Harassment is alleged and where: 

  • The conduct alleged does not meet the Title IX definition of Sexual Harassment; or 
  • The alleged conduct did not occur in the university’s education program or activity; or 
  • The alleged conduct did not occur against a person in the United States. 

A dismissal under this provision only applies to allegations of Sexual Harassment.  In such an instance, the university may still apply the procedures outlined in this policy to investigate a Formal Complaint for allegations of Sexual Misconduct or other prohibited conduct.  See section III.D.13 for students and HOOP Policy #183 for employees.

     b. Discretionary Dismissal. The university may dismiss a Formal Complaint, at its discretion, under this Policy’s Grievance Process for any of the following circumstances: 

  • If the Complainant requests in writing to dismiss a Formal Complaint (e.g., withdraws the Formal Complaint or any allegations therein), as outlined in Section III.D of this Policy; 
  • If the Respondent was an Employee but is no longer employed by the university at the time the Formal Complaint is filed; 
  • Any specific circumstances that prevent the university from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the Formal Complaint or any allegations therein; or 
  • The conduct alleged does not meet the definition of any prohibited conduct under this Policy. 

If the university dismisses a Formal Complaint, the university must provide both parties a written notice of the dismissal and the reason(s) for the dismissal.

     c. Concurrent Criminal or Civil Proceedings. The university will not, as a matter of course, wait for the outcome of a concurrent criminal or civil justice proceeding to take action on a Formal Complaint in a university Grievance Process. The university has an independent duty to respond to Formal Complaints of Sexual Misconduct. At the university’s discretion, the university may delay the investigation or Grievance Process for a brief period due to concurrent criminal or civil proceedings on a case-by-case basis.

4. Written Notice of the Formal Complaint and University Offices Offering Assistance 

After receiving a Formal Complaint, the Title IX Office will provide a written notice to the parties of the Formal Complaint and will provide information on available university resources and assistance. The written notice of the Formal Complaint will include the following: 

  • A notice of the Grievance Process, as outlined in this Policy; 
  • A notice of the allegations that potentially constitute prohibited conduct under this Policy, including sufficient details about the alleged conduct, including the identity of the parties, if known, and the date(s), time(s), and location(s) of alleged conduct known by the university at the time of the Formal Complaint; 
  • A statement of the potential policy violations being investigated; 
  • A statement that the Respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that the determination regarding responsibility will be made at the conclusion of the Grievance Process;
  • A statement that both parties may have an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, and may inspect and review all evidence; 
  • A statement that the parties may review evidence gathered as part of any investigation; 
  • A statement of the provision of this Policy that knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the Grievance Process is prohibited and subject to disciplinary action; and 
  • Any other relevant information for the written notice.

5. Informal Resolution Option of Certain Formal Complaints

After the parties have been provided a copy of the written notice of a Formal Complaint, both parties may, in writing, voluntarily agree to use this Informal Resolution option, if applicable, at any point prior to reaching a determination regarding responsibility, but the parties are not required to do so.  The Informal Resolution entails the parties forgoing the Grievance Process (including the investigation and hearing, depending on when the parties agree to engage in an Informal Resolution).  The Informal Resolution may include a mediation process, for example.

     a. Withdrawal from Informal Resolution Process. At any point prior to agreeing to an Informal Resolution, each party has a right to withdraw from the Informal Resolution process and resume the Grievance Process with respect to the Formal Complaint.

     b. Informal Resolution Limitations. The Informal Resolution process is not permitted in cases where Sexual Harassment is alleged in the Formal Complaint.

     c. Informal Resolution Timeframe. Informal Resolutions of a Formal Complaint will be concluded within 45 business days of notice to the university that both parties wish to proceed with the Informal Resolution process. Such notice that the parties wish to proceed with an Informal Resolution process will “pause” the counting of the timeframe to conclude the Grievance Process in Section III.D.12. of this Policy, should the Informal Resolution process fail and the parties continue with the Grievance Process.

     d. Informal Resolution Documentation. Any final resolution pursuant to the Informal Resolution process will be documented by the Title IX Coordinator and kept for seven years as required by law.  (See Section III.D.11 of this Policy for additional information on Grievance Process Documentation.). Failure to comply with an Informal Resolution agreement may result in disciplinary action.

Should the parties withdraw from the Informal Resolution process and resume the Grievance Process, no recording of the Informal Resolution process or any statements made during the Informal Resolution process may be used for or against either party (and the Hearing Panel and Appellate Officer may not consider any such statement made during Informal Resolution).

6. Investigation of the Formal Complaint – Gathering of Evidence

     a. After the university provides written notice of a Formal Complaint to the parties, the Respondent will be allowed a reasonable time to respond through an interview with the investigator and in writing.

     b. The university will provide written notice to a party whose participation is invited or expected of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all meetings, investigative interviews, or other proceedings in the Grievance Process.

     c. Evidence. The parties in the investigation may present any information and evidence that may be relevant to the Formal Complaint, and may have an advisor of their choice attend any related interview, meeting, or proceeding in the Grievance Process. Advisors are not permitted to actively participate actively in meetings or proceedings in the Grievance Process, unless explicitly outlined in Section III.D.8.h of this Policy. The parties may present the names of any fact or expert witnesses who may provide relevant information, and how the witnesses may be relevant to the Formal Complaint. 

     d. Witness Interviews. The investigators will interview relevant and available witnesses. Neither the Complainant nor the Respondent will attend these interviews. 

     e. Investigation Timeframe. The investigation of a Formal Complaint will be concluded within 90 business days of the filing of a Formal Complaint. The parties should be provided updates on the progress of the investigation, as needed, and the parties may request updates.

     f. Access to Evidence. Prior to the completion of the investigation report, the investigators will provide access to all evidence (whether relevant or not) obtained as part of the investigation to both parties (and the party’s advisor, if any, upon a party’s signed information release for their advisor of choice). Both parties will have 10 business days to inspect, review, and respond to the evidence. All responses to the evidence must be submitted by the party in writing to the investigator. Advisors are not permitted to submit written responses to the evidence on their own or on behalf of the party they are advising. The investigators will consider all timely responses submitted by the parties.

     g. Completed Investigation Report.   The completed investigation report will outline each of the allegations that potentially constitute prohibited conduct under this Policy, provide the timeline (e.g., procedural steps) of the investigation, and fairly summarize relevant evidence, participant statements, and responses to questions. The investigator will provide a completed investigation report concurrently to both parties (and each party’s advisor, if any, upon a party’s signed information release for their advisor of choice) at least 10 business days prior to the date of the scheduled hearing to review and to provide a written response to the investigation report at the hearing. A copy of the completed investigation report will also be issued to the Title IX Coordinator, and to the Hearing Panel assigned for the hearing.

7. Standard of Evidence and Presumption of Not Responsible

All Grievance Processes will use the preponderance of the evidence standard, as defined in this Policy. By law, it is presumed that the Respondent is not responsible for the alleged conduct unless that determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the Grievance Process.

8. Live Hearing - Determination of Responsibility

Absent a Formal Complaint dismissal or the parties’ decision to reach an Informal Resolution agreement (if applicable), the university will provide a live hearing for all Formal Complaints subject to the Grievance Process as outlined in this Policy. 

     a. Written Notice of the Hearing. The university will provide at least 10 business days written notice to participants of the hearing (and the participant’s advisor, if any, upon a participant’s signed information release for their advisor of choice), including the date, time, location, names of all participants of the hearing (including the Hearing Panel, and all parties and participants in the investigation report), purpose of the hearing, a statement of the alleged conduct charges, and a summary statement of the evidence gathered. 

     b. Challenges to the Hearing Officers. Either party may challenge the fairness, impartiality or objectivity of any of the hearing officers. The challenge must be submitted in writing to the hearing officer through the office coordinating the hearing within 4 business days after notice of the identity of the hearing officers, and must state the reasons for the challenge. The respective hearing officer being challenged will be the sole judge of whether he or she can serve with fairness, impartiality, and objectivity. In the event that the hearing officer recuses him or herself, an alternative hearing officer will be assigned in accordance with the institution’s procedures.

     c. Hearing Panel Duties at the Hearing. The hearing panel will rule on all procedural matters and on objections regarding exhibits and testimony of participants at the hearing, may question participants who testify at the hearing, and are entitled to have the advice and assistance of legal counsel from the Office of General Counsel of the U.T. System.

     d. Access to Evidence. Each party will have access to all of the evidence from the investigation, including a copy of the completed investigation report, as outlined in Section III.D.6.g in this Policy.

     e. Separate Rooms and Virtual Participation. At the request of either party, the university will make provisions for the hearing to occur with both parties located in separate rooms with technology enabling the Hearing Panel and the parties to simultaneously see and hear the participants answering questions. Participants may appear at the hearing virtually, and are not required to be physically present at the same physical location of the hearing.

     f. Each party may make opening and closing statements.

     g. Privileged Information Excluded. No person will be required to disclose information protected under a legally recognized privilege. The Hearing Panel must not allow into evidence or rely upon any questions or evidence that may require or seek disclosure of such information, unless the person holding the privilege has waived the privilege. This includes information protected by the attorney-client privilege.

     h. Advisor of Choice. Each party may have an advisor of their choice at the hearing. If a party does not have an advisor, the university will provide one. Advisors are not permitted to actively participate in the hearing, except for asking questions of the other party and any other witnesses. In addition, witnesses may have an advisor of their choice at the hearing, but the university is not required to provide an advisor. The participation of any advisor, must be communicated to the Hearing Panel no later than 5 business days prior to the scheduled hearing date.

      i. Questioning of the participants in the hearing. The Hearing Panel may, at the Hearing Panel’s discretion, ask questions during the hearing of any party or witness and may be the first person to ask questions of any party or witness. Each party’s advisor will have an opportunity to ask relevant questions and follow-up questions of the other party and of any witnesses that participate in the hearing, including questions that challenge credibility. Each advisor has the ability to ask questions directly, orally, and in real time at the hearing. The parties will not be permitted to personally ask questions of the other party or any witnesses that participate in the hearing. The advisors may ask questions under the following procedure:

  • The advisor will ask a question of the applicable participant. 
  • Before the participant answers a question, the Hearing Panel will rule as to whether the advisor’s question is relevant to the alleged conduct charges. 
  • If the Hearing Panel rules the advisor’s question as not relevant, the Hearing Panel must then explain that decision to exclude the question. If the Hearing Panel allows the question as relevant, the participant will answer it.

     j. Prior Sexual History. A Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior is not relevant except where questions and evidence about a Complainant’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the alleged conduct charged by the Complainant or if the questions or evidence concern specific incidents of the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior with the Respondent and are offered to prove the Complainant’s consent of the alleged conduct.

     k. Not submitting to cross-examination: If a party or witness refuses to submit to cross-examination during the hearing, the Hearing Panel will not rely on any statement of that party or witness, when reaching a responsibility determination. The Hearing Panel will not draw an inference about the determination regarding responsibility based solely on a party’s or witness’s absence from the hearing or refusal to answer questions.

      l. Hearing Panel Determination. The Hearing Panel will issue a written determination, which must include the following: 

  • The allegations that potentially constitute prohibited conduct under this Policy; 
  • A description of all of the procedural steps of the Grievance Process under this Policy (from receipt of a Formal Complaint to the determination regarding responsibility of the Respondent, including any notifications of the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence, and hearings held); 
  • The findings of fact supporting the Hearing Panel’s determination; 
  • The conclusion(s) and a rationale as to whether the Respondent is responsible for each allegation; 
  • The disciplinary sanctions, if applicable; 
  • The remedies, if applicable, designed to restore the Complainant’s access to the education program or activity; and 
  • The institution’s procedures and permissible bases for the parties to appeal, if applicable. 

The Hearing Panel will send a copy of the written determination concurrently to the parties, in addition to the Dean (for student Respondents) or appropriate administrator (for employee Respondents), and the Title IX Coordinator.

     m. The hearing will be recorded in audio or audiovisual format and may be transcribed at the discretion of the University. The recording or transcript, if applicable, will be available for the parties to inspect and review, upon request.

9. Sanctions and Remedies

 The following sanctions and remedies may be considered by the Hearing Panel in accordance with this Policy:

      a. Possible Sanctions and Remedies for Student Respondents: 

  • Educational training; 
  • No shared classes or extra-curricular activities; 
  • Disciplinary probation; 
  • Withholding of grades, official transcript, and/or degree; 
  • Bar against readmission, bar against enrollment, drop from one or more classes, and/or withdrawal from the university;
  • Suspension of rights and privileges, including but not limited to participation in athletic or extracurricular activities; 
  • Denial of degree; 
  • Suspension from the university for a specific period of time. Suspension is noted on the academic transcript with the term “Disciplinary Suspension.” The notation can be removed upon the request of the student in accordance with the university’s procedures when all conditions of the suspension are met; 
  • Expulsion (permanent separation from the university). Expulsion creates a permanent notation on the student’s academic transcript; 
  • Revocation of degree and withdrawal of diploma; and/or 
  • Other sanction(s) or remedies as deemed appropriate under the circumstances.

     b. Possible Sanctions and Remedies for Employee Respondents: 

  • Employment probation;
  • Job demotion or reassignment;
  • Suspension with or without pay for a specific period of time;
  • Dismissal or termination;
  • Ineligibility for rehire; and/or 
  • Other sanction(s) or remedies as deemed appropriate under the circumstances.

10. Appeals and Additional Processes Provided to Students and Employees

Appeals. Either party may appeal in writing to the Hearing Panel determination regarding a Respondent’s responsibility under the Grievance Process or from the university’s dismissal of a Formal Complaint (or any allegations in the Formal Complaint) within 10 business days of notification of such a determination, on any of the following bases: 

  • A procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter; 
  • There is new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal that could affect the outcome of the matter; or 
  • The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or hearing officer(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against the parties (generally, or specifically in this matter) that affected the outcome of the matter.           

The appellate officer must not be the same person as the Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or members of the Hearing Panel in the Grievance Process. Both parties will be notified in writing when an appeal is filed, and the appeal procedures will apply equally for both parties.    

Any non-appealing party (or the university) will have 7 business days from the notification of an appeal to submit a written statement in support of the outcome. The decision-maker on the appeal will release a written decision within 21 business days from the date of the appeal.           

The Appellate Officer will release a written decision within 21 business days from the date of the appeal to: 

  • Affirm the determination made by the Hearing Panel regarding the Respondent’s responsibility and affirm the disciplinary sanctions and remedies, if applicable; 
  • Affirm the determination made by the Hearing Panel regarding the Respondent’s responsibility and amend the disciplinary sanctions and remedies, if applicable;
  • Remand the process back to the hearing stage for the Hearing Panel to remedy any procedural irregularity or consider any new evidence; 
  • Reverse the determination made by the Hearing Panel of the Respondent’s responsibility and amend the disciplinary sanctions and remedies, if applicable.

11. Grievance Process Documentation

The university (through the appropriate office) will retain all of the documentation included in the Grievance Process (outlined in Section III.D of this Policy) for seven years, in accordance with state and federal records laws and university policy. All documentation of records are private and confidential to the extent possible under law. Student records of the Grievance Process are disciplinary records under FERPA. Employee records of the Grievance Process are subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Texas Public Information Act (TPIA).

12. Grievance Process Timeframe

The entire Grievance Process (outlined in Section III.D of this Policy, including any appeal) will be completed in no more than 150 business days from the filing of the Formal Complaint. However, the circumstances may require a temporary delay in this timeframe, and the university may extend this timeframe for good cause. In such an instance, the university will provide written notice to the parties of the delay or extension and the reason(s) for the action. Good cause may include considerations such as the absence of a party, a party’s advisor, or a witness; concurrent law enforcement activity; or the need for language assistance or accommodation of disabilities.  The time period in this section does not include the period the parties attempted but failed to reach an agreement in the Informal Resolution Process, if applicable, and in such a case, the Grievance Process timeframe will be extended by the period the parties attempted to reach an Informal Resolution (outlined in Section III.D.5.c of this Policy).

13. Alternative Grievance Process for Students – Applicable Exceptions for Non-Sexual Harassment Formal Complaints

For Formal Complaints where the Respondent is a student at the time of the alleged conduct (including student employees), and the alleged conduct does not include Sexual Harassment, but includes other conduct prohibited under this policy, the Grievance Process in Section III.D of this Policy applies, with the following exceptions:

     a. Investigation Report & Determination Regarding Responsibility. Section III.D.6.g applies except that the completed investigation report will include a preliminary determination regarding the responsibility of the Respondent for each allegation, the findings of fact supporting the investigator’s determination, and the rationale for the determination for each allegation. The completed investigation report and determination regarding responsibility will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator. 

The Title IX Coordinator will conduct an independent review of the investigation report, and will: 

  • Accept the preliminary determination regarding responsibility of the Respondent, and either dismiss the case or proceed to adjudication (if applicable); 
  • Amend the preliminary determination regarding responsibility of the Respondent, and proceed to adjudication (if applicable); or 
  • Remand the process back to the investigation stage to address an investigation concern.           
  • The complainant and the respondent will be informed concurrently in writing of the decision. 

     b. Adjudication. If the Title IX Coordinator determines that the sexual misconduct policy was violated, he or she will refer the matter to the appropriate administrator for disciplinary action in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures.

          i. Implementation of disciplinary action against a student will be handled in accordance with the university’s student disciplinary procedures, as outlined in HOOP 186 Student Conduct and Discipline, or other policies as applicable.   

          ii. Both parties will receive equal opportunities in all aspects of the process including notices and advisor representation. Further, the standard of proof in determining the outcome will be the “preponderance of the evidence,” as defined in this policy.     

          iii. The complainant and the respondent will be provided simultaneous written notice of the result of any disciplinary proceedings (including the rationale for the decision and sanctions), applicable appeal procedures, any changes in the results and when the results become final.

14. Emergency Removal and Employee Administrative Leave

     a. Emergency Removal. A Respondent may be removed from the university’s education program or activity on an emergency basis if, after an individualized safety and risk analysis, it is determined that such a removal is justified because the Respondent poses an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of an individual arising from the allegations of Sexual Misconduct. Under these circumstances, the Respondent will be notified in writing of the emergency removal from the university’s education program or activity, and the Respondent will have an opportunity to immediately challenge the decision following the emergency removal, by submitting reasons in writing to the Title IX Coordinator no later than 7 business days from the receipt of notice of emergency removal.  The Title IX Coordinator will make a final determination related to emergency removal within 7 business days of receiving the written challenge.

     b. Employee Administrative Leave. An employee Respondent may be placed on administrative leave, in accordance with the university’s policy and procedures on employee administrative leave, during the pendency of a Grievance Process, as outlined in this Policy.

15. Dissemination of Policy and Educational Programs

This Policy will be made available to all university administrators, faculty, staff, and students online through the university’s handbook of operating procedures at https://www.uth.edu/hoop/policy.htm?id=1447966 and in university student catalog(s). Periodic notices will be sent to university administrators, faculty, staff and students about the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, including but not limited to at the beginning of each fall and spring semester.  The notice will include information about Sexual Misconduct, Retaliation and other conduct prohibited under this Policy, including the Formal Complaint procedure, the university Grievance Process, and available resources, such as support services, health services, and mental health services.  The notice will specify the right to file a Formal Complaint under this Policy and the right to file a police report to law enforcement, the Title IX Coordinator’s contact information, and contact information for designated offices or officials for additional information.

16. Ongoing Sexual Misconduct Training

The university’s commitment to raising awareness of the dangers of Sexual Misconduct includes providing ongoing education through annual training and lectures by faculty, staff, mental health professionals, and/or trained university personnel. Preventive education and training programs will be provided to university administrators, faculty, staff, and students and will include information about primary prevention, risk reduction, and bystander intervention. Safety classes are regularly offered to all workforce members and students, with class schedules announced through UTHealth's Learn2Succeed (credentials required). Classes may also be announced through the UTP-H departmental website and closed?circuit TVs at the institution, and are promoted by UT Police officers and public safety officers and the Title IX Office.  Departments and work groups within UTHealth can also request safety classes by contacting Community Outreach at 713?563?7794 or utphoutreach@mdanderson.org.

17. Training of Title IX Coordinators, Investigators, Hearing Officers and Appellate Authorities

All Title IX Coordinators, Deputy Coordinators, investigators, and those with authority over university Grievance Processes and appeals shall receive training each academic year about applicable prohibited conduct, Grievance Processes, due process, and university policies related to Sexual Misconduct. All materials used to train Title IX related personnel (e.g., Title IX Coordinator, deputies, investigators, hearing officers, Appellate Officers, and others) will be made available on the university’s website: https://www.uth.edu/titleix/

18. Annual Reporting and Notice

The university’s Title IX General Policy Statement will be made available to all students, faculty, and employees online at https://www.uth.edu/titleix/index.htm.

19. Additional Conduct Violations under this Policy

     a. Retaliation. Any person who retaliates against (a) anyone filing a report of Sexual Misconduct or a Formal Complaint, (b) the parties or any other participants (including any witnesses or any university employee) in a Grievance Process relating to a Formal Complaint, (c) any person who refuses to participate in a Grievance Process, or (d) any person who under this Policy opposed any unlawful practice, is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or separation from the university. If any participant in a Grievance Process believes they have been subject to Retaliation (as defined in this Policy), they should immediately report the alleged retaliatory conduct to the Office of Institutional Compliance.  The university’s Retaliation Policy is available online as (HOOP Policy #108 _ Protection from Retaliation).

     b. False Information and False Complaints. Any person, who, in bad faith, knowingly files a false complaint under this Policy or provides materially false information is required to be separated from the university by state law.  A determination that a Respondent is not responsible for allegations of Sexual Misconduct does not imply a report, Formal Complaint, or information provided was false. Similarly, a determination that a Respondent is responsible for a policy violation does not imply that a Respondent’s statements disclaiming responsibility were false.

     c. Interference with the Grievance Process. Any person who interferes with the Grievance Process (outlined in Section III.D of this Policy) is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or separation from the university. Interference with a Grievance Process may include, but is not limited to:

          i. Attempting to coerce, compel, or prevent an individual from providing testimony or relevant information;

          ii. Removing, destroying, or altering documentation relevant to the Grievance Process; or

          iii. Knowingly providing false or misleading information to the Title IX Coordinator, investigator or Hearing Panel, or encouraging others to do so.

20. Failure to Report for Responsible Employees

Under state law, if a Responsible Employee knowingly fails to report all information concerning an incident that the employee reasonably believes constitutes stalking, dating violence, sexual assault, or sexual harassment committed by or against a student or employee at the time of the incident, the employee is required to be separated from the university. 

For purposes of Failure to Report, the definition of sexual harassment, as defined under state law, is broader than the definition of sexual harassment under this Policy and is defined as unwelcome, sex-based verbal or physical conduct that:                       

  • in the employment context, unreasonably interferes with a person’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment; or
  • in the education context, is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that the conduct interferes with a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from educational programs or activities at a postsecondary institution.

21. No Effect on Pending Personnel or Academic Actions Unrelated to the Complaint

The filing of a Formal Complaint under this Policy will not stop or delay any action unrelated to the Formal Complaint, including:  (1) any evaluation or disciplinary action relating to a Complainant who is not performing up to acceptable standards or who has violated university rules or policies; (2) any evaluation or grading of students participating in a class, or the ability of a student to add/drop a class, change academic programs, or receive financial reimbursement for a class; or (3) any job-related functions of a university employee. Nothing in this section shall limit the university’s ability to take interim action or execute an emergency removal. 

IV. CONTACTS

    • Margaret McNeese, M.D., Title IX Coordinator Vice Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs
    • 713-500-CALL (2255)
    • https://www.uth.edu/titleix
    • Deana Moylan, Deputy Title IX Coordinator Office of the Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Operating and Financial Officer
    • 713-500-CALL (2255)