The university may choose to provide supportive measures after learning of any equal opportunity or Sexual Misconduct concern. The provision by the university of supportive measures is separate from the university’s review of the concerns and does not mean that the university has determined that any violation of the Guidelines has occurred. The university may provide supportive measures even if a formal complaint is not filed and even if a concern did not occur on campus or related to the university’s programs. Such supportive measures may include changes of work locations, living arrangements, course schedules, assignments or tests; temporary leave; transportation; “no contact” orders issued by the university; assistance from the university’s Police Department to obtain a court issued protective order and/or to receive assistance notifying law enforcement of an alleged incident of sexual misconduct; or other measures. If you obtained a court issued protective order, please notify and send a copy of the order to the UMass Lowell Police Department.
[Note: Please review the university’s Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure for information about supportive measures for matters involving Sexual Harassment as defined by the Title IX regulations.]
Trained Investigators conduct a neutral review process of each complaint. They presume that the responding party is not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the process. Investigators first consider the reported facts and may conduct preliminary interviews to determine whether the allegations, if true, could constitute a violation of the Nondiscrimination Guidelines. If it is possible that there was a violation, the procedure will proceed as follows. If not, the complaint will be closed with no further action, and the complainant would be notified.
[Note: The university’s Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Coordinators, Investigators, and other employees involved in the disciplinary process participate annually in training related to Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, gender-based discrimination and harassment, and Title IX training. Such training serves to help protect the safety and rights of students and employees, and to promote accountability. In addition, new employees and new students are expected to complete training in the prevention of and response to unwelcome sexual behavior, within 45 days of beginning to work, study, or live at the university.]
For a Sexual Misconduct concern, the Investigator will provide the Responding Party with written notification of the alleged dates and locations of the alleged incidents, and the applicable policy statement that may relate to the concerns. This will be provided prior to the scheduled meeting.
The Reporting Party and Responding Party are each required to meet with the Investigator(s), separately. Both parties have the right to be accompanied by an Advisor of their choice. The parties will be given the opportunity to respond to the allegation(s), to provide names and contact information of witnesses, and to provide documentation in support of their accounts.
For Sexual Misconduct matters, each party also may suggest relevant questions for the Investigator to ask the other party and witnesses. All relevant documentation is kept as part of the Equal Opportunity and Outreach investigative file.
Investigators will determine relevant witnesses to interview, and will gather accounts and additional information, at their discretion. Investigators will review the relevant evidence related to the allegations, including accounts, documentation, and any other relevant facts.
[Note: Prior sexual activity and character witness accounts shall not be provided to the other party.]
During the review by Equal Opportunity and Outreach, both parties will be provided with periodic status updates. A copy of the UMass Lowell Nondiscrimination Guidelines, this Equal Opportunity Concerns/ Complaint Procedure, and a listing of rights will be provided to both parties and to witnesses. Equal Opportunity and Outreach will provide these prior to its first meeting with each of these individuals. If the Reporting Party does not schedule a meeting in advance, these documents will be provided during that meeting or as soon as possible afterward.
For Sexual Misconduct matters, the Investigator will provide an opportunity for the Parties to review all the relevant evidence that is directly related to the allegations. They may respond in writing within five (5) business days.
[Note: The investigator(s) determine what questions are relevant to ask, and whether any evidence presented is directly relevant.]
The Investigator will then determine whether conduct occurred in violation of the university’s Nondiscrimination Guidelines. This determination is made based on the preponderance of the evidence, that is, whether it is more likely than not that such violation occurred.
The Investigator will provide a written outcome to the Reporting Party and Responding Party. For Sexual Misconduct matters, this will be provided within seven (7) business days after arriving at the determination.
If the determination was that it is more likely than not that a violation of the university’s guidelines has occurred, the matter will be referred to the appropriate administrator of the Responding Party for the determination of next steps, in coordination with Human Resources. Sanctions are not determined by Equal Opportunity and Outreach. The university or appropriate administrator will take sanctions or disciplinary actions to promptly and effectively end the prohibited behavior, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.
Sanctions shall be based upon the nature and severity of the offense as well as any record of prior sanction imposed on the Responding Party. In general, sanctions may include, but are not limited to: written warnings, letters of reprimand, attendance in training or workshops, change in job duties including in supervisory responsibilities, reduction of regular and/or overtime hours, reduction in pay, transfer, demotion, removal from administrative or supervisory duties, leave without pay, suspension, termination, and barring from campus. For student sanctions, please refer to the Student Conduct Code.
If the university or a person in the Responding Party’s line of supervision decides to impose sanctions for an employee, that employee may have a letter placed in their personnel file. The letter may include a statement of the Equal Opportunity determination and a description of the university sanctions taken.
Each party will be notified of the sanctions which are directly relevant to themselves, or as otherwise required by law.
Remedies for Reporting Party might include but are not limited to: campus escort, ensuring Reporting Party and Responding Party are not required to interact at work or do not attend the same classes if possible; moving either or both parties to a different work schedule, work location, or residence hall; “no-contact” orders; change of reporting structure; counseling and/or medical services for students; academic or work/life support services; course withdrawal without penalty; and other remedies to assist with the completion of academics or work. Additional remedies may be enacted for the broader university population, including but not limited to policy review; and educational, awareness and prevention programs including anti-discrimination education.
Each party will be notified of the remedies which are directly relevant to themselves, or as otherwise required by law.
Both parties have the right to appeal the Investigator’s determination within ten calendar days of receiving the written outcome. Please note, this timeframe can be extended for good cause. If it extended, EOO will notify both parties in writing of the extension. Either party may appeal the Investigator’s determination if they have one or more of the following reasons for appealing:
The parties must submit the appeal within the timeframe above. It must be in writing and signed, and provided to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Equal Opportunity and Outreach and Diversity & Inclusion (“AVC, EOO & DI”). The AVC, EOO & DI will assign the appeal to a trained Appeal Officer who will then review and make a determination. The Appeal Officer must provide both parties a copy of the appeal. The party who did not file the appeal will then have 10 calendar days to submit any written responses to the appeal. The Appeal Officer will then issue a written decision to both parties simultaneously. The written decision will state whether the original written outcome has been overturned, and will explain the reasons for the decision. The decision of the Appeal Officer is final.
[Note: If the grounds for appeal include conflict of interest or bias by the AVC, EEO & DI, the appeal may be submitted to the Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Organizational Strategy and Effectiveness.]