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VI.E. Sexual Harassment & Sexual Violence Policies

VI.E.1 Sexual Harassment Policy

(Source:  Office of the President, Almanac, December 6, 1988; revised, Almanac, November 7, 1995; Offices of the President and Provost, revised, Almanac, February 3, 2004; revised, Almanac, October 18, 2011; revised, Almanac, July 1, 2016.)


I. Purposes

The University of Pennsylvania’s commitment to freedom of thought, discourse and speech is founded on trust and respect among members of the University community. It is the responsibility of each member of the Penn community to respect the personal dignity and worth of others.

The University has established policies on behaviors that interfere with its mission. The University’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class or status. Policies and regulations implementing this commitment also include the Statement on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, the Guidelines on Open Expression and the Code of Academic Integrity.

The University has also adopted the following policy concerning sexual harassment.[1] Sexual harassment in any context is unacceptable and is a matter of particular concern to an academic community in which students, faculty and staff must rely on strong bonds of intellectual trust and dependence. Sexual harassment is not tolerated at Penn.[2]

II. Definitions

For the purposes of University policy, the term “sexual harassment” refers to any unwanted conduct that is based on an individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression and that:

1. Involves a stated or implicit threat to the individual’s academic or employment status;

2. Has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual’s academic or work performance; and/or

3. Creates an intimidating or offensive academic, living or work environment.

The University regards such behavior as a violation of the standards of conduct required of all persons associated with the institution. Accordingly, as noted in the Handbook for Faculty and Academic Administrators, the Human Resources Policy Manual, the Pennbook and other University publications, persons engaged in such harassment within the University setting are subject to the full range of internal disciplinary actions, including separation from the institution. The same range of disciplinary actions will be applied in the event of retaliation against an individual who in good faith makes an allegation of sexual harassment, who cooperates in an investigation into such allegations or who opposes any act of sexual harassment as defined in this Policy.

Not every act that might be offensive to an individual or a group necessarily will be considered as harassment and/or a violation of the University’s standard of conduct. In determining whether an act constitutes harassment, the totality of the circumstances surrounding the conduct must be carefully reviewed. Due consideration must be given to the protection of individual rights, freedom of speech, academic freedom and open expression.

III. Resources

Schools and Centers should make known to all of their members the available resources for information, counseling and support, as well as the informal and formal procedures for resolving complaints of sexual harassment within the appropriate School or Center or at the University level. These resources include the following:

A. Confidential Resources for Information, Counseling and Support

The following University resources are available to members of the University community who seek information and counseling about University policies on sexual harassment, standards of behavior, informal and formal mechanisms for resolving complaints and resources for complainants and respondents. These resource offices are also available to assist members of the University community with making an informal or formal complaint.

The resources listed below are considered confidential, which means that the information shared with these resources generally will be held in confidence, consistent with the University’s obligation to address complaints of sexual harassment, unless the person sharing the information gives his or her consent to the disclosure of that information. The commitment to confidentiality does not preclude the sharing of information among responsible University administrators as needed, including to keep members of the University community safe.

• African-American Resource Center (resource for students, staff or faculty)

• Counseling and Psychological Services (resource for students)

• Employee Assistance Program (resource for staff or faculty)

• Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center (resource for students, staff or faculty)

• Office of the Chaplain (resource for students, staff, faculty or visitors)

• Office of the Ombudsman (resource for students, staff or faculty)

• Office of Sexual Violence Prevention and Education (resource for students)

• Penn Women’s Center (resource for students, staff or faculty)

• Special Services Department, Division of Public Safety (resource for students, staff, faculty or visitors)

• Student Health Service (resource for students)

B. Additional Resources and Informal Mechanisms for Resolution

There are other resources available to the University community for information, counseling and support. These resources are also available to assist in the informal resolution of complaints, as are the confidential resources listed above. 

• College Houses and Academic Services (complaints regarding College House residents)

• Dean’s Offices and Department Chairs (complaints regarding faculty and staff in their respective Schools or Departments)

• Division of Human Resources, Office of Staff and Labor Relations (complaints regarding staff)

• Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs (complaints regarding faculty, staff, students or visitors)

• Office of Student Conduct (complaints regarding students)

• Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty (complaints regarding faculty)

• Student Intervention Services (resource for students)


C. Formal Mechanisms for Complaint Resolution

When informal resolution is not chosen, is unsatisfactory or is not appropriate, the formal mechanisms described below should be used.

Please note that these mechanisms are intended for sexual harassment complaints that do not involve allegations of sexual violence, domestic violence, relationship violence or stalking. Refer to the Sexual Violence, Relationship Violence and Stalking Policy for information about making formal complaints involving incidents of sexual violence, domestic violence, relationship violence and/or stalking.

Members of the University community who would like assistance with making a formal complaint may contact any of the confidential resources identified above.

1. A complaint of sexual harassment (excluding complaints involving sexual violence, domestic violence, relationship violence and/or stalking) against a faculty member, instructor or teaching assistant may be brought by a student, staff member, faculty member or visitor to the department chair or Dean of the faculty member. If the complaint is made to a department chair, the department chair is responsible for informing the Dean. If the Dean is the subject of the complaint, then the complaint should be made to the Provost (or his/her designee). The Dean or the Provost (or his/her designee) is then charged with taking appropriate action. If the matter is not resolved informally, the Dean or the Provost (or his/her designee) conducts an investigation. If based on the results of the investigation the Dean or Provost (or his/her designee) determines that action should be taken in response to the complaint, the Dean or Provost (or his/her designee) will determine what that action should be and the appropriate process for taking that action. For standing faculty, the procedures described in the Procedure Governing Sanctions Taken Against Members of the Faculty, Handbook for Faculty and Academic Administrators, part II.E.16 will be followed, if applicable.

A member of the standing faculty, associated faculty or academic support faculty who believes she or he has been subjected to sexual harassment may file a grievance under the Faculty Grievance Procedure, Handbook for Faculty and Academic Administrators, part II.E.12, provided the complaint constitutes a grievance as defined in Section I of the Procedure. This procedure is administered by the Faculty Grievance Commission. The panel makes its recommendations to the Provost. In cases that involve reappointment, promotion or tenure, and in which the Provost has declined or failed to implement the recommendations of the panel to the satisfaction of the grievant, the grievant may seek to obtain a hearing before the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility on the actions of the Provost.

2. A complaint of sexual harassment (excluding complaints involving sexual violence, domestic violence, relationship violence and/or stalking) against a staff member may be brought by a student, staff member, faculty member or visitor to the supervisor of the person complained against, to the next level supervisor, to Human Resources (either to the Office of Staff and Labor Relations or to the Human Resources Director for the school or center) or to the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs (OAA/EOP). If the complaint is made to a supervisor, that individual is responsible for notifying either Human Resources (either the Office of Staff and Labor Relations or the Human Resources Director for the School or Center) or the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs. Either Human Resources or the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs will take responsibility for pursuing the matter. If the matter is not resolved informally, either Human Resources or the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs will conduct an investigation. If based on the results of that  investigation it is determined that the policy was violated, then appropriate action will be taken.

 3. A complaint of sexual harassment (excluding complaints involving sexual violence, domestic violence, relationship violence and/or stalking) may be brought against a student by a student, staff member, faculty member or visitor by filing a complaint with the Office of Student Conduct, which will handle the complaint pursuant to the Charter of the Student Disciplinary System. If the complaint relates to a graduate or professional student enrolled in a School which has established a hearing board or other decision-making body, a complaint should be filed with that body. Refer to the Office of Student Conduct website for a list of these graduate schools and programs.

4. A complaint of sexual harassment (excluding complaints involving sexual violence, domestic violence, relationship violence and/or stalking) may be brought by a visitor or guest of the University against an enrolled student, staff member or faculty member by contacting the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs which will handle the matter or make the appropriate referral.

D. Central Reporting of Sexual Harassment

The University’s decentralized system of resources is designed to encourage the reporting and resolution of complaints of sexual harassment.  However, in order to enable the administration to identify any patterns or trends of sexual harassment, the Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs shall, on a semi-annual basis, convene a meeting of representatives from the offices and Centers listed in Section A to review and report on sexual harassment across the University based upon the reports or complaints of sexual harassment that they have handled formally or informally within their areas. Confidentiality regarding the identity of the parties involved in each complaint will be maintained to the extent possible.  

E. Education and Prevention

The prevention of sexual harassment and the establishment of effective procedures with due concern for all parties require a thoughtful educational program.

1. University resource offices will provide to the community information on available informal and formal resolution resources and resources for support and information for complainants and respondents.

2. Deans and heads of centers and departments are encouraged to discuss this policy and issues of sexual harassment at meetings of faculty and staff.

3. Training programs for faculty, staff and students who work in the College Houses and others who assist students in crisis situations and serve in an advisory capacity to students will include training about referrals, resources and methods for handling complaints of sexual harassment.

4. Students will be provided with information about sexual harassment and available resources during new student orientations and throughout the academic year.

5. The University will publish this policy statement annually, including information about the resources available to advise, counsel and assist in the informal and formal resolution of sexual harassment complaints. Information will explain how and where to contact University-wide and school- and division-specific resources and will be posted on appropriate University websites. All members of the University community have a responsibility to aid in the prevention of sexual harassment and are encouraged to report concerns to appropriate University resources promptly.

F. Policy Against Retaliation

University policy expressly prohibits retaliation against faculty, staff or students who in good faith make reports of violations of this policy. In addition, knowingly and intentionally making a false report of a violation of this policy is prohibited. Members of the Penn community who take adverse action against someone who reports a violation of this policy, intimidate, threaten or otherwise engage in retaliation are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of their employment or expulsion from the University.




[1]  The terms “harassment” and “sexual harassment” as used throughout are defined as a matter of University policy, and are not necessarily identical or limited to the uses of that term in external sources, including governmental guidelines, laws, regulations or legal decisions.

[2] Where sexual harassment involves sexual violence, relationship violence, domestic violence and/or stalking, refer also to the University’s Sexual Violence, Relationship Violence and Stalking Policy. 

VI.E.2 Sexual Violence, Relationship Violence and Stalking Policy

(Source: Offices of the President and Provost, Almanac, May 27, 2014; revised, Almanac, July 1, 2016)


I. Introduction

This policy, which prohibits behaviors that are more generally addressed by the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy, applies to faculty, students, staff and visitors to the University campus and facilities. All forms of sexual violence, relationship violence and stalking and attempts to commit such acts are considered to be serious misconduct and may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion or termination of employment. In addition, such acts may violate federal, state and local laws and perpetrators of such acts may be subject to criminal prosecution.

II. Definitions

Sexual violence, relationship violence and stalking in any form, including sexual assault and rape, are prohibited by University policy. Important definitions appear below.

Sexual violence includes a range of behaviors in which an act of a sexual nature is taken against another individual without that person’s consent or when the individual is unable to consent. There are various types of sexual violence, including but not limited to sexual assault and rape (defined below).

Sexual assault (including but not limited to rape) is defined as having committed any of the following acts:

•        Any physical sexual contact that involves the use or threat of force or violence or any other form of coercion or intimidation;

•        Any physical sexual contact with a person who is unable to consent due to incapacity or mental or physical impairment. “Incapacity” or “impairment” include but are not limited to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs or being too young to consent.

Rape is defined as sexual assault involving an act of penetration and includes acquaintance rape (assailant and victim know each other).

Non-forcible sex acts include unlawful sex acts where consent is not relevant, such as sexual contact with an individual under the statutory age of consent as defined by Pennsylvania law.

Consent is an affirmative decision to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity and is given by clear words or actions. Consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity or lack of resistance alone. Furthermore, consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity and the existence of a current or previous dating, marital or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent to additional sexual activity. Assent shall not constitute consent if it is given by a person who, because of youth, disability, intoxication or other condition, is unable to lawfully give his or her consent.

Relationship Violence, also commonly known as dating violence, is defined as an act or a pattern of abuse committed by a person involved in a social, sexual or romantic relationship, past or present, with the victim. Relationship violence can encompass a broad range of behaviors that may include physical violence, sexual violence, emotional violence and economic violence.

Domestic Violence is defined as abuse committed against an adult who is a spouse or former spouse, cohabitant or someone with whom the abuser has a child, has an existing dating or engagement relationship or has had a former dating or engagement relationship.

Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at specific person(s) that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety the safety of others, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.

In determining whether the alleged conduct violates this policy, consideration will be given to the totality of the circumstances, including the nature of the conduct and the context in which the alleged incident occurred.

III. Resources

A. Confidential Resources for Information, Counseling and Support

Resource offices are available to assist members of the Penn community and visitors to the campus who have been, or know someone who has been, the victim of sexual violence, relationship violence or stalking. The staff of these offices are available to provide counseling and support, as well as information about and assistance with making a complaint.

The information shared with the resources listed below generally will be held in confidence, consistent with the University’s obligation to address complaints of sexual violence, unless the person sharing the information gives his or her consent to the disclosure of that information. Confidential resources are not obligated to share identifying information with the Title IX Coordinator when an incident of sexual violence is shared with that resource. However, the commitment to confidentiality does not preclude the sharing of information among University administrators as appropriate to keep members of the University community safe. In addition, confidential resources may submit non-identifying information about incidents of sexual violence to the Title IX Coordinator or to the Division of Public Safety for purpose of crime statistics reporting under the Clery Act. (For additional information regarding Clery Act reporting, see the Clery Act & Crime Reporting page on the Division of Public Safety website at https://www.publicsafety.upenn.edu/clery/)

• African-American Resource Center (resource for students, staff or faculty)

• Counseling and Psychological Services (resource for students)

• Employee Assistance Program (resource for staff or faculty)     

• Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center (resource for students, staff or faculty)

• Office of the Chaplain (resource for students, staff, faculty or visitors)

• Office of the Ombudsman (resource for students, staff or faculty)

• Office of Sexual Violence Prevention and Education (resource for students)

• Penn Women’s Center (resource for students, staff or faculty)

• Special Services Department, Division of Public Safety (resource for students, staff, faculty or visitors)

• Student Health Service (resource for students)

B. Additional Resources for Information, Counseling and Support and Informal Complaint Resolution

There are other resources available to the University community for information, counseling and support. These resources are also available to assist in the resolution of complaints, as are the confidential resources listed above. Please note that these resources are not confidential. Unlike the confidential resources, these resources are obligated to notify the Title IX Coordinator when an incident of sexual violence is shared with that resource person and to provide sufficient information so that the University can take appropriate action. (For a full discussion of reporting obligations, see the Reporting and Monitoring section below.)

• College Houses and Academic Services (resource for College House residents)

• Dean’s Offices and Department Chairs (resource for students, faculty or staff in their respective Schools and Departments)

• Division of Human Resources, Office of Staff and Labor Relations (resource for staff)

• Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs (resource for faculty, students, staff or visitors)

• Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty (resource for faculty)

• Student Intervention Services (resource for students)

C. Formal Complaint Resolution Resources

A formal complaint against a member of the University’s faculty or instructional staff should be initiated by contacting the Office of the Sexual Violence Investigative Officer. The complaint will be handled consistent with the Procedures for Resolving Complaints Against Faculty of Sexual Assault, Sexual Violence, Relationship Violence and Stalking.

A formal complaint against an enrolled University student should be initiated by contacting the Office of the Sexual Violence Investigative Officer. The complaint will be handled consistent with the Student Disciplinary Procedures for Resolving Complaints of Sexual Assault, Sexual Violence, Relationship Violence and Stalking.

A formal complaint against a University staff member should be initiated by contacting the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs (OAA/EOP). The complaint will be handled consistent with that office’s complaint resolution procedures.     

IV. Reporting and Monitoring

The University is committed to ensuring that members of the University community who share information regarding incidents of sexual violence get the information, counseling and support that they need and are aware of the process for making a formal complaint. The University is also committed to monitoring reports and complaints of sexual violence so that any patterns or systemic problems revealed by such reports and complaints can be addressed.

Consistent with these commitments, the University has determined that the Title IX Coordinator must be advised when incidents of sexual violence are reported to the Office of the Sexual Violence Investigative Officer, to any of the offices listed above (except those identified as confidential resources), to any member of the faculty or to any University staff member in a leadership or supervisory position or who has significant responsibility for the welfare, guidance or advising of students or staff, including the President, Provost, Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans, Vice Deans, Associate Deans, Assistant Deans and Academic Advisors, as well as appropriate staff in the following offices: College Houses and Academic Services (CHAS), Division of Public Safety (DPS), Division of the Vice Provost for University Life (VPUL) except those identified as confidential resources, Division of Human Resources (as well as Human Resources staff in the Schools/Centers), Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs (OAA/EOP), Graduate Student Center (GSC), Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (DRIA) and student life and academic services units in the University’s Schools and Centers.

When an incident of sexual violence is reported to the Title IX Coordinator, the Title IX Coordinator will take appropriate steps to ensure that the individual who reported the incident has been advised of the resources available to him or her and the process for making a formal complaint. The Title IX Coordinator should be provided with sufficient information to enable the University to identify patterns. Such information includes the name of the person reporting the incident, the date, time and location of the incident, the identities of those involved in the incident and a brief description of the behavior alleged to have occurred, to the extent this information is known to the individual making the report. If there has been a request for confidentiality, this should also be shared with the Title IX Coordinator, who will consider the request. Even if confidentiality cannot be granted, information will be disclosed only to those who, in the judgment of the Title IX Coordinator, have a need to know. Decisions regarding how to proceed following a report of sexual violence to the Title IX Coordinator will be made on a case-by-case basis. A report to the Title IX Coordinator will not necessarily result in a formal complaint to the Sexual Violence Investigative Officer (for complaints against enrolled students or faculty) or to the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs (for complaints against staff).

For those members of the University community who have crime statistics reporting obligations under the Clery Act, notifying the Title IX Coordinator regarding an incident of sexual violence does not replace the obligation to report the matter to the Division of Public Safety. For additional information about Clery Act reporting or to make a report, refer to the Clery Act & Crime Reporting page on the Division of Public Safety website at https://www.publicsafety.upenn.edu/clery/

V. Rights of Complainants and Respondents

Persons who make a complaint and those who are responding to complaints have the following rights:

• The option to notify law enforcement;

• The option to have another member of the University community present during interviews that are part of a University-initiated investigation;

• To be notified of counseling and support services available; and

• To be notified of options to change academic, living or work arrangements.

VI. Policy Against Retaliation

University policy expressly prohibits retaliation against faculty, staff or students who in good faith make reports of violations of this policy. In addition, knowingly and intentionally making a false report of a violation of this policy is prohibited. Members of the Penn community who take adverse action against someone who reports a violation of this policy, intimidate, threaten or otherwise engage in retaliation are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of their employment or expulsion from the University.

VI.E.3 Procedures for Resolving Complaints Against Faculty of Sexual Assault, Sexual Violence, Relationship Violence and Stalking

(Source: Offices of the President and Provost, Almanac, February 16, 2016)


Introduction

The University of Pennsylvania is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment, free of gender-based misconduct, to all members of our community and visitors to our community.  As such, sexual assault, sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking will not be tolerated.  In order to ensure the creation of a climate where members of the community are able to thrive and achieve their full potential, the University has developed a wide range of policies, educational programs, broad-based resources, support, and reporting systems.  These procedures supplement these other policies and initiatives, addressing the process by which complaints against a University faculty member for a violation of the Sexual Violence, Relationship Violence and Stalking Policy (“Sexual Violence Policy”) will be adjudicated and resolved.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality is of critical importance in ensuring that these sensitive matters are handled appropriately.  The University has an obligation to address complaints with respect to the violation of the Sexual Violence Policy as fairly and expeditiously as possible as soon as it becomes aware of an allegation that the Policy has been violated.  To that end, if any University official or other responsible person at the University is informed of an allegation that the Policy has been violated, the University is required to respond, unless the informed official is serving in a privileged capacity (for example, a designated confidential resource, a therapist, clergy, or a medical provider). 

The response to the complaint, however, including seeking a resolution under this procedure, should be treated as confidential to the extent permitted by law.  University staff and faculty may share information with University administrators and others who have a legitimate need to know in order to address complaints fairly and effectively, but the information should be considered confidential and should be protected to the greatest extent possible.  Such administrators may include, for example, the applicable Dean or Department Chair, the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty, the Office of the Vice Provost for University Life, the Office of the Sexual Violence Investigative Officer, the Title IX Officer, Public Safety, the Office of General Counsel, Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Health Service, and academic advising offices.


I. Reporting Complaints of Violation of the Sexual Violence Policy

A. Office of the Sexual Violence Investigative Officer

The Office of the Sexual Violence Investigative Officer (SVIO) will be responsible for managing all complaints made against a University faculty member alleging a violation of the Sexual Violence Policy.  All SVIO responsibilities as described in these procedures may be performed directly by the SVIO or by his or her designee, in consultation with the appropriate Dean or the Vice Provost for Faculty.

Complaints must either be presented in writing, or based upon information provided by the complainant or another individual making the report to the SVIO who will then memorialize the allegations in writing and ask the complainant to confirm the allegations.  Complainants may include University students, staff, or faculty members, as well as others both within and outside the University community, alleging a violation against a University faculty member.  

B. Office of the District Attorney and Office of Civil Rights

Complainants may also choose to file a report with the District Attorney or with the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.  The University system and the legal system are independent of one another, and the University has its own interest in, and responsibility for, the enforcement of its Sexual Violence Policy.[1]  Therefore, the University will not unilaterally defer its proceeding pending the outcome of a criminal process, nor will the outcome of any legal process be determinative of the University result.  The University will, however, comply with reasonable requests by law enforcement for cooperation, and may temporarily suspend its fact-finding process in a sexual assault investigation so as not to impede the law enforcement process.

C. Support, Counseling and Advice

In making a decision about whether to file a complaint, complainants may seek support, counseling, and advice from other offices on campus.  A list of these offices is provided in Section III.A. below.  Should the complainant determine to proceed with an on campus complaint investigation and resolution process against a University faculty member, the Office of the Sexual Violence Investigative Officer will be the single place to initiate the process.[2]

D. Timeframe for Submitting a Complaint

The University does not limit the timeframe for filing a report of a violation of the Sexual Violence Policy.  Reports may be filed at any time, although the University’s ability to investigate or take action may be limited by the passage of time, or by changes in the employment relationship of the alleged respondent at the time the report is made.

E. Complainant Request for Confidentiality

The University is required by Title IX to weigh the complainant’s request for confidentiality/privacy with the University’s commitment to provide a reasonably safe and nondiscriminatory environment.  In situations where a complainant requests privacy, the University’s ability to investigate and respond to the allegations may be limited.

The SVIO will notify the complainant if the University cannot, in unusual cases, maintain the complainant’s confidentiality/privacy.  The complainant’s and respondent’s identities will only be revealed to those individuals who need to know their names in order to investigate or adjudicate the complaint or provide interim measures.

In situations where the University becomes aware of behavior or a pattern of behavior by one or more respondents, the University will take appropriate action in an attempt to protect the University community.


II. Investigation and Resolution of Complaints

A. Timely Resolution

The process of resolving complaints, exclusive of any appeal, should be completed, unless there are special circumstances, within 60 business days of the filing of the written complaint.  The appeal should be completed, absent special circumstances, within 30 business days of the filing of the appeal.

In the event that a Hearing Panel is convened, the complainant and the respondent will both be provided with a copy of the decision of the Panel and given 10 business days from the date of the transmittal of the Hearing Panel’s decision to file an appeal.

B. Rights and Protections for Complainant and Respondent

1.     The complainant and respondent have the right to a process that is fundamentally fair, and free of bias or prejudice.

2.     The complainant and respondent have the right to be treated with respect, dignity, sensitivity, and fairness throughout the entire process.  They are both entitled to seek support from the University and to be informed about the process both before the process is initiated and throughout the process as it unfolds. 

3.     Both parties have the right to participate in the process, or to refrain from participation.  The failure to participate will not be used as evidence against either party, but also will not prevent the process from proceeding unless the complainant determines to withdraw the complaint and the University determines to abide by that request.

4.     Both parties may have a lawyer or other advisor present when being interviewed by the Investigative Team and the Hearing Panel, but the lawyer or other advisor will not be permitted to present statements, seek the production of evidence, or question any witnesses.  A non-lawyer advisor must be a member of the University community.

5.     Evidence of prior sexual conduct by the complainant or respondent with other partners will not be considered in the process, and any evidence of a prior sexual relationship between the parties will not be determinative of the issue of consent.  If there is credible evidence of a pattern of violations of the Sexual Violence Policy, evidence that helps to establish such a pattern may be considered by the Hearing Panel.

6.     While the process is underway, appropriate interim measures will be taken to protect the parties.  If both the complainant and the respondent are faculty members, the Dean(s) of the school(s) to which the faculty members have appointments – or the Dean(s)’ designee(s) – would work with the complainant and respondent, ensuring support is provided to both sides, and implementing interim measures to protect the parties, consistent with principles of fairness.  In the event that the complainant is a staff member or a student, the Dean of the school to which the respondent has an appointment – or the Dean’s designee – will work with Human Resources (for staff members) and the Vice Provost for University Life (for students) to implement interim measures. 

C. Preliminary Determination

Upon receiving a complaint, the SVIO will make a preliminary determination as to whether the complaint falls within the purview of the Sexual Violence Policy and whether, on its face, there appears to be a sufficient basis to conduct a full investigation.  In making this determination, the SVIO may interview the complainant and the respondent and conduct whatever preliminary investigation the Officer deems necessary to determine if the actions alleged in the complaint would, if true, constitute a violation of the University’s Sexual Violence Policy and there is a reasonable basis for investigating the charges.  If the SVIO concludes there is insufficient basis to proceed, the matter will be concluded and the parties so advised.

D. Investigation

If the SVIO makes the determination that there is a sufficient basis to proceed, the Officer will issue a Statement of Charge Letter, based on the complaint and any preliminary investigation conducted.  The Charge Letter will be provided to the complainant and the respondent.  The respondent will be provided the opportunity to respond in writing to the Charge, and any response will be shared with the complainant. The Dean of each school to which the respondent faculty member has an appointment will also receive a copy of the Charge Letter.   

The SVIO will lead a thorough and impartial investigation, assisted by one or more co-investigators who may come from the school of the complainant or respondent or from elsewhere in the University (the “Investigative Team”).  The co-investigator(s) will be University staff or faculty members appropriately trained as investigators in handling sexual violence cases, and will be selected for individual cases by the SVIO.  The investigation will include interviews of the complainant and respondent, interviews of witnesses, and review of documentation, physical evidence, and any other relevant evidence. 

Prior to interviews, the complainant, the respondent, and any relevant witnesses will be informed by the SVIO that statements they make during the process may be admissible in concurrent or subsequent civil or criminal court proceedings, and will accordingly also be informed of their rights as outlined in Section B above.  The parties will be advised of the seriousness of the proceeding and the expectation that the information they provide is both accurate and complete.  Any false or misleading statements may subject the party making such statements to proceedings under the applicable University policy, handbook, code and/or charter. The complainant and respondent may have their advisors[3] and/or outside counsel present for their interviews, but the advisors or outside counsel will not be permitted to participate in the interview other than to provide advice to the person they have accompanied, and they may be excluded from the interview for disruptive behavior. 

In conducting the investigation, the Investigative Team may, as appropriate, also consult with other campus officials including but not limited to administrators in the relevant School(s), Public Safety, the Title IX Coordinator, the Vice President for Institutional Affairs, the Vice Provost for Faculty or the Vice Provost for University Life. The Investigative Team may also consult with the Office of General Counsel, who may determine in particular cases to engage outside counsel to assist the University throughout this process.  The Investigative Team may engage forensic and other experts, as needed.

E. Investigative Report

At the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigative Team will prepare a draft factual investigative report, including assessments of credibility, a recommended finding as to responsibility, and recommended sanctions, if appropriate.  In making the responsibility determination, the Investigative team will use a “preponderance of the evidence” standard.  In other words, to find a faculty member responsible for violating the Sexual Violence Policy, the Investigative Team must be convinced that it is more likely than not that a violation of the Sexual Violence Policy has occurred. 

1.     Opportunity for Review and Comment

The draft investigative report will be provided to both the complainant and respondent for their prompt review and comment, under strict instructions that the draft report is confidential, and not to be shared with anyone other than their families and advisors, who must be members of the University community and/or outside counsel, as described above. Sharing of the report by either party, their families, advisors or outside counsel with any additional persons will be strictly prohibited. The complainant and respondent will also be provided the opportunity to review the underlying evidence and witness statements with their advisors, but they will not be provided or permitted to make copies. 

2.     Final Report

As a result of the response and comments received, the Investigative Team may conduct a further investigation and/or amend the draft report, if the Team determines either action to be warranted. A final investigative report will be prepared, incorporating any changes, and shared with the complainant and the respondent.  The complainant and respondent may submit formal objections or comments to the final report, which will become part of the final report of the matter.

F. Resolution Without a Hearing

The matter may be resolved at this stage if both parties agree to the recommendations of the Investigative Team with respect to responsibility and, if applicable, sanctions, or if the parties otherwise reach a mutually acceptable resolution.  The University, however, will not compel either the complainant or the respondent to engage in face-to-face mediation or to accept the recommendations of the Investigative Team.

G. Hearing Panel

If the matter is not resolved at this stage in a mutually acceptable manner, the SVIO will present the final investigative report, together with any comments provided by the complainant and/or respondent, to a Hearing Panel (“Panel”).

1.     Panel Membership

The Panel will be comprised of three (3) faculty members and the Designated Hearing Officer (DHO), who will be a non-voting member. The DHO will make all decisions about the organization of the Panel, including decisions regarding the admissibility of evidence, witnesses to appear before the panel, or any additional decisions regarding the administration of the hearing process.[4]
 

Membership of the Panel, including the DHO, will observe the following guidelines:   

i.          Members will be selected from a pool of faculty who have agreed to serve for a term of one or more years.

ii.          Only panels that have training in handling complaints involving sexual misconduct will hear sexual misconduct cases.

iii.          Faculty comprising the Panel should be from academic departments in which neither of the parties is affiliated (e.g., has a faculty appointment or is enrolled in a course of study), and no faculty member may serve on the Panel who has a professional, academic or personal relationship with either of the parties.

iv.          Faculty asked to serve must recuse themselves or be dismissed if they have any personal ties to either of the parties or to individuals with whom the parties are closely associated. Nor may they have prior personal knowledge of the alleged incident of sexual misconduct.

v.          The University will train members of the pool to fulfill their responsibilities as adjudicators according to the procedures and policies outlined here and to ensure compliance with Title IX and other applicable state and federal guidelines.  In addition, the Panel will be provided with “just in time” training on adjudicating sexual violence cases, unless the Panel members have recently been trained. 

vi.          The SVIO may not serve on the Panel; however, the SVIO may be interviewed by the Panel regarding his or her investigation and may assist the DHO as needed in organizational and administrative matters related to the Panel.


vii.          The complainant and respondent will be notified of the membership of the Panel in advance of the Hearing.  Any challenges for cause against individual Panel members must be made promptly so as not to delay the conduct of the Hearing, and will be given serious consideration by the DHO to ensure impartiality of the proceedings. 
 

viii.          All proceedings must be kept strictly confidential among the parties, witnesses and members of the panel. All individuals involved in such hearings must agree to such conditions of confidentiality. 

2.     Hearing Procedures

Hearings must be prompt, fair, and impartial, affording the complainant’s allegations and the respondent’s defenses all due consideration and protecting the rights of both parties. The Panel will review the Investigative Team’s final report, including any responses, objections, or comments provided by the complainant and/or respondent.  The Panel will also carefully review the evidentiary record, including witness statements, documents, and physical evidence. 

i.       Hearing Panel Interviews
The Panel will interview separately the SVIO (and co-investigator(s) if the Panel so chooses), the complainant, and the respondent. The Panel will, whenever possible, provide the complainant and respondent with five days advance notice of the Hearing. If reasonably possible, interviews will be conducted on one day, but if such scheduling would require an unreasonably long day, or if such scheduling would unreasonably delay the proceeding, the Hearing may be scheduled over multiple days. 

The Panel may seek additional evidence from the SVIO and interview key witnesses on whom the SVIO relied in drawing his or her conclusions, as well as request additional evidence from the SVIO to clarify the evidentiary record, provided that it can do so without unreasonably delaying the process.  In the event that a new witness comes forward during the Hearing who was not originally interviewed by the SVIO, or new evidence is discovered after the SVIO has issued his or her report, the DHO may allow that witness to be interviewed or admit the evidence to the hearing, but only if the DHO judges the new witness or evidence to be highly relevant to an accurate and fair determination of the outcome.

a.     The Hearing will be held in private, and only the Panel may conduct interviews. Only the person interviewed (and in the case of the parties, that person’s advisor or outside counsel)) will be present at the Hearing during interviews. The complainant or respondent (and their advisor or outside counsel, as applicable) will be able to view testimony from separate rooms, upon request, via closed-circuit television or similar video transmission.

b.     Subject to the protections set forth in Section B above, the Panel has wide latitude when questioning the complainant, the respondent and any witnesses in order to determine the accuracy of the report.

c.     The complainant and respondent may propose witnesses and provide specific questions in advance that they believe important to ask of other parties or witnesses.  The parties also may submit questions during the Hearing that they wish to have asked.  The DHO, in consultation with the Panel, will determine the relevance as well as the appropriateness of witnesses and questions, and may accordingly place restrictions on, include, or exclude witnesses or other information.

d.     When the Panel is conducting the interview of the complainant and respondent, each may bring an advisor or outside counsel with them to provide advice and support, but the advisor or outside counsel will not be permitted to participate in the interview other than to provide advice to the complainant or respondent and may be excluded from the interview by the DHO for disruptive behavior.  

e.     The interviews by the Panel will be recorded (audio only). No observers will be permitted to make any audio or video recordings.

3.     Hearing Panel Decision

After the Hearing concludes, the Panel will immediately deliberate in private to decide whether a preponderance of the evidence shows that the respondent is responsible for a violation of the University’s Sexual Violence Policy. Preponderance of the evidence means that the Panel must be convinced based on the evidence that it is more likely than not that a violation has occurred in order to find a faculty is responsible for violation of the policy.  A finding of responsibility requires a majority vote of the members of the Panel.

i.       If the respondent is found responsible, the Panel will also recommend an appropriate sanction, by majority vote, based upon the facts of the case and University precedent, with a presumption in favor of the sanction recommended by the SVIO. 

ii.     The Panel will arrive at its conclusion as expeditiously as possible, and will promptly advise both the complainant and the respondent in writing of its decision with respect to responsibility and, if applicable, recommended sanctions.  In keeping with guidelines for timely resolution as provided in Section A above, the written decision will be provided as soon after the conclusion of the proceeding as is possible. 

iii.   Decisions made by the Panel are considered final, subject only to appeal as outlined below.

H. Appeal of Hearing Panel Decision

The Panel decision is subject to appeal by either party in writing to the Vice Provost for Faculty (or his or her designee), who has exclusive jurisdiction to decide appeals.  In keeping with guidelines for timely resolution as provided in Section A above, appeals should be submitted within 10 business days of transmission of the decision of the Panel.  Letters of appeal should specifically state whether the objection is to the judgment of responsibility, the recommended sanction, or both, and explain in detail the grounds for appeal.

1.     The Vice Provost for Faculty (or his or her designee) will review the report of the Investigative Team and the decision of the Panel to ensure that the process was consistent with University policy and that the decision was not arbitrary or capricious.  The audio record from the Panel Hearing, the supporting evidence, and any other relevant materials may also be reviewed by the Vice Provost for Faculty (or his or her designee) at his or her discretion. 

2.     After considering the appeal, the Vice Provost for Faculty (or his or her designee) will promptly notify the parties in writing as to whether the Panel’s decision is upheld or modified. 

I. Sanctions

After a final decision has been rendered (either by the Panel or, if an appeal is filed, by the Vice Provost for Faculty (or his or her designee)), the matter is presented to the Dean of the school to which the respondent has an appointment for procedures related to sanctions. The Dean is provided the investigative report, along with the Panel’s decision, and the appellate decision (if any). 

1.     If the respondent is a member of the Standing Faculty, the Dean will follow the procedures described in the Faculty Handbook’s section regarding Procedure Governing Sanctions Taken Against Members of the Faculty (Section II.E.16) starting at Subsection 3 (for Minor Sanctions) or Subsection 4 (for Major Sanctions), as appropriate, to determine what, if any, sanction should be imposed against the respondent based on the determination rendered by the Investigative Team, as well as the Panel and the appellate decision by the Vice Provost for Faculty (or his or her designee), if applicable, and following the Dean’s consultation with the Vice Provost for Faculty.

2.     If the respondent is a member of the Non-Standing Faculty, the Dean will consider the determination rendered by the Investigative Officer, as well as the Panel and the appellate decision by the Vice Provost for Faculty (or his or her designee), if applicable, and consult with the Vice Provost for Faculty, before implementing an appropriate sanction.

The matter will be referred to the Provost for sanctions purposes in lieu of the Dean in the event that the Dean is the respondent or if referral to the Dean would create an actual or apparent conflict of interest.



III. Resource Offices

A. Confidential Resources

The following is a list of confidential resources that can be contacted for support, counseling, and advice.  The information shared with these resources generally will be held in confidence, consistent with the University’s obligation to address complaints of sexual violence, unless the person sharing the information gives his or her consent to the disclosure of that information.  The commitment to confidentiality does not preclude the sharing of information among responsible University administrators as needed, including to keep members of the University community safe.  


Special Services Department, Division of Public Safety

24-hour Helpline: (215) 898-6600

4040 Chestnut Street

http://www.public.safety.upenn.edu/special-services/


Counseling & Psychological Services

Main Number: (215) 898-7021

After hours emergency number: (215) 349-5490

3624 Market Street, 1st Floor, West

http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/caps

Sexual Trauma Treatment Outreach and Prevention:

http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/caps/sttop.php


Penn Women's Center

(215) 898-8611

3643 Locust Walk

http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/pwc/


Student Health Service

(215) 746-3535

3535 Market Street, Suite 100

http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/shs/


Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center

(215) 898-5044

3901 Spruce Street

http://vww.vpul.upenn.edu/lgbtc/


African American Resource Center

(215) 898-0104

3643 Locust Walk

http://www.upenn.edu/aarc/


Office of the Chaplain

(215) 898-8456

240 Houston Hall, 3412 Spruce Street

http://www.upenn.edu/chaplain/


Office of the Ombudsman

(215) 898-8261

113 Duhring Wing / 236 S. 34th Street

http://www.upenn.edu/ombudsman/


Employee Assistance Program, Penn Behavioral Health

(888) 321-4433

http://www.pennbehavioralhealth.org/services-eap.aspx


Office of Sexual Violence Prevention & Education

(215) 898-6081

VPUL, 3611 Locust Walk

http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/pwc/pvp.php


B. Official Reporting Office
 

The following is the official reporting office for violations of the Sexual Violence Policy:


Title IX Coordinator (Executive Director, Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs)

(215) 898-6993

3600 Chestnut Street, Sansom Place East, Suite 228

http://www.upenn.edu/affirm-action/titleix.html


C.  Official Office for Sexual Violence Complaints and Investigation


The following is the official office for initiating a formal complaint and investigation for violations of the Sexual Violence Policy:


Office of the Sexual Violence Investigative Officer

(215) 898-2887

Suite 320, 3901 Walnut Street

http://www.upenn.edu/svio/




[1] The University recognizes that should it be proceeding in cases where criminal charges are pending, the respondents may choose not to participate in the process described in these procedures in order to protect their Fifth Amendment rights.  Such decision will not be used as evidence against any respondent and the Hearing Panel will be instructed not to draw any adverse inference from the failure to participate.

[2] While the Investigative Officer will be responsible for managing the complaint investigation and resolution process, as described below, the SVIO will work with other appropriate University offices, including the Vice Provost for University Life and the Vice Provost for Faculty, to determine if interim measures are appropriate before a final resolution is reached.

[3] The University will provide a list of advisors from the Penn community to complainants and respondents.  Advisors will be offered training by the University to support both complainants and respondents in this process.  The parties need not select an advisor from this list, but may select any faculty or administrative member of the community to advise them, but they will not have an active role in the proceedings.  The parties may also retain outside counsel in addition to, or instead of, using an advisor.  The role of the outside counsel, however, will be limited to an advisory role and he or she will not be permitted to have an active role in the proceedings.

[4] In carrying out these responsibilities, the DHO may consult with the SVIO, the Office of General Counsel and other appropriate offices such as the Vice Provost for Faculty and the Vice President for Institutional Affairs. University officers thus consulted will respect the confidentiality conditions of the proceedings.