The following procedures apply to reports of misconduct which appear to constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment. For all other concerns, NSU reserves the right to employ other procedures such as those in the Student Code of Conduct, Employee or Faculty Policy Manuals, or other applicable NSU publication. While this is a broad overview of the resolution process, additional information about how procedures are implemented is available at www.nova.edu/title-ix. In addition, parties will receive written notice of details specific to their cases, such as specific deadlines, designation of investigator(s) and/or decision-maker, hearing agendas, and other such details.
Any person may report sexual harassment online, in-person, by mail, by telephone, or by email at any time to the Title IX Coordinator. NSU employees1 who observe, receive a report of, or otherwise learn about potential violations of this policy are required to inform the Title IX Coordinator. Incidents involving immediate threats and/or potential child abuse or neglect are also subject to applicable mandatory reporting laws and may need to be reported to appropriate law enforcement personnel or other officials.
When NSU employees become aware of potential sexual harassment under Title IX, they may provide immediate response when necessary and appropriate to the situation and the scope of their role. Following resolution of any immediate situational, safety, or other concerns, and usually by the end of the next business day after the incident is reported, the Title IX Coordinator and/or designee will contact the affected individual(s) to offer and discuss 1) supportive measures 2) the option for filing a formal complaint under Title IX and 3) any relevant rights and options under the Clery Act/Violence Against Women Act for those incidents which may also constitute a sex crime. During this initial response time, the Title IX Coordinator may also need to gather additional information about the reported incident(s) to determine whether or not the Title IX Resolution Procedures apply.
Supportive Measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive, individualized services and adjustments available to the affected student, regardless of whether a formal complaint is filed. These measures are designed to ensure equal educational access, protect safety, and/or deter sexual harassment without unreasonably burdening others. Examples include counseling, extension of class deadlines, modifications to class schedule(s), no-contact orders, etc. If the incident may also constitute a crime of sexual violence, the Title IX Coordinator will provide information about rights and options for reporting to law enforcement.
A Formal Complaint is a document filed by a complainant (i.e. the person who reportedly experienced sexual harassment) which 1) describes the sexual harassment committed by another person or group of people (i.e. respondent(s)) and 2) requests that NSU investigate the incident under these procedures. A formal complaint may be filed by a parent/guardian on behalf of their minor student, and a formal complaint may also be initiated by the Title IX Coordinator. As incidents may be initially reported to NSU through a variety of means (email, postal mail, telephone, online reporting form, etc.), part of the initial response by the Title IX Coordinator will be to confirm that the complainant is requesting an investigation in accordance with the Title IX Resolution Procedures.
Once a complainant has filed a formal complaint, and the Title IX Coordinator has determined that the nature and context of the reported incident(s) meet the standards of Title IX Sexual Harassment, the Title IX Coordinator will provide written notice to the parties which includes information about the reported incident (including any known identities of the parties involved, the nature of the incident(s) and when/where it occurred) as well as a description of the investigation and resolution procedures.
While NSU is required to investigate formal complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment, there are also conditions under which a case must be dismissed under the Title IX Resolution Procedures:
NSU may also dismiss a case under the Title IX Resolution Procedures when:
A party may appeal a dismissal of a complaint in accordance with the bases for appeal in the Title IX Resolution Procedures.
REFERRAL OUTSIDE OF TITLE IX RESOLUTION PROCEDURES: Following any dismissal under the Title IX Resolution Procedures, NSU reserves the right to initiate any applicable procedure (e.g. Student Code of Conduct, NSU Employee or Faculty Policy Manual, NSU University School Student-Parent Handbook,etc.) for any aspect of the reported conduct that may constitute a violation of Other Prohibited Sexual Misconduct and/or any other NSU policy. When a report of sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and/or domestic violence is referred outside of the Title IX Resolution Procedures, the Title IX Coordinator will communicate that rights afforded under the Clery Act/VAWA must be upheld, such as the right to have an advisor present and the assurance that investigation or resolution will be conducted by individuals who have received specialized annual training.
The Title IX Coordinator will assign an investigator(s) to conduct the investigation. The investigation process provides the parties with the following opportunities:
Complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment by a student respondent may be resolved informally, so long as:
Note: Options for informal resolution are still under development.
Hearing Procedures (for NSU Students and Employees)
Unless dismissed or resolved informally, formal complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment involving an NSU student or employee respondent will proceed to a hearing (in-person or virtual, as determined by NSU) conducted by a trained decision-maker. Basic elements of the hearing process include the opportunity to review the investigation report in advance of the hearing, the opportunity for the parties’ respective advisors to ask questions of any other parties and witnesses during the hearing, and access to all evidence during the hearing. Procedural details will be provided in writing to the parties in advance of any hearing.
Administrative Adjudication of NSU University School Cases
Upon conclusion of the investigation process, a decision-maker will be assigned to adjudicate the case. This is a paper-based review, not an in-person hearing or proceeding. During this time, the parties will have a final opportunity to pose questions to be asked of the other party(s) and witnesses, before the decision-maker makes a determination about the case.
After conclusion of the hearing or adjudication, the decision-maker will provide written notice of outcomes including:
Sanctions which may be applied under these procedures to members of the NSU community are described in the Student Code of Conduct (for students), NSU Employee and Faculty Policy Manuals (for employees), and Student-Parent Handbook (for NSU University School students). If an appeal is received, any sanctions will be temporarily on hold until the final determination is made.
A party (complainant or respondent) may appeal a determination of responsibility and/or the dismissal of all or part of a complaint of Title IX Sexual Harassment based on any of the following:
A written appeal must be submitted as described in the outcome letter from the decision-maker. Appeals are generally due within a few days of the issuance of the outcomes, and will generally be responded to within a week. When an appeal has been received, any other party in the case will be notified, and the opportunity for parties to provide information to be considered by the appellate decision-maker may be extended by a day. Appeals are a paper-review process and the written decision(s) of the appellate officer is the final determination of resolution of the complaint.
NSU will retain records of Title IX Sexual Harassment proceedings as required by law and in accordance with University policies. Records related to resolution of reports of Title IX Sexual Harassment are maintained for at least seven years in compliance with Title IX and the Clery Act. NSU will maintain privacy of information in compliance with FERPA and any other applicable federal or state law or University policy and will only disclose information in accordance with those procedures.