Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Investigation &
Disciplinary Proceedings

Overview

The University has a responsibility to investigate allegations of Sexual Misconduct independently of any criminal justice proceedings that may take place.  Investigations may lead to disciplinary proceedings as described below.  Both the investigation and any resulting disciplinary proceedings will take place promptly and will be conducted in a fair and impartial manner from the initial investigation to the final result. 

The investigation and any disciplinary proceedings will be conducted by one or more University officials who do not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against the accuser or the accused.  These officials will receive annual training on Sexual Misconduct issues, including issues related to dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and on how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.

Investigation

The first step of an investigation will usually be a preliminary interview of the person reporting the crime (accuser); the University will use the information gathered to evaluate the next steps that need to occur and, if necessary, provide for the safety of the University campus community. The investigation may include such things as interviews of the parties allegedly involved (including any witnesses) and gathering of any physical evidence and other relevant information.   The accuser and the alleged offender (accused) will be given equitable rights during the investigative process.

Disciplinary Proceedings

The results of the investigation and any related proceedings, including any changes to the results, shall be provided simultaneously, in writing, to both the accuser and the accused.  This notification shall include written procedures for either the accused or the accuser to appeal the result of the proceedings and when, absent appeal, the results of the proceedings become final.

1.  Resolution of allegations that a student committed Sexual Misconduct will vary      according to the findings of the investigation, and may include No Further Action, Formal      Meeting, or a Judicial Board Hearing. The accuser, accused and appropriate University      officials will be afforded timely and equal access to any information that will be used      during any disciplinary meeting or hearing that takes place, and will be afforded timely      notice of and may appear at any hearing that takes place.  Regardless of the type of      resolution, TJU will not require a party to abide by a nondisclosure agreement, in writing      or otherwise, that would prevent the re-disclosure of information related to the outcome      of the proceeding.

        a.  No Further Action. If, upon investigation, it is determined that the allegations are              unfounded, the University will so inform the accuser and accused in writing. If              either party is unsatisfied with the decision to take no further action, he/she              may file a written notice of appeal within three days of receiving the              decision. Students can file an appeal with the Provost of Thomas Jefferson              University; the Provost, or a designee appointed by the Provost, shall meet with the              individual appealing the decision to attempt to resolve the situation. The Provost or              designee shall provide a written decision, which shall be sent to both parties within              five business days of the meeting. The decision of the Provost or designee is final              and binding.  

        b.  Formal Meeting. If, upon investigation, it is determined that a policy violation has              occurred that does not require a Judicial Board Hearing to resolve, the University will              hold a meeting with the offender to formally advise him/her that his/her behavior              constitutes a violation of University policy and must stop immediately. A formal              meeting may involve sanctions including, but not limited to, a verbal or written              reprimand. The sanctions of disciplinary probation, suspension and dismissal              cannot be issued in a formal meeting. Both the accuser and accused will be notified,              in writing, of the outcome of a formal meeting. If either party is unsatisfied with the              result of a formal meeting, he/she may file a written notice of appeal within three              days of receiving the decision.  Students can file an appeal with the Provost of              Thomas Jefferson University; the Provost, or a designee appointed by the Provost,              shall meet with the individual appealing the decision to attempt to resolve the              situation. The Provost or designee shall provide a written decision, which shall be              sent to both parties within five business days of the meeting. The decision of the              Provost or designee is final and binding.  

        c.  Judicial Board Hearing. For allegations of student Sexual Misconduct for which No              Further Action or a Formal Meeting are not, in the University’s discretion, appropriate              responses, the judicial system, to include a Judicial Board Hearing, will be utilized.              The judicial system is described in Section XIII of the Code of Conduct found in the              university student handbook. 

                i. The accuser and the accused will be afforded an equal opportunity to have                    witnesses testify on their behalf, subject to the discretion of the hearing                    officials to exclude irrelevant, cumulative, overly prejudicial or other unnecessary                    evidence. Both the accuser and the accused will have the opportunity to be                    accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by the advisor of their                    choice. Such individuals shall be permitted to attend such meetings                    or proceedings solely as an advisor and may not participate in the meeting,                    hearing or proceedings.

                ii. Please note that the standard of evidence in a Judicial Board Hearing for Sexual                    Misconduct is a preponderance of evidence. As detailed in Section XII of the                    Code of Conduct, possible sanctions include, but are not limited to: reprimand,                    disciplinary probation, suspension and dismissal. The University will inform, in                    writing, the accuser and the accused of the outcomes of a Judicial Board                    Hearing. The accuser and the accused may appeal the outcome of his or her                    case as described in Section XIII.E of the Code of Conduct.

Retaliation and Intimidation

When someone engages in action(s) or omission(s) intended to punish, seek retribution against or otherwise adversely affect a person who, in good faith, makes an allegation or report of Sexual Misconduct, participates or cooperates in an investigation into an allegation of Sexual Misconduct or participates or cooperates in the University’s process for addressing allegations and/or incidents of Sexual Misconduct, including participation in any mediation or hearing related to allegations of Sexual Misconduct. Retaliation and intimidation is prohibited. It constitutes a serious violation of this policy and, like Sexual Misconduct itself, will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.  

Hours
Mondays - Fridays
8am - 5pm  


Edison Building
Suite 1120
(215) 503-6335
(215) 503-2787

 

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