Reporting and Procedures

In order to make informed choices, it is important to be aware of confidentiality and mandatory reporting requirements in relation to Title IX when consulting campus resources. Reporting parties may want to consider carefully whether they share personally identifiable details with non-confidential employees, as those details will be shared with the coordinator, and/or investigator.

All university employees (faculty, staff, and administrators) are considered to be “responsible employees” and are expected to immediately report actual or suspected gender-based discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking to an appropriate official.

Exception are: licensed professional counselors such as therapists at the On-Site Counseling Center, Director of Health Services, and Campus Pastor working within the scope of their licensure or ordination are not required to report Title IX disclosures to the coordinator.

However, those with Title IX mandated reporting exemptions (as noted above) must report current related Clery crimes on FPU property to Campus Safety.  This information will be included in FPU’s crime statistics.  Identifiable markers such as names and specific location can be excluded from the report.  Title IX related Clery crimes include but are not limited to sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, domestic and dating violence and stalking.

In the context of these policies, Fresno Pacific University has “notice” if a responsible employee knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about the occurrence(s) reported. Pervasiveness of the policy violation may be enough to conclude that the school should have known of the occurrence(s). Pervasiveness meaning if the violation is widespread, openly visible, well known to students/employees, or the institution should have known of incidents of sex/gender-based discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking from a report to an employee who had a reporting duty to a supervisor, but failed to do so.

If a complainant does not wish for their name to be shared, does not wish for an investigation to take place, or does not want a formal resolution to be pursued, the complainant may make such a request to the coordinator, who will evaluate that request in light of the duty to ensure the safety of the campus and comply with federal law. In cases indicating pattern, predation, threat, weapons and/or violence, the University will likely be unable to honor a request for confidentiality. In cases where the complainant requests confidentiality and the circumstances allow, the University will do their very best to honor that request.  The University will offer interim accommodations and remedies to the complainant and the community (as appropriate) but will not otherwise purse formal action. A reporting party has the right, and can expect, to have reports taken seriously by the University when formally reported, and to have those incidents investigated and properly resolved through these procedures.

Formal reporting affords privacy to the reporter, and only a small group of officials who need to know, including but not limited to Student Life, Human Resources, Campus Safety and the Behavioral Intervention Team. Information will be shared as necessary with investigator, witnesses and the responding party. The circle of people with this knowledge will be kept as tight as possible to preserve the reporting party’s rights and privacy.

Upon receiving information of a reportable offence, the responsible employee’s initial response will be to notify the coordinator. The coordinator will then provide information and support to the complainant, and to take steps to promote the safety of the campus.

  1. Notifying University Officials:
    1. The “Responsible employee” who received the report of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking will immediately notify a coordinator of the incident. If appropriate, the coordinator will assign an investigator.
    2. In addition, if the respondent or complainant is an employee, the Executive Director of Human Resources will then be notified. If the respondent or complainant is a student, the Vice President of Student Life will then be notified. Other University officials may also be notified as needed to accomplish the purposes of this policy.

*for the appropriate person to contact please refer to the list of compliance officers listed previously.

  1. Providing Complainants and Respondents with Support and Rights:
    1. The coordinator or their designee will inform the student/employee of the following resources remedies and accommodations. Request for assistance with any of these items should be made to the coordinator or their designee.
    2. Fresno Pacific University commits to the following regarding assistance, accommodations and remedies:
      1. FPU will provide a safe place for you.
      2. In the event that there is a crime and if you have not done so already, you will be informed of your option to notify law enforcement and if you choose to notify law enforcement a university official can assist you with the reporting process.
      3. FPU will provide the opportunity for you to change academic, living, transportation, or working situations to avoid a hostile environment.
      4. When needed, FPU will provide no-contact directive for both the respondent and complainant.
      5. FPU will provide you with a clear description of the institution’s disciplinary process and the possible range of sanctions.
      6. FPU will provide you with information regarding counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal & immigration assistance and other services available both on and off campus. When needed, FPU will provide you with assistance with institutional financial aid concerns.
    3. Fresno Pacific University commits to the following regarding accountability:
      1. Proceedings shall provide a thorough, prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution and are to be conducted by officials receiving regular training on domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
      2. Both parties may have an advisor of their choice present during an institutional disciplinary proceeding and any related meeting.
      3. Both parties will simultaneously receive written findings.
      4. If found responsible the respondent will receive the sanctions in writing. However, remedies provided for the complainant will not be included.
      5. If found responsible and in Clery & VAWA cases the respondent and complainant will receive the sanctions in writing.
      6. The respondent will be able to appeal the finding.
    4. Confidentiality:
      The University official will inform the complainant that the ability to maintain confidentiality and not disclose identifying information may be limited, the University can’t ensure confidentiality, and restrictions to promote confidentiality may limit the investigation. However, confidentiality will be maintained when possible. Fresno Pacific University will maintain as confidential any accommodations, remedies, or protective measures, providing such confidentiality does not impair the institution’s ability to provide the accommodations or protective measures.
  2. Beginning the Complaint Process:
    1. The coordinator will conduct preliminary interviews to determine whether there is reasonable cause to support an investigation of the respondent and, if so, what policy violations should be investigated. If the preliminary inquiry does not meet the threshold of being pervasive, is not substantially disruptive to the complainant’s educational process or there is no evidence to move forward with an investigation, the complainant will be notified, and the matter will be closed. Accommodations and remedies for the complainant will still be offered.
    2. If there is evidence to support the allegation, the coordinator will assign one or more investigators to conduct an investigation.
    3. The coordinator will explain to the complainant the options to pursue informal, voluntary resolution (through a Community Justice Conference), or formal action.
    4. If the complainant decides to pursue the complaint process, the complainant will be asked to submit a written statement.
    5. The coordinator will inform and seek consent from the complainant before beginning an investigation. However, the coordinator may decide to pursue an investigation even without the consent of the complainant. The complainant will be notified if the University determines to pursue the investigation independently without the participation of the complainant.
    6. Interim Suspension: The coordinator or his/her designee, may immediately suspend a student, employee or organization pending the completion of the investigation and resolution, particularly when, in the judgement of the coordinator, the safety or well-being of any member(s) of the campus community may be jeopardized by the presence of the responding party. Violation of an interim suspension under this policy is grounds for immediate suspension, expulsion or in the case of an employee, termination.
    7. Retaliation: The coordinator will inform the complainant that federal law and school policy prohibit retaliation, that school officials will take steps to prevent retaliation and take strong responsive action if it occurs, and that the complainant should report any incidents of retaliation to the coordinator or investigator.
  3. Notice of Investigation
    When appropriate the coordinator or his/her designee, will send via e-mail or deliver in person, a notice of investigation to the respondent.
  4. Notice of Allegation
    If, during the investigation process, it is determined that there is sufficient reason to continue with the process a Notice of Allegation will be sent to the respondent. A written notice of allegation will be emailed or provided in person to the respondent. It will contain the following:
    1. Statement of allegation(s)
    2. Policy violated
    3. Level of the violation (see the Restorative Discipline Process for a description of Levels
    4. Options for proceeding (to be determined by the coordinator in consultation with the complainant and acceptance by the respondent) – Voluntary Resolution (CJC), or Formal Adjudication.
    5. Notice of adjudication date and times (if appropriate)
    6. Appeal criteria
    7. Notice of Retaliation
    8. Notice of Incomplete Sanctions
  5. Voluntary Resolution or Formal Complaint Process
    1. Voluntary Resolution: Community Justice Conference (CJC) 
      A CJC is permissible in certain cases, but not for severe cases of Title IX violations. For example, even on a voluntary basis, it is not appropriate to conduct a CJC in cases of allegations of sexual assault. In the case of a sexual assault a CJC may take place after the formal process of an Administrative Review at the discretion of the complainant and for the purpose of reconciliation.

      If a CJC is approved as the primary means of resolving the complaint, the complainant, the respondent, or a coordinator/investigator may terminate the CJC process at any point during the process and initiate a formal process.

      If a complainant has requested a voluntary resolution process and the coordinator agrees, then the respondent will be notified of the invitation to participate in a Community Justice Conference (CJC). The respondent must be willing to accept responsibility for the allegations against them to participate in a CJC.  The investigation of the case will be put on hold pending a successful agreement from the CJC.  All parties must commit to being constructive during the resolution process.   Should an agreement not be reached during a CJC the investigation will resume and the case will be adjudicated through an Administrative Review.

    2. Formal Complaint Process – Administrative Review (AR) 
      1. Investigation
        If at any time a decision is made to initiate a formal complaint procedure, then the coordinator and investigator will develop a formal investigation strategy and outline a proposed timeline which in most cases should not exceed 60 days.
        • The coordinator will obtain a written complaint (if one has not yet been obtained) from the complainant. The complaint will be revised into a summary and the summary of the complaint will be provided to the respondent. The respondent may provide a written response (1st) to the investigator (within 5 business days). The complainant may provide a written response (1st) to the respondent’s first response (within 5 business days).  The respondent will have one last opportunity to provide a final written response (within 5 business days). The complainant will have one final opportunity to provide a final written response (within 5 business days).  There will be no further response opportunities provided.
          The following chart provides further clarification:
          1. Summary of Complaint provided to the respondent
          2. Respondent’s first response (within 5 business days)
          3. Complainant’s first response (within 5 business days)
          4. Respondent’s final response (within 5 business days)
          5. Complainant’s final response (within 5 business days)
        • The respondent may choose not to participate in the investigation; however, the investigation will proceed, and the outcome will be based on all the available evidence.
        • When appropriate, additional investigation will be conducted by the investigator and may include personal interviews and research. The investigator may also obtain assistance from Student Life and Campus Safety in interviewing the respondent or other parties. The complainant and the respondent are entitled to an equal opportunity to present relevant witnesses and other evidence, to have an advisor present when interviewed, and to receive periodic status updates.
        • If additional written statements or complaints are obtained during a formal investigation, the original complaint may be supplemented, and the new information may be evaluated by the investigator, provided that the respondent is presented with a copy or summary of such written statements or complaints and allowed five business days to provide the investigator with a written response. The same response procedure listed above will be implemented.
        • You may not record any proceedings pursuant to this process. The university reserves the right to record meetings, interviews, and adjudications.  The portion of the recordings in which you actively participated will be made available to you upon request.  You will have the right to come to Student Life to listen to those recordings.  Copies of recordings will not be made or distributed to the complainant, witness(s) or the respondent.
      2. Adjudication & Finding
        • The coordinator, or his/her designee will present the information gathered from the investigation to the Administrative Review (AR) adjudicators. The AR adjudicators will determine a finding by using a preponderance of the evidence standard (that is, whether a finding is more likely than not).
        • Only after a respondent is determined to be responsible for a Title IX policy violation and before determining sanctions the coordinator, or his/her designed will disclose past conduct violations of the respondent which may be considered in determining the sanctions of this case. Students and employees who have been held responsible for past violations and who are found responsible for new or repeated violations should expect increase in accountability and/or more stringent sanctions.
        • If the finding is that the respondent is responsible for violating FPU Title IX policy the AR adjudicators and the deputy coordinator will determine a restorative discipline plan which will include sanctions listed in the Student Handbooks and the Title IX Discrimination, Harassment & Sexual Misconduct Policy.
      3. Restorative Plan & Sanctions
        A restorative plan will be determined for the student/employee based on the list of possible sanctions listed in the student handbook and the Title IX Discrimination, Harassment & Sexual Misconduct Policy. The type and degree of any plan will depend on the circumstances of each situation.

        The university reserves the right to consider past violations and sanctions when determining new sanctions for those found responsible for new conduct violations.  The university may increase the severity of an outcome based on past proven violations.  Failure to fulfill the terms of past corrective action may result in additional and/or more severe corrective action.

        At the discretion of the coordinator, and/or his designee, a sanction may be clarified or modified should the original intent of the sanction become impossible to fulfill. 

      4. Notification of Decision
        Once the finding and sanctions have been determined, the respondent and the complainant will both be notified separately and simultaneously, in writing by email or in person, within three business days of the determination finding and establishment of sanctions.
        The notice will include:
        • A summary of Complaint (Respondent and Complainant)
        • A summary of the Process including (Respondent and Complainant):
          1. Investigation Process
          2. Adjudication Process
          3. Applicable Policies
          4. Applicable Definitions
          5. Burden of Proof
          6. Remedies (Complainant Only)
          7. Finding
          8. Rationale for the Finding
        • Sanctions (Respondent Only unless Clery or VAWA Crime)
        • Appeal Process (Available to respondent only)
          The coordinator or his/her designee will provide the option to meet with the respondent and/or complainant in person to go over the decision.
          Upon request the University will disclose the results of a disciplinary proceeding for a violent crime or non-forcible sex offense (incest or statutory rape) to the victim of such crime/offense or the next of kin, if the victim is deceased.
      5. Implementation of Sanctions
        Corrective action will generally be imposed with reasonable promptness following a decision and will not be postponed on account of any appeal, unless the coordinator determines that there are compelling reasons for postponing some or all of the corrective action until the resolution of an appeal.
      6. Appeal Procedure:
        • Student/Employee Appeal Rights:
          1. If the respondent is an FPU employee, then their appeal process may be outlined in either the employee, staff or faculty handbook. If no specific appeals process is outlined, then the appeal will be processed as outlined below. Student appeals will be addressed as stated below.
          2. The respondent may appeal the decision by filing a written appeal to the coordinator. Unless otherwise stated in the written decision, the appeal must be received by the coordinator within seventy-two hours after the decision (the initial Administrative Review decision will have been communicated in writing by email or in person). The appeal must include a copy of the written decision and a description of the reason for appeal (see below criteria). The case will then be reviewed by the coordinator and upon meeting the appeals criteria, will be forwarded to be adjudicated by appeals adjudicator. Decisions by the appeals adjudicator are final.
        • Appeal Criteria:
          1. New evidence has come to light that was not available at the time of the investigation and that which may alter the outcome
          2. Procedural error(s) or unfairness that may alter the outcome
        • The appeals adjudicator shall make a decision within 14 business days of receiving the appeal.
        • The appeals adjudicator may either affirm a finding completely, affirm a finding as to the existence of a policy violation but modify the prescribed corrective action (sanctions), remand the case for additional fact-finding, or require a new formal investigation with a new investigator. If the appeals adjudicator does not call for further action, then the decision of the appeals adjudicator shall be final, and no more appeals will be permitted. If the appeals adjudicator alters the decision and determines a new finding and/or new or modified sanctions this decision is final.
      7. Timeline Outline:
        Fresno Pacific University aims to bring all allegations to a resolution within a sixty (60) business day time period, which can be extended as necessary for appropriate cause by the coordinator with notice to the parties.
  6. Time Line
    The process shall generally follow the timeline listed below:
    1. Notice to the coordinator by a responsible employee.
    2. Coordinator engages in a preliminary inquiry 1-3 days at which time they will either:
      1. Dismiss the case for lack of evidence
      2. Initiate the informal process at the request of the complainant and approval of the coordinator
      3. Initiate the formal process by assigning the case to the investigator
    3. Summary of Complaint and Retorts – up to 20 business days
    4. Investigation – target: 14 business days
    5. Adjudication – target: 14 business days
    6. Appeal and appeal response – target: 10 business days
    7. Final resolution and notification – target: 7-10 business days
    8. Time periods prescribed in this policy may be lengthened in a particular case by the coordinator if he/she determines that there is adequate cause for allowing additional time and that an extension will not have a material negative effect on the purposes of this policy.  Automatic extensions to the timeline are university breaks or closures.