Discipline against University Community Members Found to be Responsible for Committing Interpersonal Violence
CSU strictly prohibits all acts of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking through its Student Conduct Code (https://resolutioncenter.colostate.edu/conduct‐code/) and its policy on Title IX Sexual Harassment (http://policylibrary.colostate.edu/policy.aspx?id=773).
In addition to facing possible criminal investigation and prosecution, students, employees and other affiliates may also be subject to university investigation and disciplinary action from the university. Students or employees found responsible for having committed interpersonal violence face discipline up to and including permanent expulsion, termination of employment, suspension, probation, education requirements, and related discipline.
The university may receive reports of interpersonal violence from a variety of sources including:
- Victims and witnesses
- CSU campus security authorities
- Responsible employees as defined under Title IX
- Other law enforcement agencies
- University offices such as the Office of Support & Safety Assessment
- Members of the community who are not campus security authorities but who learn of an incident and choose to report it
In addition, a complaint regarding student behavior may be filed with the Student Conduct Services online (https://resolutioncenter.colostate.edu/conduct‐services) by phone (970‐491‐7165), or in person (501 W. Lake St., Suite A, Aggie Village Walnut, Fort Collins, CO 80523‐8015).
In all cases, whether involving a disciplinary process for students or employees, the university will provide a prompt, equitable, fair and impartial process from the initial investigation to the final result.
The university strives to complete each investigation, hearing and appeal process in a timely manner. While delays can occur for reasons beyond the control of the university, the anticipated timeline for an investigation, adjudication and appeal proceeding in cases involving students and/or employees is approximately 1200-180 days from the filing of the initial report.
The steps in the disciplinary process and anticipated timelines for each include:
- Report received. Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity is responsible for receiving and reviewing the report
- Preliminary inquiry. Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity is the responsible decisionmaker. The approximate timeline for this step is 10 days
- Investigation and issuance of investigation report is the responsibility of Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity. This step may take approximately 80 days
- Informal resolution, where applicable. Student Resolution Center is the responsible office for making these decisions and has approximately 30 days
- All parties (complainant and respondent) are given 12 days (10 business days) of time to review and respond to investigation report
- Formal hearing or issuance of findings is under the responsibility of a hearing officer. This process may take up to 45 days
- The complainant and respondent are provided 10 days to file appeals
- If an appeal is filed, an appeal panel has 21 days to consider the appeal and make a decision
Extensions of time will be granted in circumstances where there is good cause. Every situation is different, and many factors can affect the timeline.
General Information About Disciplinary Proceedings
In the case of a report of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, CSU proceedings are governed under the CSU policy on Title IX Sexual Harassment (http://policylibrary.colostate.edu/policy.aspx?id=773) ) and the related procedures for investigating and responding to complaints of sexual harassment under Title IX Laws and Regulations (https://titleix.colostate.edu/procedures/).
Where a violation of that policy does not fall within the scope of Title IX laws and regulations, the proceedings are governed instead by the Student Conduct Code, where the responding party is a student, or the CSU policy on discrimination and harassment (http://policylibrary.colostate.edu/policy.aspx?id=710), where the responding party is a non-student. In either case, such procedures include the following:
- Both impacted party (the complainant or victim) and responding party (the accused) are provided periodic reports and updates regarding the investigation’s status.
- Both parties are afforded the same rights during the investigation, adjudication and appeal stages of the proceedings, although different remedies and supportive measures may be appropriate for one party or another.
- Upon completion of the investigation, the report is reviewed by Student Conduct Services to determine if disciplinary proceedings against a responding student are supported by the report.
- If disciplinary proceedings are appropriate, written notice will be provided to the student regarding the alleged conduct and violations of the Student Conduct Code, and a hearing will be scheduled.
- A hearing officer will conduct a hearing with the student and any advisor or witnesses and determine if a responding party is responsible for violating the policy and the Student Conduct Code.
- Determinations are made using the preponderance of the evidence standard, which means that a responding party is found responsible for violating the policy if it is more likely than not that the alleged misconduct occurred.
- In all proceedings, including any related meetings or hearings, both the impacted party and responding party are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present at the hearing. This includes the right to be accompanied by a support person of their choice as well as an advisor. A support person is any individual who provides the party support, guidance or advice and may, but need not be, an attorney. An advisor is someone who during a live hearing will conduct cross-examination of the other parties and witnesses; the party cannot personally conduct cross-examination of the other party.
- Both parties are informed simultaneously in writing of the outcome of the proceeding . The parties are also informed of the procedure and timeframe in which to file an appeal of the outcome, of any change to the results that occurs as a result of the appeal, and when such results become final.
- Students found responsible for interpersonal violence face university disciplinary consequences and are subject to measures to protect the impacted party.
- All investigations and proceedings are conducted by officials who receive annual training on interpersonal violence investigation and adjudication, how to conduct an investigation fairly and impartially, and how to conduct a proceeding in a manner that protects the safety of the parties and promotes accountability.
Disciplinary Sanctions for Students
For a student found responsible for violating the Student Conduct Code, disciplinary sanctions may be imposed pursuant to the Student Conduct Code, up to and including expulsion from CSU. Disciplinary sanctions may include but are not limited to:
- Disciplinary standings:
- Disciplinary probation
- Loss of good standing
- Disciplinary suspension
- Deferred disciplinary suspension
- Disciplinary expulsion
- Loss of student organization recognition
- Discretionary sanctions:
- Alcohol and drug education, intervention, or treatment
- A continuum of conflict resolution processes
- Withholding or revocation of a degree
- Educational workshops
- Permanent University housing modification including removal from University housing
- Interpersonal violence evaluation/treatment
- Parent/guardian notification (student under the age of 21)
- Compliance with court-ordered sanctions
For additional information about student conduct proceedings please consult the Student Conduct Code available at https://resolutioncenter.colostate.edu/conduct‐code. For additional information about employee conduct issues, contact Human Resources at www.hrs.colostate.edu or 970‐491‐6947.
Disciplinary Sanctions for Employees
For an employee found responsible for violating a university policy, disciplinary sanctions may be imposed pursuant to applicable policies and procedures, up to and including termination from university employment. Any disciplinary action for a tenured faculty member must follow the procedures outlined in Section E.15, Disciplinary Action for Tenured Faculty, of the Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual. Disciplinary sanctions may include:
- Verbal reprimand, documented conversation
- Pay reduction
- Suspension without pay
- Facilitation or mediation
- Letter of expectation
Proceedings Involving Employees
To file a complaint against an employee for sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, complainants must contact the Office of Equal Opportunity (970‐491‐5836). State and university policies and procedures are followed.
Complaints may be addressed through either an informal or formal process under the procedures. The informal process involves the use of conflict resolution techniques to reach a mutually agreed-upon resolution between the parties. The formal process involves an equitable, fair and impartial investigation conducted by an investigator in the Office of Equal Opportunity. If the behavior in the complaint meets the definition of sexual harassment under Title IX, then the complaint will proceed through the Title IX procedures. If the behavior in the complaint does not meet the definition of sexual harassment under Title IX, the complaint will proceed through the discrimination and harassment procedures in the Office of Equal Opportunity (https://oeo.colostate.edu/discrimination-complaint-procedures/).