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Purdue University Title IX Defense

Purdue University Title IX Defense

Sexual misconduct allegations have profound consequences for the accused and for the organizations with which they are associated. If you are affiliated with a college or university, like Purdue University, at the time of such allegations—as a student, staff member, professor, or other employee—even an unsubstantiated or untrue allegation of misconduct can derail your educational plans or professional advancement. It is important to understand what is at stake and who can best help you navigate the school’s Title IX investigation procedures and hearing process. Your Purdue University Title IX defense will be most effective in the hands of an experienced Indiana Title IX attorney who knows the law and understands how the university handles these matters.

The Backdrop of Purdue University Title IX Defense

Title IX, part of the Education Amendments of 1972, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. The federal civil rights law applies to all schools or educational programs that receive monetary assistance from the federal government. Title IX applies to sexual misconduct that occurs in the United States on a university campus or off-campus at a university activity or program when the complainant is a university employee, student, or another university-affiliated individual.

While Title IX has been around for some time, the guidance provided by the federal government regarding how entities must comply with the law and handle complaints has changed over the years. This inconsistency adds a layer of complexity to Title IX defense. Individuals facing accusations related to Title IX at Purdue need an attorney who is up-to-date on Title IX investigation procedures and processes in general as well as the specifics of Purdue University Title IX defense.

2020 Amendments and Title IX Changes at Purdue

Many regulations have been issued to implement Title IX over the years since the law was passed. The Title IX regulations were amended most recently in May of 2020, providing increased protections for those accused of violations. In August of 2020, Purdue University issued a press release regarding the necessary changes to its Title IX policies and procedures as a result of the new regulations.

Until any additional regulatory updates spur additional Title IX changes at Purdue—and more are expected in 2022—the university applies the current Title IX policies and procedures, which are described in more detail below . Because Title IX changes at Purdue and elsewhere are likely in the future, if you need Purdue University Title IX defense, you should seek the counsel of an Indiana Title IX attorney who maintains current knowledge in this field of law as quickly as possible.

Title IX Coordinators at Purdue Campuses

The Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) serves as a resource and coordinator of Purdue University’s system-wide affirmative action activities, and it also serves as the Title IX Office for the West Lafayette campus. There are Title IX Coordinators at each of Purdue’s four campuses. Title IX information specific to the four campuses can be found at the links below:

  • Purdue University (West Lafayette/main campus)
    • The information for the West Lafayette campus is also the main Title IX information for the entire Purdue University system
  • Purdue University Northwest (Westville and Hammond)
    • Purdue Northwest is comprised of both the Westville and Hammond campuses, and the web page includes specific contacts for each campus location
  • Purdue University Fort Wayne
    • The information specific to Fort Wayne includes much of the same information as the University-wide procedures as well as campus-specific contacts

Purdue University’s Title IX coordinators can help students understand the processes and regulations in place for filing and defending against Title IX complaints. However, meeting with Title IX coordinators or other representatives from the school is not a substitute for enlisting a qualified Indiana Title IX attorney to manage your Purdue University Title IX defense.

Current Title IX Procedures to Be Aware of for Purdue University Title IX Defense

Initiating Title IX Proceedings

Purdue University Title IX investigation procedures and administrative processes offer both formal and informal means for handling a complaint. When a violation of Title IX is alleged to have occurred at Purdue, the complainant may file a formal complaint and request an investigation by completing a Complaint Information Form. Once this request is made—and at any point in the investigation until a decision is made in the claim—either of the parties to the claim may request an informal resolution process, which is designed to empower the parties to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.

Responding to a Title IX Complaint

After a complaint is filed, the next step is the responsibility of the accused, formally called the respondent. Once it has been alleged that you are a perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual misconduct in violation of Title IX, you become the respondent in a Title IX proceeding. As the respondent whether or not the allegations in the report are true, you will benefit from an experienced Indiana Title IX lawyer who can guide you through the process.

Purdue Title IX investigation procedures allow the respondent no more than ten days to provide a written response to the allegations. A copy of the respondent’s written response is then provided to the person accusing the respondent of misconduct. That is less than two weeks to understand the allegations against you and decide on the best response—and that short time frame is why it is essential that you contact an experienced advisor as quickly as possible in the Purdue Title IX defense process.

Mandatory Dismissal of a Title IX Proceeding?

During the ten-day response period, the campus Title IX Coordinator is examining the complaint to see if it is subject to mandatory dismissal. The topic of mandatory dismissal pursuant to the 2020 regulations seems to be a cause of some debate. If the claim is not dismissed at this stage, the case proceeds to an investigation. Both parties have the opportunity to have an advisor present for all meetings during the investigation. Although the advisor does not speak on your behalf, it is invaluable to have the support and the counsel of an advisor who is familiar with the Title IX process who can advise you on your response and the best path forward.

Additional Information about the Title IX Process at Purdue

More detailed information about Purdue’s Title IX policies and procedures can be found online. The University has a one-stop launch page for Title IX that allows people to submit an incident report, request a complaint form, and schedule an appointment with the OIE.

The Title IX home page gives an overview of the complaint process, training materials, and mandatory reporter information. It points out campus resources for people involved in situations covered by Title IX, provides links to the Dean of Students’ Office, and offers other support measures and accommodations. There are reporting links for both law enforcement and on-campus Title IX Coordinators. There is also a general section addressing the on-campus climate with respect to sexual assault and links to the numbers of Title IX complaints in recent years and their outcomes. For example, in the 2020-2021 school year, almost six times as many Title IX claims were deemed unsubstantiated as were found to be substantiated.

A Purdue Title IX Case Sets New Standards

Even after a decision is handed down, Title IX decisions can be appealed or post-decision claims can be filed in courts of law. One such claim arising out of a Purdue Title IX proceeding resulted in prominent and controlling case law. In the summer of 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a decision in which it used a “straightforward pleading standard” to evaluate whether dismissal was appropriate when a Title IX respondent’s claim against Purdue for violation of his due process during a Title IX proceeding. The new standard basically asked: “do the alleged facts, if true, raise a plausible inference that the university discriminated against the student on the basis of sex?”

The Seventh Circuit standard is more favorable to a former Title IX respondent than prior case law had been. In the case at issue, a John Doe respondent had been expelled from Purdue after the school determined he had sexually assaulted a fellow student, his former girlfriend. In the student’s subsequent action against the University, he contended that Purdue reached its decision against him solely because of his gender.

Following adverse decisions in Title IX proceedings, many other male students have filed similar actions asserting that their schools found them guilty of sexual misconduct primarily based on their sex—without giving them any chance to even review the evidence or refute the testimony against them. The Seventh Circuit’s ruling regarding Purdue University Title IX defense practices set a new standard for evaluating post-Title IX proceeding claims against universities and has allowed other respondents to keep their claims alive in situations where they previously would have been dismissed.

Merits of an ATIXA Advisor in Purdue University Title IX Defense

At Purdue, parties to a Title IX proceeding have the opportunity to have an advisor in attendance for all meetings during the investigation, but—unlike a proceeding in a court of law—the advisor may not speak on the client’s behalf. The advisor can, however, offer support and invaluable guidance. A Title IX advisor can help ensure that the Title IX investigation procedures and hearing processes comply with Purdue’s Title IX policies and federal regulations, protecting you in the process.

During Title IX proceedings at any of Purdue’s campuses, an experienced Title IX advisor is invaluable to the parties involved. A Title IX advisor can also provide guidance to the University itself as it attempts to follow best practices for safeguarding the rights of all parties to the proceedings. The university needs to engage a professional with experience guiding institutions of higher learning through Title IX proceedings.

The Association for Title IX Administrators (ATIXA) is a national organization that provides education, certification, and support for Title IX advisors and other professionals. The organization aims to promote, develop, and safeguard Title IX administration best practices. Members of ATIXA are committed to advancing and maintaining quality and equity in Title IX procedures and administration. ATIXA members have access to training and certifications in Title IX proceedings that other advisors may not have.

A Trusted Indiana Title IX Attorney and Advisor

The attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP have completed certifications by ATIXA and can help with Title IX proceedings as ATIXA Title IX administrators and investigators. ATIXA credentials inform the work of these attorneys as Title IX Advisors, a role in which attorneys guide universities, schools, and parties to a claim through the Title IX investigation procedures and administration.

Title IX cases are not criminal proceedings, and these cases do not involve traditional courtroom hearings. However, the violations can result in serious penalties and repercussions for the accused. The outcome of your Purdue University Title IX defense will impact the rest of your life—and could even result in criminal charges.

With ATIXA certifications and years of experience in Title IX defense, Keffer Hirschauer partners Bradley Keffer and Tom Hirschauer and their team have assisted many clients accused in Title IX matters and counseled universities in developing Title IX investigation procedures and processes. For Purdue University Title IX defense, call an Indiana Title IX attorney at Keffer Hirschauer LLP at (317) 648-9560 or complete this online contact form for a free consultation.