5. Confidentiality, Reporting, and Filing a Claim

Contact Information for Title IX Officials:

Molly Taylor
Title IX Coordinator
Office: Global Missions 2nd Floor
TitleIX@dbu.edu
214-333-5960 (office)
Tempress Asagba
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students
Office: Crowley Residence Life Office
TitleIX@dbu.edu
214-333-5340 (office)
Tamy Rogers
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Employees 
Office: Mahler 2nd Floor
TitleIX@dbu.edu
214-333-5158 (office)
    1. Reporting Options

      DBU wants to encourage the reporting of all cases of sexual misconduct. Complainants and other reporting individuals are encouraged to report any violation of this policy as soon as possible in order to maximize DBU’s ability to respond promptly and effectively. A complainant has the right, and can expect, to have reports taken seriously by the University when reported, and to have those incidents investigated and equitably resolved in a prompt and timely manner through these procedures.

      There are three ways that reports of sexual misconduct can be made: 1) reporting to Confidential Sources; 2) reporting to Mandatory Reporters; and 3) reporting directly to the Title IX Coordinator or another official listed in 5(d) below as having authority to institute corrective measures.

      As the names imply, the University has designed the Confidential Sources listed below under 5(b) as people who may listen to complaints and will not be required to report the details of that complaint to DBU’s Title IX Office (though they are required by federal law to provide non-identifying statistical information on all cases). On the other hand, any report made to any of the Mandatory Reporters listed in 5(c) must then be reported by that Mandatory Reporter under Texas law to the Title IX Coordinator or one of the DBU officials with authority to institute corrective measures [these officials are listed in 5(d) below]. However, even where a report is made to a Mandatory Reporter, the complainant will still have the right to make the decision on whether to fully move forward with instituting a formal complaint, as outlined more fully in 5(e) below.

      At the complainant’s request, DBU will assist the complainant in contacting local law enforcement. It is important to note that a victim of a sexual misconduct crime has a choice of whether to report the crime to law enforcement, to be assisted by DBU in reporting the crime to law enforcement, or to decline to report the crime to law enforcement.

    2. Confidential Sources

      If a reporting party would like the details of an incident to be kept confidential, the reporting party may speak with:

      • Dr. Jordan Davis, LPC (Director of Counseling and Spiritual Care) - 214-333-5288; jordan@dbu.edu
      • On-campus licensed professional counselors and staff at the DBU Counseling Center
      • On-campus Confidential Consultants (after an allegation has been made)
      • Off-campus:
        • Licensed professional counselors
        • Local rape crisis counselors
        • Local or state assistance agencies
        • Clergy/Chaplains

      As outlined in Section 4(e) above, all of the above DBU employees will maintain confidentiality except in extreme cases of immediate threat or danger, or abuse of a minor. Campus counselors are available to help free of charge as a service to all parties, subject to the availability of counselors and any potential conflicts of interest. These employees will annually submit anonymous, aggregate statistical information for Clery Act purposes.

    3. Mandatory Reporters

      As the name implies, any report of sexual misconduct made to any of the Mandatory Reporters listed in this section must then be reported by that Mandatory Reporter under Texas law to one of the officials with authority to institute corrective measures; these officials are listed in 5(d) below.

      All University employees listed in Section 1 as mandatory reporters are required to immediately report actual or suspected sexual misconduct to the officials with authority to institute corrective measures listed below under 5(d), though there are some limited exceptions outlined below. These “mandatory reporters” include all faculty, adjunct faculty, full-time staff members, non-student worker part-time staff members, and student workers employed in Campus Security, Police, or as Resident Assistants. The mandatory reporting requirement is not only a University expectation, but is also mandated by state law and violations could carry a criminal penalty. Failure of a non-confidential employee, as described in this section, to report an incident or incidents of sexual misconduct of which they become aware is a violation of University policy and will be subject to disciplinary action for failure to comply with University policies. Likewise, failure to report constitutes a violation of state law, which mandates termination of the employment relationship in certain circumstances and could lead to criminal penalties.

    4. Officials with Authority to Institute Corrective Measures on Behalf of DBU:

      Reports can also be made directly to the Title IX Coordinator or one of the officials listed below who have authority to institute corrective measures. Reports can be made in-person, via email, by phone, or via DBU’s Title IX website form (in which reports may also be made anonymously). Contact information for the Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators is found in Section 4(a).

      A compliant is only a Title IX case when DBU has actual knowledge of the complaint.  DBU has actual knowledge when a compliant is made to the Title IX coordinator or an official who is able to institute corrective measures.  While most employees have mandatory reporting obligations as outlined in 5(c) above, the following positions are able to institute corrective measures on behalf of the recipient:

      1. Title IX Coordinator
      2. Deputy Title IX Coordinators
      3. Vice President of Student Affairs
      4. Provost
      5. Dean of Students
      6. Director of Human Resources
      7. Senior Legal Counsel to the President

    5. Initial Complaints

      Initially, any complaint that is received by an official with authority to institute corrective measures (whether coming directly from the complainant or from a mandatory reporter) will be considered an informal complaint and the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator will be responsible for meeting with the complainant, alerting the complainant of his/her rights as a complainant, discussing supportive measures the University can provide, providing the appropriate supportive measures, and helping the complainant understand the process for filing a formal complaint if he/she so chooses.

      In order to move forward in the process of being investigated and adjudicated, Title IX Cases and Texas Law Cases must move from being an informal complaint to a formal complaint by meeting the following guidelines:

      1. an allegation of a Title IX case is made; and
      2. either
        1. The alleged victim makes the choice to move forward with the investigation and adjudication of the case by signing a written formal complaint document indicating that he/she wishes to proceed with the institution investigating and adjudicating the case; or
        2. If the alleged victim does not wish to sign a formal complaint document, the Title IX Coordinator will utilize the procedure found in Section 7 and may, on his/her own motion, sign a formal complaint document if it is determined that the allegation involves such a significant risk to the safety of the overall community that it is necessary to initiate formal complaint procedures on the Title IX Coordinator’s own motion to protect the community at large. Otherwise, as per the Section 7 guidelines, if it is decided that the allegation does not involve a significant risk to the safety of the overall community, the Title IX Coordinator may close the case, and will create a record for the University’s Title IX files detailing why this decision was made and how it was not clearly unreasonable under Title IX standards.

      For purposes of Institutional Offenses, formal complaints may be made using the complaint procedures outlined in the Student Code of Conduct or Employee Handbook (whichever is applicable to the person making the allegation).

      Formal reporting still affords privacy to the complainant, and only a small group of officials who need to know will be told, including but not limited to: the Title IX Coordinator, the Deputy Title IX Coordinators, the Vice President for Student Affairs (if the allegation involves students), the Provost (if the allegation involves a faculty member), the supervising Vice President (if the allegation involves a staff member), the Office of Legal Affairs for the University, the Senior Legal Counsel to the President, and any other personnel that have a legitimate need to know about the incident.

      Information will be shared as necessary with investigators, witnesses, and the respondent. The circle of people with this knowledge will be kept as tight as possible to preserve a complainant’s rights and privacy.

      Formal complaints may be withdrawn at any time by a complainant, though if a complaint is withdrawn, the Title IX Coordinator will still utilize the procedure found in Section 7 and may, on his/her own motion, sign a formal complaint document if it is determined that the allegation involves such a significant risk to the safety of the overall community that it is necessary to initiate formal complaint procedures on the Title IX Coordinator’s own motion to protect the community at large. Likewise, for Title IX Cases, the Title IX Coordinator may also dismiss a complaint if the respondent is no longer enrolled at or employed by the University or if specific circumstances prevent the University from gathering sufficient evidence to investigate and adjudicate the case. If a case is dismissed for one of these reasons, the Title IX Coordinator will provide a written determination of this dismissal to the parties. However, even in situations where the case may be dismissed as a Title IX Case, Texas law may require the University to continue the case, and the rules outlined in Section 2 for Texas Law Cases may still apply.

    6. Amnesty

      In order to encourage reports of conduct prohibited under this policy, an individual who, in good faith, reports being the victim of, or witness to sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, or stalking, or who assists in the investigation of a report, will be entitled to amnesty from disciplinary actions by the University relating to code of conduct violations that occurred as a part of the incident in question or which were reasonably related to the incident. DBU reserves the right to investigate whether a report was made in good faith before granting amnesty. Additionally, amnesty does not apply to the reporting individual’s own acts, if any, of sexual misconduct.

    7. Good Faith & False Statements

      Allegations must be made in good faith and not made out of malice. It is a violation of DBU policy to knowingly make a false, malicious, or frivolous accusation of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct or retaliation. However, mere failure to prove a complaint is not equivalent to a false, malicious, or frivolous accusation. All parties, witnesses, and advisors in any proceeding under this policy are expected to be honest and truthful when meeting with Title IX officials, investigators, when testifying in any proceeding, providing written evidence, or engaging in any other communication relating to a proceeding under this policy. It is a violation of this policy for any party, witness, or advisor to make a false or misleading statement of any kind in a communication that is part of these proceedings.

    8. Preserving Evidence

      An individual who experiences any form of sexual assault is strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical care at a hospital or other medical facility that provides services for victims of sexual assault. Individuals can undergo a medical exam to properly collect and preserve physical evidence of the sexual assault with or without the police’s involvement. It is important to preserve forensic and other physical evidence that may assist in proving the alleged criminal offense occurred and such evidence may be helpful in obtaining a protection order against the respondent. Therefore, a medical exam should be performed immediately after the event, if possible. With the individual’s consent, the physical evidence collected during this medical exam can be used as part of a criminal investigation. Likewise, if the individual consents, this medical information could be useful evidence in a case investigated and adjudicated under this policy by the University.

    9. Case Designations, Interim Measures, and Initial Actions

      Upon receiving a formal complaint signed by the alleged victim or by the Title IX Coordinator, the Title IX Coordinator will endeavor to do the following as soon as possible: a) contact the complainant and respondent to alert them of the allegation and of the Confidential Consultant and the Pool of Advisors that are available to them (outlined more fully in Section 4); b) alert the Confidential Consultants assigned to the case and ask them to contact the complainant and respondent to offer their services; c) if either or both parties choose an Advisor from the Pool of Advisors, alert the Advisor(s) and alert the other party of the choice of Advisor; and d) alert the ACTS Committee, Senior Legal Counsel to the President’s Office, and the University President of the formal complaint. Under (a) above, the written notice of the allegation will be provided to both parties, and will disclose sufficient details of the complaint, conduct at issue, and date and location of the alleged incident for the parties to be alerted of the issues involved; likewise, this notice will provide a statement that the respondent is presumed not responsible until he/she is proven responsible, a statement concerning the parties’ right to select an advisor of their choosing, and a statement disclosing the institution’s policy on making false statements.

      When a formal complaint is filed, it will be the responsibility of the Title IX Coordinator, Senior Legal Counsel to the President, and Vice President for Student Life (if the respondent is a student), Provost (if the respondent is a faculty member), or Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Employees (if the respondent is a staff member) to make a determination on whether the case would best be handled using the University’s Title IX compliant procedure (outlined in Section 6), Texas Law compliant procedure (outlined in Section 8), or Institutional Offenses procedure (Outlined in Section 9). Likewise, at the same time, this team will make a determination on the severity level of the case (whether Standard or Severe), and any supportive measures that should be taken to protect the safety and security of all parties involved in the case.

      Supportive measures (which will be offered to complainants even if they do not file a formal complaint) may include, but will not be limited to, a no-contact order, revision of academic schedule or accommodations regarding exams/assignments, change in housing arrangements, a change in work schedule/job assignment, removal from campus, or other supportive measures that the Title IX Coordinator, Senior Legal Counsel to the President , Vice President for Student Affairs, Provost, and/or Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Employees believe will provide appropriate protection and support for the parties involved. As mandated by state law, a Complainant or Respondent in any case involving alleged sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking may drop a course in which both parties are enrolled without any academic penalty upon request by the party to the Title IX Coordinator. In Title IX cases, DBU may remove a respondent on an emergency basis if an individual safety and risk analysis is made and it is determined that: 1) there is an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the Title IX allegations; and 2) that this threat justifies removal. In such a situation in a Title IX case, if the respondent is removed, he/she will be notified in writing and given an opportunity to challenge this removal at a hearing with the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students. Nothing in the foregoing sentences prevents DBU from using its discretion to place an employee respondent on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation and adjudication of the case.

      Proceedings under this policy are separate and distinct from Texas’ criminal process. These proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus. Neither a decision by law enforcement regarding prosecution nor the outcome of any criminal proceeding will be considered determinative of whether a violation of this policy has occurred.

    10. Presumptions and Other General Matters

      All respondents in cases under this policy are presumed not responsible for a violation of this policy until they are proven responsible. In proving this responsibility, under Title IX regulations, the University will bear the burden of gathering evidence and proving responsibility. In assessing whether a respondent is responsible, the University will use the clear and convincing evidence standard, which is defined in the Definitions Section of this policy found in Appendix A. There will be no presumptions of credibility or bias given for any party or witness; each party or witness’s credibility will be objectively judged and weighed, and each party will be objectively treated with respect and without bias.

    11. Informal Resolution Process

      If a formal complaint is filed, at the outset of the case, the Title IX Coordinator will provide the parties in cases with information about a voluntary informal resolution process if one is available at that time. The University may develop such a process and provide it as an option to parties in certain cases (as outlined below), but will not be obligated to do so. If an informal resolution process is then available, the parties will be given the option to choose this informal resolution process to resolve the issues in the case rather than using the procedures found in Section 6 and 8 of this policy if the conditions in this section are met. Both parties must consent to using this informal resolution process for it to be available. Likewise, this informal resolution process is not available where the allegations in the case involve any of the following: 1) Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration (as defined under the definition of “Sexual Violence” in Appendix A); 2) Domestic or Dating Violence; 3) allegations that an employee committed sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking against a student; or 4) other situations where the Title IX Coordinator, Senior Legal Counsel to the President, and Vice President for Student Life (if the respondent is a student), Provost (if the respondent is a faculty member), or Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Employees (if the respondent is a staff member) determine that good cause exists in favor of DBU protecting its faculty, staff, students, and visitors by not allowing the parties to engage in an Informal Resolution Process.

      This informal resolution process will be detailed more fully in the Informal Resolution Process Manual that will be provided to the parties, but would encompass a mediation-style setting where the parties are put into separate rooms and a facilitator goes back and forth between the rooms to determine if a settlement can be reached. The parties may choose to have their Advisor and/or Confidential Consultant present with them during this process, but the parties themselves will have to sign any agreement reached. As detailed more fully in the Informal Resolution Process Manual, for a settlement to be binding on the parties, it must be: 1) agreed to in writing by both parties; and 2) the Title IX Coordinator and Senior Legal Counsel to the President must find that good cause does not exist in favor of disapproving the settlement in order to protect the interests and safety of DBU’s faculty, staff, students, and visitors. If a settlement is reached as a part of this process and meets the criteria above, the Title IX Coordinator will dismiss the case for purposes of the procedures in Section 6 or 8 (as applicable) and enter the settlement agreement as a binding document on the parties. Should either party later break this agreement, the other party may file a grievance with the Title IX Coordinator. Should a settlement not be reached as a part of this informal resolution process, the case will proceed using the Section 6 or 8 process designated by the Title IX Coordinator (as described above), though all statements made to the facilitator in this process will remain confidential and will not be able to be used as evidence in any further proceeding. Either party may, at any time, voluntarily withdraw from the Informal Resolution Process without penalty.