NEC Adjudication Process
When the Title IX Coordinator receives credible allegations of a violation, he/she will take the following steps:
1. Provide the complainant with access to healthcare and counseling services
2. Advise the complainant on his or her right to pursue the allegations through the courts and/or through the NEC’s adjudication process
3. Advise all students or employees involved on our efforts to maintain confidentiality
4. Advise all students or employees involved on our policy against retaliation (see below)
5. Advise the respondent of the accusations and the investigative and adjudication process
6. Initiate an investigation
At the conclusion of the investigation, NEC will proceed as follows:
1. The Title IX Team (see below) will review the report submitted by the designated investigator and make a determination as to whether there was a violation(s).
2. The respondent and the complainant will receive written notification of the Title IX Team’s findings within ten working days of the receipt of the investigator’s report, unless specific circumstances preclude a decision within that time. Sanctions may range from exoneration to expulsion or termination.
The respondent has the right to appeal any finding or sanction. To do so, he or she must file a letter of appeal within one week of notification. This appeal must be based on either procedural error or new evidence (that is, evidence not available at the time of the initial investigation) and must be addressed to the President’s Office. The President or appointed designee will consider and decide all appeals from a student. An appeal does not presuppose a right to a new investigation, although the President or designee may appoint a new investigator, provided that it is conducted in accord with regular procedures.
The President or designee may affirm the Title IX Team’s original decision, modify or amend sanctions, or direct that the case be re-investigated. The decision will be communicated to the complainant and respondent, in writing, no more than two weeks after the appeal is filed; such a decision is final.
The designated investigator will allow for the following provisions:
· The respondent will receive written notice of an interview at least five working days in advance, unless the Title IX coordinator determines that circumstances warrant an interview on shorter notice.
· The respondent may ask for an advisor from within the NEC community to help in preparing a response to the allegations and/or to appear at an interview. Attorneys are not permitted, unless related criminal charges are pending in the courts, in which case the respondent’s attorney may be present but may not participate.
Note: Any person bringing charges may seek the support of any member of the Conservatory community.
· Both respondent and complainant have a right to present relevant evidence, testimony, and witnesses to the designated investigator; to know the nature and source of any evidence or testimony; and to question any such testimony. The Conservatory expects all participants to respect the confidentiality of its proceedings.
· All investigations will be thorough, reliable, impartial, prompt and fair. Investigations entail interviews with all relevant parties and witnesses, obtaining available evidence and identifying sources of expert information, as necessary.
See Appendix C for a complete description of investigative procedures.
Title IX Team for Adjudication
· Suzanne Hegland, Dean of Students
· Marianne Wisheart, Director of Human Resources
· Michael Ryan, Director of Public Safety
Amnesty for Underage Drinking, Excessive Drinking and Illegal Drug Use
Although underage drinking, excessive drinking and illegal drug use are violations of NEC’s Code of Conduct, students will be given amnesty for these offenses when there are allegations of sexual assault. In other words, a student who is assaulted while under the influence of drugs or alcohol should not be afraid to report the incident to school officials.
Policy against Retaliation
Retaliation, occurring either during or after the filing of a Title IX complaint, is a violation of NEC policy. If a student or employee feels that they are being harassed or retaliated against due to their involvement in a Title IX investigation, he or she should immediately notify the Title IX Coordinator.
Deliberately false and/or malicious accusations under this policy, as opposed to allegations which, even if erroneous, are made in good faith, are a serious offense and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
Administrative Leave While Charges Pending
Should an employee be placed on administrative leave while charges are pending, the investigative process will proceed in the employee’s absence to a reasonable resolution. The employee will not be permitted to return to NEC unless all sanctions have been satisfied.