HONDROS COLLEGE OF NURSING TITLE IX GENERALLY APPLICABLE GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
Hondros College of Nursing (HCN) has adopted a Tile IX Policy (Policy), all of the provisions of which are incorporated herein by reference. In accordance with Section 7 of the Policy, HCN adopts and publishes the following Title IX Generally Applicable Grievance Procedures (Generally Applicable Grievance Procedures) for the prompt, fair, impartial and equitable investigation and resolution of Title IX Offenses other than sexual harassment.
All Title IX complaints involving one or more students that allege a Title IX Offense that does not constitute sexual harassment shall be processed in accordance with these Generally Applicable Grievance Procedures. Title IX complaints involving only employees that allege a Title IX Offense that does not constitute sexual harassment shall be processed through Human Resources in accordance with HCN’s anti-discrimination and harassment policy. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if a Title IX complaint involves an individual who is both an HCN student and employee, then the individual’s role at the time of the event in question will control. Please refer to the Policy for an illustrative example involving such an individual. HCN shall in all instances and in its sole discretion make the decision of whether the complaint will be processed in accordance with the Generally Applicable Grievance Procedures or in accordance with HCN’s anti-discrimination and harassment policy, as described above. HCN aims to create an investigative report within ninety (90) days of receiving a Title IX complaint and prepare a written determination of responsibility within forty-five (45) days of issuing an investigative report, unless multiple complainants or incidents are involved, or the facts and circumstances of a particular complaint merit additional time, as HCN may determine in its sole discretion and which determination shall be promptly communicated via email to the parties, along with the reasons for the action. HCN may, in its sole discretion, implement remotely any or all portions of these Grievance Procedures using electronic and other remote means.
These Generally Applicable Grievance Procedures explain (i) how to file a Title IX complaint, (ii) HCN’s Title IX informal resolution, investigative, decision-making, and appeals processes, and (iii) how resulting remedies and sanctions will be imposed, all with respect to Title IX Offenses that do not constitute sexual harassment as defined in the Policy.
See Exhibit A for defined terms.
INITIATION OF A COMPLAINT
Any person may report alleged sex discrimination to the Title IX Coordinator or to a responsible employee. Any person who believes that he or she has been the victim of a Title IX Offense may file a written institutional complaint with the Title IX Coordinator identified in the Policy. Complainants have the right to concurrently file a criminal complaint with appropriate law enforcement agencies and an institutional complaint with HCN. Any institutional complaint filed with HCN shall specify the alleged Title IX Offense, the name of the individual(s) who engaged in the alleged Title IX Offense, if known, and such other information as may assist HCN in promptly investigating the alleged Title IX Offense. The complainant may request confidential treatment and the Title IX Coordinator shall evaluate all such requests as set forth in Section 5 of the Policy.
INFORMATION RESOLUTION PROCESS
The Title IX Coordinator may informally discuss possible remedies and sanctions with the complainant and the respondent separately to ascertain if a satisfactory informal resolution can be reached, only after the parties receive a full disclosure of the allegations and options for formal resolution. HCN shall refrain from asking a complainant to resolve problems directly with the respondent. If resolution can be reached, the remedies and sanctions to which the parties agree shall be imposed. If resolution cannot be reached, the Title IX Coordinator shall proceed with the investigative process described in Section 4. Any party has the right at any time to end the informal resolution process and begin the formal investigative process described in Section 4.
The Title IX Coordinator or designee shall promptly investigate the alleged Title IX Offense in accordance with Section 6 of the Policy. It is HCN’s goal to provide for an adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation and resolution of each institutional complaint. Retaliation against the complainant, the respondent, witnesses, or any other participant involved in a Title IX investigation is prohibited. In the event HCN is unable to conduct a full investigation, such as when the respondent is a visitor to HCN property or is not otherwise affiliated with HCN, HCN shall take steps to provide remedies for the complainant and the broader student and employee populations, as HCN may deem appropriate.
Upon the conclusion of the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator shall determine whether the preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that the alleged Title IX Offense occurred. If the Title IX Coordinator does not so determine, then the complaint shall be dismissed (Complaint Dismissal), and the complainant and the respondent shall be notified concurrently in writing of HCN’s determination. If, however, the Title IX Coordinator determines that the preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that the alleged Title IX Offense occurred, then the Title IX Coordinator shall notify the complainant and the respondent concurrently in writing of such determination and proceed with the decision-making process set forth in Section 5.
If the Title IX Coordinator determines by the preponderance of the evidence that the alleged Title IX Offense occurred, the Title IX Coordinator shall prepare findings of fact and recommended remedies, accommodations, and sanctions (Findings). Within ten (10) days of preparing the Findings, the Title IX Coordinator shall use the Findings to determine what, if any, remedies, accommodations, and sanctions for the complainant and respondent, and additional remedies for the HCN community, shall be imposed (Ruling).
Within ten (10) days following the Ruling, HCN shall concurrently send notice via email to the parties of the Ruling and of each party’s right to appeal pursuant to Section 6. HCN shall notify the parties whether HCN found that the alleged Title IX Offense occurred and any sanctions imposed on the respondent that directly relate to the complainant. HCN shall also notify the complainant of any individual remedies offered or provided to the complainant, but shall not notify the respondent of these individual remedies. If the alleged victim is deceased as a result of the Title IX Offense in question, the next of kin of such victim is treated as the alleged victim and shall be provided written notification as set forth herein.
Either party may appeal the Complaint Dismissal or Ruling by submitting a written statement of appeal to the Senior Vice President, Academics. The appeal must be received by the Senior Vice President, Academics overseeing the student’s program within seven (7) days following the date on which the parties received notice of the Complaint Dismissal or Ruling. The Senior Vice President, Academics shall have an additional twenty (20) days from receipt of the appeal request to grant or deny the appeal, or request additional information from the appealing party and the Title IX Coordinator that the Senior Vice President, Academics deems necessary to decide the appeal request. Regardless of which party files the appeal, the Senior Vice President, Academics may reverse the Complaint Dismissal or Ruling only if the Senior Vice President, Academics finds that the determination was arbitrary or capricious or was not otherwise supported by the preponderance of the evidence. If the appeal is granted, the Senior Vice President, Academics shall make such instructions to the Title IX Coordinator as may be appropriate.
The Senior Vice President, Academics’s decision on the appeal shall constitute the final action by HCN, and HCN shall send written notice of the Senior Vice President, Academics’s decision and its finality via email concurrently to the parties. If neither party appeals the Complaint Dismissal or Ruling within the seven (7) day appeal window, HCN shall send notice via email concurrently to the parties that the time for an appeal has expired and that the Complaint Dismissal or Ruling is deemed final.
These appeal processes apply only to student-related complaints; all complaints related only to employees and/or non-students will be processed through Human Resources in accordance with HCN’s anti-discrimination and harassment policy.
IMPOSITION OF REMEDIES, ACCOMODATIONS AND SANCTIONS
After a Ruling has become final, HCN shall take steps necessary to implement the Ruling’s remedies, accommodations, and sanctions. In the event interim measures are offered to the complainant or respondent at any point prior to HCN’s final determination, the Title IX Coordinator may implement such measures, a non-exhaustive list of which are set forth in Exhibit E of the Policy.
Exhibit E of the Policy also sets forth a non-exhaustive list of potential remedies for complainants, which HCN may impose, and include the reprimand, suspension, or expulsion of a student respondent, the reprimand, suspension
suspension, or termination of an employee respondent, and complainant’s options to avoid contact with the alleged respondent and to change academic, professional, and extracurricular activities as well as complainant’s living, transportation, dining, and working situation, as appropriate. Example counseling, advocacy, and other support services and assistance options are provided in Exhibit D of the Policy.
Implementation of these Generally Applicable Grievance Procedures may result in additional remedies for the HCN community, including greater emphasis on student awareness, educational, and professional development courses for students, faculty, and staff, and other steps designed to address the specific issues raised by a Title IX complaint received by HCN.