Title IX Policy
Catawba College is committed to providing equal opportunities for all students, employees, applicants for student admission and applicants for employment regardless of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, unless allowed by law and deemed necessary to the operation of the College.
The College complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws governing non-discrimination. Catawba College complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972,20 U.S.C.1681 et seq. (Title IX). Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity operated by a recipient of federal financial assistance. Catawba College receives financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education, thus the College is subject to Title IX and its implementing regulations.
Catawba College Title IX Policy
- Ensure that individuals are treated in a non-discriminatory manner in all educational and recreational programs or opportunities, including but not limited to intercollegiate and intramural athletics.
- Ensure that individuals are treated in a non-discriminatory manner in any proposed educational and recreational programs or opportunities, including but not limited to intercollegiate and intramural athletics.
- Inform the College’s population that any individual who believes he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, should file a grievance with the Title IX Administrator.
Title IX Committee Make-up
The Title IX Administrator, with the President’s approval, will select a minimum of six (6) individuals from the faculty and staff, to include the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, to serve on the Title IX Committee. The appointment will be for two fiscal years.
Title IX Grievance Procedures
This grievance process is set forth to provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging action prohibited by Title IX.
- Grievance is brought to Title IX Administrator by the Complainant or someone else on behalf of the Complainant, e.g. family member, friend, colleague, etc.
- Complainant is interviewed by the Title IX Administrator to assess if the grievance is indeed within the College's Title IX policy. During this process other interviews and/or evidence may be submitted to make this determination. If so, the grievance is assigned to a Title IX Investigator(s), and all parties will be notified immediately. If not, the grievance will be directed to the appropriate office (e.g. Human Resources, Academic Affairs, or Student Affairs) for support, remediation, and/or investigation through that office.
- A formal, neutral investigation is undertaken by the Title IX Investigator(s). Any evidence for the grievant and the recipient of the complaint, including witnesses, is reviewed and interviewed, respectively, by the Title IX Investigators. During all meetings parties may have a single person of support with them, e.g. friend, family member, or colleague. That person may not speak or act on behalf of the party other than to be present with them. Interviews may be (audio) recorded by the Investigator(s), however parties and witnesses being interviewed are not permitted to record these meetings. Audio and/or transcripts of the recordings will be available for the party who was recorded to review, though the recordings are the property of the College. If no recording is made, notes taken by the Investigator(s) during the interview may also be reviewed by the interviewees.
- At the conclusion of the interview process, when all reasonably available and applicable evidence in support of both parties has been assessed, a recommendation for finding(s) is rendered to the Title IX Administrator by the Title IX Investigators.
- The Title IX Administrator reviews the recommendation, ensures adherence to College policies and procedures, and makes the final determination of finding(s). If there is one or more findings of responsibility for policy violation(s), the Title IX Administrator will assign an appropriate sanction.
- In alignment with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights' guidance, the entire grievance process should not take more than 60 days, with consideration for unforeseeable events (e.g. crucial parties away from campus due to illness or other personal reasons, or emergency weather affecting institution and/or travel), pre-planned work-related absence, days when the College is closed due to holidays or breaks, etc.
Title IX Appeals Procedures
In an instance where either party disagrees with the outcome(s) of the Title IX grievance process, a request for appeal may be made within five (5) days of notification of the decision. Only under certain circumstances is a request granted; a request does not mandate an appeal hearing. Such a request should be in writing, explaining the reason for the request (see appropriate reasons below) and delivered to the Title IX Administrator.
- In order to be eligible for appeal, the party seeking the appeal must present evidence that one or both of the following circumstances has occurred or be in effect:
- That the grievance process was handled outside the parameters of the policy and associated procedures, i.e. that a procedural error occurred in determination of the findings.
- That new, previously unavailable evidence is now available that could potentially change the outcome of the grievance process.
- When the Title IX Administrator receives the appeal request they assign a member of the Title IX committee (who was not involved in the investigation of the current case) as the Appeals Request Officer. The Appeals Request Officer determines if the request aligns with one or both of the appeals criteria, noted above. If the determination is that it does meet one or both of the criterion, an Appeals Hearing is initiated. If not, the original outcome will be considered final.
- In an instance where an appeal is approved, the Title IX Administrator will assemble an Appeals Committee from Title IX Committee. Three individuals (who have served in no other positions related to the current case) will serve and review the original investigation for proper compliance with policies and procedures and/or review new evidence. In an effort to ensure a fair and equitable process, the Appeals Committee will review evidence, may speak with parties, and call new or previously interviewed witnesses. During all meetings parties may have a single person of support with them, e.g. friend, family member, or colleague. That person may not speak or act on behalf of the party other than to be present with them. Interviews may be (audio) recorded by the Committee Members, however parties and witnesses being interviewed are not permitted to record these meetings. Audio and/or transcripts of the recordings will be available for the party who was recorded to review, though the recordings are the property of the College. If no recording is made, notes taken by the Committee Members during the interview may also be reviewed by the interviewees.
- After all evidence has been reviewed, the committee with vote by secret ballot to agree or disagree that the original grievance is in violation of the College's Title IX policy. The Appeals Committee's decision is determined by a majority. The outcome will be either in agreement with the original grievance process outcome, in which case the finding(s) and related sanction(s) stand, or it will be in opposition to some or all of the original grievance findings. In the latter case a revised finding(s) is determined with associated revisions to sanctioning.
- The Appeals Committee result will be a recommendation to the Appeals Review Officer who is another member of the Title IX Committee (who has not previously been associated with the case), or the President. The Appeals Review Officer undertakes a holistic assessment of the appeals process and either accepts or rejects the Appeals Committee’s decision. In the case that the Review Officer determines a finding of responsible for policy violation, sanctioning is either upheld from a previous result, or a new/revised sanction is imposed.
- These findings are delivered to the Title IX Administrator and the President. Notification to both parties of the appeals outcome(s) will be within two (2) business days of the receipt of the decision by the President. The duration for the entire appeals process, from receipt of appeals request to notification of outcome(s), will be no more than sixteen (16) days.
All matters associated with the Title IX Committee process and hearings are confidential. The College will treat any violation of confidentiality as a serious offense and will maintain zero tolerance for such violations. All persons participating must maintain confidentiality and the complainant, witnesses and committee members are afforded complete privacy. All records and proceedings are considered confidential and will be maintained separate from personnel and student files, available only on a “need to know” basis and will be stored in the Title IX Administrator’s office. All attempts to influence witnesses or committee members and any harassment of any of the parties involved in the case will not be tolerated. Any violation of the accountabilities referenced above will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment in the case of a faculty or staff member, or in the case of a student, expulsion from the college.