OIE Resolution Procedures
At a complainant’s request, and when there are no override factors present, or, if insufficient information is obtained through a preliminary inquiry to determine whether the report is within the OIE’s jurisdiction, the OIE may close a case by documenting the incident as an informational report and providing the appropriate resource referrals and support measures as applicable.
The OIE may dismiss a case upon evaluation of a report.
When the OIE determines a report or formal complaint does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Applicable Policies, the complainant will be referred to the appropriate office(s) on campus best situated to address the reported concerns.
No Limitation of Existing Authority
The OIE may refer a matter of unprofessional or inappropriate conduct that, if true, would not rise to a violation of an Applicable Policy to the appropriate disciplinary authority for consideration. OIE Procedures do not limit the authority of a disciplinary authority to initiate or impose disciplinary action as necessary, and in accordance with relevant university policies and procedures.
The OIE may determine that the most prompt and effective way to ensure compliance with an Applicable Policy to address a concern is through an informal resolution. For example, the OIE may resolve a report or formal complaint through an informal resolution when:
- The alleged conduct, even if true, would not be considered prohibited conduct under one of the Applicable Policies.
- The complainant requests OIE address the matter informally, through a Policy Education Meeting; or, through broad-based education, even when the conduct, if true, would violate the Applicable Policy and there is no other reason to override the complainant’s request.
- The complainant withdraws the complaint in writing.
- No complainant is identified but the reported behavior has the potential to create a hostile environment, and does not otherwise compromise the safety of an individual or the campus community
- OIE dismissed the formal complaint in accordance with the applicable Formal Resolution procedure.
The primary focus during an informal resolution remains the welfare of the parties and the safety of the campus community, but this process does not involve a written report or a determination as to whether the policy has been violated. This type of approach provides the university with a “remedies-based” resolution option that allows the university to tailor responses to the unique facts and circumstances of an incident, particularly in cases where there is not a broader threat to individual or campus safety. In these cases, the OIE may do one or more of the following:
- Provide interim or long-term support measures to the complainant, respondent or other parties;
- Provide a referral to other campus resolution processes and/or offices, as appropriate and based on the specific facts of the case;
- Provide targeted or broad-based educational programming or training; and/or
- Conduct a Policy Education Meeting (PEM) with the respondent to: (1) discuss the behavior as alleged and provide the respondent an opportunity to respond; (2) review prohibited conduct under the Applicable Policies; (3) identify and discuss appropriate future conduct and behavior as well as how to avoid behavior that could be interpreted as retaliatory; (4) inform the complainant of the respondent’s responses if appropriate; and (5) notify the Office of the Dean of Students or the respondent’s appointing or disciplinary authority of the allegations and responses if necessary, who will determine whether any other disciplinary action is appropriate.
The OIE retains discretion to proceed with a Formal Resolution for allegations of misconduct that, if proven true, would violate the Applicable Policy, and to maintain the safety of the parties and campus community. Additionally, the OIE will notify complainants of their ability to end the informal resolution process at any time and to commence or resume a formal resolution, if the alleged misconduct, if proven true, would warrant formal resolution.
The OIE is committed to providing a prompt, fair and impartial resolution of all complaints referred for formal resolution of incidents of alleged misconduct under the Applicable Procedures.
In all Formal Resolutions, the Respondent is provided a written Notice of Allegations (NOA), informing them of the alleged conduct.
OIE Investigators interview the complainant(s) and the respondent(s) separately and provide each party the opportunity to be heard and to respond. Investigators are not confidential resources and nothing shared with an investigator may be considered “off the record.” Investigators also gather and review additional evidence as available including, but not limited to, conducting witness interviews and gathering documentation. Documentation can include correspondence via text messages or chats, social media posts or videos, related incident reports, and other relevant records.Witnesses may be named directly by a complainant, a respondent, or, identified by any other source of information the OIE collects about an incident.
OIE investigations are administrative in nature and are not criminal investigations. It is possible for a criminal investigation to occur simultaneously and, when applicable, any party may be asked by a law enforcement investigator or attorney to participate in that process. Participation in a criminal investigation does not prevent or otherwise inhibit participation in an OIE investigation.
Consideration of Override Factors
If an individual has disclosed an incident of misconduct to the OIE, but wishes to maintain privacy or requests that no Formal Resolution Procedure occur or disciplinary action taken, the Director of Institutional Equity | Title IX Coordinator or designee will weigh that request against the university’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, faculty, and staff.
In making that determination, the Director of Institutional Equity | Title IX Coordinator or designee will consider a range of potential overriding factors that would cause the campus to address the alleged conduct, including the following:
- The risk that the alleged perpetrator will commit additional acts of misconduct or other violence;
- The seriousness of the alleged misconduct, including risk of repeat incident, whether the respondent threatened further misconduct or other violence against the complainant or others, whether the alleged misconduct was facilitated by the incapacitation of the complainant, or whether the respondent has been found responsible in legal or other disciplinary proceedings for acts of misconduct or other violence;
- Whether the alleged misconduct was perpetrated with a weapon;
- Whether the complainant is a minor;
- Whether the university possesses means other than the complainant’s testimony to obtain relevant evidence of the alleged misconduct (e.g., security cameras, personnel records, or physical evidence); or
- Whether the alleged misconduct reveals a pattern of perpetration at a given location or by a particular group.
Both parties shall have the right to:
Support measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the complainant or the respondent. Support Measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the university’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the university’s educational or work environment, or deter misconduct.
Support measures may be kept in place, lifted, or modified as additional information is obtained, or may be extended permanently, as appropriate
Witnesses or other participants in a Formal Resolution Procedure may also request support measures. The OIE will maintain oversight of these requests and the provision of any such measures.
The university will keep confidential any support measures provided to the complainant or respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality will not impair the university’s ability to provide the support measures.
Support measures that may be available include, but are not limited to:
- academic services (extensions of time or other course-related adjustments, arranging for a party to re-take a course, excuse related absences, or withdraw from a class without penalty);
- accessing medical services;
- accessing counseling services;
- employment modifications;
- campus safety escort services and increased security and monitoring of certain areas of campus;
- transportation/parking modifications;
- mutual or individual no-contact orders enforced by the university;
- discussing options and providing referral information for obtaining criminal or civil protection or restraining orders;
- residential relocations on or off campus; and
- student refund
Orders of Protection, Restraining Orders, or Similar Lawful Orders
Individuals interested in obtaining an Order of Protection, or any other order issued by a court, must pursue those options on their own behalf. Restraining orders are obtained through the El Paso County Courthouse. More information on obtaining a restraining order in Colorado is located at https://www.courts.state.co.us/Self_Help/protectionorders/ .
UCCS complies with Colorado law in recognizing orders of protection. Any person who obtains an order of protection from Colorado or any other state should provide a copy to the UCCS Police Department and the OIE.
The university may issue a “No-Contact Order to participants in an OIE resolution process. These No-Contact Orders are separate from a court-issued protection order. OIE is responsible for determining if a No-Contact Order has been violated and will make referrals to the appropriate disciplinary authority for disciplinary action. The OIE may also inform UCCS Police of the No-Contact Order. The university may issue exclusion orders pursuant to Regent Law Article 14.B.6. UCCS Police may issue advisements to limit contact with a specific individual(s).
Some safety measures involve restricting a respondent’s access to university programs and activities and may not apply until after the completion of a Formal Resolution Procedure unless emergency removal action is determined appropriate.
The OIE will determine whether safety measures are appropriate after an individualized assessment. Every effort should be made to avoid depriving any student of educational access. Safety measures may be kept in place, lifted, or modified as additional information is obtained, or may be extended permanently, as appropriate.
The university may remove a respondent from an education program or activity, or employment on an emergency basis after: 1) the university undertakes an individualized safety and risk analysis, 2) determines that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any individuals arising from the allegations of misconduct justifies removal, and 3) provides the respondent with notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal.
Types of emergency removal include, but are not limited to:
- Interim student suspension;
- Interim exclusion order for parts of or entire campus, classes, etc.;
- Employee Administrative Leave; and
- Temporary suspension of duties, including responsibilities associated with student-employment
The following factors will be considered in the individualized safety and risk analysis:
- Seriousness of the alleged conduct;
- Location of the alleged incident(s);
- The risk that the alleged perpetrator will commit additional acts of sexual or other violence;
- Whether the alleged perpetrator threatened further sexual or other violence against the alleged victim or others;
- Whether there have been other misconduct complaints about the same alleged perpetrator or if the perpetrator has a known history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of sexual or other violence;
- The existence of multiple alleged victims and/or perpetrators;
- Whether the conduct was facilitated by the incapacitation of the alleged victim (through alcohol, drugs, disability, unconsciousness, or other means);
- Whether the alleged conduct was perpetrated with force, violence, or weapons;
- Whether the alleged victim is a minor;
- Whether the alleged conduct reveals a pattern of perpetration (by the alleged perpetrator, by a particular group or organization, around a particular recurring event or activity, and/or a particular location); and/or
- Whether any other aggravating circumstances or signs of predatory behavior are present.
In the case of an emergency removal, the respondent will be provided written notice of the alleged prohibited conduct and afforded prompt opportunity to challenge the decision. The written notice will include the procedure for challenging the decision based on either the Student Code of Conduct process (for students) or the HR process (for employees).