What is Title IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects individuals from sex discrimination in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Title IX states:
"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." 20 USC §1681
Reed College is committed to maintaining environments that enable a free and diverse community in which all members can participate free from discrimination on the basis of sex. Reed provides resources to students, faculty and staff to address concerns relating to discrimination on the basis of sex, which includes sexual misconduct. Reed's policy governing discrimination on the basis of sex is the Discriminatory Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy (DHSM). This policy details and explicitly prohibits specific forms of harassment and encourages the reporting of these prohibited behaviors. Reed College will work to prevent prohibited behaviors, to mitigate the risk of their recurrence, and to correct any discriminatory effects on a Complainant or others.
All members of the community have an obligation to inform themselves about the DHSM, in order to recognize and take steps to prevent discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct, and to respond effectively if such behavior does occur.
Title IX Coordinator
Edwin O. McFarlane, Vice President and Treasurer, serves as the Title IX Coordinator and in that role oversees and provides leadership for the activities related to Title IX compliance, training, investigations, enforcement, and reporting.
The Title IX Coordinator can also answer questions regarding the process for reporting, investigating, and adjudicating complaints of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, or other potential Title IX violations. The Coordinator is not a confidential resource but can direct community members to on- and off-campus confidential resources, as well as to other resources.
Contact information for the Title IX Coordinator is:
Edwin O. McFarlane, Vice President/Treasurer
Eliot Hall 303
Title IX Reporting and Complaint Resolution Procedures
These procedures are designed to address and promptly resolve Title IX reports and complaints. Reports and complaints related to all other forms of discrimination or harassment follow the relevant procedures outlined in the Judicial Board Code (for reports or complaints related to conduct by students), in the Staff Policy and Procedures Manual (for reports or complaints related to conduct by staff), and in the Rules of Procedure of the Faculty (for reports or complaints related to conduct by faculty).
For the purposes of these procedures, a Complainant is an individual who makes a report or a formal complaint regarding violation(s) of college policy. A Respondent is an individual alleged to have violated college policy and who has been identified as such in a report or a formal complaint.
The procedures described herein are applicable to the internal governance of Reed College. They are not a replacement for normal staff supervisory authority, nor do they replace the right of the college to initiate an investigation when a formal complaint has not been made.
These procedures also do not preclude external remedies for acts that may constitute violations of Title IX. Students, staff, faculty, parents and other legitimate users of Reed College's facilities or programs have the option at all times to file a criminal complaint with law enforcement or to seek a civil remedy, in addition to or in place of using these procedures. In addition, individuals always have the right to file a formal complaint with the United States Department of Education.
United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100
Customer Service Hotline: 800/421-3481
The college has both principled reasons and a legal obligation to investigate possible violations of Title IX. All Reed community members (students, staff, and faculty) should help ensure that violations of Title IX are promptly reported. Normally, this means reporting any witnessed violations, or violations learned about through the disclosure of others. Reporting is not the same as filing a formal complaint (although for some purposes a formal complaint may also serve as a report).
The college has designated the categories of employees listed below as obligated reporters under the DHSM. When an employee in one of these categories has reason to believe that a violation of Title IX may have occurred, he or she MUST report this possible violation, and should do so within 24 hours. Reports are to be made to the Title IX Coordinator (or designee), or to Community Safety.
College-designated Obligated Reporters:
- Members of the faculty
- Vice Presidents & the President
- Supervisors of Reed staff
- Employees of student services, except student employees
- House Advisors
The college's goal is to balance our duty to investigate with the privacy rights of potential Complainants. As such, we provide several options for confidential reporting. Staff and faculty may undertake confidential discussions with a counselor through the Employee Assistance Program. Students who are unsure about whether they wish to initiate a complaint may undertake confidential preliminary discussions of possible violations with a counselor in the Counseling Center. When they are providing or directly overseeing medical or mental health care, the staff of the Health and Counseling Center are normally exempt from reporting obligations related to that care (DHSM XI.B).
Students wishing to make reports of sexual assault but not wishing to identify the Respondent may make such reports to the Assistant Dean for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (ADSAPR). In such cases, the ADSAPR is not required to identify the Reporter, the Complainant, or the Respondent. The ADSAPR must, however, always notify the Title IX Coordinator of the existence of a report. In such cases, investigation will normally be substantially limited. If the ADSAPR becomes aware of the identity of the Respondent, the ADSAPR must include that information in his or her report to the Title IX Coordinator. A report from the ADSAPR that includes the identity of the Respondent will result in an investigation according to the procedures listed below.
Who may initiate a Complaint?
Any community member, parent, or legitimate user of Reed College facilities or programs, not just the individual or individuals to whom the alleged Title IX violation has been directed, may initiate a complaint.
While it is often inherently difficult to gather the full facts in response to anonymous complaints, the college will nonetheless conduct an investigation. The investigation will be as thorough as is practicable and will be appropriate to the specific complaint.
Where to file a Complaint
Complaints may be made to the Title IX Coordinator, or alternatively, a complaint may be made to the appropriate body for resolving the complaint. Regarding students, complaints may be made to the Student Judicial Board or the Sexual Misconduct Board. Regarding staff, complaints may be made to the Director of Human Resources. Regarding faculty, complaints may be made to the Dean of the Faculty. In the case of a complaint against a Vice President, the Dean of the Faculty, or the Director of Human Resources, the complaint may be made to the President. In the case of a complaint against the President, the complaint may be made to the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
Basic Elements of a Complaint
There is no formally required content. However, the following elements are important to facilitate the complaint process and should be included when filing a complaint whenever possible:
- Name and status of the Complainant;
- Name and status of the Respondent;
- A brief statement of the event or events which are the cause of the complaint, including the date or dates;
- If the complaint is in writing, the signature of the Complainant and the date of the filing of the complaint.
Notification to the Respondent
The Respondent will be notified of the complaint within two (2) business days, or as quickly as is practicable. Notification will in most cases be the responsibility of the investigator.
The college will take reasonable steps to protect and support the Complainant during the resolution process.
In the event there are reasonable grounds to conclude that an individual poses a threat to members of the Community, the President or appropriate Vice President may bar the that individual from access to campus, or may take other action deemed appropriate.
This provision in no way limits a supervisor's right to discipline or discharge a staff employee.
Every complaint implicating Reed College's compliance with Title IX will be investigated. The Title IX Coordinator will assign an investigator to each complaint. Investigations will normally be conducted by the Director of Community Safety when the Respondent is a student, by the Director of Human Resources when the Respondent is a staff member, and in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Faculty when the Respondent is a faculty member. The investigation will be appropriate to the circumstances of the complaint and will normally consist of interviews with both the Complainant and the Respondent, interviews with witnesses and others who may have knowledge, and a review of pertinent documentation or other evidence.
Failure to cooperate with or interference in an investigation may result in discipline up to and including discharge for employees, and suspension or expulsion for students, in accordance with the college's established judicial process.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator or other designated person will prepare a report that summarizes all of the pertinent information and facts. Individuals interviewed other than the Complainant and Respondent will not be identified by name in the report. Under certain circumstances the Complainant's identity may be kept confidential.
The report will be given to the Complainant and to the Respondent and to the Title IX Coordinator. In addition, the report will be given to the Dean of Students when the Respondent is a student; the appropriate Vice President and/or supervisor when the Respondent is an employee; the President when the Respondent is a vice president, Dean of the Faculty or Director of Human Resources; and to the Chair of the Board of Trustees when the Respondent is the President.
Response to the Investigative Report
The options for responding to the investigative report include the following.
Upon receiving the report the parties receiving the report may consider the complaint resolved, or may wish to resolve the complaint through an informal resolution process (except in cases involving a complaint of sexual assault, which cannot be resolved by an informal resolution process). If the complaint is not resolved, or there is no informal resolution process, then the complaint shall be handled as follows:
- When the Respondent is a student, the Complainant, the Respondent, or the Dean of Students may refer the complaint to the Judicial Board process.
- When the Respondent is a staff member, the appropriate Vice President, President or Chair will determine whether additional action, including discipline up to and including discharge is required. A letter from the appropriate Vice President, President or Chair will be given to the Respondent stating any action to be taken.
- When the Respondent is a faculty member, the response and any further proceedings will be in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Faculty.
- When the Respondent is someone other than a student, staff or faculty member, such as a contractor, an alumnus or an alumna, the Title IX Coordinator will take appropriate action.
Any attempt to retaliate or any actual retaliation in response to a Title IX complaint is strictly prohibited and may result in discipline up to and including discharge for employees and suspension or expulsion for students, in accordance with the college's established judicial procedures.
Either the Complainant or the Respondent may file an appeal if there is disagreement with the results and conclusion of the resolution of the complaint. An appeal must be filed in writing.
When the Respondent is a student, the appeal process shall proceed in accordance with the college's established judicial process.
When the Respondent is a staff member, the appeal must be filed with the President within seven (7) working days of the date of the letter of response to the Respondent, stating why the employee believes the results and conclusion are unsatisfactory. The President shall review the record and investigate further if deemed necessary. The President shall make a decision and the decision will be final and binding on all parties.
When the Respondent is a faculty member, the appeal process will be conducted in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Faculty.
When the Respondent is a vice president, Director of Human Resources or Dean of the Faculty, the appeal must be filed with the Chair of the Board of Trustees within seven (7) working days of the letter of response to the Respondent, stating why the Respondent believes the results and conclusion are unsatisfactory. The Chair shall review the record and investigate further if deemed necessary. The Chair shall make a decision and the decision will be final and binding on all parties.
When the Respondent is the president, the appeal must be filed with the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees within seven (7) working days of the letter of response to the Respondent, stating why the president believes the results and conclusion are unsatisfactory. The Executive Committee shall review the record and investigate further if deemed necessary. The Executive Committee shall make a decision and the decision will be final and binding on all parties.