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Title IX

"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." – Title IX of the Educational Amendment of 1972 

 

The University of Kentucky is committed to supporting a community of learning, engagement and respect with a welcoming educational and working environment. Consistent with these values and applicable law, including Title IX, the Clery Act and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, the University maintains a comprehensive program designed to protect members of the University community from discrimination on the basis of sex or gender, which includes sexual misconduct as defined by AR 6:2 Policy and Procedures for Addressing and Resolving Allegations of Sexual Assault, Stalking, Dating Violence, and Domestic Violence.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. § 1681) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.  Consistent with this obligation, the University of Kentucky prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex in academics, employment, and all of its programs and activities. The United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces Title IX

Compliance with Title IX is everyone’s responsibility. The information below provides an overview of who you may contact with questions about Title IX and how a student or employee can complain about conduct they believe may violate Title IX or University policy.

 
University Title IX Coordinator

The University has designated Patty Bender as the University’s Title IX Coordinator. She is charged with monitoring compliance with these regulations. You may contact Ms. Bender with any questions regarding Title IX, as well as concerns and complaints of non-compliance with University policies  AR 6:1 and AR 6:2.

Patty Bender
Assistant Vice President for Equal Opportunity
13 Main Building
Lexington, KY 40506-0032
(859) 257-8927

Ms. Bender has designated 3 Deputy Title IX Coordinators.  You may also contact them with questions regarding Title IX or University policy.  Complaints regarding potential violations of Title IX policy should be made to Ms. Bender or Martha Alexander.

 
University Deputy Title IX Coordinators

Martha Alexander
Deputy Title IX Compliance Officer
13 Main Building
Lexington, KY 40506-0032
(859) 257-8927

Heather Roop
Technical Compliance Officer
13 Main Building
Lexington, KY 40506-0032
(859) 257-8927

Jeremy Enlow
Equal Opportunity Investigator
12 Main Building
Lexington, KY 40506-0032
(859) 257-8927

 
Reporting Complaints

All complaints related to alleged violations of Policy and Procedures for Addressing and Resolving Allegations of Sexual Assault, Stalking, Dating Violence, and Domestic Violence (AR 6:2), regardless of where the complaint is initially received, are referred to the IEEO for investigation.

Confidential Reporting: Individuals may make a confidential complaint or report (where individuals receiving the complaint are not required to report incidents to IEEO) to the University Violence Intervention and Prevention Center (VIP Center), the University Counseling Center, or University Health Services (students only).

Anonymous reports may be made to the University of Kentucky Police Department (UKPD); however, because police reports are public records under state law, UKPD cannot hold reports of sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, or domestic violence in confidence. IEEO considers all requests for anonymity but may not be able to honor all requests while meeting the complaining party's needs and complying with the University's duties pursuant to federal law. 

Campus Security Authorities are required to make reports of certain crimes for inclusion in the Annual Security Reports.  These reports include no identifying information and are for statistical purposes only.  

Dual Reporting: Violations of AR 6:2 may be both a violation of University policy and state law. For this reason, the University encourages complainants to make reports to local law enforcement agencies (Lexington Police Department, University of Kentucky Police Department, or other appropriate local law enforcement agencies) and a University official. The result of an external criminal investigation does not impact whether a violation of University policy has occurred. An external criminal investigation does not take the place of a University investigation, although such criminal investigation may supplement a University investigation. The University does not wait for the conclusion of a criminal investigation to begin conducting its own independent investigation, take interim measures to protect the University or any member of the University community to initiate hearing procedures.

Interim Remedies Available: Interim remedies that may be initiated at the beginning of the complaint process and are not dependent on the outcome of the case include, but are not limited to:

  1. Referral to on or off-campus resources, such as the VIP Center and counseling;
  2. Alteration of the housing (students) or workstation (employees) situation for the complainant or respondent;
  3. Removing a student from residential facilities or removing an employee from the work setting or University premises;
  4. Limitation on contact between parties (e.g. No-Contact Orders, No-Trespass Orders);
  5. Referral to academic support services, such as tutoring and testing accommodations (students);
  6. Adjustments to course schedules and academic deadlines (students) or work schedules (employees);
  7. Other appropriate remedies based on each individual situation.

Retaliation: University policy prohibits retaliation against any party cooperating in the investigation of an alleged violation of University Policy or proceeding. Retaliation includes any harassment, intimidation, threats or adverse action against any complainant or individual as a result of participation in a complaint. Retaliatory behavior is not limited to behavior by the accused individual, and covers behavior by his or her associates, as well as third parties. Retaliation may be reported to IEEO, the Office of Student Conduct, Human Resources, or Office of Faculty Advancement and is considered an independent allegation that may lead to interim measures or disciplinary action (See Governing Regulation XIV).

 
Investigation Procedures

Upon receiving a complaint alleging violation of AR 6:2, IEEO initiates an investigation.  IEEO meets with all parties, interviews witnesses, and reviews documents, if necessary.  The University strives to complete the investigation as quickly as possible in order to resolve complaints in a timely fashion.  At the completion of the investigation both parties are provided with notice of the results of the investigation.  

 
Informal Resolution Option

If the investigation reveals enough information to support a finding that University policy was violated, an investigative report will be drafted with a recommendation the matter move to a hearing.  

An IEEO representative shall meet with the complainant and respondent separately to:

  1. review the investigative report;
  2. discuss the hearing process; and
  3. receive input from the complainant and respondent regarding sanctions.

With the exception of support individuals, pre-hearing meetings are closed meetings.  During this meeting IEEO will provide respondent with a recommended sanction.  The respondent may accept the findings of the investigate report and the recommended sanction to informally resolve the matter.  If the respondent chooses to resolve the allegation during the meeting, the case is closed. If the allegation is not resolved during the meeting, the case shall be referred to the Hearing Officer for formal resolution by a Hearing Panel.

 
Formal Hearing Procedures

If the matter is not resolved informally, a hearing will be held in front of a 3 member hearing panel. Hearings are conducted by a hearing officer 

During the hearing, the University will present the case against the respondent.  Both the complaining and responding party can present evidence and witnesses as well.  Accommodations can be made for the parties to attend remotely if they so wish.  Once all information is presented, the hearing panel deliberates to determine whether the preponderance of the evidence supports a finding of responsibility.  If there is a preponderance of the evidence, a hearing to determine an appropriate sanction is held.  At this hearing, both parties may present information regarding the impact a potential sanction may have.  

Additional information regarding hearings and hearing procedures may be found in AR 6:2 and the FAQ's

 
Recommended Sanctions

The chart below outlines the recommended sanctions for specific violations of AR 6.2. 

  Recommended Range of Sanctions (Students) Recommended Range of Sanctions (Employees)
Sexual Assault Suspension, Dismissal, Revocation of Admission and/or Degree Suspension, Termination
Dating Violence or Domestic Violence Disciplinary Probation, Counseling Assessment, Social Restrictions, Social Suspension, Suspension, Dismissal, Revocation of Admission and/or Degree Probation, Counseling Assessment, Suspension, Termination
Stalking Disciplinary Probation, Counseling Assessment, Social Restrictions, Social Suspension, Suspension, Dismissal, Revocation of Admission and/or Degree Probation, Written Warning, Counseling Assessment, Suspension, Termination

The hearing panel may also recommend additional sanctions not specifically listed above when appropriate.  The Dean of Students (students), Human Resources (employees), and Faculty Advancement (faculty) may alter a recommended sanction, provided the sanction implemented is within those listed above.  

 
Appeals to the University Sexual Misconduct Appeals Board (SMAB)

Any party may appeal the hearing boards decision to the SMAB.  Appeals must be made within 7 days of receipt of the Hearing Panel's decision and may be made only on the following grounds:

  1. The hearing did not afford due process;
  2. The sanction was not appropriate for the violation; and 
  3. New information (unknown at the time of the hearing) would have altered the outcome. 

SMAB Decision: The SMAB Chair shall communicate the outcome to the appealing party, the IEEO, the Dean of Students (students), the appropriate dean, director, or unit administrator (employees) and when appropriate, the other participating student or employee.

  1. For students, the decision of the SMAB is final and binding upon all involved.
  2. For employees, the decision of the SMAB may be appealed pursuant to applicable law (KRS 164.230) and/or University regulations GR I.F and GR X.B.1.f.

Click to view the Policy and Procedures for Addressing and Resolving Allegations of Sexual Assault, Stalking, Dating Violence, and Domestic Violence (Administrative Regulation 6:2) in its entirety.

Additional information regarding appellate procedures may be found at AR 6:2 and in the FAQ's

Notification of Appeal: If the respondent or complainant files an appeal, the IEEO and/or the other party involved in the complaint shall be notified of the appeal and provided an opportunity to file a response. A response shall be filed within five (5) business days of being notified of the appeal.

Appeal Record: In considering an appeal, the SMAB shall conduct a review of the existing documentary and verbatim record, including but not limited to:

  1. The hearing file;
  2. The written recommendations of the Hearing Panel;
  3. The recording or transcript of the formal hearing;
  4. The letter of appeal; and
  5. Response from the IEEO and/or the other party involved in the complaint, if any.

SMAB Decision: Upon review of all of the information, the SMAB has the authority to do one of the following:

  1. Uphold the findings and recommendations made by the Hearing Panel;
  2. In the cases of social suspension, suspension, or expulsion (students), or suspension or termination (employees) modify the sanction; or
  3. Remand the case back to a Hearing Panel.

Remanded Cases: An appeal can only be remanded to a Hearing Panel due to procedural error or new information.

  1. For issues of reversible error, the Hearing Officer shall appoint a new Hearing Panel to reconsider the case; or
  2. For issues of new information, the original Hearing Panel resumes the hearing.
 
Resources
Violence Intervention and Prevention Center
406 Administrative Drive
Frazee Hall (Lower Level)
Lexington, KY 40506-0031
(859) 257-3574
Director: Rhonda Henry
University of Kentucky Police Department
305 Euclid Avenue
Lexington, KY 40508-3015
(859) 257-UKPD (8573)
UK Counseling Center
106 Frazee Hall
Lexington, KY  40506-0031
(859) 257-8701
University Health Services
830 S. Limestone
Lexington, KY  40536
(859) 323-5823
  UK HealthCare
1000 S. Limestone
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY  40536
(859) 257-1000
or 1-800-333-8874