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Accountability and Disciplinary Procedures

In addition to any criminal or civil actions that may be pending or in progress, the university has the obligation to investigate and address incidents that adversely affect its community, and/or otherwise may constitute a violation of university policy. This means that the university reserves the right to pursue its own administrative and accountability processes for students and employees and others impacting the campus.

Members of the university community (i.e., students and employees) found responsible for sexual misconduct may receive disciplinary actions that could include suspension, expulsion, and/or termination from the university. Such disciplinary action and institutional proceedings will proceed independently of any criminal and/or civil cases involving the victim and/or the responding party. The institutional accountability procedures will provide a fair, prompt, and impartial process from investigation to final result. Such institutional disciplinary or resolution proceedings for reports of sexual violence will be

  • communicated to both the reporting party and the responding party,
  • conducted in accordance with the university procedures published on the Title IX website
  • conducted by individuals who do not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against the reporting party or the responding party
  • conducted by individuals who receive annual training on issues related to sexual misconduct and how to conduct an investigation
  • protective of victim safety, respective of the rights of all involved parties, and promoting of accountability for those found responsible for committing violation(s)

In some situations, informal resolution such as mediation or awareness education, may be mutually agreed upon by the reporting party/victim, responding party, and the university. In these cases, the Title IX coordinator will oversee the informal process and retain documentation of it. Mediation or other informal practices will never be used for resolving incidents involving sexual violence, such as sexual assault, but may be useful in some situations where unwelcome conduct and or nonviolent sexual misconduct has been reported.

Absent extenuating circumstances, review and resolution is expected to take place within 60 calendar days from formal notice of the incident and/or request for investigation. If the investigation is expected to take longer than 60 days, the investigator or Title IX coordinator will provide written notice to the reporting party and the responding party of the delay and the reason for the delay. Time frames are approximate and may be adjusted depending on the circumstances. A reporting party or responding party may contact the investigator or Title IX coordinator to inquire into the status of the investigation and/or disciplinary process. Parties will be informed simultaneously, in writing, of the outcome of the process and any subsequent changes thereto, the availability of any appeal procedures, and when the results become final after any appeals.

There may be instances when reported behavior(s) may also constitute a crime and a criminal investigation may be occurring concurrently. In cases where the university’s Title IX investigation may hinder or compromise an ongoing criminal investigation, aspects of the university’s investigation may be temporarily delayed while the law enforcement authorities conduct their fact-finding or evidence gathering. Such delays generally last a few days to two weeks, and the university will continue to provide interim measures and/or take action to ensure the safety of the victim and the campus community. While all investigations and decisions are made by university officials with specialized training, existing procedures for discipline may be utilized. The Title IX coordinator and legal counsel may be consulted with, and/or involved in, any step in the process, and NSU reserves the right to utilize designees when appropriate.

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