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Title IX

Upon receipt of a report of sexual misconduct, the University will respond in an effort to stop such misconduct, take reasonable steps to prevent a recurrence of such misconduct, and address any effect that such misconduct may have on the larger University community.

What should I expect when I report an incident of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator?

When a report of sexual misconduct is received, the first concern is the safety and well-being of the student involved.

The Title IX Coordinator will reach out to the Complainant (individual that is the subject of the alleged allegation) and inform them of their options and rights as well as support resources and accommodations available to them. The Title IX Coordinator can assist the Complainant in connecting with medical and mental health resources, connecting with sexual assault support and advocacy services, such as Safe Harbor; implementing a No Contact Order; and implementing supportive measures, such as academic accommodations or changes to work schedules.

The second step in the response is to ensure that the Complainant understands their rights and options available to them through the Title IX Office and URPD.  Complainants can share as much or as little information as they want with the Title IX Coordinator.  The Complainant has an option to file a formal complaint with the Title IX Coordinator.

Some Complainants do not want to file a formal complaint to move forward.  The Title IX Coordinator will engage with the Complainant regarding that request and considers it in light of potential risks to the campus community.  We seek to honor that Complainant's request whenever possible, and when doing so does not place others at risk. If a Complainant chooses to not move forward, all supportive measures and accommodations will remain in place.

What options are available to a Complainant?

After meeting with the Complainant and implementing any supportive measures, the Title IX Coordinator will review the options available to the Complainant. The Complainant has the option to file a formal complaint to initiate either the grievance process or mediation process. In addition to filing a formal complaint with the Title IX Office, Complainants can choose to report the incident to URPD for criminal prosecution.

The University recognizes that the needs of individual students may vary, and some may prefer not to go through the formal grievance process. Mediation is available as a voluntary alternative method of resolving conduct incidents in some cases. Mediation is a voluntary, remedies-based, structured interaction, facilitated by a trained mediator, that balances support and accountability without a formal conduct charge against a Respondent. A mediation resolution is designed to eliminate reoccurrence of the prohibited conduct, and provide a remedy that meets the needs of both the Complainant and Respondent while maintaining the safety of the campus community. All mediation proceedings are confidential. Mediation proceedings cannot be recorded by the University or participating parties.

If a Complainant files a formal complaint to initiate the grievance process, the Respondent will be notified and an investigation will commence. The Title IX investigator will meet with the Complainant, Respondent and any witnesses. The Title IX investigator will also ask the parties to provide evidence which could include things like text messages, social media posts or receipts. Once the investigation is complete, the Title IX investigator will prepare a draft investigative report which both parties will review and comment on prior to the final report. Once the report is finalized, a Hearing Board will convene to hear testimony from the parties involved including any witnesses. The Hearing Board will make a determination of responsibility based on the facts of the case presented in the investigative report and during the hearing. If the Respondent is found responsible, the Hearing Board will determine the sanctions that will be imposed. Each party has the ability to appeal the decision of the Hearing Board.

If a Complainant files a formal complaint to initiate the alternative mediation process, The Title IX Coordinator will determine if the case is appropriate for mediation. In most situations, the University will be able to respect the Complainant’s decision to move forward with the mediation process. However, there are circumstances when the Complainant might choose to participate in mediation, but the University cannot allow resolution through mediation. Examples include situations where the accused student had been alleged to have committed sexual violence/harassment previously, or a weapon was allegedly used or that there were threats of future sexual violence/harassment.

If the case is approved for mediation, the Respondent will be notified. Both parties must voluntarily agree to participate in the mediation process. The parties will work with a mediator to determine the outcomes of the mediation. In mediation, each person’s needs are central to the solution generation process. At the same time, each party learns about the other’s point of view. The parties keep control over the resolution and can explore creative solutions to resolve the conflict. The mediation process is less-time consuming, more flexible and does not involve an investigation into the incident reported. No witnesses participate in the mediation process.

Once the mediation resolution agreement is reached and signed by all parties, the parties are bound by the terms of the agreement and the matter cannot be addressed through the grievance process.

The Title IX Coordinator will maintain the mediation resolution agreement to ensure both parties are adhering to the agreement. If a Complainant or Respondent fails to adhere to the mediation resolution agreement, they will be referred to the appropriate Dean’s office for a possible violation of the Standards of Student Conduct and/or the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct. For employees, the matter will be referred to the Human Resource office for possible disciplinary action.

Mediation agreements are final and are not subject to appeal.

What is the difference between mediation and the sexual misconduct grievance process?

Mediation allows both parties to participate in the process and determine a variety of outcomes that can benefit the individuals involved. Individuals involved in the process must be willing to negotiate on desired outcomes. In mediation, each person’s needs are central to the solution generation process. At the same time, each party learns about the other’s point of view. The parties keep control over the resolution and can explore creative solutions to resolve the conflict. The mediation process is less-time consuming, more flexible and does not involve an investigation into the incident reported. No witnesses participate in the mediation process. Mediation is better than ignoring a conflict, as it helps parties find closure to situations and move forward with their lives.

The sexual misconduct grievance process requires an investigation into the reported incident and both parties have to share their account of the reported incident. The parties may request witnesses be interviewed and evidence will be collected by the Title IX investigator. The determination of responsibility and if applicable sanctions, are made by a University or Staff Hearing Board. In the sexual misconduct grievance process, the University must adhere to the processes outlined in the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct, the Policy on Preventing and Responding to Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Involving Faculty and Staff, as well as the Standards of Student Conduct. In the sexual misconduct grievance process the parties do not have control of the process, the determination of responsibility or the sanction.

The Title IX Coordinator can explain your options in greater detail and answer any questions you may have on your options. You can speak to the Title IX Coordinator on options without sharing any details of the incident.

You have decided to move forward with the formal grievance process. What does that mean?

After a Complainant files a formal complaint to initiate the grievance process , the Title IX Coordinator then meets with the Respondent, following the same process, including advising the Respondent of their rights and the University’s obligations, including implementing any supportive measures.

If a formal complaint is initiated to pursue the grievance process, the Title IX Coordinator will then commence an investigation. The nature and extent of the investigation will vary based on the specific circumstances of the incident, but, in all cases, the investigation will be prompt, fair, and impartial. The Title IX investigator is external to the University and is the finder of fact.

As part of that investigation, the Complainant, Respondent and any relevant witnesses will be interviewed by the Title IX investigator. The Title IX Investigator then prepares an investigative report that includes a summary of statements from the Complainant, Respondent and witnesses and relevant findings of fact. Before the completion of the investigative report, the Complainant and Respondent will have the opportunity to review the draft investigative report. The parties will have 10 days to submit a written response which the investigator will consider prior to the completion of the report.

Once the report is finalized, a Hearing Board will convene to hear testimony from the parties involved including any witnesses. The Hearing Board will make a determination of responsibility based on the facts of the case presented in the investigative report and during the hearing. If the Respondent is found responsible, the Hearing Board will determine the sanctions that will be imposed. Each party has the ability to appeal the decision of the Hearing Board.
Would the Title IX Coordinator initiate the formal grievance process even if I did not want them to move forward?

In most situations, the University will be able to respect the Complainant's choice and will not proceed with the formal grievance process. However, know that you can come back at any time to initiate the formal grievance process; as long as the person you are naming as a Respondent is a student or employee at the University of Richmond.

However, there are times where you might choose not to participate in the formal grievance process, but the University will still move forward. These are limited circumstances, for example if the Respondent was alleged to have committed sexual violence previously, your report stated that a weapon was used or that there were threats of future sexual violence against you or others. If the University needs to move forward, you will be notified about that choice. From there, you can choose not to participate at all, or you can choose to participate at a later point in the process.

What is the role of the University Hearing Board (UHB)*?

It is the role of the University Hearing Board (“UHB”) is to reach a decision regarding: (a) whether the Respondent is or is not responsible for the violation(s) of the Standards of Student Conduct or the Policy on Preventing and Responding to Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Involving Faculty or Staff for which the Respondent charged; and (b) if so, the appropriate sanction to impose for such violation(s). The Respondent is presumed to be not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the end of the grievance process.

The UHB will rely on the facts of the case in making a determination of responsibility. The facts of the case will be determined from the investigative report and oral testimony provided during the hearing. The UHB will ask questions of the parties and any witnesses and will consider all evidence presented. The UHB uses the preponderance of the evidence standard in making its determination.

*University Hearing Board also refers to the Staff Hearing Board or Faculty Hearing Board

Does the University have an alternate resolution process available for sexual misconduct?

The University recognizes that the needs of individual students may vary, and some may prefer not to go through the grievance process. Mediation is available as a voluntary alternative method of resolving conduct incidents in some cases. Mediation is a voluntary, remedies-based, structured interaction, facilitated by a trained mediator, that balances support and accountability without a formal conduct charge against a Respondent. A mediation resolution is designed to eliminate reoccurrence of the prohibited conduct, and provide a remedy that meets the needs of both the Complainant and Respondent while maintaining the safety of the campus community. All mediation proceedings are confidential.

After the filing a formal complaint to pursue mediation, the Title IX Coordinator reviews the matter to confirm that the case is appropriate for mediation and that the parties want to participate in the mediation process without pressure from others. The decision to pursue mediation will be made when the Title IX Coordinator has sufficient information about the nature and scope of the conduct.  If mediation is pursued, the goal is to address the conduct, prevent its reoccurrence and develop a mediation resolution agreement between the parties. If the respondent is a student athlete, the Athletics Director will be notified of the mediation.

For cases where parties have voluntarily agreed to mediation and the University has indicated that the case is appropriate for mediation, the parties will receive simultaneous written notification of the decision to initiate the mediation process. The Title IX Coordinator would then meet with both parties individually in a pre-mediation session to explain the process of mediation, the benefits and limitations of mediation, and the potential outcomes of the process.  Both parties may be accompanied by an advisor of their choosing during the mediation process and any related meetings. If a party does not have an advisor, the Title IX Coordinator will assist in identifying an advisor. In cases selected for mediation resolution:

  1. Participation in mediation is voluntary and all participants must consent in writing to their voluntary participation in the mediation process;
  2. The University will not pressure or compel a Complainant or Respondent to engage in mediation or to reach any particular resolution;
  3. Either the Complainant or Respondent may request to end the mediation process at any time prior to a resolution and may choose to pursue the formal grievance process;
  4. Information gathered in the mediation process cannot be used in any other University conduct process, including the formal grievance process, or any criminal proceedings. For more information on the Virginia Mediation Statute (Virginia Code Chapter 21.2) please visit:  https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title8.01/chapter21.2/section8.01-581.22/
  5. The mediator, together with both parties, will determine the most effective procedure for conducting the mediation;
  6. All participants must agree to maintain confidentiality. The parties must agree to keep confidential the discussions that take place during the mediation;
  7. Because the mediation proceedings are confidential, the proceedings are not part of a student’s conduct record or an employee’s personnel record.  If a mediation resolution is achieved, the Title IX Coordinator will obtain a copy of the mediation resolution agreement so that the University can verify adherence to the agreement.  If a Complainant or Respondent fails to adhere to the mediation resolution agreement, they will be referred to the appropriate Dean’s office for a possible violation of the Standards of Student Conduct and/or the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct; or in the case of an employee, to the Human Resource Office for a possible disciplinary action and 
  8. The University’s Policy Prohibiting Retaliation applies at every stage of the mediation process.  Coercion to participate or not participate in mediation will be considered a violation of that policy.

The mediation process ends when a mediation resolution agreement has been reached or when a party decides to end the process.  If a resolution is not reached, the Complainant has the option of moving forward with the sexual misconduct grievance process or not proceeding with any process.

Why would a case not be approved by the Title IX Coordinator for Mediation?

In most situations, the University will be able to respect the Complainant’s decision to move forward with the mediation process. However, there are circumstances when the Complainant might choose to participate in mediation, but the University cannot allow resolution through mediation. Examples include situations where the accused student had been alleged to have committed sexual violence/harassment previously, or a weapon was allegedly used or that there were threats of future sexual violence/harassment. The Title IX Coordinator will inform the Complainant if they are unable to pursue a resolution through mediation.

Who will mediate my case?

The University will retain the services of an independent mediator to facilitate the process with the Complainant and Respondent. The mediator must be neutral, impartial and free from any conflict of interest. If either the Complainant or Respondent has concerns that the mediator cannot facilitate a fair and unbiased process, they may report their concerns to the Title IX Coordinator who will assess the circumstances and determine whether another mediator should be assigned to the case.

Is the Title IX Office part of the mediation?

In addition to the Complainant and Respondent, the Title IX Coordinator will have a role in the mediation to ensure that the proposed mediation resolution can be achieved and will prevent future misconduct.  The Title IX Coordinator will not pressure either party to accept a particular resolution. The resolutions achieved through mediation must be approved by all parties including the Title IX Coordinator.

Am I allowed an advisor during the mediation process?

Yes. The University of Richmond recognizes that participating in the mediation process may be a challenging experience. A Complainant and Respondent have the right to have an Advisor of their choice accompany them at all stages of the mediation process. The Advisor may assist the Complainant or Respondent in the following ways:

  • Provide emotional support to the Complainant or Respondent;
  • May consult directly with the Complainant or Respondent in a way that does not disrupt or cause delay to the mediation process;
  • May assist the Complainant or Respondent in negotiating the final mediation agreement. 

An advisor must keep confidential the information shared throughout the mediation proceedings.

What are some possible outcomes of mediation?

While each mediation process will be different, the following are some examples of possible agreed upon measures:

  • Alcohol education or other substance misuse programs for the Respondent;
  • Permanent extension of housing accommodation;
  • Restriction from participation in specific clubs or organizations;
  • Restriction from participating in certain University events;
  • Changes to work schedules;
  • Regular meetings with an appropriate University individual, unit or resource.

Mediation will not result in:

  • Expulsion
  • Suspension
  • Termination

These outcomes are only possible through the sexual misconduct grievance process.

Before considering mediation, participants should consider the following:

  • The mediation process is not intended to find fault or assign blame. It does not require that you prove one person is right and the other person is wrong.
  • Parties must be willing to seek a compromise. Mediation requires both parties come to the mediation with the ability to be flexible and negotiate an outcome.
  • Mediation requires both parties to hear the other side’s point of view. Before deciding on mediation ask yourself: Am I open to hearing the other party's point of view? When considering the other party’s point of view, ask yourself the following:
    • How does the other person feel about the reported incident?
    • How would the other party define the problem that needs to be resolved?
    • How would the other party describe my behavior in this dispute?
    • What are the most important issues to the other party?

If you cannot consider these questions, you may have difficulty participating in mediation.

Mediation Resolution Agreements

Once the mediation resolution agreement is reached and signed by all parties, the parties are bound by the terms of the agreement and the matter cannot be addressed through the sexual misconduct grievance process.

The Title IX Coordinator will maintain the mediation resolution agreement to ensure both parties are adhering to the agreement. If a Complainant or Respondent fails to adhere to the mediation resolution agreement, they will be referred to the appropriate Dean’s office  for a possible violation of the Standards of Student Conduct and/or the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct. For employees, the matter will be referred to the Human Resource office for possible disciplinary action.

Mediation agreements are final and are not subject to appeal.

What is the difference between mediation and the sexual misconduct grievance process?

Mediation allows both parties to participate in the process and determine a variety of outcomes that can benefit the individuals involved. Individuals involved in the process must be willing to negotiate on desired outcomes. In mediation, each person’s needs are central to the solution generation process. At the same time, each party learns about the other’s point of view. The parties keep control over the resolution and can explore creative solutions to resolve the conflict. The mediation process is less-time consuming, more flexible and does not involve an investigation into the incident reported. No witnesses participate in the mediation process. Mediation is better than ignoring a conflict, as it helps parties find closure to situations and move forward with their lives.

The sexual misconduct grievance process requires an investigation into the reported incident and both parties have to share their account of the reported incident. The parties may request witnesses be interviewed and evidence will be collected by the Title IX investigator. The determination of responsibility and if applicable sanctions, are made by a University or Staff Hearing Board. In the sexual misconduct grievance process, the University must adhere to the processes outlined in the Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct, the Policy on Preventing and Responding to Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Involving Faculty and Staff, as well as the Standards of Student Conduct. In the sexual misconduct grievance process the parties do not have control of the process, the determination of responsibility or the sanction.

What standard of evidence is used in the grievance process?

The University uses the preponderance of the evidence standard in all cases involving sexual misconduct.

The University Hearing Board (UHB) must apply a preponderance of the evidence standard in evaluating evidence and testimony and in reaching its conclusions of fact in the case. The factual findings reached by the UHB must be established by a preponderance of the evidence, or the greater weight of the evidence presented at the hearing. A preponderance, or the greater weight of the evidence, is a matter of quality, not quantity.

In order to find a Respondent responsible for a violation of University’s policy, the UHB must find a preponderance of the evidence supporting each element of the conduct charge.

What are supportive measures?

Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, reasonably available and without fee or charge. Supportive measured are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening either party and/or to protect the safety of all parties; or the University’s educational environment; or to deter sexual harassment. To the extent possible, supportive measures will remain confidential.


Reasonable and appropriate supportive measures will be implemented regardless of whether the Complainant wishes to file a formal complaint, participate in a criminal investigation or any other disciplinary proceeding.

Supportive measures will be tailored to meet the needs of the individuals. Listed below are examples of the type of supportive measures that the Title IX Coordinator may implement when appropriate:

  • Issuing No Contact Order;
  • Academic Accommodations (examples include but are not limited to: deadline extensions, changes to class schedule, options for incompletes/withdrawals)
  • Changing residence hall assignments of either the Complainant or the Respondent to eliminate or limit, to the extent possible, contact between the parties;
  • Facilitating access to counseling and health care resources both on and off campus;
  • Engaging the University Police Department in the creation of a personal safety plan for the Complainant, Respondent, and/or witnesses;
  • Engaging the University Police Department in seeking a protective order.
What is a No Contact Order?

A No Contact Order (NCO) is an administrative directive that the University can initiate, usually at the request of a reporting student. It instructs a student/employee not to have any contact, either direct or indirect, with another student/employee. “Contact” includes, but is not necessarily limited to, in-person contact, telephone calls, email, texts and other forms of electronic communication, social media-based messages or postings, and third party communications including through proxies.

A No Contact Order is not intended to be punitive. It is intended to keep all involved parties safe and to prevent escalation of a situation. The NCO will remain in place as long as necessary. 

If a student is found responsible for violating a No Contact Order, that student will be sanctioned through the University conduct process. If an employee is found responsible for violating a No Contact Order, the employee will be disciplined under the progressive disciplinary process.

The University uses NCO in any conduct investigation where they are appropriate. The use is not limited to cases of sexual violence. 

Will a Title IX investigation be part of my academic record?

The University considers the records of a sexual misconduct investigation to be confidential and the University uses reasonable methods to protect the confidentiality of those records.  Information gathered in the course of the grievance process or mediation process will be disclosed to University officials only to the extent such officials require such information to perform their responsibilities to the University.  Information gathered during an investigation may be shared with the other party (for example the Complainant or Respondent) to the extent necessary to conduct a thorough and equitable investigation, in the course of a student conduct or other disciplinary proceeding and as permitted or required by applicable law or court order. Information gathered in the course of a sexual misconduct investigation will not be disclosed to third parties except as required by law, court order or with appropriate written consent.

The records of an investigation involving University students are considered to be education records subject to the Federal Rights to Privacy Act (“FERPA”) and the University’s FERPA policy

The University is required by Virginia law to include a prominent notation on the academic transcript of each student who has been suspended for, permanently separated for, or withdraws while under investigation for a violation of the Standards of Student Conduct involving sexual violence, as defined in the University’s Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct.. This transcript notation will be removed if the student is subsequently found not to have committed an offense involving sexual violence or if the student completes the terms of their suspension and is determined to be in good standing according to applicable University Policy. Consistent with state law and federal regulations, the notation will be removed from a transcript after three years for a student that withdrawals while under investigation or is permanently dismissed from the University.

Health care and counseling records are confidential and will only be disclosed with appropriate written consent or as required by applicable law or court order.