Dean of the Faculty

Faculty Handbook

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VI. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

(Source: Rules of Procedure, amended at the May 15, 2015 meeting of the faculty)

F.  Non-Sexual Harassment/Misconduct Complaints and Charges Brought against Members of the Faculty (For grievance procedures involving sexual harassment/misconduct see Sections J, K, L below.)

Section F-1. Preliminary Considerations and Procedures

a. Any member of the Student Body, Staff, or Faculty who has a complaint against a member of the Faculty should first consider informal resolution of the matter through discussion with the faculty member in question or through mediation under Honor Council auspices.

b. Complaints shall be limited to alleged violations of the Honor Principle, alleged violations of duly enacted policies and regulations of the College or alleged violations of the statement of professional ethics enacted as Appendix I of the Constitution of the Faculty.

c. If an informal resolution is deemed inappropriate or cannot be obtained, the complainant may bring the matter to the attention of the Dean of the Faculty. The complainant should present the complaint as soon as possible after the alleged misconduct occurs. Whenever possible, the initial discussion between the complainant and the Dean of the Faculty shall be kept confidential, with no official written record.

d. No sanction shall be recommended or imposed for speech, writing, or other action protected by the provisions of Article V of the Constitution of the Faculty.

e. These procedures, including the procedures of Sections G and H, shall be executed within the time periods specified, or if circumstances prohibit this, in as expeditious a manner as possible.

Section F-2. Formal Complaints or Charges

a. Any member of the Student Body, Staff, or Faculty may file with the Dean of the Faculty a formal signed complaint against a faculty member. If after discussion with the complainant, the Dean (or his or her designee) concludes that the complaint is without foundation or cannot reasonably be investigated due to the passage of time, and if no duly enacted policy or compelling legal reason mandates further investigation, he or she shall dismiss the complaint. In all other cases, the faculty member shall receive a copy of the signed complaint and shall have five working days in which to reply and to state his or her position. Every effort shall be made to protect the complainant from retaliatory action.

The Dean of the Faculty (or his or her designee) shall promptly discuss the complaint and the response with the complainant and the accused faculty member. A resolution of the complaint may be agreed to by the Faculty member, the Dean of the Faculty (or his or her designee), and the complainant. If no such agreement is reached within ten working days after a complaint has been filed, the Dean of the Faculty shall forward the complaint to the Chair of the Grievance Review Panel, unless the alleged conduct appears to warrant fixed-term suspension or termination of tenure or of fixed-term appointment prior to expiration, in which case the Dean shall consult with the Committee on Advancement and Tenure as to whether to initiate proceedings under the provisions of Section H of these Rules of Procedure.

b. In the absence of or independent of a formal signed complaint, the Dean of the Faculty (after informal inquiries and consultation with the Committee on Advancement and Tenure), or the Committee on Advancement and Tenure itself, may determine that an investigation of unprofessional conduct may be warranted according to the procedures of Section G or Section H. Any informal inquiries undertaken by the Dean or the Committee shall be strictly limited to determining whether a formal investigation is warranted. If the Dean or the Committee on Advancement and Tenure determines that possible charges do warrant investigation according to the procedures of Sections G or H, the faculty member in question shall promptly receive a written statement of the nature and grounds of the possible charges to be considered and shall have five working days from receipt of this statement in which to reply and to state his or her position. The Dean of the Faculty and the Committee on Advancement and Tenure shall have five working days from receipt of the faculty member's reply to determine whether the possible charges require investigation.

If the Dean of the Faculty and the Committee on Advancement and Tenure determine that plausible grounds for investigation or adverse action do not exist, the Dean of the Faculty shall immediately so inform the faculty member in writing. If the Dean of the Faculty or the Committee determines that plausible grounds for adverse action may exist, the Dean, the Committee, and the faculty member are bound in good faith to seek an informal resolution of the matter among themselves before formal steps are taken. If a resolution does not seem possible or is not agreed to within fifteen working days of the determination that grounds for adverse action may exist, and if the alleged conduct appears to warrant a sanction less than fixed-term suspension or termination, such as a warning or reprimand, the Dean of the Faculty shall promptly forward charges to the Chair of the Grievance Review Panel. If the Dean of the Faculty or the Committee on Advancement and Tenure determines that the alleged conduct appears to warrant fixed-term suspension or termination of tenure or of fixed-term appointment prior to expiration, then the Dean of the Faculty or the Committee on Advancement and Tenure, whichever has so determined, shall promptly initiate proceedings pursuant to Section H.

c. In the event that a hearing according to the procedures of Sections G or H overlaps in time with a personnel review affecting title, salary, or term of service of the accused faculty member, that review shall be suspended pending the final outcome of those procedures.

d. In the event that a hearing according to the procedures of Sections G or H comes about because of an allegation submitted to the Committee on Advancement and Tenure, that allegation shall normally remain in the faculty member's evaluation file. In cases where such an allegation is discredited by a hearing which clears the accused faculty member of wrongdoing, the Committee on Advancement and Tenure shall either insert a statement to that effect into the evaluation file or delete the discredited allegation.

e. The Dean of the Faculty, the Committee on Advancement and Tenure and the President, and any Grievance Hearing Board or Investigating Committee, shall make every effort to safeguard as fully as possible the confidentiality of any disciplinary proceeding according to the procedures of Sections G or H.

Section F-3. Record Keeping

a. If sanctions have been imposed under the provisions of Section G or H, and appeal is unsuccessful, a statement of these sanctions and of their grounds shall be placed in the faculty member's evaluation file. Informal or mediated resolutions of complaints or charges may stipulate that an appropriate statement be placed in the faculty member's evaluation file.

b. All other records arising from formal complaints or charges against members of the Faculty, all other records arising from informal resolutions reached through interaction with the Dean of the Faculty or the Committee on Advancement and Tenure, and records arising from mediation through the Honor Council which results in acknowledgment of injury to a community member, shall be kept by the Dean of the Faculty in confidential complaint files separate from all other records pertaining to a faculty member. A Hearing Board or Investigating Committee shall not consult these files except when considering what sanctions to recommend in a case where allegations have been substantiated through the procedures of Sections G or H. The Committee on Advancement and Tenure shall not consult these files except when determining whether to initiate proceedings pursuant to Section F-2 above. As stated in the Community Constitution (plus citation), these files shall be maintained for the duration of a faculty member's employment at Reed, or longer if legally required, and shall be destroyed at the end of that period.

G. Procedures for Sanctions Less than Fixed-Term Suspension or Termination

Section G-1.

a. Within five working days of the receipt of a complaint filed by a member of the Community or of charges forwarded by the Dean of the Faculty or the Committee on Advancement and Tenure, the Chair of the Grievance Review Panel shall appoint from that panel a Grievance Hearing Board, made up of three members of the Faculty, taking care that the board is composed in a way likely to be impartial with respect to these allegations. The Hearing Board shall meet not more than five working days after its appointment to discuss the allegations, and shall normally complete its deliberations within twenty working days from receipt of a complaint or charges.

b. The Hearing Board shall conduct an investigation, call witnesses, and gather information it deems necessary to assist it in reaching a determination as to the merits of the allegations. Unless the Hearing Board concludes that the allegations are without merit, it shall invite any parties to a dispute to appear before it and to confront any adverse witnesses.

c. In any appearance before a Hearing Board, a complainant and the alleged offender each have the right to be accompanied by not more than two advisers from within the Reed Community, each of whom shall be a currently enrolled student or a current member of the Faculty or Staff. No such adviser may participate in the hearing as representing any party, or in any other way. Legal counsel, including College counsel, shall not be permitted to observe or participate in any appearance before or meeting of a Hearing Board.

d. In arriving at its ultimate determination as to the merits of the allegations, the Hearing Board shall be guided by a standard of the preponderance of the evidence in the information before it, considered as a whole.

Section G-2. Report of the Hearing Board

a. In cases arising from a formal complaint, the Hearing Board shall communicate its determination as to the merits of the allegations in writing to the complainant. A summary of the basis for the board's determination shall be provided to the complainant upon request. In all cases, the Hearing Board shall supply the Dean of the Faculty and the person charged with a report consisting of its determination as to the merits of the allegations, any recommendations for sanctions against the faculty member, and a statement of the evidence gathered in the course of its investigations.

b. If the Hearing Board recommends seeking fixed-term suspension or termination of tenure or of fixed-term appointment prior to expiration, the report of the Hearing Board shall immediately be forwarded to the Committee on Advancement and Tenure, at which point the procedures of Section H shall come into force. If the Hearing Board recommends the imposition of some lesser sanction, such as a warning or reprimand, the Dean of the Faculty shall forward this recommendation to the President, who shall determine whether to impose that sanction.

c. The affected faculty member may appeal to the Appeals and Review Committee any action by the President that is based on a recommendation by a Hearing Board.

H. Procedures for Fixed-Term Suspension or Termination of Academic Tenure or Fixed-Term Appointment Prior to Expiration for a Reason Other than Financial Exigency

Section H-1. Proceedings for termination or fixed-term suspension for a reason other than financial exigency shall be carried out as follows:

a. Prior to or in lieu of Section H proceedings, the College and the faculty member may agree to arbitration or mediation. If such a resolution of the matter cannot be agreed upon, either the Committee on Advancement and Tenure or the Dean of the Faculty, after consultation between them, may present formal charges against the Faculty member to the Committee on Tenure. The burden of proof of the charges shall lie with the Dean or the Committee on Advancement and Tenure, whichever has initiated the proceeding, and will be satisfied only by clear and convincing evidence in the record considered as a whole.

b. The Committee on Tenure shall consist of the Faculty members of the Appeals and Review Committee with the following exceptions:

  1. If the person whose termination or fixed-term suspension is proposed is a member of the Committee, he or she shall withdraw until his or her case is completed.
  2. Any member of the Committee who feels in his or her own judgment that he or she cannot participate impartially in a particular case shall withdraw for the duration of the case.
  3. Vacancies because of one or two withdrawals shall be filled by Faculty members chosen by the remaining members of the Committee. If there are more than two vacancies because of withdrawals, all of the vacancies shall be filled by Faculty members elected by the Faculty from nominees of the Committee on Advancement and Tenure in a number equal to twice the number to be elected.

c. The Committee on Tenure shall promptly appoint an Investigating Committee of five Faculty members on academic tenure, one of whom shall be chosen from among three nominated by the individual under investigation, one of whom shall be chosen from among three nominated by the President, and one of whom shall be chosen from among three nominated by the Committee on Advancement and Tenure. The Investigating Committee shall choose its own chair.

d. The Investigating Committee shall investigate the charges, hold hearings, and make recommendations as follows:

  1. The person charged shall be fully informed in writing of the charges against him or her and shall have the opportunity to respond to the charges, to confront witnesses in hearings and to cross-examine them, to be heard in his or her own defense, to produce witnesses in his or her own behalf and to have with him or her at most two academic advisers of his or her own choosing. Where witnesses cannot or will not appear, but the Investigating Committee determines that the interests of justice require admission of their statements, the Investigating Committee will identify the witnesses, disclose their statements, and if possible provide for interrogatories. Legal counsel, including College counsel, shall not be permitted to observe or participate in any appearance before or meeting of the Investigating Committee.
  2. The Investigating Committee may see all documents held by the College that pertain to the case. The Committee shall hold such hearings as may be necessary to fully explore the charges. If the charges include that of academic incompetence, testimony may include that of teachers and other scholars from the College or from other institutions of higher learning. A complete stenographic record of all hearings shall be kept and a transcript shall be prepared and supplied to the person charged upon his or her request. The hearings shall be open to the Faculty only if the person charged so requests.
  3. The Investigating Committee shall normally complete its investigation within thirty working days of its appointment. Upon the completion of its investigation, the Investigating Committee shall meet, consider the evidence, and reach its conclusions by a secret ballot in which the chair shall have the right to vote.
  4. If the proceedings have arisen from a formal complaint, the complainant shall receive a written statement of the Investigating Committee's determination as to the merits of the allegations, and upon request, a statement of the grounds for this determination. The Investigating Committee shall submit a written report to the President, the person charged, and to the Dean of the Faculty or the Committee on Advancement and Tenure, whichever has initiated the proceedings. The report shall include a summary of the Committee's findings and recommendations for the disposition of the case and shall have attached a transcript of any hearings of which transcripts have been prepared. If the Investigating Committee concludes that adequate cause for suspension or termination has not been established by the evidence in the record, it will so state in its report. If the Investigating Committee concludes that an academic penalty less than suspension or termination would be more appropriate, it will so recommend in its report, with supporting reasons.

e. The President or his or her designated representatives shall have the right to attend any hearings or meetings of the Investigating Committee or the Committee on Tenure as an observer.

f. The President may seek clarification or further information from the Investigating Committee, and this additional information will become a part of the report of the Committee. Within five working days of receiving the final report of the Investigating Committee, the person accused may submit a written statement of his or her position to the President. If the President rejects the recommendations of the report, the President will state the reasons for so doing, in writing, to the Investigating Committee and to the faculty member, and will provide an opportunity for response before transmitting the case to the Board of Trustees. The faculty member or the President may request a review and recommendation from the Appeals and Review Committee, based on the record of the Investigating Committee hearing, supplemented by any written statements which the Investigating Committee, the President, or the affected faculty member may wish to submit.

g. If the President recommends termination or fixed-term suspension, the President will transmit to the Board of Trustees the entire record of the case. The Board of Trustees' review will be based on this record, and the Board of Trustees will provide opportunity for argument, oral or written or both, by the principals in the case or by their representatives. The decision of the Investigating Committee will either be sustained or the proceedings returned to the Committee with specific objections. The Investigating Committee will then reconsider, taking into account the stated objections and receiving new evidence if necessary. The Board of Trustees will make a final decision only after study of the Committee's reconsideration.

h. The President, after consultation with the Committee on Tenure, may suspend a person charged during the proceedings only if immediate harm to him or herself, the College, or others is threatened by his or her continuance. Any such suspension shall be with pay.

i. The Board of Trustees shall fix the financial arrangements with respect to termination. In the case of tenured faculty, unless the grounds for termination include personal conduct covered by Article VI, Section 1.C of the Constitution, the individual shall receive 12 months' salary from the date of termination at his or her prevailing rate. Fixed-term suspension shall normally extend over not more than one academic year. Such suspension will be without pay or benefits, except for health insurance benefits.

I. Proceedings for Termination because of Financial Exigency

Section I-1. Proceedings for termination because of financial exigency shall be carried out as follows:

a. The existence and extent of a bona fide financial exigency shall first be discussed with the Faculty and all means of meeting the exigency shall be analyzed.

b. Only after consultation with the Committee on Academic Policy and Planning, the President or the Board of Trustees may carry out the termination.

c. The person terminated may, after receiving notice of termination, request a written statement from the President giving the reasons for his or her being selected for termination and may appeal the decision to the Appeals and Review Committee. In event of appeal, the person terminated may make such written or oral presentation as he or she desires and may present witnesses and other evidence in his or her behalf. He or she may be accompanied by an academic advisor or legal counsel of his or her own choosing or both.

d. The Board of Trustees shall fix the financial arrangements with respect to termination. In the case of tenured faculty, the individual shall receive 12 months' salary from the date of termination at his or her prevailing rate; however, the College and the individual shall use reasonable efforts to obtain another position for the individual and, if another position is obtained, the termination pay shall cease when pay from the new position begins.

J. Title IX Complaints against Members of the Faculty involving Allegations of Sexual Harassment/Misconduct

Section J-1. Preliminary Considerations

a. Overview

The following three sections of the Rules of Procedure, J, K, L detail the procedures for complaints against faculty members involving sexual harassment/misconduct. Sexual harassment/misconduct is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. For the purpose of this policy sexual harassment/misconduct is defined as sexual violence, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. These procedures are intended to create an environment free of sex-based discrimination and harassment in accord with the College's regulations and policies, the Honor Principle, and the requirements of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights. These procedures are not intended to regulate academic discourse or content of speech. Academic discourse involving acts or speech of a sexual nature, even if perceived by some as offensive is not sufficient basis in and of itself to establish sexual harassment/misconduct. For academic discourse to be considered harassing, and/or to potentially create a sex- based discriminatory environment, it must also be persistent, pervasive, and not germane to the scholarly exploration of the subject matter.

b. Advisers

For all sexual harassment/misconduct cases conducted under section J, K, and L, the Complainant and the Respondent each may retain legal counsel and have as many as two advisers from the College community assist in the formal complaint process. The role of an adviser from the college community is to help the Complainant or Respondent prepare for any investigation or hearing, to advise on procedure, and to be a non-participating supporter in any interview or hearing that may result. The Complainant and the Respondent are, however, expected to represent themselves in any hearing or interview. Outside counsel may attend, but may not speak during hearings and the proceedings that form part of any sexual harassment/misconduct investigation.

c. Confidentiality

The Dean of the Faculty and anyone who has been designated to perform the Dean’s functions in the grievance process shall endeavor to the degree possible to protect the confidentiality of Complainants and Respondents, but must comply with obligations and responsibilities placed on the College by Title IX regulations. The Title IX Coordinator will be advised of reports or complaints of sexual harassment/misconduct. This will include the names of the Complainant(s) and Respondent(s), as well as a brief statement of the event or events which are the cause of the complaint, including the date or dates.

Complainants, Respondents and witnesses are required to keep confidential the details of any formal complaint investigation, resolution or grievance hearing. They may disclose their own experiences that led to the filing of a complaint, and they may disclose details of the case to confidential parties, such as counselors, clergy, family members and lawyers or the advisers allowed by this policy. They may also state that they are participating or have participated in a formal complaint or grievance procedure, whether as Complainant, Respondent, Hearing Board member, witness, or in another role. They must, however, keep confidential any details about the proceedings, the other participants, and any new information gained from testimony given or evidence submitted as part of a hearing or investigation. In cases of sexual assault, Complainants and Respondents may, after the completion of the process, including all appeals, also disclose three additional pieces of information: the name of the Respondent; the institution’s final determination concerning the allegation of sexual assault; and any sanction imposed on the Respondent as a result of a finding of sexual assault.

d. Retaliation

The Dean shall endeavor to protect all parties involved from retaliation as necessary, during or after an investigation and its resolution. Retaliation includes intimidation, threats, coercion or adverse employment or educational actions taken against an individual because of the individual’s participation in the reporting, investigation or resolution of a complaint. Retaliation may include acts committed by Complainants, Respondents or any other individual or group of individuals.

A student Complainant may bring to the Dean’s attention any concerns about completion of a particular course or concerns about any evaluations of his or her performance. The Dean will follow relevant college policy where it exists, and consult with and inform the Title IX Coordinator as appropriate.

e. Record Keeping

If sanctions have been imposed under the provisions of Section K or L, and appeal is unsuccessful, a statement of these sanctions and of their grounds shall be placed in the Respondent’s evaluation file. Informal or mediated resolutions of complaints or charges arising from a section J proceeding may stipulate that an appropriate statement be placed in the Respondent’s evaluation file.

In the event that a hearing according to the procedures of Sections K or L comes about because of an allegation submitted to the Committee on Advancement and Tenure as part of the faculty evaluation process, that allegation shall normally remain in the Respondent’s evaluation file. In cases where such an allegation is discredited by a hearing that clears the Respondent of wrongdoing, the Committee on Advancement and Tenure shall insert a statement to that effect into the evaluation file.

All other records arising from formal complaints against members of the Faculty, all other records arising from informal resolutions reached through interaction with the Dean of the Faculty or the Committee on Advancement and Tenure, and records arising from mediation through the Honor Council which results in acknowledgment of injury to a community member, shall be kept by the Dean of the Faculty in confidential complaint files separate from all other records pertaining to a faculty member. A Hearing Board or Investigating Committee on sexual harassment/misconduct shall consult these files only when determining what sanctions to recommend in a case where allegations have been substantiated through the procedures of Sections K or L. The Committee on Advancement and Tenure shall not consult these files except when determining whether to initiate proceedings pursuant to Section J-3 below. As stated in the Community Constitution, these files shall be maintained for the duration of a faculty member’s employment at Reed, or longer if legally required, and shall be destroyed at the end of that period.

All complaints alleging possible violations of Title IX that are brought to the attention of the Dean of Faculty or the Chair of the Grievance Review Panel shall be reported to the Title IX coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator shall be kept informed of the status and outcomes of the investigation and adjudication of such complaints and any resolution, including in cases where the complaint is unsubstantiated.

f. Suspension and Resumption of Personnel Review

In the event that a hearing according to the procedures of Sections K or L overlap in time with a personnel review affecting title, salary, or term of service of the Respondent, that review shall be suspended pending the final outcome of those procedures. As soon as the procedures are complete, the personnel review will be resumed, and no financial or status penalty will accrue to the Respondent solely by virtue of the delay.

g. Timeline

The time limits identified in this policy, including for the procedures of Sections K and L, shall be observed in normal circumstances, but may be extended for good cause shown, provided that prompt resolution of a complaint is not prevented by the extension. Excluding appeals, the investigation and resolution of a formal complaint shall in normal circumstances take no longer than sixty days.

Section J-2. Formal Complaints

a. Filing a Complaint

Any student, staff, or faculty member of Reed College, any parent or guardian of a Reed student or any other legitimate user of the facilities and programs of Reed College, may file with the Dean of the Faculty a formal complaint of sexual harassment/misconduct against a faculty member.

In cases of sexual harassment/misconduct complaints against the Dean of the Faculty or in cases where the Dean of the Faculty may have a real or perceived conflict of interest in investigating a complaint, a formal complaint should be filed with the Chair of the Grievance Review Panel under Section K below.

At all times, the Complainant has the right to file a criminal complaint with law enforcement or to seek civil remedy, in addition to the College's procedures.

b. Investigation

The Dean of the Faculty shall endeavor to obtain consent from the Complainant before beginning an investigation. If the Complainant requests confidentiality, the College shall take all reasonable steps outlined under Section J-3 below to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation. If a complainant insists that his or her name or other identifiable information not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator, the College shall inform the Complainant that it will be limited in its ability to investigate and respond to the complaint.

The Dean of the Faculty shall ensure that the complaint is promptly investigated. He or she may do the investigation, or designate an appropriate investigator. The Complainant, Respondent and other individuals identified as having information pertinent to the case shall be interviewed, and pertinent evidence shall be reviewed. The purpose of the investigation is to establish whether or not there is sufficient evidence to suggest that sexual harassment/misconduct has occurred. The investigation shall normally be completed within fifteen days.

Failure to cooperate with or interference in an investigation may result in discipline up to and including discharge for employees (including faculty members), and suspension or expulsion for students, in accordance with the College's established grievance procedures.

c. Results of the Investigation and Resolution

On the basis of the investigation, the investigator shall prepare a written report describing the complaint and the response (or absence of a response), the information provided by any witnesses, and any other evidence. On the basis of this report, the Dean of the Faculty, or his or her designee, shall communicate in an addendum to the report whether he or she believes that it is more likely than not that sexual harassment/misconduct occurred. If the Dean, or his or her designee, concludes that it is more likely than not that the Respondent has committed an act of sexual harassment/misconduct, he or she shall recommend in the addendum what disciplinary action would be appropriate for such a violation.

If the Dean, or his or her designee, concludes that it is more likely than not that the Respondent has not committed an act of sexual harassment/misconduct, he or she shall provide the Complainant and the Respondent written notice of this finding and of the procedures for appeal.

Both the Complainant and the Respondent have the right to appeal to the President, asking within five days of the date of the notice to meet with the President to discuss the finding. In such a case, the Dean, or his or her designee, will forward the investigative report and addendum to the President. If the Complainant or the Respondent presents compelling evidence of procedural irregularities, provides significant new information or otherwise identifies a basis for reconsideration, the President shall refer the matter back to the Dean of the Faculty, or the designee, for reconsideration. Otherwise, the President may accept, modify or reject the findings of the Dean, or his or her designee. The President will provide written notice of his or her decision to the Complainant, the Respondent and the Dean, and the Dean will pursue resolution of the complaint, when appropriate, according to the procedures outlined below.

If the Dean or his or her designee concludes that it is more likely than not that the Respondent has committed an act of sexual harassment/misconduct, he or she shall provide the Complainant and the Respondent written notice of this finding and of the procedures for appeal. At this point, the Respondent may accept the findings of the report and accept any sanctions proposed in the addendum, or some other resolution of the complaint may be agreed to by the Respondent, the Dean of the Faculty (or his or her designee), and the Complainant. Any resolution shall include a final determination of the College's finding regarding the occurrence of an act of sexual harassment/misconduct, and any sanctions imposed on the Respondent that directly relate to the Complainant’s participation in college programs shall be disclosed to the Complainant.

If no such agreement is reached within five days after notice of the investigation has been received, and if the recommended disciplinary action is less than suspension or termination, the Dean of the Faculty shall forward the complaint together with the written report of the investigation, including the addendum, to the Chair of the Grievance Review Panel. In cases in which the recommended disciplinary action is fixed-term suspension or termination of tenure or of fixed-term appointment prior to expiration, the Dean shall consult with the Committee on Advancement and Tenure as to whether to initiate proceedings under the provisions of Section L of these Rules of Procedure, or instead to pass the complaint to the Chair of the Grievance Review Panel in order to instigate a proceeding under Section K.

Section J-3. Investigation in the Absence of a Formal Complaint

a. Initiating an Investigation

In cases involving informal complaints of sexual harassment/misconduct or cases when a complainant does not consent to his or her name being used in an investigation of sexual harassment/misconduct, the Dean of Faculty and the Committee on Advancement and Tenure will carefully weigh the wishes of the potential Complainant(s) and the College’s responsibility to provide a safe and non- discriminatory environment for all members of the community. If necessary, interim measures will be taken to protect any potential Complainant’s health and participation in college programs and to protect against retaliation.

If the Dean or the Committee on Advancement and Tenure determines that possible charges do warrant instituting procedures under Section K or if the Committee on Advancement and Tenure determines that possible charges do warrant instituting procedures under Section K, the Respondent shall within two days receive a written statement of the nature and grounds of the possible charges to be considered against him or her and shall have five days from receipt of this statement in which to reply and to state his or her position, unless there is a substantial reason for extending that deadline.

b. Investigation

The Dean of the Faculty and the Committee on Advancement and Tenure shall have fifteen days from receipt of the Respondent’s reply to conduct an investigation. The purpose of the investigation is to establish whether or not there is sufficient evidence to suggest that an act of sexual harassment/misconduct has occurred.

c. Results of the Investigation and Resolution

On the basis of the investigation, the investigator shall prepare a written report describing the complaint and the response (or absence of a response), the information provided by any witnesses, and any other evidence. On the basis of this report, the Dean and the Committee on Advancement and Tenure shall communicate in an addendum to the report whether the Committee on Advancement and Tenure believes, by majority vote, that it is more likely than not that the alleged act(s) of sexual harassment/misconduct occurred. If the Committee on Advancement and Tenure conclude that is more likely than not that the Respondent has committed an act of sexual harassment/misconduct, the Dean, the Committee on Advancement and Tenure, and the Respondent are bound in good faith to seek resolution of the matter among themselves before instituting proceedings under Sections K or L. Such resolution shall include a final determination of whether or not an act of sexual harassment/misconduct occurred, and may include sanctions stipulated by the Dean of the Faculty and the Committee on Advancement and Tenure. Sanctions imposed on the Respondent that directly relate to any informal or potential Complainant’s participation in college programs shall be disclosed to that Complainant.

If a resolution is not agreed to within five days of the determination that grounds for adverse action may exist, and if the alleged conduct appears to warrant a sanction less than fixed-term suspension or termination, the Dean of the Faculty shall promptly forward the written report prepared by the Dean and the Committee on Advancement and Tenure to the Chair of the Grievance Review Panel. If the Committee on Advancement and Tenure determines that the alleged conduct could warrant fixed-term suspension or termination of tenure or of fixed-term appointment prior to expiration, then the Committee on Advancement and Tenure shall promptly initiate proceedings pursuant to Section H.

If the Dean of the Faculty and the Committee on Advancement and Tenure determine that plausible grounds for proceedings under Sections K or L or other adverse action do not exist, the Dean of the Faculty shall immediately so inform the Respondent, and any informal or potential Complainant, in writing.

K. Procedures for Sanctions Less than Fixed-Term Suspension or Termination

Section K-1. Investigation by the Grievance Hearing Board

a. Filing a Complaint

The Chair of the Grievance Review Panel shall receive sexual harassment/misconduct complaints from the Dean of the Faculty or the Committee on Advancement and Tenure or from any legitimate user of the facilities and programs of Reed College who believes the Dean of the Faculty has a conflict of interest investigating his or sexual harassment/misconduct complaint.

b. Constitution of a Grievance Hearing Board

Within five working days of the receipt of a complaint, the Chair of the Grievance Review Panel shall appoint from that panel a Grievance Hearing Board, made up of three members of the Faculty, who do not have any real or perceived conflict of interest in reviewing the complaint.

c. Investigation by the Grievance Hearing Board

The Hearing Board shall meet not more than five working days after its appointment to discuss the allegations. If the Hearing Board judges that the allegation could warrant fixed-term suspension or termination of tenure or of fixed-term appointment prior to expiration, the Hearing Board shall immediately forward the complaint to the Committee on Advancement and Tenure, at which point the procedures of Section L shall come into force, and proceedings under Section K shall terminate. If the Hearing Board does not forward the complaint to the Committee on Advancement and Tenure, it shall normally complete its investigations and determinations within twenty working days from receipt of a complaint.

The Hearing Board shall conduct an investigation, call witnesses, and gather information it deems necessary to assist it in reaching a determination as to the merits of the allegations. Unless the Hearing Board concludes that the allegations are without merit and dismisses the complaint, it shall invite, in writing, as many Respondents or Complainants as are party to a dispute to appear before it.

The Complainant(s) and the Respondent(s) may be present at the hearing if they choose, or they may choose to participate in the hearing by telephone or video conference. Neither the Respondent(s) nor the Complainant(s) shall, however, be allowed to cross-examine each other, or the witnesses, during the hearing. Questions may be submitted by Respondent(s) and Complainant(s) in advance to the Board, which shall decide whether those questions are relevant to the matter and, where applicable, in compliance with Title IX or other legal requirements.

Where appropriate, the Complainant(s) shall be offered the opportunity to participate in the hearing without being in the presence of the Respondent(s), or accommodations shall be made so that the Complainant(s) may participate in the hearing with out facing the Respondent(s). Similarly, where appropriate, the Respondent(s) shall be offered the opportunity to participate in the hearing without being in the presence of the Complainant(s), or accommodations shall be made so that the Respondent(s) may participate in the hearing without facing the Complainant(s). A transcript or audio recording of any hearing shall be made.

Failure to cooperate with or interference in an investigation may result in discipline up to and including discharge for employees (including faculty members), and suspension or expulsion for students, in accordance with the College's established grievance procedures.

In arriving at its ultimate determination as to whether sexual harassment/misconduct occurred, the Hearing Board shall be guided by a standard of the preponderance of the evidence in the information before it, considered as a whole. The determination will be based on the majority vote of the Hearing Board.

Section K-2. Report of the Hearing Board

a. Communication of the Hearing Board's Decision

In cases arising from a formal complaint, the Hearing Board shall state whether an act of sexual harassment/misconduct occurred together with a summary of the basis for the Board’s determination and the options for appeal, in a written report to the Complainant, the Respondent, and the Dean of Faculty (or the President, in cases against the Dean of the Faculty). The Hearing Board shall also communicate in writing to the Dean of the Faculty (or the President, in cases against the Dean of the Faculty) and the Respondent any recommendations for sanctions against the Respondent. The Hearing Board shall state whether an act of sexual harassment/misconduct occurred.

b. Sanctions

If the Hearing Board recommends a sanction, the Dean of the Faculty shall forward this recommendation to the President, who shall determine whether to impose that sanction or a different sanction. In case of a complaint against the Dean of Faculty, the Hearing Board shall give its recommendation directly to the President.

The Hearing board cannot recommend fixed-term suspension or termination of tenure or of fixed-term appointment prior to expiration. Should a substantially new allegation come to light during proceedings, the Hearing Board shall refer that new allegation to the Committee on Advancement and Tenure, which will proceed according to the procedures of Section J-3. The Hearing Board shall complete its hearing of the allegation before it.

Any sanctions imposed on the Respondent that directly relate to the Complainant’s participation in college programs shall be disclosed to the Complainant in writing.

c. Appeal

The Respondent and the Complainant may each appeal to the Appeals and Review Committee the dismissal of the complaint by the Hearing Board or any action by the President that is based on a recommendation by the Hearing Board. The Appeals and Review Committee does not hold a new hearing. Its review is limited to determining whether due process has been followed, whether the dismissal or any action of the President was based on a body of evidence sufficient to allow for a reasonably well informed judgment, and/or whether there is any new evidence so substantial that the complaint should be reconsidered. It will make its determinations according to a majority vote of the committee.

If the Appeals and Review Committee rejects the dismissal of the complaint, it will refer the complaint back to the Grievance Hearing Board for a new investigation of the complaint. If the Committee considers an action of the President to be not based on a body of evidence sufficient to allow for a reasonably well informed judgment or considers that there is substantial new evidence that was not considered by the Grievance Hearing Board, it will refer the case back to the Grievance Hearing Board for reconsideration.

In the case of an appeal, the Appeals and Review Committee will normally complete its work within ten days of receipt of the appeal.

L. Procedures for Fixed-Term Suspension or Termination of Academic Tenure or Termination of Fixed-Term Appointment Prior to Expiration in Response to Charges of Sexual Harassment/Misconduct

a. Presentation of Formal Charges

In cases of alleged sexual assault, informal resolution is not an appropriate tool and will not be used by the College to resolve complaints. In other cases, prior to or in lieu of Section L proceedings, the College and the faculty member may agree to informal resolution, such as arbitration or mediation. If such a resolution of the matter cannot be agreed upon, either the Committee on Advancement and Tenure or the Dean of the Faculty, after consultation between them, may present formal charges against the faculty member to the Committee on Tenure.

b. The Committee on Tenure

The Committee on Tenure (not to be confused with the Committee on Advancement and Tenure) shall consist of the Faculty members of the Appeals and Review Committee with the following exceptions:

  1. If the person whose termination or fixed-term suspension is proposed is a member of the Committee, he or she shall withdraw until his or her case is completed.
  2. Any member of the Committee who feels in his or her own judgment that he or she cannot participate impartially in a particular case shall withdraw for the duration of the case.

Vacancies because of one or two withdrawals shall be filled by faculty members chosen by the remaining members of the Committee from the nominating ballot of the most recent election for the Appeals and Review Committee. If this does not yield sufficient numbers to constitute the Committee on Tenure, the President shall appoint the remaining members.

c. Constitution of the Investigating Committee

The Committee on Tenure shall within three days appoint an Investigating Committee of five faculty members on academic tenure, one of whom shall be chosen from among three nominated by the Respondent, one of whom shall be chosen from among three nominated by the President, and one of whom shall be chosen from among three nominated by the Committee on Advancement and Tenure. The Investigating Committee shall choose its own chair.

d. Investigation and Recommendations of the Investigating Committee

The Respondent shall be fully informed in writing of the charges against him or her and shall have the opportunity to respond to the charges, to be heard in his or her own defense, to produce witnesses in his or her own behalf and to have with him or her at most two advisers of his or her own choosing and drawn from the college community. The Complainant shall have the same opportunity to produce witnesses and have advisers. Where witnesses cannot or will not appear, but the Investigating Committee determines that the interests of justice require admission of their statements, the Investigating Committee will identify the witnesses in any hearing and introduce their statements.

The Complainant and the Respondent may be present at the hearing if they choose, or they may choose to participate in the hearing by telephone or video conference. Neither the Respondent nor the Complainant shall be allowed to cross-examine the other during the hearing. Questions may be submitted by the Complainant and the Respondent in advance to the Investigating Committee, which shall decide whether those questions are relevant to the matter and, where applicable, in compliance with Title IX or other legal requirements.

Where appropriate, the Complainant shall be offered the opportunity to participate in the hearing without being in the presence of the Respondent, or accommodations shall be made so that the Complainant may participate in the hearing without facing the Respondent. Similarly, where appropriate, the Respondent shall be offered the opportunity to participate in the hearing without being in the presence of the Complainant, or accommodations shall be made so that the Respondent may participate in the hearing without facing the Complainant. Outside counsel may attend, but may not speak during hearings and the proceedings that form part of the investigation.

Failure to cooperate with or interference in an investigation may result in discipline up to and including discharge for employees (including faculty members), and suspension or expulsion for students, in accordance with the College's established grievance procedures.

The Investigating Committee may see all documents held by the College that pertain to the case. The Committee shall hold such hearings as may be necessary to fully explore the charges. A complete transcript or audio recording of all hearings shall be kept and a transcript shall be prepared and supplied to the person charged upon his or her request. The hearings shall be open to the Faculty only if the Respondent and the Complainant agree to this.

Upon the completion of its investigation, the Investigating Committee shall meet, consider the evidence, and reach its conclusions by a majority vote reached by a secret ballot in which the chair shall have the right to vote. The Committee will make its judgments according to the preponderance of the evidence in the information before it, considered as a whole.

If the proceedings have arisen from a formal complaint, the Complainant shall receive a written statement of the Investigating Committee’s determination as to the merits of the allegations, including a determination of whether or not an act of sexual harassment/misconduct severe enough to warrant fixed-term suspension or termination of tenure or fixed-term appointment prior to expiration occurred, and a statement of the grounds for the determination. Any decision to recommend suspension or termination should be based on a careful consideration of whether or not the nature of the accusation and the nature of the evidence in support of that accusation are sufficient to warrant such a sanction. The Investigating Committee shall submit a written report to the President, the person charged, the Committee on Advancement and Tenure, and the Title IX Coordinator. The report shall include a summary of the Committee's findings and recommendations of the disposition of the case and shall have attached a transcript of any hearings of which transcripts have been prepared. If the Investigating Committee concludes that adequate cause for suspension or termination has not been established by the evidence in record, it will so state in its report. If the Investigating Committee concludes that an academic penalty less than suspension or termination would be more appropriate, it will so recommend in its report, with supporting reasons. If the Investigating Committee recommends in favor of suspension or termination, the report shall provide explicit reasons in support of such a recommendation.

The Investigating Committee shall normally complete its investigation within fifteen working days of its appointment, unless the complaint originates from a complaint filed directly with the Chair of the Grievance Review Panel, in which case, the Investigating Committee shall normally complete its investigation within thirty working days of its appointment.

e. Review of the President and Trustees

The President or his or her designated representatives shall have the right to attend any hearings or meetings of the Investigating Committee or the Committee on Tenure as an observer.

The President may seek clarification or further information from the Investigating Committee, and this additional information will become a part of the report of the Committee. Within three days of receiving the final report of the Investigating Committee, both the Respondent and the Complainant (where applicable) may submit a written statement of his or her position to the President. The President shall either accept or reject the findings and recommendations of the report. He or she will inform in writing the Investigating Committee, the Respondent and the Complainant (where applicable) of his or her decision, stating the reasons for his or her action in the case where the report is rejected, and making clear the options for appeal. The President will provide an opportunity for a written response before transmitting the case, including all supporting documentation, to the Board of Trustees within five days of receiving the final report of the Investigating Committee.

The Respondent, the Complainant (where applicable) or the President may request a review and recommendation from the Appeals and Review Committee, based on the record of the Investigating Committee hearing, supplemented by any written statements which the Investigating Committee, the President, or the affected faculty member may wish to submit. The review of the Appeals and Review Committee shall be limited to determining whether due process has been followed, whether the determination of the Investigating Committee was based on a body of evidence sufficient to allow for a reasonably well informed judgment, and whether there is any new evidence that is so substantial that the Investigating Committee should reconsider its conclusions. It will make its determinations according to a majority vote of the committee, and will normally complete its work within ten days of receipt of the appeal.

If the President recommends termination or fixed-term suspension, the President will transmit to the Board of Trustees the entire record of the case, including the result of any appeal to the Appeals and Review Committee. The Board of Trustees’ review will be based on this record, and the Board of Trustees will provide opportunity for an appeal, oral or written or both, by the principals in the case or by their representatives. The decision of the Investigating Committee will either be sustained or the proceedings returned to the Committee with specific objections. The Investigating Committee will then reconsider, taking into account the stated objections and receiving new evidence if necessary. The Board of Trustees will make a final decision only after study of the Committee’s reconsideration. The Board of Trustees’ review of the case will, in the absence of any appeal, normally take no more than ten days.

f. Interim Suspension

The President, after consultation with the Committee on Tenure, may suspend a respondent during the proceedings if immediate harm to him or herself, the College, or others is threatened by his or her continuance or if his or her continued presence on campus is judged to have a sufficiently negative impact on the Complainant. Any such suspension shall be with pay.

g. Financial Consideration with Respect to Termination

The Board of Trustees shall fix any financial arrangements with respect to termination. Fixed-term suspension shall normally extend over not more than one academic year. Such suspension will be without pay or benefits, except for health insurance benefits.

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