Policy Against Bias, Discrimination & Harassment
All members of the campus community are responsible for preventing bias, discrimination and harassment and ensuring that the work and academic environments are free from bias, discrimination, and harassment.
Policy Revised May 20, 2023
Hartwick College does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, creed, disability, domestic violence victim status, gender, gender identity (including transgender status or gender expression), familial status, marital status, military status, national origin, predisposing genetic characteristics, pregnancy-related condition, prior arrest or conviction record, sex, race, religion, retaliation for opposing unlawful discriminatory practices, or other classes protected by applicable law.
Discrimination, harassment, and bias related conduct (which includes hateful conduct), is prohibited, and includes any physical or verbal action, expression, or other behavior based upon an individual’s protected status, where the effect of such behavior subjects an individual to less than equal terms, conditions or privileges of employment. This includes to degrade or humiliate an individual or individuals; or to deny an individual or individuals the full and free exercise of their rights or privileges; or to interfere with an individual’s work performance or the progress of the individual’s education; or to create an intimidating or hostile environment.
The College does not condone and will not tolerate discrimination, harassment or bias of any form. The Policy Against Bias, Discrimination, & Harassment has been established to define standards of conduct for all Hartwick community members and establish procedures to respond to reported violations of this policy. If bias, discrimination, or harassment is determined to have occurred, appropriate remedies will be imposed to stop the misconduct, which can include sanctions, up to and including expulsion or termination of employment.
The Policy Against Bias, Discrimination, & Harassment applies to Hartwick students; Hartwick employees including faculty and visiting faculty, staff, and administrators (“Employees”); contractors, subcontractors, vendors, or other third parties; and visitors or guests affiliated with the College by reason of employment or education and within the College’s control (collectively, the “College community”). All members of the College community have a responsibility to report promptly any conduct believed to violate this policy. When incidents of suspected discrimination or harassment are reported, the College will respond quickly and take steps to resolve the case as expeditiously as possible, which may include an investigation. All reasonable efforts will be used to ensure that the rights of all parties involved are protected. Informal resolution of a complaint is encouraged, but is not required before formal action is pursued. This policy also prohibits any retaliation in any form against an individual who opposes a discriminatory or harassing practice, makes a good faith complaint of discrimination or harassment, and/or furnishes information or otherwise participates in an investigation of any such allegations, regardless of the outcome of the case.
All community members are encouraged to report alleged violations of this policy. However, all employees are obligated by the College to report knowledge of alleged violations of this policy (even if the target and/or offender are unknown), including retaliation, with the exception of certain confidential employees. Confidential employees include licensed, mental health counselors, medical providers, and pastoral counselors (including those who act in that role under the supervision of a licensed employee) and may not report any information about an incident of discrimination or harassment disclosed while acting within the scope of that employee’s license or certification without a Complainant’s permission. Reports can be made in accordance with Section IV of this policy.
Concerns or complaints regarding sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct will be reviewed in accordance with College’s Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Because Hartwick College is an educational institution, an important response to discrimination or harassment, or harm arising from bias, hate, insensitivity or ignorance, is to educate the responsible party or parties (if known) and the rest of the College community to clarify the nature of the offending behavior and reduce the likelihood of the recurrence of such behavior. The responsibility for such education lies with the President or designated representative.
Preventing workplace discrimination and harassment training is required of all employees, including all staff and administrators, and all faculty. The objective of this education is to enable persons to understand and recognize the nature of discrimination/harassment, its impacts, and when it occurs in their own behavior and that of others. All employees are required to complete the trainings within 30-days of hire, and annually thereafter. In the event that an employee does not satisfactorily complete the trainings, written notice will be served that, unless and until they complete the trainings, the College will not provide the employee with any indemnification or defense in the event any workplace discrimination/harassment charges are brought against them. The College will withhold annual pay increases to any employee who fails to participate in the trainings. Also, the College will relieve an employee who refuses to participate in required trainings of all supervisory responsibilities. The College may, at its discretion, terminate any employee who does not complete the required training(s).
Bias-related conduct includes a broad range of conduct that can be verbal, non-verbal, written, or physical conduct that harms, discriminates or harasses anyone in our community based on age, color, creed, disability, domestic violence victim status, gender, gender identity (including transgender status or gender expression), familial status, marital status, military status, national origin, predisposing genetic characteristics, pregnancy-related condition, prior arrest or conviction record, sex, race, religion, retaliation for opposing unlawful discriminatory practices, or other classes protected by applicable law.
Discrimination is any distinction, preference, advantage for, or detriment to an individual compared to others that is based on an individual’s actual or perceived protected status that adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a college activity, or is used as the basis for or a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a college activity.
Discriminatory Harassment is defined as unwelcome verbal, written, online, or physical conduct based on an individual’s actual or perceived protected status when an individual is subjected to substandard terms, conditions or privileges of employment. For example, when:
1. such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment; degrades, humiliates, or denies a person or persons the full and free exercise of their rights or privileges; or unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or the progress of the individual’s education; or
2. the acquiescing to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic advancement, or
3. the acquiescing to or resisting of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such an individual.
A single instance of inappropriate conduct may or may not be sufficient to create such an environment. The determination depends on the severity of the conduct and related circumstances. Inappropriate behavior that is repetitive and pervasive is normally deemed to create such an environment and thus will constitute harassment.
Harassment is not limited to prohibited behavior by one gender towards another, or by a supervisory employee toward a non-supervisory employee, or a faculty to student. Harassment may be student to student, faculty to staff, or any gender identity and combination of student, faculty, staff, or visitor.
Hate Crime is a criminal act involving violence, intimidation, and destruction of property based upon bias and prejudice. As defined by article 485 of the New York Penal Law, a hate crime is when a person commits a specified offense and either:
1.intentionally selects the person against whom the offense is committed or intended to be committed in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct.
2. intentionally commits the act or acts constituting the offense in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct.
Retaliation is any intentional adverse actions, including harassment and intimidation, taken by an individual or allied third party against another individual who has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the College’s Policy Against Bias, Discrimination, & Harassment.
Sexual Harassment is the most common form of harassment on college campuses and workplaces. Concerns or complaints regarding sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct are governed by the College’s Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy Information may also be obtained on the College’s website at www.hartwick.edu/titleix
Hartwick College encourages, but does not require, individuals who believe they are subject to bias, discrimination, or harassment to promptly notify the person that their behavior is unwelcome when it is safe to do so If for any reason an individual does not wish to confront that person directly, or if such a confrontation does not successfully end the conduct, the individual is encouraged to seek the College’s intervention in accordance with this policy as detailed below.
A person who believes they are the subject to an alleged violation of this policy (i.e. the Complainant) at Hartwick College has the right to bring a complaint seeking either an informal or formal resolution. All community members who suspect that another member of the College community is subject to violations of this policy are encouraged to report the alleged violations, even when the target and/or offender are unknown. However, all employees are obligated by the College to report knowledge of alleged violations of this policy, including retaliation, with the exception of certain confidential employees such as licensed mental health counselors, medical providers, and pastoral counselors.
To bring a complaint or report an alleged violation of this policy, students and employees may contact the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator has experience and training in dealing with discrimination and harassment related issues; however, a complaint may be reported to any College employee who will then be required to contact the Title IX Coordinator. The contact information for the Title IX Coordinator is below:
Title IX Coordinator /College Compliance Officer
Shineman, Room 102
P.O. Box 4020
Oneonta, NY 13820
Individuals may also report online by completing the Online Reporting Form.
If the situation involves the Title IX Coordinator this report should be made to the Vice President for Human Resources, Inclusion and Compliance. The contact information for the Vice President for Human Resources, Inclusion and Compliance
Vice President for Human Resources, Inclusion and Compliance
Shineman, Room 108
P.O. Box 4020
Oneonta, NY 13820
No adverse action of any kind will be taken by the College against anyone for bringing a good faith complaint an alleged violation of this policy or in good faith reporting a suspected violation of this policy, regardless of the final disposition of that complaint.
All reports of alleged violations of the Policy Against Bias, Discrimination, & Harassment, will be reviewed by the Title IX Coordinator, or their designee. Complaints or reports that are broad in scope and impact may be reviewed in consultation with members of the Bias Response Team.
Upon receipt of a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will review the complaint and determine if the complaint falls within the purview of this policy or another College Policy. If the complaint falls within the purview of another policy, the complaint will be reviewed in accordance with that policy. If the complaint falls within the purview of this policy and the Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy, the complaint will be reviewed in accordance with the Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy. If a complaint falls within the purview of this policy and another policy, that is not the Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy, the Title IX Coordinator, or their designee, will determine the appropriate policy to review the complaint.
Once review of the initial report is completed, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will contact the Complainant or person reporting the concern to gather additional information, and to provide information about the College’s Policies and procedures, the party’s respective rights, and the possible outcomes. The Complainant has the right to present a written description of the allegations. In the event that the College receives an anonymous complaint or report, there will be a preliminary investigation based on the available information, and a determination as to the appropriate course of action.
As a result of the initial discussions between the Complainant (or the person reporting the concern) and the Title IX Coordinator, and if appropriate, the College will conduct an investigation into the matter. If the person reporting the concern is not the victim of the alleged misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will promptly contact the Complainant to explain the College’s policies and procedures, to request a written statement, and to obtain relevant information.
A Complainant may withdraw a complaint at any time prior to the sanctioning of the Respondent (accused person). Furthermore, a Complainant is not required to participate in any review or investigation of their complaint, but is encouraged to do so.
The College does reserve the right to investigate and impose sanctions upon the Respondent regardless of whether the Complainant chooses to file a formal complaint or participate in any review or investigation process. Such instances include, but are not limited to, when it would be clearly unreasonable for the College not to investigate the Complainant’s allegations (e.g. would not adequately mitigate a potential risk of harm to the reporting individual or other members of the community) or does not comply with state or federal law or when the alleged offender has a pattern of misconduct or is a repeat offender.
Whenever possible, the College’s investigation and all subsequent proceedings will be kept strictly confidential, including the identities of all parties involved, except to the extent that disclosure is required to selected persons for an effective investigation. The College will attempt to honor the Complainant’s request for anonymity, unless an effective investigation cannot be conducted without disclosure of the Complainant’s identity. The College may take interim actions pending investigation or formal proceedings to stop the behavior, remediate the impact and prevent any reoccurrence. Such actions may include residence hall restrictions, course changes, suspension from employment, removal from campus, or other appropriate actions.
The Complainant and Respondent rights include:
The right to obtain supportive measures.
The right to present information / evidence in the context of the investigation and the opportunity to suggest witnesses, and other relevant information, such as documents, communications, photographs, and other evidence.
The right to present information / evidence in a hearing and the opportunity to present other relevant information, such as documents, communications, photographs, and other evidence.
The right not to answer questions or speak at a hearing or any proceeding (such as an investigation) where the party may present statements or evidence. If a party decides to exercise this right, the process will continue and a decision will be made based on the evidence presented.
The right to review all evidence and information presented to the Hearing Officer (i.e. decision-maker) prior to the hearing.
The right to be present at their hearing or submit a written statement in lieu of attending the hearing. If a party does not attend their hearing, the College reserves the right to hold the hearing in the party’s absence.
The right to confer with one advisor of choice. Only the advisor may accompany the party and be present at the hearing, required meeting or proceeding, but only to answer questions that the party may have during the course of the proceedings. Advisors may not speak on behalf of the party or address witnesses or College officials during any proceeding, unless specifically requested to do so by the Hearing Officer.
The right to present a written impact statement to the Hearing Officer that describes the effect that the matter has had on the party. Impact statements are only reviewed after a finding of responsibility is made by the Hearing Officer.
The right to be free of any retaliation as described in this policy.
The right to appeal.
The right to seek legal advice if it is desired or if criminal or civil action is anticipated outside the College’s process.
The College prohibits retaliatory conduct on or off campus, whether or not workplace or employment-related. Retaliation is any intentional adverse actions, including harassment and intimidation, taken by an individual or allied third party against another individual who has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the College’s Policy Against Bias, Discrimination, & Harassment.
Retaliation is a serious violation of this policy and must be reported immediately to the Title Coordinator by any individual who believes that they have been the subject of or has witnessed retaliation. Any individual found to have engaged in retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion or termination.
Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services that can range from referral to supportive services such as counseling services or schedule and housing modifications, withdrawals, or leaves of absence. Before or after the formal grievance process is initiated, or where a report is made but neither formal grievance process is initiated, the College will provide supportive measures to the Complainant and the Respondent, as appropriate and reasonably available, without fee or charge to the parties. The College will maintain the confidentiality of the supportive measures, except as necessary to provide such supportive measures. The College will act to ensure as minimal an academic/workplace impact on the parties as possible. The College will implement measures in a way that does not unreasonably burden the other party. The College will review the facts and circumstances of each case, in deciding whether and what steps are reasonable and appropriate. Parties may request to the Title IX Coordinator the removal of supportive measures, addition of supportive measures, or the alteration of current supportive measures at any time.
Examples of supportive measures include, but are not limited to:
• Referral to counseling, medical, and/or other healthcare services
• Referral to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
• Referral to community-based service providers
• Student financial aid counseling
• Education to the institutional community or community subgroup(s)
• Altering campus housing assignment(s)
• Altering work arrangements for employees or student-employees
• Providing campus safety escorts
• Providing transportation accommodations
• Implementing contact limitations (no-contact orders) between the parties
• Academic support, extensions of deadlines, or other course/program-related adjustments
• Timely warnings
• Class schedule modifications, withdrawals, or leaves of absence
• Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus
• Any other actions deemed appropriate by the College
An informal resolution process provides parties the opportunity to resolve an alleged violation of this policy outside of the formal grievance procedures. In some cases, an informal resolution, which may include restorative justice practices, may be appropriate. At any time prior to reaching a determination regarding responsibility, the College may facilitate an informal resolution process that does not involve a full investigation and adjudication. The College will not require as a condition of enrollment or continuing enrollment, or employment or continuing employment, or enjoyment of any other right, waiver of the right to an investigation and adjudication of reports of sexual misconduct. Similarly, the College will not require the parties to participate in an informal resolution process under this section.
Prior to beginning the informal process, the College will:
1) Provide to the parties a written notice disclosing:
a. the allegations;
b. the requirements of the informal resolution process including the circumstances under which it precludes the parties from resuming a matter arising from the same allegations, provided, however, that at any time prior to agreeing to a resolution, any party has the right to withdraw from the informal resolution process and resume the grievance process with respect to the matter; and
c. any consequences resulting from participating in the informal resolution process, including the records that will be maintained or could be shared; and
2) Obtain the parties’ voluntary, written consent to the informal resolution process.
At any time during the process, the Complainant or the Respondent has the right to resume the formal processing of the report. An informal resolution does not necessarily require the parties to meet together. An informal resolution may involve a College employee and/or a third-party facilitator, to be selected by the College. Anyone designated to facilitate an informal resolution process will not have a conflict of interest or bias. An informal resolution must be agreed upon by both parties, and the Title IX Coordinator. The results of an Informal Resolution are not appealable.
An informal resolution may involve mediation or restorative practices, by which the parties reach a mutually agreed upon resolution of an allegation. The Title IX Coordinator or designee may also, with the consent of the parties, negotiate and implement an agreement to resolve the allegations that satisfies all parties. If an informal resolution results in an agreement, then the informal resolution is considered successful. Both parties will sign a statement agreeing that the matter will be considered resolved. If attempts at informal resolution are unsuccessful, then the formal process will resume.
The Respondent may also accept responsibility for all or part of the alleged Policy violations at any point in the resolution process. An informal resolution may include an acceptance of responsibility and sanctions. When a resolution is accomplished, the appropriate sanctions or responsive actions are promptly implemented in order to effectively stop the misconduct, prevent its occurrence, and remedy the effects of the misconduct. A case will not be resolved via informal resolution if:
• Either party does not give consent to participate in the informal resolution process
• Either party withdraws consent to participate in the informal resolution process before the process is concluded
• The parties cannot agree on an appropriate resolution
• The College administrator determines that the resolution agreed upon by the parties (with or without the assistance of a mediator) is not in the best interests of the College
If any of these scenarios occur, the case will be referred to back to the formal grievance process for resolution.
The Bias Education and Response Team represents a cross section of the Hartwick College community members who are trained to:
– Provide support and advocacy to any community member affected by a bias incident
– Offer outreach and educational programming to the campus community on bias
– Create opportunities for dialogue across campus on bias-related issues
– Assess and coordinate response to campus-wide bias-related issues
The Bias Education and Response Team does not adjudicate bias related incidents or facilitate the grievance process. Typically, the response by the Bias Intervention and Response Team is independent of outcomes determined through the grievance process.
Investigators, Hearing Officers and Appeals Panel members are selected from Hartwick College’s Title IX Team. The College’s Title IX Team consists of a pool of qualified faculty and staff members trained to serve as Investigators, Hearing Officers, Appeals Panel members.
Investigators, Hearing Officers, and anyone who facilitates an informal resolution or reviews a report of harassment will receive annual training in the definitions of this policy, the scope of the College’s education program or activity; how to conduct an investigation and grievance process including hearings, appeals, and informal resolution processes; and how to serve impartially, including by avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias.
The College strives to ensure that reports are responded to in a prompt, fair, timely, thorough, and impartial manner. The investigation will be performed by appropriate trained persons. Where circumstances warrant, the Title IX Coordinator or designee may determine that they will utilize investigators who are external to the College. No investigator will have a conflict of interest or bias.
During the investigation, the College has the burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding responsibility. While the Complainant and the Respondent are not restricted from gathering and presenting relevant evidence, the Investigator is responsible for gathering relevant evidence to the extent reasonably possible. The College cannot access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use a party’s records that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in the professional’s or paraprofessional’s capacity, or assisting in that capacity, and which are made and maintained in connection with the provision of treatment to the party, unless the College obtains voluntary, written consent from that party (or, if the party is not an eligible student, that party’s parent) to do so. Questions or evidence that constitute, or seek disclosure of, information protected under a legally recognized privilege are not permitted unless the person holding such privilege has waived that privilege.
An investigation usually involves interviews of the persons involved (e.g. Complainant, Respondent), including witnesses, and gathering and reviewing relevant evidence. The Complainant and the Respondent will be given an equal opportunity to present information in the context of the investigation and the opportunity to suggest witnesses, and other relevant information, such as documents, communications, photographs, and other evidence. Parties and witnesses are expected to provide all available relevant evidence to the Investigator during the investigation. The Complainant and Respondent may also present to the Investigator proposed questions they wish for the investigators to ask of the other party and/or witnesses. The Investigator retains discretion to determine the order and method of investigation and witnesses as unnecessary or inappropriate. Information will be obtained from each party separately.
Parties whose participation is invited or expected at a hearing, investigative interview, or other meeting will be provided written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of said event. As noted in Section V, both parties can be accompanied during any proceeding or related meeting by an advisor of their choice, subject to restrictions.
No unauthorized audio or video recording of any kind is permitted during investigation meetings. If the Investigator elects to audio and/or video record interviews, all involved parties must be made aware of audio and/or video recording. Neither party is restricted from discussing the allegations or gathering and presenting evidence. If relevant evidence is destroyed by a party, the Hearing Officer can take that into account in assessing the credibility of the parties, and the weight of evidence in the case. Both parties will have an equal opportunity to review any evidence as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations in the report.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigator will prepare a case file. The case file will include all collected evidence in the College’s possession that is directly related to the case. The Investigator will also complete a written investigative report to be given to the Title IX Coordinator. The parties will be provided an opportunity to review the report and case file subject to redaction permitted and/or required by law, and to respond in writing to the investigative report. The parties will be allowed 5 business days to review and submit a written response to the investigative report.
After the investigative report is shared with and reviewed by the parties, the Title IX Coordinator will assign the matter to be heard by a Hearing Officer. The Title IX Coordinator will appoint a Hearing Officer from a pool of specially trained College personnel. Where circumstances warrant, the Title IX Coordinator or designee may determine that a Hearing Officer external to the College will be assigned. The Hearing Officer will not have a conflict of interest or bias. Neither the Title IX Coordinator nor the Investigator(s) may serve as the Hearing Officer.
The Hearing Officer will review the final investigatory report and supporting evidence as well as any written response to the final report submitted by the parties. The Hearing Officer is not bound by the investigative report and should objectively evaluate relevant evidence. The Hearing Officer will hold a hearing to include interviews with both parties, and may, if deemed necessary, interview witnesses as part of the hearing process. A tape recording of any hearing interview will be created and made available to the parties for inspection and review.
The Title IX Coordinator or designee will provide written notice at least 5 business days before the hearing date to the parties. The written notice will include:
• The date, time, and place of the hearing;
• The name and contact information of the Hearing Officer. A party wishing to challenge the participation of the Hearing Officer must notify the Title IX Coordinator, in writing, within 3 business days of receipt of the notice of hearing, stating the specific reason(s) for the party’s objection. The Title IX Coordinator will determine whether the challenge has merit, and reserves discretion to make changes to the individual assigned as the Hearing Officer at any time.
• Any technology that will be used to facilitate the hearing.
• A statement that if the party or witness does not appear at the scheduled hearing, the hearing may be held in their absence.
• A reminder that the parties may have the assistance of an advisor of their choosing at the hearing.
• A list of those who will participate in the hearing (including but not limited to the parties, witnesses, etc.), along with the invitation to object on the basis of bias or conflict of interest.
The hearing will take place on the date and time specified in the notice of hearing. If circumstances arise that require a change in the hearing date or time, the College will provide the parties with written notice explaining the reason for such change.
The Hearing Officer is responsible for maintaining an orderly, fair, and respectful hearing and will have broad authority to respond to disruptive or harassing behaviors, including adjourning the hearing or excluding the offending individual, including a party, witness, or advisor. The Hearing Officer will determine the order of witnesses and answer any procedural questions. Both parties have the right to exclude their own mental health diagnosis and/or treatment from admittance in the hearing.
Both the Complainant and Respondent will be provided with the same opportunity to submit information and evidence, including evidence in the case file, or otherwise in the possession or control of the institution, and relevant to the case. Parties may submit questions before the hearing that they wish to have asked of the other party. The Hearing Officer will ask all questions at the hearing and may decline to ask any submitted question that is duplicative of information already gathered or asked, irrelevant, or otherwise determined to be unnecessary or inappropriate.
C. Impact Statements
The parties will be offered an opportunity to provide impact statements to be presented to the Hearing Officer after a determination of responsibility and prior to the determination of appropriate sanctions. The impact statement may be up to 3 pages single spaced. The Title IX Coordinator will provide the impact statements to the Hearing Officer only once the Hearing Officer is deliberating on appropriate sanctions. Impact Statements cannot and will not be considered by the Hearing Officer when reaching a determination of responsibility.
D. Determination of Responsibility
The Hearing Officer will issue a written determination regarding responsibility using the preponderance of the evidence standard. In reaching this decision, all relevant evidence must be objectively evaluated, and credibility determinations may not be based on a person’s status as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness. The Hearing Officer cannot defer to any conclusions in the investigative report and must make an independent determination of responsibility.
If the Hearing Officer concludes that the Respondent is responsible for a violation of this policy, then the Hearing Officer shall receive the Respondent’s disciplinary record (i.e., any previous disciplinary action or other violation of College Policy, including this policy, for which the Respondent was found responsible), and the party impact statements to consider, as appropriate, in determining sanctions. The disciplinary sanction(s) for a violation of this Policy will be based on a consideration of all of the circumstances, including but not limited to: the nature and severity of the conduct, the Respondent’s disciplinary history, and any other information deemed relevant by the Hearing Officer.
Within 10 business days of the conclusion of the hearing process, the Hearing Officer will issue a written decision to the Title IX Coordinator outlining relevant factual findings and whether a violation of this policy has occurred and, if relevant, the appropriate sanctions. The Hearing Officer will issue a written determination that must include:
1. Identification of the allegations potentially constituting a violation of this Policy;
2. Findings of fact supporting the determination;
3. Conclusions regarding the application of the College’s Policy to the facts;
4. As to each allegation, a statement of, and rationale for, both the determination regarding responsibility and any disciplinary sanctions the College imposes on the Respondent and whether remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to the College’s education program or activity will be provided by the College to the Complainant;
5. The College’s procedures and permissible bases for the Complainant and Respondent to appeal; and
6. When the determination becomes final.
The College will provide the written determination to the parties simultaneously. The College must wait to act on the determination regarding responsibility, including implementing disciplinary sanctions or remedies, until the determination becomes final. The determination regarding responsibility becomes final either on the date that the College provides the parties with the written determination of the result of the appeal, if an appeal is filed, or if an appeal is not filed, the date on which an appeal would no longer be considered timely. Both parties have the right to choose whether to disclose or discuss the outcome of the formal grievance process.
E. Disciplinary Sanctions and Remedies
Disciplinary sanctions range from a warning up to and including expulsion/termination from the College or revocation of a degree. The disciplinary sanction(s) for a violation of this policy will be based on a consideration of all of the circumstances, including but not limited to: the nature and severity of the conduct, the Respondent’s disciplinary history, previous allegations involving similar conduct, and any other information deemed relevant by the Hearing Officer. The following is a non-exhaustive list of sanction(s) that may be imposed:
• Behavioral requirement
• Change of class/job assignment and/or housing/work location
• Required training and/or counseling
• Disciplinary probation
• Educational requirements and/or community services
• Housing probation or removal from housing
• Removal from office/position, demotion, and/or reduction in pay
• Removal of privileges/eligibility restriction
• Suspension/leave with or without pay
• Written warning/letter of reprimand or censure
• Withholding diploma
• Revocation of degree
• Other sanctions as deemed appropriate
If a Respondent student takes a leave of absence or withdraws while the grievance process is pending, the College in its discretion may continue processing a report pursuant to this Policy. If a former student is found responsible, Hartwick may revoke that student’s degree or impose a ban from campus of any length of time. If the conclusion reached is that there has been no violation of this policy, but other inappropriate conduct has occurred, the College retains the right to address that inappropriate behavior in accordance with College Policy and practice. Remedies will be provided to a Complainant where a Respondent has been found responsible, through this process or informal resolution. Supportive remedies, which can include the supportive measures discussed in Section VII above, range from referral to supportive services such as counseling or medical services to class and housing modifications, withdrawals, or leaves of absence; punitive remedies range from a warning up to and including expulsion/termination from the College or revocation of a degree.
The College must wait to act on a determination regarding responsibility, including implementing disciplinary sanctions or remedies, until the determination becomes final. The determination regarding responsibility becomes final either on the date that the College provides the parties with the written determination of the result of the appeal, if an appeal is filed, or if an appeal is not filed, the date on which an appeal would no longer be considered timely.
F. Transcript Notations
For those crimes of violence that Hartwick College is required by federal law to include in its Annual Security Report, the transcripts of students found responsible after a hearing and appeal, if any, shall include the following notation: “Suspended after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation” or “Expelled after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation.” For the Respondent who withdraws from the College while such charges are pending and declines to complete the disciplinary process, the transcript shall include the following notation: “withdrew with conduct charges pending.”
A student has the right to appeal such transcript notation to request its removal in the event of a suspension. Transcript notations for suspensions may be removed at the discretion of the College, but no earlier than one (1) year after the conclusion of the suspension. Transcript notations for expulsion shall not be removed. If a finding of responsibility is vacated for any reason, any such transcript notation shall be removed.
Following issuance of a written determination from the Hearing Officer regarding a determination of responsibility or the College’s dismissal of a report or any allegations therein, the Complainant and/or Respondent, may file an appeal with the Title IX Coordinator. A written appeal, based on one or more of the grounds listed below, must be made within 5 business days of the receipt of the written decision or notification of dismissal and must clearly and fully set forth the evidence to support each identified ground of appeal which the appealing party is asserting. The grounds for appeal are limited to:
Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;
New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter; or
The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or decision-maker(s) (i.e., the Hearing Officer) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally, or the individual complainant or respondent, that affected the outcome of the matter.>
The Title IX Coordinator, or designee, will determine if the written appeal clearly identifies one or more of the grounds for appeal. The Title IX Coordinator will not assess the merit of the appeal, but will review the documentation to confirm that grounds for an appeal have been asserted in the appeal. If a request for appeal is accepted, both parties will be notified in writing that an appeal is filed. The non-appealing party will be provided the opportunity to review the appeal and will be permitted 5 business days from the date of review of the appeal to submit a written statement in support of, or challenging, the appeal.
The Title IX Coordinator will appoint an Appeals Panel, which shall be made up of 3 members from the pool of available Hearing Officers, or where appropriate, individuals trained in Title IX and other pertinent areas who are external to the College, to review the appeal. No member of the Appeals Panel shall have a conflict of interest or bias. Anyone who made the determination regarding responsibility (i.e. who served as the Hearing Officer at the hearing) or dismissal of a report, investigated a report, or who is a Title IX Coordinator cannot serve on the Appeals Panel regarding that same report.
Appeals are not intended to be full re-hearings of the report and generally will be considered upon a review of the written documentation of the parties and any pertinent documentation regarding the grounds for appeal. A preponderance of the evidence standard will be applied on appeal. Unless there is good cause for temporary delay(s) or limited extension(s), the decision of the Appeals Panel will be communicated within 8 business days to both parties, simultaneously and in writing; the written decision will describe the result of the appeal and the rationale for the result. The Appeals Panel’s decision will be final and binding. Both parties have the right to choose whether to disclose or discuss the outcome of the formal grievance process.
False and malicious accusations of violations of this policy, may be the subject of appropriate disciplinary action. However, no adverse action of any kind will be taken by the College against anyone for bringing a good faith complaint of an alleged violation of this policy or reporting a suspected violation of this policy, regardless of the final disposition of that complaint.
The most current revision of this policy supersedes all previously issued revisions and inconsistent verbal or written policy statements. The College reserves the right at any time to change, modify, delete, or add to any of the provisions of this policy.
The College may, at its discretion, designate a trained and experienced individual(s) to act in the place of the investigators, adjudications/decision-makers, and/or facilitators in this policy. If there is such a
designation, the Parties involved will be promptly informed.
Records generated in connection with reports, investigations, grievance processes, and appeals are maintained in confidential files for at least seven years by an appropriate office, which may be the Title IX Coordinator; the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience; Vice President of Human Resources, Inclusion and Compliance; the Vice President of Academic Affairs; and/or the Registrar (for records concerning disciplinary outcomes). Only those with a right and need to know are permitted access. The Parties will have access to a full and fair record of the hearing in which they were involved and have the right to have all information obtained during the course of the grievance process be protected from public release until the Appeals Panel makes a final determination unless otherwise required by law. For additional information about maintenance and accessibility to student records, please see the College’s Policy governing Student Privacy Rights and Confidentiality.
Records required to be kept are:
1) Each investigation including any determination regarding responsibility and
any audio or audiovisual recording or transcript of the hearing, any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the Respondent, and any remedies provided to the Complainant designed to restore or preserve equal access to the College’s education program or activity;
2) Any appeal and the result therefrom;
3) Any informal resolution and the result therefrom; and
4) All materials used to train the Title IX Coordinator, investigators, and Hearing Officer, and Appeals Panel members.
Shineman Chapel House