Academic, Faculty and Student Ombudsperson & ADA Compliance Office

Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct

 
UTHSCSA HANDBOOK OF OPERATING PROCEDURES
Chapter 4 General Personnel Policies Effective: November 2000
Section 4.2 Employee Relations Revised: October 2015
Policy 4.2.2 Title IX Sexual Harassment/Sexual Misconduct Policy Responsibility: Vice President, Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs and Vice President for Human Resources
 
Policy
  1. Th e Institution of Texas Health Science Center(Health Science Center) is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment that is free from discrimination based on sex in accordance with Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education al programs or activities; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits sex discrimination in employment; and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE Act). Sexual misconduct is a form of sex discrimination and will not b e tolerated. As stated in the definition, sexual misconduct includes sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence and/or dating violence. Individuals who engage in sexual misconduct and other inappropriate sexual conduc t will be subject to disciplinary action.
  2. The Health Science Center will take prompt disciplinary action against any individuals or organizations within its control who violate this Policy. The Health Science Center encourages any student, faculty, staff or visitor to promptly report allegations and/or violations of this Policy to an individual identified below in Section 3.2.
Applicability

This Policy applies to all Health Science Center administrators, faculty, staff, students, trainees, and third parties within the Health Science Center ’s control, including visitors and applicants for employment. It applies to conduct regardless of where it occurs, including off Health Science Center pr operty, if it potentially affects the complainant’s education or employment with the Health Science Center . It also applies regardless of the gender, gender identity or sexual orientation of the complainant or the respondent. In addition, it applies whet her the complaint was made by or against a third party, and whether the complaint was made verbally or in writing.

Filing a Complaint and Reporting Violations
  1. All Members of the Health Science Center Community, Third Party and Anonymous Complaints. All administrators, faculty, staff, students, and third parties are strongly encouraged to immediately report any incidents of sexual misconduct (including sexual harassment and sexual violence) and other inappropriate sexual conduct to the Title IX Director or Deputy Directors.
    1. Anonymity. Individuals wishing to remain anonymous can file a complaint in any manner, including by telephone or written communication with the Title IX Director or a Deputy Director; however, electing to remain anonymous may greatly limit the University’s ability to stop the harassment, collect evidence, or take effective action against individuals or organizations accused of violating the Policy.
    2. Confidentiality. The Health Science Center has an obligation to maintain an environment free of sex discrimination, thus many Health Science Center employees have mandatory reporting and response obligations and may not be able to honor a complainant’s request for confidentiality. Complainants who want to discuss a complaint in strict confidence may use the resources outlined in Section 3.5.
    3. Timeliness of Complaint. Complaints should be reported as soon as possible after the complainant becomes aware of the inappropriate conduct. Delays in reporting can greatly limit the Health Science Center’s ability to stop the harassment, collect evidence, and/or take effective action against individuals or organizations accused of violating the Policy.
  2. Responsible Employees. Incidents of sexual misconduct (including sexual harassment and sexual violence) and other inappropriate sexual conduct may also be reported to Responsible Employees. A Responsible Employee is a University employee who has the duty to report incidents of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Director or other appropriate designee, or an employee whom an individual could reasonably believe has this duty. Responsible employees include all administrators, faculty, supervisory staff, resident life directors and advisors, and graduate teaching assistants, except any employee with confidentiality obligations as defined in Section 3.5.i
  3. Reporting to Law Enforcement. Complaints of sexual misconduct may also be made to The University of Texas System Police,, Health Science Center (University Police) at 210-567-2800 (non-emergency) or 210-567-8911 (emergency) or 911 (emergency) or to other local law enforcement authorities.ii The Title IX Deputy Directors can help individuals contact these law enforcement agencies. Employees and students with protective or restraining orders relevant to a complaint are encouraged to provide a copy to the University Police.
    If a complaint of sexual misconduct is reported to the University Police, it shall advise the complainant of his or her right to file a complaint under this Policy. To the extent allowed by law and University policy, the University Police shall also notify the Title IX Director of the complaint, and provide the Title IX Director or the individual investigating the complaint access to any related University law enforcement records, so long as doing so does not compromise any criminal investigation.
  4. Reporting to Outside Entities. An individual wishing to make a complaint may also contact the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to complain of sex discrimination or sexual misconduct including sexual violence:

    Office for Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    1999 Bryan Street, Suite 1620
    Dallas, TX 75201-6810
    Phone: (214) 661-9600
    Fax: (214) 661-9587

    Employees may also contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to complain of sex discrimination or sexual harassment:

    U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    Dallas District Office
    207 S. Houston Street, 3rd Floor
    Dallas, TX 75202
    Phone: (800) 669-4000
    Fax: (214) 253-2720
  5. Confidential Support and Resources. Physical and mental health care professionals and pastoral counselors (including those who act in that role under the supervision of these individuals), are generally prohibited by confidentiality laws from reporting any information about an incident to anyone, in any way that identifies the victim, without the victim’s permission. Thus, students may discuss an incident with a counselor in the Student Counseling Center, a health care provider in Student Health Center, the clergyperson of the student’s choice, or an off-campus resource (i.e. rape crisis center, doctor, psychologist, etc.) without concern that the incident will be reported to the Title IX Director. Employees may also seek assistance from the Employee Assistance Program, their own personal health care provider, the clergyperson of the employee’s choice, or an off-campus rape crisis resource without concern that the incident will be reported to the Title IX Director. A listing of different Health Science Center and community resources that provide such services can be found through the Student Counseling Center, the Student Health Center, University Police, and the Office of Human Resources. The weblinks are:
    http://students.uthscsa.edu/counseling/
    http://utpolice.uthscsa.edu/divisions/crimeprev/resources.asp
    http://shc.uthscsa.edu/
    https://www.uth.edu/uteap/index.htm
  6. Immunity. In an effort to encourage reporting of sexual misconduct, the Health Science Center may grant immunity from student disciplinary action to a person who voluntarily initiates a report of sexual misconduct or assists a complainant, if that person acts in good faith in reporting a complaint or participating in an investigation. This immunity does not extend to the person’s own violations of this Policy.
Parties’ Rights Regarding Confidentiality

The Health Science Center has great respect for the privacy of the parties in a complaint. Under federal law, however, Responsible Employees who receive a report of sexual misconduct must share that information with the Title IX Director and/or a Deputy Director. Those individuals may need to act to maintain campus safety and must determine whether to investigate further under Title IX, regardless of the complainant’s request for confidentiality.

In the course of the investigation, the Health Science Center may share information only as necessary with people who need to know to fulfill the purposes of this Policy and applicable law, such as investigators, witnesses, and the respondent. The Health Science Center will take all reasonable steps to ensure there is no retaliation against a complainant. The Health Science Center will comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), with Texas Education Code Sec. 51.971 and other confidentiality laws as they apply to Title IX investigations. To the extent possible, the Health Science Center will also protect the privacy of all parties to a report of sexual misconduct.

Victim Resources
  1. Immediate Assistance. A listing of different Health Science Center and community resources can be found through the Student Counseling Center, the Student Health Center, University Police, and the Office of Human Resources. The weblinks are:
    http://students.uthscsa.edu/counseling/
    http://utpolice.uthscsa.edu/divisions/crimeprev/resources.asp
    http://shc.uthscsa.edu/
    https://www.uth.edu/uteap/index.htm
    1. Healthcare. An individual who experiences any form of sexual, domestic, or dating violence is encouraged to seek immediate medical care. Also, preserving DNA evidence can be key to identifying the perpetrator in a sexual violence case. Victims can undergo a medical exam to preserve physical evidence with or without police involvement. If possible, this should be done immediately. If an immediate medical exam is not possible, individuals who have experienced a sexual assault may have a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) performed by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) within 4 days of the incident. With the examinee’s consent, the physical evidence collected during this medical exam can be used in a criminal investigation; however, a person may undergo a SAFE even without contacting, or intending to contact, the police. To undergo a SAFE, go directly to the nearest hospital that provides SAFE services. For more information about the SAFE, see http://hopelaws.org or https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/victims/sapcs.shtml#survivors. The cost of the forensic portion of the exam is covered by the law enforcement agency that is investigating the assault or, in cases where a report will not be made to the police, the Texas Department of Public Safety. This does not include fees related to medical treatment that are not a part of the SAFE.
    2. Police Assistance. The Health Science Center encourages individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct to make a report to the police. It is important to note that a police department’s geographic jurisdiction depends on where the sexual misconduct occurred. If the incident occurred on the Health Science Center campus, a report may be filed with the University Police by calling 210-567-2800 or in person at 7703 Floyd Curl Dr., San Antonio, TX, even if time has passed since the assault occurred.

      The University Police can also assist with filing any protective orders. Reporting an assault to law enforcement does not mean that the case will automatically go to criminal trial or to a Health Science Center disciplinary hearing. If the University Police are called, a uniformed officer will be sent to the scene to take a detailed statement. A ride to the hospital may be provided by a police department counselor. A report may be filed with the University Police even if the assailant was not a Health Science Center student or employee. If the incident occurred off the Health Science Center campus in San Antonio, a report may be filed with the appropriate local law enforcement agency, even if time has passed since the assault occurred. If a report is made to the police, a uniformed officer will usually be dispatched to the location to take a written report.
    3. Counseling and Other Services. A person who has experienced sexual violence is strongly encouraged to seek medical and psychological care even if he or she does not plan to request a SAFE or report the assault to the police. He or she may be prescribed medications to prevent sexually transmitted infections and/or pregnancy even if the police are not contacted or if a SAFE is not performed.

      Medical care can be provided at Student Health Center (for students only), at a local emergency room, or by a private physician. Psychological support can be provided by the Student Counseling Center (students), Employee Assistance (employees), a referral through the Employee Assistance Program, or a care provider of the individual’s choosing.
      Students desiring counseling should contact:
      Student Counseling Center
      http://students.uthscsa.edu/counseling/
      210-567-2648

      Faculty and staff should contact:
      Employee Assistance Program
      https://www.uth.edu/uteap/index.htm
      (713) 500-3327 or toll-free at (800) 346-3549
  2. Interim Measures and Ongoing Assistance. In addition to the services provided by on- and off-campus providers, the Health Science Center will take immediate and interim measures to assure the safety and well-being of the complainant, to maintain an environment free from harassment, discrimination or retaliation, and to protect the safety and well-being of community members.
    For example, if the accused is an employee, interim action may include reassignment or paid administrative leave. If the accused is a student, interim action may include suspension, no contact orders, changing living arrangements, modifying the course schedule, or modifying other aspects of the educational environment. Interim action may also include allowing the complainant to move to a new residence hall, change work schedules, alter academic schedules, and withdraw from or retake a class without penalty. Moreover, the Health Science Center may be able to provide additional accommodations for a complainant while an investigation is pending.
Intake Procedures and Protocol
  1. Key Officials in an Investigation
    1. Title IX Director. The Title IX Director is the senior Health Science Center administrator who oversees the Health Science Center’s compliance with Title IX. The Title IX Director is responsible for leading the administrative investigation of reports of sexual misconduct and is available to discuss options, provide support, explain Health Science Center policies and procedures, and provide education on relevant issues. The Title IX Director may designate one or more Deputy Title IX Directors. Any member of the Health Science Center community may contact the Title IX Director with questions.
    2. Investigators. The Title IX Director will ensure that complaints are properly investigated under this Policy. The Title IX Director will also ensure that investigators are properly trained at least annually to conduct investigations that occur under this Policy.
      The Title IX Deputy Directors shall supervise and advise the Title IX investigators when conducting investigations and update the Title IX Director as necessary.
  2. Assessment of Complaint.The Title IX Director or designee will conduct a preliminary assessment of the complaint and determine whether a formal resolution or an informal resolution should occur. Informal resolution may be appropriate:
    1. With a complaint solely of sexual
    2. When both parties are categorically similar (i.e. employee/employee or student/student).
  3. Notification of Health Science Center Offices Offering Assistance. After receiving a complaint, the Title IX Director or Deputy Director shall provide the complainant with referrals to available resources and assistance.
  4. Informal Resolution of Certain Sexual Harassment Complaints. (OPTIONAL) A complainant may use this option instead of or before filing a formal complaint, but is not required to do so. Also, this option is not permitted for sexual violence cases. Anyone who believes that he or she has been subject to sexual misconduct may immediately file a formal complaint as described in Section 3 of this Policy. An individual wishing to use the informal resolution Page 10 of 28 process should contact the Title IX Director.
    1. Informal Assistance. In certain sexual harassment complaints, an individual may not wish to file a formal complaint. If informal assistance is deemed appropriate by the Title IX Director or designee, then the individual will be provided assistance in informally resolving the alleged sexual harassment. Assistance may include providing the complainant with strategies for communicating with the offending party that his or her behavior is unwelcomed and should cease, directing a Health Science Center official to inform the offending party to stop the unwelcomed conduct, or initiating mediation. However, the Health Science Center may take more formal action, including disciplinary action, to ensure an environment free of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.
    2. Timeframe. Informal resolutions should be completed no later than 10 business days after the Title IX Director receives the request for informal resolution.
    3. Confidentiality and Documentation. The Health Science Center will document and record informal resolutions. The Title IX Director will retain the documentation. If the individual’s wish to remain anonymous limits the Health Science Center’s ability to establish facts and eliminate the potential harassment, the Health Science Center will attempt to find the right balance between the individual’s desire for privacy and confidentiality and its responsibility to provide an environment free of sexual harassment.
  5. Formal Complaint and Investigation.
    Formal Complaint. To begin the investigation process, the complainant should submit a signed, written statement setting out the details of the conduct that is the subject of the complaint, including the complainant’s name, signature, and contact information; the name of the person directly responsible for the alleged violation; a detailed description of the conduct or event that is the basis of the alleged violation; the date(s) and location(s) of the occurrence(s); the names of any witnesses to the occurrence(s); the resolution sought; and any documents or information that is relevant to the complaint. The Health Science Center may initiate an investigation regardless of the manner in which a complaint is received or whether a complaint is received at all. However, the complainant is strongly encouraged to file a written complaint. If the complaint is not in writing, the investigator should prepare a statement of what he or she understands the complaint to be and ask the complainant to verify that statement. The Health Science Center office receiving the complaint should refer the complaint to the Title IX Director.

  6. Investigation.
    1. An investigator will be assigned to investigate the complaint.
    2. As part of the investigation process, the complainant and the respondent will be provided notice of the complaint and allowed a reasonable time to respond in writing.
    3. The complainant and the respondent may present any document or information that is believed to be relevant to the complaint.
    4. Persons thought to have information relevant to the complaint will be interviewed, and those interviews will be appropriately documented. Both the respondent and the complainant may recommend witnesses for interview and suggest questions that should be asked. Neither the complainant nor the respondent will normally attend these interviews or the gathering of evidence; however, if either one is permitted to attend, the other shall have the same right.
    5. The investigation of a complaint will be concluded as soon as possible after receipt of the written complaint. In investigations exceeding 60 days, a justification for the delay will be presented to and reviewed by the Title IX Director or his/her supervisor. The complainant, respondent, and supervisor should be provided updates on the progress of the investigation and issuance of the report.
    6. After the investigation is complete, a written reportiii will be issued to the Title IX Director and the appropriate administrator. The appropriate administrator will depend on the status of the respondent (i.e., student, faculty or employee). The report shall include factual findings and a preliminary conclusion of whether a policy violation occurred (based on a “preponderance of the evidence” standard).
    7. After the written report is completed, the complainant and respondent will be allowed to inspect the report or, at the university’s discretion, provided letters summarizing the findings in the report in keeping with FERPA and Texas Education Code, Section 51.971. If a letter is provided, it will contain enough detail to allow the complainant and respondent to comment on the adequacy of the investigation. Each will have 7 business days from the date of receipt (as indicated on the return receipt) to submit written comments regarding the investigation to the Title IX Director.
    8. Within 7 business days after the deadline for receipt of comments from the complainant and respondent, the Title IX Director or his or her designee will:
      • request further investigation into the complaint;
      • dismiss the complaint if it is determined that no violation of policy or inappropriate conduct occurred; or
      • find that the Policy was violated. A decision that the Policy was violated shall be based on the record.
    9. If the Title IX Director or his or her designee determines that the Policy was violated, he or she will refer the matter for disciplinary action under the applicable disciplinary policies and procedures, which depend on the status of the respondent (i.e., student, faculty or employee).
    10. The complainant and the respondent shall be informed concurrently in writing of the decision in accordance with Section 6.5.g of this Policy.
    11. The appropriate administrator will impose disciplinary action or sanction(s) in accordance with the applicable policies and procedures dependent on the status of the respondent (i.e., student, faculty or employee).
  7. Standard of Proof
    All investigations under this Policy will use the preponderance of the evidence standard to determine violations of this Policy.
  8. Timelines
    Barring any unforeseen and reasonable delays, the Health Science Center will endeavor to resolve complaints under this Policy no later than 60 calendar days after the initial report was received by the Responsible Employee. If the investigation and resolution exceeds 60 calendar days, the Health Science Center will notify all parties in writing of the reason for the delay and the expected time frame adjustment. Best efforts will be made to complete the process in a timely manner by balancing principles of thoroughness and fundamental fairness with promptness.

    At the request of law enforcement, the Health Science Center may defer its fact-gathering until after the initial stages of a criminal investigation. The Health Science Center will nevertheless communicate with the complainant regarding his/her Title IX rights, procedural options, the status of the investigation, and the implementation of interim measures to ensure his/her safety and well-being. The Health Science Center will also communicate with the respondent regarding his/her Title IX rights, procedural options and information regarding the status of the investigation. The Health Science Center will promptly resume its fact-gathering as soon as law enforcement has completed its initial investigation, or if the fact-gathering is not completed in a reasonable time.

    The filing of a complaint under this Policy does not excuse the complainant from meeting time limits imposed by outside agencies. Likewise, the applicable civil or criminal statute of limitations will not affect the Health Science Center’s investigation of the complaint.
  9. Remedies
    In addition to sanctions that may be imposed pursuant to the appropriate disciplinary policy, the Health Science Center will take appropriate action(s), including but not limited to those below to resolve complaints of sexual misconduct, prevent any recurrence and, as appropriate, remedy any effects:
    1. Imposing sanctions against the respondent, including attending training, suspension, termination or expulsion;
    2. Ensuring the complainant and respondent do not share classes, working environments or extracurricular activities;
    3. respondent or complainant (if the complainant requests to be moved);
    4. Providing comprehensive, holistic victim services including medical, counseling and academic support services, such as tutoring;
    5. Providing the complainant extra time to complete or re-take a class or withdraw from a class without an academic or financial penalty;
    6. Determining whether sexual misconduct adversely affected the complainant’s university standing;
    7. Designating an individual specifically trained in providing trauma-informed comprehensive services to victims of sexual violence to be on call to assist victims whenever needed;
    8. Conducting, in conjunction with University leaders, a Health Science Center climate check to assess the effectiveness of efforts to ensure that the Health Science Center is free from sexual misconduct, and using that information to inform future proactive steps that the Health Science Center will take;
    9. Providing targeted training for a group of students if, for example, the sexual misconduct created a hostile environment in a residence hall, fraternity or sorority, or on an athletic team. Bystander intervention and sexual misconduct prevention programs may be appropriate;
    10. Issuing policy statements or taking other steps to clearly communicate that the Health Science Center does not tolerate sexual misconduct and will respond to any incidents and to any individual who reports such incidents.
    11. These remedies are separate from, and in addition to, any interim measures that may have been provided before the end of the Health Science Center’s investigation. If the complainant did not take advantage of a specific service (e.g., counseling) when offered as an interim measure, the complainant should still be offered, and is still entitled to, appropriate final remedies that may include services the complainant declined as an interim measure. A refusal at the interim stage does not mean the refused service or set of services should not be offered as a remedy.

  10. Sanctions and Discipline

    Disciplinary action against faculty and employees will be handled under the Health Science Center’s policies for discipline and dismissal of faculty and employees. Disciplinary actions may include, but are not limited to, written reprimands, the imposition of conditions, reassignment, suspension, and dismissal. Under a School’s policy for academic and professional conduct, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs in each school will impose disciplinary action, if any, against a student under the Health Science Center’s student disciplinary procedures, as appropriate and consistent with the School’s policies and protocols. A School Dean may delegate to another School official this responsibility. Student disciplinary actions may include, but are not limited to, probation, suspension, or expulsion.

    For students, if the finding of the report from the Title IX Director falls outside of the academic and professional conduct standards of a school, the Office of the Vice President, Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs will impose disciplinary action. Student policies may be found at: http://catalog.uthscsa.edu/

    In accordance with federal law, when disciplinary action is commenced because of a violation of this Policy, the above policies will provide both parties equal opportunities in all aspects of the process including notices and advisor representation. Further, the standard of proof in determining the outcome will be the “preponderance of the evidence,” as defined in this policy.

Provisions Applicable to the Investigation
  1. Assistance. During the investigation process, a complainant or respondent may be assisted by an advisor, who may be an attorney; however, the advisor may not actively participate in a meeting or interview.
  2. Time Limitations.  Time limitations in these procedures may be modified by the Title IX Director or appropriate administrator on a written showing of good cause by the complainant, respondent, or the Health Science Center.
  3. Concurrent Criminal or Civil Proceedings. The Health Science Center will not wait for the outcome of a concurrent criminal or civil justice proceeding to take action. The Health Science Center has an independent duty to investigate complaints of sexual misconduct. (Except as provided in Sec. 6.7).
  4. Documentation.  The Health Science Center shall document complaints and their resolution and retain copies of all materials in accordance with state and federal records laws and Health Science Center policy.
Dissemination of Policy and Educational Programs
  1. This Policy will be made available to all Health Science Center administrators, faculty, staff, and students online at http://students.uthscsa.edu/titleix/ and in Health Science Center publications. Periodic notices will be sent to Health Science Center administrators, faculty, staff and students about the Health Science Center’s Sexual Harassment/Sexual Misconduct Policy. The notice will include information about sexual misconduct, including the complaint procedure, and about Health Science Center disciplinary policies and available resources, such as support services, health, and mental health services. The notice will specify the right to file a complaint under this Policy and with law enforcement and will refer individuals to designated offices or officials for additional information.
  2. Ongoing Sexual Misconduct Training.  The Health Science Center’s commitment to raising awareness of the dangers of sexual misconduct includes offering ongoing education through annual training and lectures by faculty, staff, mental health professionals, and/or trained Health Science Center personnel. The Health Science Center will periodically educate and train employees and supervisors regarding the Policy and conduct that could constitute a violation of the Policy. Preventive education and training programs will be provided to Health Science Center administrators, faculty, staff, and students and will include information about risk reduction, including bystander intervention. Training on sexual harassment and sexual violence policy and procedures will be provided to law enforcement personnel, including training on their obligation to advise Health Science Center administrators, faculty, staff, and students of their rights to file a complaint under this Policy and their right to file a criminal complaint.
  3. Training of Coordinators, Investigators, Hearing and Appellate Authorities. All Title IX Directors, Deputy Directors, investigators, and those with authority over sexual misconduct hearings and appeals shall receive training annually about offenses, investigatory procedures, due process, and Health Science Center policies related to sexual misconduct.
Additional Conduct Violations
  1. Retaliation. Any administrator, faculty member, student or employee who knowingly and intentionally retaliates in any way against an individual who has brought a complaint under this Policy, participated in an investigation or disciplinary process of such a complaint, or opposed any unlawful practice, is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or separation from the Health Science Center
  2. False Complaints. Any person who knowingly and intentionally files a false complaint under this Policy is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or separation from the Health Science Center. A finding of non-responsibility does not indicate a report was false.
  3. Interference with an Investigation.Any person who knowingly and intentionally interferes with an ongoing investigation conducted under this Policy is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or separation from the Health Science Center. Interference with an ongoing investigation may include, but is not limited to:
    1. Attempting to coerce, compel, or prevent an individual from providing testimony or relevant information;
    2. Removing, destroying, or altering documentation relevant to the investigation; or
    3. Providing false or misleading information to the investigator, or encouraging others to do so.
  4. No Effect on Pending Personnel or Academic Actions Unrelated to the Complaint. The filing of a complaint under this Policy will not stop or delay any action unrelated to the complaint, including:
    1. any evaluation or disciplinary action relating to a complainant who is not performing up to acceptable standards or who has violated Health Science Center rules or policies;
    2. any evaluation or grading of students participating in a class, or the ability of a student to add/drop a class, change academic programs, or receive financial reimbursement for a class; or
    3. any job-related functions of a Health Science Center employee. Nothing in this section shall limit the Health Science Center’s ability to take interim action.
Documentation

The Health Science Center shall confidentially maintain information related to complaints under this Policy, as required by law. The Title IX Director will document each complaint or request for assistance under this Policy, whether made by a victim, a third party, or anonymously, and will review and retain copies of all reports generated as a result of investigations. These records will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law. Any person who knowingly and intentionally makes an unauthorized disclosure of confidential information contained in a complaint or otherwise related to the investigation of a complaint under this Policy is subject to disciplinary action.

Annual Reporting and Notice

The Health Science Center’s Title IX General Policy Statement will be made available to all students, faculty, and employees online, in required publications and in specified departments. On an annual basis, and upon any updates to this Policy, the Health Science Center will send notice of its compliance with Title IX as required by law. The annual notice shall designate the Title IX Director and Deputy Directors, explain which offenses are prohibited and where to report violations of this Policy, provide information regarding victim resources, and provide a link to this Policy and other related Health Science Center websites.

Definitions and Examples

CONSENT: A voluntary, mutually understandable agreement that clearly indicates a willingness to engage in each instance of sexual activity. Consent to one act does not imply consent to another. Past consent does not imply future consent. Consent to engage in s exual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Any expression of an unwillingness to engage in any instance of sexual activity establishes a presumptive lack of conse nt.

Consent is not effective if it results from:

  • the use of physical force,
  • a threat of physical force,
  • intimidation,
  • coercion,
  • incapacitation or
  • any other factor that would eliminate an individual’s ability to exercise his or her own free will to choose whether or not to have sexual activity.

A current or previous dating or sexual relationship, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute consent. Even in the context of a relationship, there must be a voluntary, mutually understandable agreement that clearly indicates a willingness to engage in each instance of sexual activity.

The definition of consent for the crime of sexual assault in Texas can be found in Section 22.011(b) of the Texas Penal Code.iv

DATING VIOLENCE: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.

The existence of such a relationship shall be determined by the victim with consideration of the following factors:

  • The length of the relationship;
  • The type of relationship; and
  • The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship

Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. It does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

DOMESTIC (FAMILY) VIOLENCEincludes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the state of Texas, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the state of Texas.

HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT: exists when sex-based harassment is sufficiently severe or pervasive to deny or limit the individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the Health Science Center’s programs or activities or an employee’s terms and conditions of employment. A hostile environment can be created by anyone involved in a Health Science Center’s program or activity (e.g., administrators, faculty members, employees, students, and Health Science Center visitors).

In determining whether sex-based harassment has created a hostile environment, the Health Science Center considers the conduct in question from both a subjective and objective perspective. It will be necessary, but not adequate, that the conduct was unwelcome to the individual who was harassed. To conclude that conduct created or contributed to a hostile environment, the Health Science Center must also find that a reasonable person in the individual’s position would have perceived the conduct as undesirable or offensive.

To ultimately determine whether a hostile environment exists for an individual or individuals, the Health Science Center considers a variety of factors related to the severity, persistence, or pervasiveness of the sex-based harassment, including:

  • the type, frequency, and duration of the conduct;
  • the identity and relationships of the persons involved;
  • the number of individuals involved;
  • the location of the conduct and the context in which it occurred; and
  • the degree to which the conduct affected an individual’s education or employment.

The more severe the sex-based harassment, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to find a hostile environment. Indeed, a single instance of sexual assault may be sufficient to create a hostile environment. Likewise, a series of incidents may be sufficient even if the sex-based harassment is not particularly severe.

First Amendment Considerations: this Policy does not impair the exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment. The Health Science Center’s sexual misconduct policy prohibits only sex-based harassment that creates a hostile environment. In this and other ways, the Health Science Center applies and enforces this Policy in a manner that respects the First Amendment rights of students, faculty, and others.

INCAPACITATION: A state of being that prevents an individual from having the capacity to give consent. For example, incapacitation could result from the use of drugs or alcohol, a person being asleep or unconscious, or because of an intellectual or other disability.

INTIMIDATION: Unlawfully placing another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct, but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack.

OTHER INAPPROPRIATE SEXUAL CONDUCT: Includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed towards another individual that does not rise to the level of sexual harassment but is unprofessional, inappropriate for the workplace or classroom and is not protected speech. It also includes consensual sexual conduct that is unprofessional and inappropriate for the workplace or classroom.

PREPONDERANCE OF THE EVIDENCE: The greater weight of the credible evidence. Preponderance of the evidence is the standard for determining allegations of sexual misconduct under this Policy. This standard is satisfied if the action is deemed more likely to have occurred than not.

RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYEE: A Health Science Center employee who has the duty to report incidents of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Director or other appropriate designee, or an employee whom an individual could reasonably believe has this duty. Responsible employees include all administrators, faculty, supervisory staff, resident life directors and advisors, and graduate teaching assistants, except any employee with confidentiality obligations as defined in Section 3.5. Incidents of sexual misconduct (including sexual harassment and sexual violence) and other inappropriate sexual conduct may also be reported to Responsible Employees.

RETALIATION: Any adverse action threatened or taken against someone because the individual has filed, supported, provided information in connection with a complaint of sexual misconduct or engaged in other legally protected activities. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, intimidation, threats or harassment against any complainant, witness or third party.

SEXUAL ASSAULT:An offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape:

  • Rape: the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
  • Fondling: The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
  • Incest: Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
  • Statutory Rape: Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION: Occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his or her own benefit, or to benefit anyone other than the one being exploited. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, engaging in voyeurism; forwarding of pornographic or other sexually inappropriate material by email, text, or other channels to non-consenting students/groups; and any activity that goes beyond the boundaries of consent, such as recording of sexual activity, letting others watch consensual sex, or knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) to another.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT: Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person's student status, employment, or participation in Health Science Center activities; such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it interferes with an individual’s education, employment, or participation in Health Science Center activities, or creates an objectively hostile environment; or such conduct is intentionally directed towards a specific individual and has the effect of unreasonably interfering with that individual’s education, employment, or participation in Health Science Center activities, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that includes:

  • Sexual violence, sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence and dating violence as defined herein.
  • Physical conduct, depending on the totality of the circumstances present, including frequency and severity, including but not limited to:
    • unwelcome intentional touching; or
    • deliberate physical interference with or restriction of movement.
  • Verbal conduct not necessary to an argument for or against the substance of any political, religious, philosophical, ideological, or academic idea, including oral, written, or symbolic expression, including but not limited to:
    • explicit or implicit propositions to engage in sexual activity;
    • gratuitous comments, jokes, questions, anecdotes or remarks of a sexual nature about clothing or bodies;
    • gratuitous remarks about sexual activities or speculation about sexual experiences;
    • persistent, unwanted sexual or romantic attention;
    • subtle or overt pressure for sexual favors;
    • exposure to sexually suggestive visual displays such as photographs, graffiti, posters, calendars or other materials; or
    • deliberate, repeated humiliation or intimidation based upon sex.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT: A broad term encompassing a range of non-consensual sexual activity or unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature. The term includes, but is not limited to, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual intimidation, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Sexual misconduct can be committed by men or women, strangers or acquaintances, and can occur between or among people of the same or opposite sex.

SEXUAL VIOLENCE: Physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. The term includes, but is not limited to, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual coercion, sexual abuse, indecency with a child, and/or aggravated sexual assault

.

STALKING: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this definition—

  • Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
  • Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
  • ubstantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Relevant Federal and State Statutes and Standards

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681–1688 and its implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 106

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§2000e–2000e-17 and its implementing regulations 29 C.F.R. §1604 11

Clery Act, 20 U.S.C 1092(f) and its implementing regulations 34 C.F.R. Part 668

FERPA Regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 99

Other Relevant Policies, Procedures, and Forms

Regents’ Rules and Regulations, Rule 30105, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Consensual Relationships

University of Texas System Administration Systemwide Policy (UTS 184), Consensual Relationships

Regents’ Rules and Regulations, Rule 31008, Termination of a Faculty Member

System Administration Office Responsible for Policy

Office of General Counsel
ogc_intake@utsystem.edu

Dates Approved or Amended

System Policy: April 6, 2015; February 21, 2012
Health Science Center Policy: June 2015; November 2000