How to File a Whistleblower Report
A whistleblower can be any employee, student, vendor, guest, alumnus/alumna, or supporter of the university who has direct knowledge, or a reasonable concern, that the university or any of its agents is acting contrary to any applicable federal, state or local laws or contrary to an established Dordt University policy. To file a report, please submit the whistleblower report form.
How to File a Title IX Report
If you or a friend would like to file a report about an interaction or event, please complete and submit the Title IX report form.
What is Title IX?
Many are familiar with Title IX in regards to making school sports more equitable for girls and women. However, there is a lot more to it than that. Sexual harrassment can include acts of sexual violence such as rape, sexual battery and sexual coercion, and it is a form of gender-based discrimination prohibited by Title IX. This type of behavior creates a hostile environment for our students, faculty, and staff, and has no place on our campus. If you have experienced any of the following, please follow the reporting procedures:
- Bullying / cyberbullying
- Sexual assault
- Gender discrimination / inequity
- Relationship / dating violence
- Sexual harrassment
If you or a friend need immediate assistance, please call 911. If this is not an emergency but you or a friend wish to report an interaction or event, contact the Title IX coordinator, a deputy investigator, or fill out the report form listed above.
Title IX Processes
The University will follow the Title IX procedures as promulgated in the May 6, 2020 Final Rule of Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972. The following practices are drawn from the Final Rule.
The university will implement the requirements of the new rule with respect to the values of
- Free speech
- Due process of law
- Fundamental fairness.
The following conditions may be interpreted as sexual harassment:
- A school employee conditions an educational benefit or service upon a person’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct, often known as quid pro quo.
- Unwelcome conduct determined to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the school’s educational program or activity.
- Sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking.
Dordt University will investigate every formal complaint, filed either by the complainant or the Title IX Coordinator. If the alleged conduct does not fall under Title IX, the University may address the allegations under the code of conduct.
The investigation process under Title IX will include the following steps:
- The claimant, who may be the aggrieved party, a student witness, a Dordt employee, or the Title IX Coordinator, files an initial statement using the reporting form.
- There are two parties in the process—the claimant, making the allegation, and the respondent, who is being accused of misconduct by the claimant.
- Both parties will receive written notice of the allegations, have an equal opportunity to select an advisor of the party’s choice [who may be, but does not need to be, an attorney], and have an equal opportunity to submit and review evidence.
- Use of trained Title IX personnel to objectively evaluate all relevant evidence without prejudgment of the facts at issue. Dordt University uses two trained investigators acting as a team.
- Protection of the parties’ privacy by requiring a party’s written consent before using the party’s medical, psychological or other treatment records during the grievance process.
- Obtain the parties’ voluntary written consent for using an informal resolution process such as mediation and will not use an informal process in a situation where an employee allegedly sexually harassed a student.
- Apply a presumption that the respondent is not responsible during the grievance process, i.e. presumption of innocence, so that the school bears the burden of proof.
- Use the preponderance of evidence standard during the grievance process.
- The Decision Maker in the grievance will be adequately trained and will not be the Title IX Coordinator or the investigators.
- The grievance will be heard in a live hearing and will allow cross-examination by party advisors [never by the individual parties]. The parties will be situated in separate rooms with visibility provided by technology.
- Claimants may not be asked about prior sexual history.
- Both parties will receive a written determination regarding responsibility and include a rationale as to how the decision-maker came to a conclusion.
- Implementation of remedies for a complainant if a respondent is found responsible for sexual harassment.
- The normal timeframe for the investigation and adjudication process is 60 days.
- Both parties will be provided with an opportunity to appeal.
- Individuals will be protected from retaliation.
- Materials used to train Title IX personnel will be available on the University’s website.
- All records of all sexual harassment reports and investigations will be documented, and records will be retained.
Appeals process for Title IX Decisions:
This policy will be used when:
- A Title IX complaint has been brought by an individual [known as the claimant] against another student [respondent]. The complaint has been investigated and a determination made by the Decision Maker.
- Both parties have been informed of the decision.
- One party is not satisfied with the decision.
- The dissatisfied party has filed a written appeal with the Title IX Coordinator.
In the process, the following steps will take place:
- A notice of appeal must be filed in writing with the Title IX Coordinator within seven calendar days of a decision resulting from the hearing process being communicated to the parties involved. The appeal must state the grounds for the appeal. Recognized grounds for appeal include:
- The appellant’s rights were substantially violated in the hearing process.
- The procedures used or the decision reached is contrary to university policy.
- There was not substantial evidence to support the conclusions reached, according to the preponderance standard.
- There is new material evidence that could not have been discovered at the time of the hearing.
- The sanctions imposed were too severe or inappropriate for the nature of the violation.
- The Title IX Coordinator will refer the appeal, without judgment, to the Title IX Appeals Committee.
- The Title IX Coordinator shall convene the Title IX Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee shall consist of:
- In the case of a student appellant, the Student Life Committee and a trustee.
- In the case of an employee appellant, a committee consisting of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (chair), the Executive Director of Human Resources, the Athletic Director, a trained faculty member, and a trustee.
- A decision on the appeal will be made within fifteen days and the parties notified within 20 days of the submission of the appeal.
- The ultimate determination may be made by the President of Dordt University.