Certified Title IX Investigators

What You Need to Know about Indiana Title IX Investigative Processes

Title IX was initially established as a mechanism to equalize access to funding across gender lines, but the legislation has become the basis for civil sexual harassment and discrimination complaints involving school personnel, students, or activities. Although based on common legislation, each school establishes and develops its own policies for handling Title IX claims. For those facing a Title IX complaint, understanding how Indiana Title IX investigative processes differ from one school to the next and finding experienced counsel to navigate the process are key to protecting your rights.

The Different Indiana Title IX Investigative Processes

Because each university establishes and follows its own Title IX policy, the process for Title IX investigations at Indiana universities differs from one school to another. How a university approaches Title IX investigations can impact the outcome, which in turn can negatively and permanently affect your educational and professional career.

If you’re facing a Title IX complaint, protect your future by aggressively managing the process—learn and understand the Title IX investigative models in Indiana, and hire knowledgeable Title IX counsel to assist you starting early in the process.

What Do Indiana Title IX Policies Cover?

Each university in Indiana that receives federal funding has an established policy for handling Title IX claims. A school’s Title IX policy describes the procedures for making, investigating, and deciding the validity of a Title IX complaint. A Title IX complaint alleges violence, harassment, or discrimination based on sex or gender by persons affiliated with the institution. Although each university’s Title IX policy language may differ, the following lists examples of the conduct generally prohibited:

  • Creation of or failure to eliminate a hostile work environment
  • Quid pro quo harassment
  • Race-based or gender-based discrimination
  • Sexual violence
  • Sexual harassment
  • Stalking
  • Unwanted sexual pursuits

An allegation of one of these or a similar type of misconduct attributable to the alleged victim’s gender could trigger a university’s Title IX policy.

Title IX policies describe the process the university follows when investigating and evaluating a complaint. These policies generally contain the following:

  • Relevant definitions, including what constitutes conduct violating Title IX, usually in terms relating to sexual violence, harassment, or discrimination
  • Identification of the university’s Title IX coordinator, the person at the university responsible for the school’s compliance with Title IX and for overseeing the handling of all Title IX complaints
  • A description of the university’s process for making, investigating, and deciding a Title IX complaint
  • Deadlines for filing a Title IX complaint and for each stage of the investigative and determinative process

The Title IX policies for many universities in Indiana can be found below:

Two Models of Indiana Title IX Investigative Processes

Universities in Indiana generally follow one of two models of Title IX investigative processes. Both models typically include the following progressive stages: initial evaluation, investigation, and determination.

In the initial evaluation stage, the school’s Title IX office or designated personnel evaluate the claim to determine if a full Title IX investigation is warranted. When further investigation is warranted, the Title IX office sends notice to the complainant and the respondent, the person alleged to have acted in violation of Title IX. The notice describes the investigative and determination processes to follow.

In the next stage, a Title IX investigator gathers information to determine the validity of the claims in the Title IX complaint. A Title IX investigator in Indiana may be a faculty member or administrator performing these investigative duties as an adjunct to his or her regular duties, a full-time investigator employed by the institution, or a third party hired by the institution to investigate Title IX claims. Regardless of the nature of the employment, the investigator generally performs these steps:

  • Identifies and interviews the relevant parties and witnesses (information gathering) and obtains relevant evidence
  • Reviews testimony and other evidence collected
  • Drafts and submits a report of the investigative process, including a determination of the facts and identification of the relevant policies

At this point, the Indiana Title IX investigative processes break into two different models. At some schools, the investigator or the Title IX office determines whether the conduct alleged violated Title IX. At other schools, the investigator’s report is submitted to a panel, which makes that determination. In either case, the complainant or respondent may appeal the Title IX decision inside the university. The table below gives examples of which Title IX investigative model some Indiana universities follow:

Investigator or Title IX Office Determines Violations:

  • Butler University
  • University of Indianapolis

Panel Determines violations:

  • Indiana State University
  • Purdue University
  • Indiana University

Why You Need to Retain Experienced Indiana Title IX Counsel Early

The consequences of a Title IX finding against you can be devastating. For students, the finding of a Title IX violation can impact access to campus or even result in expulsion. For university faculty, employees, and affiliated personnel, such as vendors, the finding of a violation could result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. In either case, the finding of a violation can have long-lasting effects, following you to future schools and employment.

In its current form, respondents are afforded few if any Title IX rights like those given to defendants in criminal proceedings. Further, information gathered in a Title IX investigation may be used for separate proceedings to determine school code of conduct violations or even the filing of criminal charges. Because schools often do not allow respondents the assistance of counsel during Title IX investigations or proceedings, consulting experienced Indiana Title IX counsel at the earliest opportunity, before participation in the investigative process, is paramount to protecting your rights.

If you have been named in a Title IX complaint, you need immediate assistance before the Indiana Title IX investigative processes begin. For experienced Title IX counsel to guide you through the process and protect your rights, contact Keffer Hirschauer LLP by completing this online contact form or by calling (317) 202-1163 for a free case evaluation.

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